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A Q. for former early-ed teachers about hsing & preschool. (Christian-focused)

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So I just learned my baby sister will be hsing my 4yo niece for Preschool, then Kindergarten and possibly the whole way through. :hurray: :thumbup:


Sis taught Kindergarten for six years before becoming a mom, but she's asking me to lead her in the direction of a Bible/Christian-based curriculum. She lives in the middle of nowhere USA, with the closest library about an hour away. No access to co-ops, either.


I've always used lit-based curricula(FIAR & SL) but I'm not sure that style is going to be a good fit. She's also wanting a good Bible curriculum since my little niece doesn't attend Sunday School.


Money is an issue-very, very tight.


If it makes a difference, my younger niece just turned one yo. :001_wub:





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Hmmm... You could do the CLE Kindergarten II program. It would be good for K or for a 4 year old with good fine motor skills (they teach how to write numbers and letters). I'm thinking about letting my youngest do it next year at age 4. He has crazy good fine motor skills and should be fine with the writing, plus he loves workbooks (he literally worked on random workbooks for an hour and 15 minutes at a friend's house a couple weeks ago).


I think Sonlight P4/5 is perfect for K, though it's not cheap and it's hard to piece together much cheaper. Maybe she could find some good classic story books at the thrift store and rotate through those? That's basically what Sonlight does. She might check the Ambleside Online Year 0 lists for some good ideas.


Oh, and I love the R&S ABC series workbooks. I usually start book A around age 3.5, then follow it up with book C (B is a coloring book). The DEF books are good for about ages 4-5, and GHI are more 5-6. Note that both CLE and R&S don't teach reading until age 6 (1st grade). OPGTR or Phonics Pathways could be used for teaching reading at 5 or even earlier if the kid is ready. I also really like the I See Sam readers, which are free online (first 52 of them). I use those for both my younger two. Just teach the "ee" phonogram before starting. Otherwise, it is mostly CVC words and a few open syllable words (I, he, me).


MEP Reception would be good for a 4-5 year old. I tried it with my 3.5 year old, and he wasn't into it, but I think it was just a bit early for him. He'll do Singapore EM K next year at age 4, and I think that will be a good fit for him (and it's cheap too).


My oldest didn't do any formal school until he started K at age 5, and he taught himself all kinds of things (including reading), so I don't think anything formal is necessary for preschool, but I also understand that we moms like to get a jump start right away on things like this. ;) I tried, and my son resisted. He wasn't ready for formal school. The other two have wanted to do school at that age, at least a little bit. I do preschool on a "when they ask" basis, and otherwise, I just read to them often, include them in what I'm doing (cooking, cleaning), answer their questions, talk about things in our daily life. They learn a lot that way. Once they're K age, school is required, at least 3-4 days per week.


For Bible, you can start with a Bible story book such as Egermeier's. Or if she isn't familiar with Bible stories yet, you might try the Family Time Bible. That's what Sonlight uses in P4/5 now, and my 6 year old LOVES it. He understands Egermeier's also, but likes the pictures in Family Time. :) The stories are very short - often one page, maybe 2, and these are small pages (it's a small book). Once you've read through a Bible story book, you could do something like Bible Study Guide for All Ages. It's fabulous, and you can just use the worksheets, keeping it inexpensive (I have the TM for the first unit, and I regret buying it - the student sheets really were all we needed). You might need the song CD too, if you aren't familiar with songs that teach the memory work. My kids do Bible class at church, so we have several songs we sing for memory work (books of the Bible, sons of Jacob, 12 apostles, etc.). Or you could use the BSGFAA right away with a Bible story book for your reading each time. Really, either way works.


Hope that helps!

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There are a couple of freebies online, that mix preschool/kindergarten programs with Christian content (character, Bible stories, etc):


ABC Jesus Loves Me (free, with the option of purchasing it pre-printed) - combines preschool/K curriculum with Bible

Hubbard's Cupboard - has curricula for PreK/K with a Christian focus


*I've used neither, but have looked at them from time to time.


My 4 yr old is using the R&S ABC books (well, just a few that I had leftover from older DD). When she finished in the spring, we'll probably move on to CLE's Kindergarten II program (which I'd purchased for K.)

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I second Hubbard's Cupboard, I used it quite a bit as a preschool and 4K teacher. They have excellent reading resources that incorporate some of their bible/religious activities, but they also have a seperate "Christian activities" section. It is all free, the curriculum was written by a Kindergarten teacher who now homeschools.


I also really like Memoria Press's Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs. They use R&S for mathematics, and use the Golden Children's Bible for bible study. They may be a bit advanced for some little ones, they require quite a bit of writing.

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How did she teach phonics, handwriting and math and what does she think about the materials she used in the past? is she looking for teacher intensive, or workbook style?


For non consumable teacher intensive methods, that are cheap, I like Writing Road to Reading 4th edition (OOP, but still available for cheap), Professor B math, How to Tutor, and the old early 1990's What Your _ Grader Needs to Know series. Sorry, these are secular.


The Amish sell some cheap workbook curricula, that I like better than the Mennonite ones. Climbing to Good English, Pathways Readers and Study Time arithmetic. Christian Liberty Press also has some cheap books and just came out with a new early math program. The Amish stuff attempts to be secular with Christian values. CLP is Protestant.

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