We are now well into our first official year of preschool at home with our oldest. Finding a rhythm and schedule that works for us has definitely been a process of trial and error, especially with an active toddler who only naps once a day and who doesn’t want to be left out of the fun!
Below I’ll describe our subject areas for this year and what curricula and resources we have chosen to use.
For our read alouds, Bible learning and history we are using Sonlight’s Core A curriculum package. Even though my preschooler is still 4 1/2, he is enjoying and understanding the Core A resources without any problem. We have even added the additional books in a series (when Sonlight just has the first as a part of the curriculum). For example, we have read seven of The Boxcar Children books and are loving it. We also take little breaks from Sonlight’s curriculum to include lots of picture books, especially for holidays and special seasons. Since my son is 4 1/2, if Core A takes longer than a year, we’re fine with that!
Last year we began using All About Reading Level 1 and we are still loving it! As of right now, my plan is to continue with this program. My son loves the games and hands-on approach provided by this thorough program. We also use Bob Books, Sonlight Readers and mom-made books for extra reading practice.
Although we use Singapore’s Earlybird Kindergarten curriculum (which I am very happy with) this year I read Denise Gaskin’s Let’s Play Math as recommended by Caitlin Fitzpatrick of My Little Poppies and that has changed my view of elementary math education. If you haven’t read it, read it! I bought the Kindle edition and couldn’t put it down.
So now we play lots of dice, dominoes, and hundreds chart games in addition to working through Singapore’s Early Bird curriculum. Math at our house has become loads of fun, and I love that!
In addition to lots of fiction and non-fiction science-based trade books, we are continuing with Elemental Science’s preschool program.
The hands-on, experiment and play based nature of this curriculum has been a huge draw. Exploration, observation, experimentation are becoming a mainstay of my preschooler’s days.
YouTube songs, My First 1000 Words in Spanish, the BBC program Salsa videos and songs found on Pinterest have provided more than enough material for some Spanish study from time to time.
The Handwriting Without Tears preschool book My First School Book has provided an easy introduction to letter formation. We love the wood pieces and practicing on the small white board and on our standing art easel.
We attend a weekly Kindermusik class for music at this time and we love it.
A local homeschool art program has been a godsend for us this year. Like some boys, my son resisted most “artsy” activities as a young toddler. As he grew older I was concerned that he never really showed any desire to “create” with art products – my concern was mostly for his fine motor skills. All that to say, since participating in this art class, he now regularly asks me to set up “art stations” at home. Phew!
Our days include lots of time for play! We play outside, we play inside with sensory bins, blocks, Magnatiles, Duplo, Lego, Playdoh, play animals, play people, cars, etc. We value play at our house and my little man has lots of time for it!