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Old 03-20-2011, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What curriculum does your daycare or preschool use, and do you like it? I'm considering buying one to use with children age 16 months to 3 years old. I've gotten one recommendation for Pinnacle, so if there is any feedback on that in particular, I would love to hear about it. Thanks!

 

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Old 03-21-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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I don't think the daycares here (ages 6 months to 3 years, then 3years to 6 years) have any set curriculum at all. They go outside every day, either to the playground, or take a walk or bus ride to some activity, park, museum, library, teaches homes.... They sing, dance, paint, "read" books, put on little shows.... There is no sitting at desks at all doing math or language or whatever. Only exception is the "big kids group" - the 5 year olds who will start school next year, they do some preparations and projects, and have "lectures" and "worksheets" - but only if the children ask themselves to do them. 

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Old 03-21-2011, 02:40 PM
 
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Are you looking for a curriculum that has the lesson plans outlined or something to use a guide?

 

 Creative Curriculum is a great resource. Personally, I created my own lesson plans based on the child's interest, and followed a more emergent approach. Ask your child what they want to learn, add in art experiences, lots of time to play, get outdoors and explore. My approach is pretty eclectic- Montessori, Emergent/Project Approach and even some Waldorf thrown in.

 

Redleaf Press is a great resource for books and ideas.

 

 


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Old 03-21-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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My daughter has attended a Waldorf-inspired preschool and a Reggio Emilio inspired preschool. I have found positives and negatives to both, but what I like about both is that they are so firmly play-based.


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Old 03-21-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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I love play based education for children under the age of seven. There are countless studies which prove that a later start to the formal stuff is better for children in every way. Look at Finland and the other Scanidavian countries with their age seven start to school...always near the top of the league tables. When all said and done, no-one asks you what age you began reading etc when you're 25!

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Old 03-21-2011, 08:21 PM
 
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But even play based schools generally have some kind of curriculum. It's not like the teachers just come in there with no ideas or theme to what they are going to do, right?

 

The play based preschool my kids went to had a definite curriculum. They had certain themes for most weeks (like apple week, dinosaur week, Japan week) and they would do activities to go along with it. Like they had an apple tasting during apple week, they made Dinosaur sweatshirts during dinosaur week, sang Japanese songs during Japan week, etc. I am guessing that is the type of curriculum the OP is talking about. I don't think she is looking for math worksheets for 1.5 - 3 yo or anything like that.

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Old 03-21-2011, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas. I was definitely planning to keep play as the major part of our daily activities. If the curriculum encouraged play based learning, that would be great. At the same time, I'd like to find ways to ensure that the 3 year old(s) are getting any academic preparation they need. I'm not saying I want them drilling skills on worksheets... just that we are introducing the reading and math concepts as well as motor skills that would be developmentally appropriate.

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:25 AM
 
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Are you dong a more like a home daycare setting, or like a preschool? If you google for daycare curriculm you might find more play based themes that go by things such as a the PP said (apple week, etc). I also love looking at home daycare blogs, there are few who put up really great ideas. 

 

I'm still in the gathering stages, but I'm planning on opening next year for home daycare and I will for sure have (play based) curriculm. I'm making folders on my computer for ideas of theme weeks, looking at other blogs, and gathering ideas. I suggest expanding your search to home daycare curriculm and you will probably get more ideas to jump start.


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Old 03-22-2011, 02:58 AM
 
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A truly play based pre-school involves...playing. I think we underestimate how much brain power and learning takes place in what we consider to be fun activities. As long as there is a strong sense of busy and quiet times, as long as children are taught to manage their interactions and there is a strong sense of story...what more preparation do you really want for young children? I'm an ex-teacher and saw many, many children STOP reading and doing other academic acivities - except under duress, because they had started all that academic focus too soon and they were burned out  - at age nine or ten! Just saying...

