I actually wrote this post back in February. I get antsy in February. Perhaps it’s the weather or perhaps it’s just a desperate need for a change in routine. Whatever the case, February is the month where magic happens.
It’s the month where I start thinking about next year. Planning. Ordering. Opening those amazing, beautiful boxes that arrive on the doorstep perfumed with new book smell.
I love new book smell.
My three-year old is every bit as excited about next year as I am. For some time now, she has busied herself by scribbling in an old workbook while her older sisters work on their schooling. Heaven help us if we start the day without her “math book”. It’s so sweet.
(Unless we misplace it. Then it’s really not sweet at all.)
When my youngest daughter found out that she was going to start officially homeschooling next year, she was ecstatic. You see, I’m all for delayed academics, but when you have a little girl who is begging to learn? I’m not going to say no.
So I spent some time digging out the pre-kindergarten programs that we had on hand–the ones we know and love.
(I feel like, lest you judge me, I need to stress that we are going to go oh-so-gently with this little one next year. Many of these items will be reused in kindergarten. And we will use mostly story books because I believe that children need good and beautiful stories more than anything.)
So without further ado, may I present to you our 2018-2019 Pre-Kindergarten curriculum.
Handwriting Without Tears (and Ziggy Zebra)
I’ve used bits and pieces of Handwriting Without Tears Pre-Kindergarten Kit (with Standard Letter Cards) with both of my older girls. And while I’ve never followed the program completely perfectly, it has been an extremely helpful way to teach letter shapes, particularly for my middle child, who is a very tactile learner.
I also incorporate Ziggy Zebra, a puppet used in the All About Reading Pre-Reading program. Although we don’t start AAR until Kindergarten (Level 1), I started using Ziggy with my middle daughter, and found to my delight that she was much more able to grasp abstract concepts when they were taught by a puppet. I have no idea what the science is behind this (if there is any), but it revolutionized our homeschool.
Jolly Phonics, Workbooks, Alphabet Puzzle
Pictured in this photo are a few different supplementary resources. I’ll list them below along with links where you can find them, but I’d first like to draw your attention to one in particular: the Jolly Phonics songs. These are such a fun way to teach letter sounds. The best part is that they are now available (for much less money) via the Jolly Phonics Songs app (Android and Apple).
Several years ago, I purchased the Three Bear Family Sort, Pattern & Play Activity Set. It has been such a fun and gentle way to introduce math for both of my older girls, and I have no doubt that my youngest will enjoy it as well. It includes pattern cards, activity cards, games, sorting bowls, and three sizes of bear counters.
My daughter loves Eric Carle so I thought it would be fun to spend a little bit of time next year doing unit studies based on his books.
Tiny Seed is the perfect introduction to the life cycle of a flower. In addition to reading the book, we’ll plant seeds, look at flowers on the light table and under the microscope, and make some fun flower art.
At the end of The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, one can read Eric Carle’s personal story of growing up in Nazi Germany, where abstract and impressionist art was banned. It’s a wonderful way to introduce the idea of freedom of expression in art.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is such a wonderful book. We don’t actually own it (I’m not sure why?), but I’m planning on borrowing it from the library. The older girls will be studying insects, so it ties in perfectly with some of our insect life cycle studies. The little clay caterpillar kit was on clearance for $3 at Marshall’s. I love finding a good deal.
We’ll be adding in plenty of beautiful, rich literature throughout the year, including plenty of our favourite picture books. I’m looking forward to a wonderful year of discovery with my junior kindergartener!