Friday, May 25, 2012

Preschool Curriculum

Preschool is a fun, informal time for me and my kids in their schooling.  I was like a lot of parents when Autumn was little.  I was so anxious to get started with her education.  My husband was anxious that I would be consistent with her schooling.  So, of course I did far more than I needed and pushed too hard.  But, I learned my lessons and Sami and Eli have had an easier time of it.

I started with two questions.

1) What does my child need to learn?

2) What curriculum should I use?

To answer #1, I found several assessment tools and a scope and sequence that really helped me know what my children needed to learn.  I like the World Book Scope and Sequence's preschool list.  World Book Preschool Scope and Sequence.

Twice a year, I go through the list and put a date by the skills my child has learned.  By  
the end of preschool, they should be able to do all of the things on the list and be ready 
for kindergarten.  The list has helped me remember some things that I need to teach them that
I've forgotten.

I also use these assessments:
I also use this report card for PK and Kindergarten:

Handwriting without tears also has some free Pre-K assessments on their website.  You just 
need to register for a free account to have access to them.  

For curriculum, I've found several things that I love.  
Here is the basic curriculum I use.  

PreK-3 Curriculum  
2 days/wk 15-20 min. at a time

I do one weekly activity from Slow and Steady Get Me Ready.  You can start with this book as young as you want. But, when my kids have been 1 and 2 I've always had my hands full.  So, I start using it with PK3.  The directions from the book are to do one activity a week from birth.  Instead, I do 1 activity each time.  A long time ago, I took the list of activities and compared them to a preschool scope and sequence and amazingly this book covers every one.  The main things you need your child to learn in Preschool are to listen to and follow directions.  

Hooked on Phonics PK--I practice one letter each week.
Lots of Read Alouds (Honey for a Child’s Heart)--My child picks out 2 read alouds they would like me to read each time.  

Favorite Read Alouds:
Spot Books
Franklin Books (boy)
Maisy books (girls)
Hooray for Fish
Curious George
Do's and Don'ts
Denise Fleming 
Byron Barton 
Richard Scarry 
Steven Kellogg 

Bible Storybooks
The Read Aloud Bible Stories by Ella Lindvall, v. 1-4

PreK4 Curriculum
3 days/wk 30-45 min. at a time

Slow and Steady Get Me Ready--1 activity each session 
5 min.

Letter of the Week Bk1--1 letter a week (all year)
15 min. 

Hooked on Phonics-PreK (fall)
5-7 min.

Get Ready for the Code (start in spring)
4 min.

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons--start when my child knows all of his/her letters (spring)--I prefer this book to others on the market.  Reading is a whole discussion on it's own!  There's a lot of different approaches out there.
5-10 min.

Handwriting without Tears Get Ready for School book (teacher's guide is helpful because it identifies the challenges with learning how to write and correct posture, etc.)  
5 min. 

Favorite Read Alouds:
Biscuit Collection
Curious George Collection
20 min.

Child’s Play (Singapore Science)
5-8 min.
This is also a great time to plant a sense of wonder.  Go on hikes, make collections.  Plant a garden together (my favorite gardening book for kids is out of print, titled Kids Garden!)

Developing Number Concepts Bk1--a great book!  This is written for classroom teachers but it really helped me understand the math concepts my children needed to learn early on and explained their struggles with number sense.  
Singapore Earlybird Math Stds. Edition, Bk A (spring)
10-15 min. 

The Big Picture Bible (bedtime)

I really debated this year with Eli.  I had all of the curriculum above.  I saw a new curriculum that really appealed to me.  I weighed the cost with how well what I have works.  In the end, I concluded that it would be wiser to just use what I have.  My list may seem long, but in practice it doesn't take long at all.  My estimates above are on the high end.  When you only have one student, it doesn't take long!  My estimate totals about 40 min. plus read alouds.  

Basically, you need an alphabet curriculum, a beginning reading curriculum (hooked on phonics, teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons, ordinary parent's guide to reading...), an introductory math curriculum, fun workbooks...

Every mom finds resources that they loves along the way and these are the ones I've found and have enjoyed!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Thanks for this!!