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HTRMom

Preschool recommendations

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If anyone would like to recommend any preschool "curriculum" or resources, I would love the help. My oldest child will be four in the fall, so I know nothing and have no experience.

 

For me: I love structure. I love workbooks, picture books, music, games. I'm fine with coloring/painting etc but I hate crafts, especially gathering materials or any vague instructions or suggestions. A small amount of video watching is ok, but no computer games yet. I'd like to do something 4-6 days/week for 20-60 minutes. My preference is to be directly helping most of the time but have some independent activities available too.

 

For him: He pretty much likes the same things I do, fortunately. He doesn't learn things from indirect activities or run-around activities, but he does like making things with his hands and solving puzzles. He is good at memorizing. He's rather rigid and doesn't like to do things differently than last time or go out of order. He has great sitting-still attention for his age if he is engaged with what he's doing.

 

He knows about half of his alphabet. He knows numbers 1-15 verbally and can even do a little addition, but not many numerals. He has successfully finished a couple of Kumon coloring and tracing workbooks.

 

Something that transitions into an elementary curriculum is a plus but not a requirement. I am fine with Catholic or secular options. I like the idea of one all-encompassing preschool curriculum but something that covers just one area is ok too.

 

I also have a two year old and I might do some things with him if applicable, but I mostly plan to work while he is napping.

 

Does anything come to mind that would be a good fit? We have a generous budget if the material is worth it.

 

(If there's a better thread for this or my question is answered somewhere else, please redirect me.)

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Is this your oldest or do you have an older child to teach as well?

 

You might like Memoria Press' Junior Kindergarten -- it has a craft book (very easy to do, from the looks of it), literature and enrichment, beginning phonics, etc. You could pretty easily fold your 2 year old into the read alouds and crafts. 

 

 

Edited by AimeeM
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This is my oldest. :) I will look into that!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Another vote for MP Junior K. It's very cute and my DD loves it. The only downside is the writing if your child hasn't been writing much. I put it on hold for a bit until DD had more practice. For writing practice keep up the Kumon books. There are books for tracing letters and numbers and mazes. DD loves having her own story with questions to answer and her own poem to memorize like her big brother every week. She absolutely loves doing the little art project based on her book.

 

She also loves All About Reading Pre-level. It's a great program that works on teaching children to hear language before learning to read.

 

These are great and both of mine have loved them. It has different activities like retelling a classic story or putting animal stickers in the right places. It's great because it's all contained so it's easy to use.

https://www.amazon.com/What-Your-Preschooler-Needs-Know/dp/1933486236/ref=pd_sim_14_15?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1933486236&pd_rd_r=0J4R1AWB3TKYE3C09X1C&pd_rd_w=m3AVx&pd_rd_wg=hBh7o&psc=1&refRID=0J4R1AWB3TKYE3C09X1C

 

I haven't used this yet but I'm planning on buying it. I'm not crafty at all so I know having this will force me to make fun projects a priority:

http://www.thehomegrownpreschooler.com/product/a-year-of-playing-skillfully-printed-version/

 

Along the same lines she loves doing art like her big brother. You could google or find something on Pinterest but if being crafty doesn't come naturally you might want something like this that you could slowly work through. I know I'll never follow through with finding something artsy every week so having something on hand makes it happen:

https://www.rainbowresource.com/product/ARTistic+Pursuits+Early+Elementary+K-3+Book+One+3rd+ed+-+Introduction+to+Visual+Arts/010814

 

My DS loved science when he was little so you could also add that if he's interested. Simple stuff like volcanoes and color mixing. If he's interested add more. There are lots of kits and books. We also started pre-history at that age and he had a lot of fun learning about dinosaurs and mammoths. I think the Rice Krispie Earth with chocolate to illustrate the layers of the earth's crust was by far his favorite at that age.

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Another option is My Father's World Kindergarten. It has many hands on activities,worksheets, recommended books. My son started out the year knowing about six letters, and is now reading CVC words in short sentences. If you go with MFW K, you will want to buy an additional math book.

 

IMO, MFW K is appropriate for junior k.

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Are you looking for "all-in-one" types of curriculum, or various things for various subjects? You might like All About Reading Pre-reading for teaching letters and other pre-reading skills (phonological awareness etc...). It includes craft pages (painting, coloring, some gluing if you want though you can easily substitute things or skip things if you don't have items readily on hand), as well as games and activities. It's very open and go. 

