Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Our Curriculum … Of Sorts

on January 29, 2012

My goals for our first year of preschool at home are, quite simply, to …

  • lay a solid foundation for learning
  • foster a love of learning
  • build character and confidence
  • encourage good listening habits
  • develop fine motor skills

The books posted above are simply a few of the tools we’re using to reach those goals.

We begin each day with a Bible story and memory work, the Pledge of Allegiance, and calendar time (incorporating informal math and phonics). From there, we move on to our literature-based weekly theme or letter of the week and read, read, read! Both Little Bear and Baby Bear like to cuddle with Mommy in the morning, so we use daily read-alouds in the recliner to help lay a foundation for learning. We take time to discuss illustrations and stories, hunt for our letter of the week in the text, let Little Bear sound out simple words, sing related songs, and occasionally watch related video clips on YouTube (especially during our animal/nature units!).

If time permits, we’ll do math or science activity, a craft, a game, or a puzzle related to our morning’s theme or letter. If there’s laundry or some other chore calling, Little Bear moves on to her handiwork while Mommy tends to the house. I’ll freely admit that I am not a fan of workbooks, especially during the early years. Both my prep time and my creativity are limited these days, however; and Little Bear loves to complete tasks successfully and independently. So Kumon First Steps workbooks have offered a simple, cost-effective way to develop fine motor skills, to encourage listening and following directions, and to foster a “can-do” attitude. We have cutting, pasting, coloring, paper-folding, and tracing books and try to do a page from each at least 3-4 days per week.

After lunch, Baby Bear is usually ready to nurse down; so we all pile into the recliner for another round of read-alouds. Inevitably, Mommy’s voice gets tired, and Little Bear takes over and reads to me. Most of the time, she reads sight word readers that she’s simply memorized, but she’s building confidence with each page.

Often, Little Bear will want to do yet more bookwork during the afternoon. We’ll usually do 2-3 activities out of Let’s Get Ready (Gakken Workbooks), then move on to School Zone’s Big Preschool Workbook if she’s still eager for more. I generally limit her to no more than half an hour of bookwork at a time. She enjoys it, but there are plenty of other ways for a preschooler to learn — and we want to have plenty of time for making music, playing with Play-Doh, building Duplo castles, and running around outside.

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