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Recommend a 'lite' Preschool Curriculum

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping that when the girls are 3.5 and 2 we can start doing "school" 3 or 4 times a week, just a short something each afternoon or on weekend mornings, just so that they can get in the habit of doing school and knowing what that means. We are somewhere on the spectrum between school-at-home and unschooling, probably right smack dab in the middle.

I've lurked on here for quite a while, so I know the push against 'early academics, etc." I'm not really looking to start teaching a 3 year old to read or do addition unless she show interest. But since both my husband and I will be working when my oldest begins HSing for K (we plan to work and HS somehow), we'd like to do something simple for Pre-K just so that all of us can get in the swing of things.

I'm wanting something cheap(under $75ish), preferrably secular. I looked at the Before FiveIn A Row book and didn't find it very impressive though I do like FIAR. I'm not really talking about learning colors, shapes, counting, etc either because they pick that up just from playing.

....i'm not really sure what exactly i'm looking for. lol. I was hoping you guys could point me in a more specific direction
post #2 of 8
Maybe Seasons of Joy would work? I haven't used it yet, but it sounds nice and easygoing like what you're saying
post #3 of 8
http://www.carolscurriculum.com/

They'll send you a sample month for free. There are 2 levels. One includes cutting the other does not.
post #4 of 8
I have heard fantastic things about Earth*School
http://hyenacart.com/onestore.php?vid=2020&category=13
post #5 of 8
It seems to me that what you're basically looking for is a way of structuring time in a way that will be most efficient when the time comes that you do plan to be introducing some reading and numbers. It honestly won't take practice to lead up to it - it will just be a matter later of picking the best times for everyone to happily focus on whatever it is. I really think it works better to not think in terms of doing school time, but just in terms of dealing with whatever subject or skill it is you and they are focusing on. I think the idea a lot of people have is that if they call it school time, the children will feel compelled to cooperate, but there are lots of people who don't put a name on introducing new things and don't have a problem capturing their children's attention, because there's no real difference of attitude or tone needed between showing a child how to ride a bike or tie a shoe or learn to read.

So if you feel you're going to be halfway between school-at-home and unschooling, I think you'd be comfortable with just providing whatever information/help/teaching/facilitating that seems appropriate at any give time without having to say, "Okay, it's time for school." If you want to start sharing more focused activities with them, snuggling together with picture books and reading to them is a great one, and you probably already do that. Doing very simple little finger rhymes with them is another. Playing with simple craft materials such as playdough, dressing up in costumes for imaginative play, talking about the natural world around you are others. What you'll be doing with them later doesn't need to have to feel any different than those things do. So what I'm getting at is that I don't think you really need a curriculum so much as just the setting of a simple rhythm of some kind that can carry into later and be changed as needed. Lillian
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by SundayCrepes View Post
http://www.carolscurriculum.com/

They'll send you a sample month for free. There are 2 levels. One includes cutting the other does not.
We used this one when we started home schooling.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
It seems to me that what you're basically looking for is a way of structuring time in a way that will be most efficient when the time comes that you do plan to be introducing some reading and numbers. It honestly won't take practice to lead up to it - it will just be a matter later of picking the best times for everyone to happily focus on whatever it is. I really think it works better to not think in terms of doing school time, but just in terms of dealing with whatever subject or skill it is you and they are focusing on. I think the idea a lot of people have is that if they call it school time, the children will feel compelled to cooperate, but there are lots of people who don't put a name on introducing new things and don't have a problem capturing their children's attention, because there's no real difference of attitude or tone needed between showing a child how to ride a bike or tie a shoe or learn to read.

So if you feel you're going to be halfway between school-at-home and unschooling, I think you'd be comfortable with just providing whatever information/help/teaching/facilitating that seems appropriate at any give time without having to say, "Okay, it's time for school." If you want to start sharing more focused activities with them, snuggling together with picture books and reading to them is a great one, and you probably already do that. Doing very simple little finger rhymes with them is another. Playing with simple craft materials such as playdough, dressing up in costumes for imaginative play, talking about the natural world around you are others. What you'll be doing with them later doesn't need to have to feel any different than those things do. So what I'm getting at is that I don't think you really need a curriculum so much as just the setting of a simple rhythm of some kind that can carry into later and be changed as needed. Lillian
I agree with this. For our dd, though, it is helpful to at times (especially in winter) to have organized periods set aside for certain activities because we are stuck inside so much. Usually, we play in the morning, have lunch, and then do a structured activity like painting or baking or cleaning, etc. I have found some good ideas from both Seasons of Joy and Little Acorn Learning (free samples here: http://littleacornlearning.com/sampleweek.html). I also use Ambleside Online for book ideas, as well as Waldorf blogs for seasonal book ideas. One thing to be wary of, is that by the time your child turns 5 or so, if you have already instituted "school time" she may rebel because it is so ingrained. I know my child would, which is one reason I've never given it a name, as well as I've just found that it seems rather silly to me to have times for learning that are somehow separate from times that we are doing other things AND learning, too. I dunno. It just doesn't jive with us. I really, deeply love focusing on the seasons and that has worked well to organize us. We read seasonal books and poetry, sing seasonal songs, do seasonal things like baking, berry picking, jam-making, etc. Maybe you need just a theme to organize around that would help.
post #8 of 8
My Father's World had preschool packages that are just Lauri puzzles/toys with a booklet of suggested activities. It is a faith based company, but the preschool products are just the toys.
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