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I'm pretty sure I'm going to order All About Reading pre-reading, having looked through these boards for a few days. Is there anything similar to that with preschool to kindergarten math? I'm planning to eventually use a math curriculum that focuses more on mastering arithmetic than on conceptual problem solving for elementary years, but I haven't settled on one yet. I loved Saxon as a child so maybe that.

 

How about science? Is there a book or program for preschool to kindergarten science? My child really loves science and building, like a tiny engineer in the making.

Edited by HTRMom

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I really like Ivy Kids. It is pretty much pre-school in a box. It makes doing all those fun messy crafts so easy. All the supplies you need are included and there are step by step directions. My 5 year old boy doesn't want to do anything having to do with school but he loves doing the Ivy Kids activities.

 

Susan in TX

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I'll second the all about reading pre-reading. You can skip the suggested crafts if you want to (I did sometimes). 

 

I did MEP reception for math with my twins this year in the fall semester but it would have been a great program for them to have done for their 4 year old year. It's free other than the cost to print it and very easy to do. They include little games and crafts occasionally as well and I skipped them as well, though I would recommend getting a copy of Denise Gaskin's book Math you can play that combines her Counting and Number Bonds book and Addition and Subtraction book. Pull a game out of this book to play for math some days and you'll be surprised how much they can learn from just playing these games.

 

I used IEW's Printing with Letter Stories for handwriting and liked it this year for Kindergarten. If you think he's not quite ready for a full handwriting curriculum, Handwriting without Tears has some great tools in their Pre-K curriculum section. I used their chalkboard, little chalk bits, and sponges to help start teaching letter formation to my kids when they were 3.5-4. I also had the "my first school" book they sell for PreK but never used it. Kumon makes a lot of workbooks for letters and numbers too.

 

Catholic Heritage Curricula has some nice materials for us Catholics. I really like their Who Am I? religion series listed at that link - we used it this last year. I've also really liked the Making Music Praying Twice set, though it is a bit pricey and you'll want to be able to play CDs and either copy the music to hand out or pull it up on your tv / computer monitor / in home projector. (You can most likely hook your laptop to the tv with either a VGA cable or HDMI cable, depending on the laptop and the tv inputs). I didn't use their letter sounds / shapes, etc. material though and cannot comment on them.

 

 

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Sandpaper letters. Use them to teach sounds and formation as well as letter names. Play matching games, pairing capital and lower case letters. You do not need a curric for this, but if you have the $ now, go ahead and buy K level handwriting in the same font as the sandpaper letters amd use the same verbal cues to teach formation. Doing this early pays off big time down the road.

 

The Pre-Primer in my link is in d'Nealian. I go through all the sandpaper letters before starting the wb.

 

Cuisenaire Rods. Go ahead and buy Miquon too. Go through the play aspect until thoroughly exhausted, and start Orange whenever you feel he is ready. Some kids can zip through Orange at 4, some are not ready until 6. Either way, rod play will set the groundwork for understanding math.

 

Splurge on books books books!!!!! FiAR is delightful if you want a guide, but just reading and allowing him space to explore the books is enough.

 

Field guides. Binoculars. Magnifying glass. If you have the $, invest in nice ones. Take him out for long afternoons in a natural setting. Name birds, flowers, trees, etc...let him fall in love with a favorite nature spot.

 

 

Art, music, poetry...invest in a rich atmosphere. That will yeild more results than curricula, esp for littles under 8.

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I did Horizons Preschool with my daughter when she was 4.  I really had no idea what I was doing or what to even try to work on with her and this provided that for me.  It was Christian, which was a priority and I wanted/needed something to tell me what to do.  Having done that I learned a TON about how I work best and about how she works best.  It gave me the confidence to create my own K, 1 and 2 program for her and she's doing great.  I wouldn't do it again - schedules and me don't play well - but it really helped teach me how to do this thing called homeschooling. :) I needed that confidence booster.

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Field guides. Binoculars. Magnifying glass. If you have the $, invest in nice ones. Take him out for long afternoons in a natural setting. Name birds, flowers, trees, etc...let him fall in love with a favorite nature spot.

I wish we could take more nature walks. With 3 under 4, it's not feasible, although our neighborhood has a lot of potential. But I will get out the binoculars and bring them outside sometime. That's a good suggestion. I have a bird guide. I need a local plant one, I don't know much about plant identification.

Edited by HTRMom

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I thought of Memoria Press too. 

 

For us, we do Rod and Staff ABC workbooks, Christian, from mennonites, but the Bible stories are just early Bible stories. They should work for anyone. Then I have done the Letter of the Week blog also. it might be more planning and vague ideas than you like, which is where the MP guides would be very clear for you. 

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