Preschool Planning: This Year’s Curriculum

It was recently brought to my attention that school is about to start up again soon (where, oh where did the summer go?) and also that my son is old enough to be in preschool.  Who knew.

But being the DIY-er that I’m turning out to be, I’ve decided that in addition to involving him in a local joyschool group with some other moms in my area, I’m going to do our own version of pre-school to prepare him for when we start kindergarten in a few years.  We’re planning to homeschool, so the big thing is just getting him used to doing school every day, and sitting at the table for something that isn’t a meal.

Yesterday I went with my mom to a homeschool curriculum sale near our home, and I scored some GREAT materials for this year (all for the low, low price of $23.50):

  1. Before Five in a Row. The idea behind the Five in a Row series is that you read the same story every day for five days in a row, and each day after reading the story, you do a different activity to deepen the child’s understanding of the story.  The stories are classics as well as some lesser known ones, but all of them are great.  Plus, the whole thing appeals to young kids’ love of repetition, so it’s great all around!
  2. Ahoy Matey! Project Pack. These packets contain themed poems, songs, art projects and the like, for fun learning about a given topic, intended to be used over a 5-10 day period, with different activities for each day.  In this case, it’s pirates.  Because seriously, what boy doesn’t love pirates?
  3. Five in a Row, Volume 1.  Okay technically this one is for next year, or possibly the year after that.  Same idea as before, only geared at 4- to 5-year-olds rather than 2- to 3-year-olds.  This is what we’ll use when starting kindergarten.
  4. Blueberries for Sal Project Pack.  This packet is considerably larger than the pirate one, mostly because the book, Blueberries for Sal, is so much more popular, and there’s just so much you can do with blueberries over a longer period of time.  This one will be good for a couple years as well, so we’ll get some great mileage out of it!

There’s one more set that I really want to get, but don’t quite have the shekels right now to shell out for it.  It’s the course that we’re using for the joyschool this year, and I want it to use during the rest of the year when we’re, well, not at joyschool.

It’s called Creative Pre-K, and the idea is that the children develop a love of learning and do some actual learning through creative play.  Nothing rigorous or overly structured, just fun learning to help instill the idea that learning is awesome.  Which it is.  For now, it’s going on the eBay watch list.

What are some of the things you’ve done for preschool that you and/or your kids loved?  What preschool successes have you had?

2 thoughts on “Preschool Planning: This Year’s Curriculum

  1. Did I know you had a blog? I’m lame.

    I like that you’re going through this before me. I actually haven’t decided yet whether Kaelyn will be homeschooled or not. My guess is she will especially if we are still in our current school district. But sometime next year I’ll probably start doing some more structured educational activities with her.

    Hershey kisses may actually be doable for me! Simple shapes. So would the lips but Jared would think those were REALLY weird. Maybe I will hang onto that for February.

    The “People Who Like Me” is the heading for the followers widget. I used to also have a list of blogs I followed and that was titled “People I Like” but then the list got too long and it wasn’t very functional for me so I took it off.

  2. Gotcha, about the likey-lists. I’m going to demand photos of the lips when you do them, cuz that’ll be either totally awesome or totally hilarious. Or both. Hard to say without actual photos.

    The blog has only been really active for the last few months, so don’t worry about not knowing. Now you do, so that’s what counts 🙂 As far as going through before you, I’m getting a *lot* of help from my mom, who only did this a few years ago herself so it’s super fresh. You’re welcome to pick my brain (and the blog) for ideas when the time comes! Hopefully things this year will go as well as I think they will. If nothing else much fun will be had and many photos will be taken. As soon as I find my camera…

    I haven’t worried about preschooling/structured learning much just because we read so much already, and most of what I’d want to teach him comes up on its own anyway. So this year is mostly going to be a study in getting him to sit at the table and do stuff rather than running crazy while I chase him with crayons and glue, so he’s better prepared for kindergarten… whenever we decide to start that.

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