It took me a long time to find the right materials for my four year old. He’s a hands-on learner and not a fan of worksheets. So, all those awesome workbooks that we’ve been given as gifts from grandmas? Out. I started with a simple alphabet homeschool preschool curriculum, but realized we were neglecting math.
We had done a terrific farm unit that I’d gotten from The Peaceful Preschool, so I went back to see what else there was for my kiddo. Turns out, there is an awesome homeschool preschool curriculum, too! And very affordable. I highly recommend it.
That’s how I developed my daily structure for my homeschool preschool curriculum
I use the basic framework of The Peaceful Preschool to plan our daily lessons. I include activities from these categories:
- Practical Skills
- Fine Motor
- Large Motor
Now, full disclosure- we definitely don’t hit all those categories every day. My little guy just doesn’t have the attention span. Every day, I make sure I note which categories are my priorities- usually the ones where I have the most exciting “hands on” activities planned. Sometimes I carry over activities to Friday, which I deliberately leave open as a “catch up” day. And sometimes I just put activities away in a folder to use for some other year. Since I plan to homeschool my daughter, who’s not yet two, I’ll be able to re-use and re-try a lot of these awesome activities!
But It Still Wasn’t Quite Hands-On Enough
The Peaceful Preschool was a great starting point for us, but I definitely needed to find specific activities that would really get my son excited to do school. That’s when I found The Activity Room. I got a terrific deal on a yearly membership that comes with all kinds of awesome goodies. The activities are super easy to set up, and after I bought an initial batch of supplies, I’ve only had to purchase one or two other things every month to be able to do whatever activities interest us. I don’t do them all, but the monthly plans are such an amazing starting point. They can fit into a number of different categories- sometimes I use them for phonics, sometimes for fine motor, sometimes large motor, and most often for art. I definitely think these activities are what won my son over to the idea that “school is fun!”
Now I’m Getting Fancier
One of my major goals for 2021 is to teach my kiddo to read. He’ll be five soon, and he’s demonstrating almost all of “The Big Five” literacy skills. That link goes to “All About Reading”, which is the phonics program I decided to choose to get us to our reading finish line. It was recommended in “The Well-Trained Mind”, and it’s terrific.
I bought the “deluxe” pre-reading package (not necessary- you can get a smaller, more affordable package that will also work just fine), but it came with this adorable hand puppet, and my son loves him. He gets so excited when we get to do “class with Ziggy the Zebra”. It comes with a student workbook (super fun art activities for each lesson), and a teacher workbook. We’re still working on identifying all our letters, but I am really looking forward to moving on to letter sounds. I think once that piece is in place, reading won’t be far behind. And that’s so exciting!
As a parent, I think it can be daunting to think about trying to tackle a monumental task like reading. This really removes that fear. It’s such a great step-by-step program, it feels very incremental, but it’s also easy to see progress.
I decided to tackle a more structured math program than the simple counting exercises in The Peaceful Preschool. Math is not my strong suit, and I wanted to find something that would really give my little guy comfort and confidence with numbers. First, I bought a book that was recommended by “The Well-Trained Mind”- Preschool Math At Home. But what we quickly realized after doing only a few activities was that my kiddo is already past this level of math.
So, I moved on to the next math program (also a recommendation from The Well-Trained Mind) that looked like it would be a great fit for a homeschool preschool curriculum. It’s called “Math U See”. I am really excited for Math U See. It came with a manipulatives kit called an “Integer Block Kit” and it’s going to be a great program for preschool as well as kindergarten. It’s very ambitious, beginning with counting to nine and progressing all the way up to beginning addition and subtraction, so it really has everything I was looking for.
So, that’s my homeschool preschool curriculum!
Does it seem like a lot? It doesn’t feel like it to me. I spread out the activities over a whole week, and we linger on the things that my kiddo gets really excited about. Sometimes that means a whole day of phonics or counting. At this stage, what’s way more important to me is just introducing him to as many ideas and learning methods as possible. He has to be so excited about school and want to do it every day. We’re still working on that. Once he’s really comfortable with school, and his attention span continues to stretch, then we can start to really dig in and be more disciplined and sequential.
What questions do you have? Can I help you find a curriculum you’re looking for? Leave a comment below and let me know!!!