Thursday, September 6, 2012

Preschool Curriculum

As I mentioned in the previous post, we have started homeschooling. It isn't anything fancy or super intense - Ellie is only 3 1/2. However, I have found tons of great resources online and most of them are free.

I am adapting the curriculum from Preschool Alphabet. It is letter of the week curriculum that focuses on one theme each day (related to the current letter). You can print out calendar lesson plans for free from the website. I use a lot of the lesson ideas but some I skip and add in my own. Sometimes I have another word for the letter of the week that I want to focus on and so we adjust the lesson plan accordingly. *Also, I do substitute letters based on phonetics. For example, Ellie is learning that the letter a makes the short vowel sound like apple, ants and alligator. Since "airplane" utilizes the long vowel sound, I would not focus on that theme for teaching the letter A to a beginner. Another free letter of the week curriculum that I like is by Brightly Beaming Resources. I haven't utilized it as much but it is definitely worth checking out.

I have been trying to plan out a month of lesson plans in advance. It is easiest for me to keep track of my lessons using a teacher's lesson plan book. (I got mine from Target in the dollar bin.) I have found it helpful to go online and reserve all of the books I will be using from the library 1-2 weeks ahead of time. After planning out the following month's lessons, I add any project supplies to my grocery list so that I will have everything I need when the time comes. So far, some of those random items have been Fruit Loops, Teddy Grahams, Ziplock bags and a Bingo marker. For the most part, I try to adapt lessons to work with the materials I already have on hand.

I also incorporate a lot of the preschool printables from Confessions of a Homeschooler. She has great pre-writing pages, letter tracing, etc. that can be printed and then laminated. I have yet to get a laminator so, for now, I just stick pages that I want Ellie to reuse in page protectors and she can easily use them with wipe erase markers.

For handwriting practice, I have heard many great things about Handwriting Without Tears. I have not purchased any of their workbooks yet but I have found their free letter tracing guides very helpful in demonstrating how to form letters to a three year old :) I've also heard they have a good phone app.

As we go through this first year, I'm sure I will continue to make adjustments. Here is the checklist I use to make sure our daily activities are covering the areas I want to focus on:

Hope this gives you some ideas. If you have any questions, feel free to email me!


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