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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I have studied early childhood for many years, and honestly, even theme weeks rub me the wrong way. While it is relevant to study the natural cycle of life and seasons, theme weeks often remove the child from natural occurring  learning experiences. While there are many themes that children relate to, like animals- cats/dogs, barnyard animals etc, that is different than planning a week around a theme, like apples. I am not trying to discourage you choosing to base lesson plans on themes, but emergent curriculum that comes from the child and their family is far more relevant to young children than learning about apples because it is A week. This isn't to say that you can't do a letter of the week or some such activity, but try to relate it to the child and their interests.

 

As the daycare provider you can offer experiences, such as investigating plants, let the kids explore the parts of the plant, take a part a flower, plant etc. Math, science and reading can be part of these experiences. The children could count the number of seeds you plant, measure the plant as it grows, observe the plant as it changes etc. This is all math.

 

If you are just starting out, the Creative Curriculum really is a good source, and I highly recommend it to people just starting their own daycare or preschool. Children who are actively involved in play, that move freely within a space choosing activities that are developmentally appropriate and interesting to them will develop the skills they need for preschool and school readiness.

 

You might want to consider joining NAEYC, National Association for the Education of Children, Zero to Three or another early childhood organization. Magda Gerber is another name I recommend, as well as Maria Montessori. (Many of Magda's ideas work well with AP)


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Old 03-22-2011, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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RachelEve - can you suggest some of the home daycare blogs that you have found? It is a home daycare. I was looking a little at Little Acorn Learning. I love the ideas I saw on their site, though it looks like some of their curriculum has a religious theme and I need a more secular (and science focused) daycare.

 

 

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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Sure, I like to check on a few (I keep them on google reader)

 

http://kozykidslc.blogspot.com

 

http://annielook.blogspot.com/

 

http://mshuntershomechildcare.blogspot.com/


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Old 03-22-2011, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post

But even play based schools generally have some kind of curriculum. It's not like the teachers just come in there with no ideas or theme to what they are going to do, right?

 

The play based preschool my kids went to had a definite curriculum. They had certain themes for most weeks (like apple week, dinosaur week, Japan week) and they would do activities to go along with it. Like they had an apple tasting during apple week, they made Dinosaur sweatshirts during dinosaur week, sang Japanese songs during Japan week, etc. I am guessing that is the type of curriculum the OP is talking about. I don't think she is looking for math worksheets for 1.5 - 3 yo or anything like that.


You wouldn't find anything like that at the Waldorf-inspired school my daughter attended. They had a very specific rhythm that they followed throughout the year. There were some things that changed seasonally, but you wouldn't find them doing anything like making sweatshirts or singing songs about Japan. There were no books allowed in the classroom, most of the toys were made out of natural materials, etc. etc.

 

Reggio is a little different in that they do use more of a variety of materials and they do read from books and have books in the classroom, although there is no reading instruction or teaching of letters or numbers or anything like that.

 

I'm no expert on either, believe me, but I have liked elements of both styles of learning as a parent. I am not sure how well it would translate into a daycare curriculum, but it seems like an interesting prospect!


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Old 03-22-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hennaLisa View Post

... just that we are introducing the reading and math concepts as well as motor skills that would be developmentally appropriate.


Reading - read books to them. When out on a walk point out the street signs, or whatever else they show interest in.  Math - show them the number on houses and how that way the postman knows where to put the letters. Let them roll dice or play cards. Bake muffins - lots of measurements and additions take place in the kitchen. Go shopping and say you have 10 dollars, then show them the price tags on the items and let them decide which item(s) they can buy. Motor skills - dance, put on a little show, paint, draw, make necklaces with small beads... 

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Old 03-23-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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I use funshine express' curric for children specifically for ages 6-36 months.  It's a lite quarterly curric. with monthly themes.  We have a lot of fun with it.  I can do things with them on my own ofcourse, and I do...it's just that the curric. makes the parents feel better, and it's a pretty lite curric, so I use it in addition to the other things I do.  When I have older kids I use the funshine express regular curric, or the free one at preschoolpalace.org.  I have specific things that I need to introduce them to in order to say that I offer a kindergarten readiness program.


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