In June, Jonathan will be 3.5 and Vivienne will be 1.5.
I thought I’d share some of the resources we’re using for Johnny’s pre-preschool as a part of Simple Homeschool’s Curriculum Fair 2012. He’ll have another year of preschool in 2013, and will start kindergarten in the fall of 2014 when he’s 5.
[This blog isn’t turning into a homeschool blog. I’m just going to have a post or two on the topic, and maybe branch out on homeschool stuff elsewhere.]
I looked at a variety of resources and curricula for this age group — Timberdoodle, Sonlight, Before Five in a Row, Heart of Dakota, My Father’s World, ABC Jesus Loves Me…and plenty of blogs.
I don’t want this year to be academic. At all. I want it to be fun, no pressure, and just introducing some prek skills. I want to read great books with my kids, do simple (keyword SIMPLE!!) crafts with them, and explore the wonderful world around us.
I’m using book recommendations from Honey For a Child’s Heart*, and book lists from Ambleside Online, Before Five in a Row and Sonlight to get ideas of what we might enjoy reading together. Not all titles on the reading lists appeal to us, but it’s nice to have a starting point.
I created a Shelfari account for the kids so I could keep track of titles I want to find, titles we own, and which books we’ve already read.
I like owning children’s books. I’m working on acquiring books affordable (that’s a post for another day) and of course using the library for all we can.
Preschool toddler package for 2-3 yo (I bought the first two of these items around the time my daughter was born for my son)
- Number Express — it’s a puzzle, train, and stacking counting tool. He likes it!
- Wee Sing Bible Songs — I’ve loaded these tracks ontoour toddler mp3 player* and it gets daily use, with a few favorites played over and over. Both kids like it.
- Shape and Color Sorter — I skipped this last year, though I can’t remember why. I included it with my order for other MFW things just this week. Vivienne will be able to use it later, but Johnny too.
I bought the whole pack, and added an extra 8″ pegboard so each kid can have one.
When I first looked at these items, I was like, “meh.” They just didn’t look that exciting at first. And then I thought I’d buy just a few of those items.
But the pack made an impression on me. I read reviews of the package and ultimately, I decided that these activities will help my kids learn a few preschool lessons without it being over-the-top academic. I like that I’ll be able to use it with both kids.
I love Timberdoodle for their fun, educational toy ideas. I’ve browsed their site for gift ideas for other kids, and my own. I didn’t go with a prepackaged core from them, but chose a few things.
From their preschool core (not to be confused with their prek core):
- Colorblock Sea Turtle Maze (I bought this last year because I thought it would be a fun toy for in the car. It was too hard to use there — too much rattling. Johnny understood the concept and seemed to like it but it didn’t hold the staying power that I thought it would. Better luck with Vivie?)
- Big O-Ball. Easy to catch and fun!
- Big Book of Things to Spot (waiting for this to arrive, and the rest of the items below from Timberdoodle)
- Hape Zoo Animal Blocks puzzle — Johnny likes puzzles, and I like that this is a 3-d different sort of puzzle than what he already has.
- Day and Night logic puzzle
- Kumon My Book of Easy Mazes — I guess this is considered a workbook of sorts. There were a few mazes in a recent coloring book he used and he seemed to like those activities, so I went with a maze book. If he isn’t into it, I’ll put it away for when he’s a little older.
From their prek core
- My First Scissors kit — we own some scissors made by Melissa & Doug, but they are still hard for him to work. Maybe this set will be easier and more fun at this stage.
- Big Book of Play and Find Out Science Projects
Other from Timberdoodle:
- Hugg-a-Planet’s world globe
- Magnetibook Crazy Face and vehicles (I might hold onto these and use as a gift. Maybe for their half-birthdays! heh)
I do want to map out some sort of Bible curriculum for the kids — probably tying songs with stories we’re reading. I have several Bible resources and I’m also browsing the free ABC Jesus Loves Me curriculum for ideas. I am still working on how I’m going to approach it.