So we’ve finally decided what curriculum we’re going to use for our son’s preschool. We had been planning to follow the nursery school lesson plans at Angelicum Academy but the more we looked at the program the more we felt it would not suit our son. Too much busy work, too much sitting still.
So what we’ve decided on is a mixture of hands-on activities like painting and crafts along with music, some fun short games, and some worksheets. Our little boy is very visual – we have a caterpillar on the wall and each segment is a bright color and has a letter – and he loves it. He also loves calendar set we have for him that has months, days, weather, and seasons. It’s the Furry Monsters set that they sell for teachers. Figured it would work quite well for our little homeschool. So far, he’s learned a few days of the week, quite a few numbers, weather, and what season it is. I make it a little more fun by printing off calendar markers that are cute bunnies or happy little bees.
The curriculum we finally have chosen is a little bit of a mix between Angelicum Academy and Preschool Corner. From Angelicum, we’re going to use their Good Books program. Basically we’re going to read to him from some of the Good Books: Andrew Lang’s fairy tale books (he loves fairy tales), Beatrix Potter, and so on. Since he loves being read to, that will work just fine. And it may sound strange, but he’s not the biggest fan of little kids books in the first place. There are a few he loves, like The Poky Little Puppy or If You Give a Cat a Cupcake or even the very old Happy. But only a few. He much prefers to cuddle up and listen to me read from Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, or The Hobbit over little kids books. That’s not to say he doesn’t enjoy them – there are some that he does – but not many.
We have a stack of Disney books that he will look at pictures but has no interest in the stories. He’ll pretend to read to me and make up stories based on the pictures. Yet he doesn’t care to listen to them. Set out a couple of those and something like “Little Raccoon Takes Charge” he’ll pick Little Raccoon. Every time. Add in Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Peter Pan, or The Wizard of Oz? He’ll pick those every time.
Someone actually told me I was doing wrong by reading to him from books that were “too old and advanced” for him. I turned out fine. So did my friend, my mom, my grandmother. I think my little boy just likes to listen and imagine rather than have the pictures laid out for him. And if he enjoys them, that’s what counts.
So good books that he likes and then Preschool Corner’s curriculum. It’s designed for a toddler and has worksheets, crafts, a theme each month, songs, games, print outs like flash cards or extra little posters, and even a monthly supplement based on special events in that month. There are even science activities included.
It looks very nice and I’m quite pleased with it. I ordered the download for “Fun on the Farm” which has a farm based unit and basic skills worksheets that cover A, B, C, 1, 2, 3, red, and circle. Then the next month will be a continuation but with a different theme. I also ordered the craft pack, which is all the materials needed in one package, marked to go with each craft and activity. Saves us having to hunt for the stuff. And what I have left over from Carol’s Affordable Curriculum can be used to just make things when he’s bored or whatever. We ended up stopping those lessons because they weren’t enough to hold his attention. I’m not sure why exactly – but I think it was because things went from too easy to too hard very quickly. And the animals he was not relating to. Nor did he relate well to some of the lessons with the way they were presented. It’s a good curriculum; it just didn’t work for him.
So he’s excited. We’re getting him ready by talking about it, and he’s taken to putting pencils and crayons in his little backpack and trotting to the kitchen table to play school. I also have a small table in the living room for him (it’s actually the coffee table, but he thinks it’s his).
Since mommy is starting back to school on the 5th, that’s when he is starting. He’s delighted and is telling the neighbors that he’s going to school with mommy. Then proceeds to inform them of just how cool ants are after we did a theme all about ants when I noticed he was very interested in them.
I’m estimating that it will take around an hour maybe to do his school. Maybe a few minutes more. I’ll be working it into my work and school schedule so we will see how it goes. I think he’ll enjoy this much more than the other one we were testing out and playing with a bit. It’s more like his style – nice, neat, hands-on, lots of colors, and happy.