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I think I may want to add a few hours of structured "school" to my three-year-old's day. I had the Oak Meadow preschool curriculum, but it didn't hit home with me. What are your favorite, non-religious, preschool curriculums?
 

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Sing Spell Read & Write
 

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I peice mine together, we do B4FIAR, followed by 1 page in his workbook, we work on his lapbook if we have one on the go, then we do an activity together, like baking or makingt then playing with playdough. Otherwise his time is left to him to play. In all I think we do 15-20 minutes of "school time" followed by a fun activity.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Stugroupie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10266334"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Sing Spell Read & Write</div>
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Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?<br><br>
Any others I should consider?
 

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Sing spell is what we are going to use starting fall for DD. It is highly rated in reviews as a fun way to teach phonics/reading...I cant tell you from experience as we have not bought it yet.
 

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I just bought <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Slow and Steady Gets Me Ready</span> also. I haven't looked through it in depth but the idea is that there is a different age-appropriate activity to do each week. Some are (gently, it looks like) academics, some are gross or fine motor skill activities, etc.<br><br>
We also really like the Ambleside Year 0 booklist. <a href="http://weblog.xanga.com/Sashahomeschoolmama/631746579/homeschool-stuff-plus-holdens-book-list.html" target="_blank">Here</a> is a fairly up-to-date booklist of Holden's.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SugarAndSun</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10265361"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think I may want to add a few hours of structured "school" to my three-year-old's day. I had the Oak Meadow preschool curriculum, but it didn't hit home with me. What are your favorite, non-religious, preschool curriculums?</div>
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<span>I'm not sure what you mean by structured school - people tend to mean a wide range of things for that age - but I'll go ahead and suggest looking through my own page on learning activities for the <a href="http://besthomeschooling.org/gateway/inted16.html" target="_blank">preschool/kindergarten</a> years. The only structure involved with the kinds of things you'll find there would be planning a schedule where you always read to your child in the morning and go on a walk, or always go to the library on Mondays, or that kind of thing - just the structure of your day's schedule. Be sure to look underneath the box of articles for annotated links to websites that have lots of activity ideas.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Lillian<br><br></span>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, I mean structured as in I always plan something. I am thinking of three 40 minute things. Maybe some drawing, letter work (he is very interested in the alphabet), some art activity, and some outdoor activity. We are always cooking, folding laundry, cleaning, etc. so no need to plan those.<br><br>
Thank you for all the infor ladies. I am thinking of going with the Sing, Spell, Read, and Write and possibly the Five in a Row book.<br><br>
I would love more feedback as well though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'll tell you that 40 minutes would be a *long* time for my boys to sit still, even my 4 year old. Even for activities they love (baking, playdough, painting), 20-30 minutes is usually the max. The one exception is outdoor play. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
The only 'curriculum' we have is Singapore Math 1A and 1B. It's just two easy workbooks, very cartoony, and the only reason I bothered is because my 4 year old asks to do workbook pages every day (for under 10 minutes, usually), and the ones I had on hand were heavy on reading and not so much on math.<br><br>
Otherwise we just play games. For involved activities or fieldtrips I do plan for certain days, but it's easier to go with the flow--I'd rather wait for a different day than force my kids to do something they're not in the mood for.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SugarAndSun</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10279636"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes, I mean structured as in I always plan something. I am thinking of three 40 minute things. Maybe some drawing, letter work (he is very interested in the alphabet), some art activity, and some outdoor activity.</div>
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<span>Well, you'll obviously be able to sort it all out for yourselves as it comes - but I personally can't picture the 3 year olds I've known spending 40 minutes at drawing or letter work, or even at an art project. Although I'd be able to kind of picture a girl being more cut out for that than a boy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian<br></span>
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ColwynsMommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10279921"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'll tell you that 40 minutes would be a *long* time for my boys to sit still, even my 4 year old. Even for activities they love (baking, playdough, painting), 20-30 minutes is usually the max. The one exception is outdoor play. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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<span><i>Come to think of it</i>, 40 minutes would have been way too long for mine even when he was 5 - probably even when he was 6. He was fairly average in his need to move - not hyper or anything - but 40 minutes is a <i>very</i> long time. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Lillian<br><br></span>
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Really? I guess I am thinking of set up time, talking, cleaning, etc. I totally know about breaking things down into small doses (I was a public school teacher), but I thought that would be an advantage of working at home. He can keep painting if he wants (or stop if he wants). My ds will actually play with play-doh or paint or whatever for a good 20-25 minutes at a time. He would definitely read books for a half hour.<br><br>
I guess I am looking for some structure in our day. DS2 will totally just put around all day, DS1 just can't find anything to do with himself except destroy things, take DS2's toys, or hurt DS2.<br><br>
I am hoping that engaging him in a somewhat directed way would help.<br><br>
We are home ALL day and the days can be long.<br><br>
I thought I would be a more Waldorf-y, let them play mom, but I feel like we need a plan at this point.<br><br>
I don't plan to force anything on either of my guys. I have never stressed knowing any facts. I don't care when they learn animal sounds, colors, numbers, ABCs, etc.
 

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<span>Well, if you're thinking in terms of setting things up and cleaning and talking being a part of a 40 minute block of time, that's a whole different picture. I can certainly understand wanting to structure a day with planned activities between the free play, especially under the circumstances. It was the idea of 40 minutes on something that required focus and sustained interest that I couldn't picture.<br><br>
Even Waldorf puts a lot of emphasis on structure and rhythm. They have a <i>huge</i> emphasis on facilitating lots of free, imaginative play, but they'll weave the structure of the day with songs and stories and baking and nature walks and simple art threaded throughout. I picture the blocks of time being shorter, but you'll work it out - it's not as if you won't get the picture right away if 40 minutes is long. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> - Lillian</span>
 
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