It’s that time of year again! While most people have already started back to school, I am just now getting around to getting our homeschool year planned and organized. Claire will begin Preschool this year and is always asking to learn something new so I have put together quite a few ideas to keep her busy. I know many of you want to know that I have planned for the year, so I will be sharing that today.
Please remember that these plans are what I think is best for my daughter’s personality, my teaching style and our family lifestyle. I do not think all people should do as much (or maybe as little) as I have planned for preschool. However, I hope you will glean some ideas and discover a few new resources to help you in your own journey of homeschool preschool.
My Preschool Philosophy
Just as I stated in my post about tot school at home, my mains goals for preschool revolve around the desire to instill a love for God and His Word (the Bible), His World (all of creation, especially people) and cultivate a thirst for life-long learning, as well as encourage godly character. While my homeschool teaching philosophy and methods are a bit eclectic, they align most closely with the Charlotte Mason method. I implement a few ideas from Classical Christian Education (I find the Trivium fascinating) and Montessori method, but definitely lean toward a CM lifestyle and thought process. For preschool, that basically means we play, explore and read A LOT. However, because I need some structure to get anything done, I have a flexible plan for the school year.
Our Homeschool Focus & Preschool Curriculum
In all actuality, I an creating my own “curriculum” using a variety of free and purchased resources. Below are the main subjects I plan to focus on this year as well as some of the resources we will be using.
- Bible & Scripture Memory – This is always the most important part of our homeschool day. If we don’t get anything else done, I really try to make sure the Word of God has been read and/or heard. This year we will begin reading through The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories for our morning devotions. Along with this, we will continue to work on memorizing bible; mainly ones that go along with our character studies, which I will talk about below. (For more info on Scripture memory for children see Scripture Memory Strategies for Toddlers & Preschooler and Resources for Memorizing Bible Verses Through Scripture Songs).
- Character Study & Habits – I am using Charlotte Mason’s ideas and methods of habit training to help instill and re-enforce godly character. We focus on one habit or character trait for 4-6 weeks (or longer if needed) before moving on to another one. We are currently working on obedience (right away, without questions and with a joyful heart). Next we will probably learn about attentiveness or self-control. I am using a variety of resources for this including Laying Down the Rails, Kids of Integrity, ABCs for Godly Girls and Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum.
- Language Arts & Literature – Our main goal here is to continue cultivating a love for good literature and to develop pre-reading & writing skills. We will mainly be working on letter recognition and phonics. Claire is showing most of the signs of reading readiness and has expressed an interest in learning to read, but I’m not breaking out a reading program quite yet. I am using ideas from the Letter of the Week curriculum, The Preschool Journey eBook and Preschool Post lessons to create letter & theme-based unit studies for each week. I also plan to read poetry at least once a week using personal and library books.
- Math & Critical Thinking – We will be using a lot of play to work on these skills. I have several games (Uno, Hi-Ho Cheerio, Math Mouse, Dominoes, etc) as well as math manipulatives (an abacus and counting bears) to encourage early math skills like counting and number recognition. I will also utilize the My Father’s World Preschool Pack for additional ideas.
- Music & Art Appreciation – I don’t have much of a formal plan for music and art appreciation for this year. Claire is almost constantly listening to her scripture verse songs while she is playing, but I hope to listen to classical music during meals and snacks during the day and incorporate hymns into our Bible lessons. We will also check out a few art books from the library to look at once in a while.
- Science & Nature Study – Most preschoolers love to collect things like leaves, flowers and rocks while outside and mine is no exception. We will begin a simple nature journal and create a discovery basket to preserve and hold the treasures we find on our nature walks and explorations. Of course, We will also be reading books as they relate to our theme of the week.
- Social & Life Skills – This will include whatever else my preschooler needs (or wants) to learn like fine and gross motor skills, etc. Claire is taking dance (ballet & tap) one a week now and she has repeatedly asked to learn to use scissors. We also plan to attend the weekly Storytime at the library, take several field trips and use activity ideas from our My Father’s World Preschool Pack.
I think that about covers everything! I believe this will be a fun and full (but hopefully relaxing) school year as we make memories and learn together through intentional and everyday moments.
What curriculum and resources are you using for preschool?