Help me choose (home) Preschool Curriculum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-07-2014, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help me choose (home) Preschool Curriculum

I have been following ABC Jesus Loves Me for a while and I thought I would just do this free preschool program, but... I am just not that sure now. Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I just want one place to list everything I should buy... and just have a little bit more time to order. I don't want to go shopping every week for materials for the next week because I don't live near a big city... plus, I love to bargain hunt (and sometimes that means buying 6 months before I need it

Anyway, I haven't looked at other options... but, I do NOT want online/electronic options... i.e. no activities on computers or the like for the kids.

Personally, some of the stuff is TOO simple in ABC JLM . Like "The duck is yellow" is way too simple... or books are too simple. I believe kids are able to comprehend more than what we teach them. And my 4yo has always been an excellent speaker, impressing many with her speech and vocabulary.

And, I have a soon-to-be 2yo that speaks well for his age, too. They are normal with everything else (gross motor skills, math, etc).

What to do. I want something Christian and I want something complex... (language wise)...but I want the fun play stuff that goes with it too. And, I want a place that lists all I would need and I can pick and choose what to use/buy.

Does that make any sense, or am I asking for too much?

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#2 of 8 Old 08-07-2014, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Also. I do not want to spend too much time teaching my child something... that s/he could grasp faster and just as well if s/he waited another year. I am totally FOR that. I just want something to be fun... Christian...and structured. Something to keep their minds engaged... we will need this for the winter months here when stuck at home.

Maybe I should just stick with personal devotionals, singing (they love to sing), and tot trays (fine/gross motor skills). I don't feel like I need to teach writing quite yet... maybe at 5 years old. And, we don't collect or keep 'junk' so we don't have a lot of the usuals that others have... hmmmm.

Sorry... I'm just thinking aloud now that I am actually looking into a structured teaching program.

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#3 of 8 Old 08-07-2014, 12:01 PM
 
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I'm a unschooler. So take this or leave it.
You can have a structured part of your day without a curriculum. You can go to the teaching store and pick up some books with activities. Even you can go to the library and get tons of books to read and craft books.

Homeschool is what you make it. So you can make it as you go.

OH! Sonlight curriculum is Christian and has some really great books to read. You can take ideas form them.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-07-2014, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm. I forgot about unschooling. I actually do not know what that is... but will check into it.
And, I was checking into Heart of Dakota preschools curriculum today. Something about schooling early just bothers me... but, my daughter is bored, so I need something.
Thanks for the replies.

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#5 of 8 Old 08-08-2014, 12:11 AM
 
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We're on the unschooling spectrum as well. Unschooling is the philosophy that children want to learn and will learn what they need when they are ready. Essentially you just provide opportunities and supplies for your child and they will engage when and where they are ready. There's a wide array of ways that folks actualize that, but it sounds like you're a bit on that path if you don't want to make them learn what they aren't ready for.

We are involved with a really active homeschooling group. We are often away from home doing something with the group. Every day my kids have "responsibilities." My 8year old does www.reflexmath.com and reads to me for about 15 minutes. My 6 year old and I do a spatial activity and a fine motor activity then I read to her. Once we are done with those we have a jar with a bunch of white slips of paper. On each slip is something for us to do together...play a game, play a specific game, do a puzzle, etc. They really get excited about what we will be doing together. We don't do that every day as we sometimes just don't have time.

Most importantly, they just play together or independently. Non-directed play is the most important thing young children can do. This book is amazing, it has lots of research, but the bottom line is young kids just need to play.
Amazon Amazon


Or here is a short article that says the same thing: http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/08/...ntent=20140806

So, I look to just have fun, educational stuff around the house.

I agree with the www.sonlight.com books. We are not religious, but I have been going to their site for years looking for good book ideas. (I just avoid the religious ones.) I usually get them at the library or used.

I'm not a crafty person so I don't do many crafts with my kids. We do have a big craft center and they pull out stuff that they want to do.

We have games, most are cooperative games. This is a good one for younger kids:
Amazon Amazon


Or this:
Amazon Amazon


This is great for spatial concepts:
Amazon Amazon


So is this:
Amazon Amazon


Both of my kids loved this (we have the plane and the crane):
Amazon Amazon


For fine motor this:
Amazon Amazon


or this:
Amazon Amazon


If you want to read more about unschooling, this is my favorite book. It is how people like Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers, and more were unschooled. It was a bit different from how some unschoolers do it now, and the term certainly didn't exist back then. But it's still my favorite book:
Amazon Amazon

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#6 of 8 Old 08-08-2014, 09:23 AM
 
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Here's a page from Sandra Dodd's website :

http://sandradodd.com/christian/resources

I've been impressed with some of the content on these sites she links to. The thoughtfulness and depth of some of the subject matter is impressive. I highly recommend the top 2 "Christian Unschooler" sites, though I've only popped in.

I don't use curriculum, but I like it when they list real books rather than provide their own content. Waldorf schooling is in essence Christian, though this doesn't come out in the curriculum and even in the schools often is limited to the Madonna and Child paintings on the wall of each classroom. Both Waldorf curriculms for *kindergartners* have book lists. I'm not familiar with others, but I've always hated the books written to teach reading, or pre-reading skills. It was phenomenally dull for me as a 5th grader switching schools to suddenly have to read the content in the SRA boxes, after reading through the Lord of the Rings, Sword of Shannara and a fair part of the Narnia series.

My daughter was a precocious listener and we worked our way through Winnie the Pooh at 2yo, Just So Stories and the Mowgli stories in the Jungle Book at 4yo, Little House on the Prairie and Pippi Longstocking then as well. She still has very mature tastes as a 9yo (and in a way might keep her from reading for enjoyment-- her favorite subjects tend to be beyond her independent reading skills).

I'm not discouraging you from a curriculum, but it sounds like your kids might want one or several pieced together that can accommodate their individual preferences.

"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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#7 of 8 Old 08-11-2014, 12:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germin8 View Post

Anyway, I haven't looked at other options... but, I do NOT want online/electronic options... i.e. no activities on computers or the like for the kids.
I understand this completely. I wanted to let you know that starfall.com has printouts for letters. They are great & I think free?
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#8 of 8 Old 08-11-2014, 12:46 PM
 
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I think reading to your young kids is probably the best thing you can do. Maybe ask comprehension questions as you go (i.e., why do you think the character did that? What do you think they will do next?).

We use coins and spools of thread for counting, sorting, and simple math. We also have a giant chalk board for playing, 'math'. Sometimes I put simple addition/subtraction problems up there, sometimes it is fractions, a number line with negative numbers, or simple algebra. The kids REALLY like it. There are a lot of websites that can show you a normal math progression, if you need it. Really though, I just teach them things I find interesting, and if they don't understand a concept, we backtrack a little. Seems to work pretty well.

You might think about allowing the 5YO to begin writing. Most kids that age are very proud of being able to write their names, or simple words. Both of my kids got good at writting and spelling by writing notes to people and adding items to our grocery list.


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