This is our first year of homeschool for Jeremy. I was really nervous at first because I didn’t finish college and wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep to any school schedule with my preschooler while also caring for an infant.
In preparing for this school year I did a lot of research into what I wanted to work on with Jeremy. I can only remember snippets of my own year in preschool and those are only memories of reading during naptime, the play yard, my teachers, and going to my great-grandmother’s house after school with my cousins. What on earth am I supposed to teach my 4-year old? Lots of people think that a formal curriculum isn’t necessary for preschool or even kindergarten, and I’m sure it isn’t. However, having something written down helps me to know what we’re covering, is he “getting it”, what we need to work on more, and have something to show for our efforts by the end of the year.
I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on preschool curriculum and I didn’t want to sort through a bunch of things and make lesson plans. As I said, I didn’t finish college and I don’t have any training as a teacher. I was a bit unsure of myself. As we were roaming through Sam’s Club one day this past summer, we found Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for Preschool. I flipped through it and it appeared to cover what sounded “preschoolish”: recognizing shapes and colors, reading readiness, writing readiness, math readiness. It was only $7.86, so I figured “Why not, at best it’s exactly what we need, at worst it will still be the biggest coloring/activity book that Jeremy’s ever seen.”
It’s been about two months or so since we started school and he’s still loving it. He’s always asking me for his “homework book” over his regular coloring books and is always excited to see what activity the directions have in store for us. We don’t use it every day because some days we focus on other things or just take the day off. But when we do use it we do several pages each time.
As far as I can see, this book really has just about everything a preschooler needs to learn. All I need to add to his preschool experience is some free play time (yeah, that’s not hard), lots of read-alouds (which we do all the time anyway), and some socialization (he gets lots of that through Sunday School, Wednesday nights at church, our MOPS group, and every time we get together with our friends). We also set him up with paints now and then, he has free access to his coloring books and crayons, he helps me in the kitchen a lot, and I gave him a bowl of pinto beans to help him with counting and grouping.
I’m pretty stoked that there is matching curriculum all the way through sixth grade. If this works well for us this year then I’ll be pretty happy to buy the future books and plan some supplements to go along each year.
I’m still searching for good craft projects to do with him and I’m looking forward to purchasing Laura’s Learn Your Letters Learn To Serve curriculum. It sounds really interesting – it will give us a good boost in the Bible area and I love the “learning to serve” aspect. I think Jessica’s Who Am I sheets will be great for tracking my kids’ personal development over the years. I filled one out with Jeremy’s answers and had him draw a picture of our family to compare his art skills from year to year. Yep, we may take professional photos a few times throughout the years, but this one will always be my favorite:
Jeremy’s going to be heading back to California soon for a couple of months with his dad, but as soon as he gets back here in January we’re going to pick back up with his preschooling.