Monday, May 25, 2009

What About Preschool?

I am in the minority in our country when it comes to preschool. I think that preschool as an institution is not necessary for the average child. We seem to have developed a national mindset that if children don't attend preschool they are destined to a life of failure. Many of my reasons for believing this is not true are here.

" As stated on "Children learn mainly through play, interaction with caring adults, lots of conversation, reading, and exposure to the bounty of life." This seems so simple that I think many parents wanting the best for their children and feeling inadequate to provide them, dismiss these things. I am often asked "what curriculum should I use for preschool?" To help in providing the recommendations just stated and to give you some ideas, let me make some suggestions.

Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready has a lot of great activities. It's just a book that is very inexpensive with activities I believe for every day of the year arranged by age. Simple, but fun and effective.

Letter of the Week is a free online curriculum that I used with my daughter. It is intended to be used in one year. This is a unit study with several subjects being taught around one theme, in this case a letter. Each week a particular letter is explored through music, poems and rhymes, books, snacks, character traits, math, science, social studies, art, games and field trips. And did I say it's free?

Another unit study curriculum that is very popular is Before Five in a Row. Although I have never used this, I have read the curriculum and used the book lists as a resource for good books to read to my children. That is the beauty of this curriculum to me, the wealth of really great books to introduce your children too. Reading to your children at an early age is a wonderful experience of closeness for you and them. Being read to at an early age is also one of the predictors of successful readers. And I'm happy to report that at 8 and 10 my children are both excellent and avid readers!

I have also used Learning At Home , a complete curriculum for preschool and kindergarten. This is a very full curriculum and probably much more than is necessary. If you feel it's too much you can adjust this as necessary. Ann Ward, the author of this curriculum, also has a book for second grade and a book called Learning the Classics at Home about teaching literature.
Most of all, don't believe that you can't teach your own child. Who taught them to eat with a spoon? Use the toilet? Tie their shoes? With the help of good tools you CAN teach your child.


tracy said...

Great resources for parents who want alternatives to putting their kids into preschool. For some cool math learning games, check out Dreambox Learning.

I Am: Anna Lovely Day said...

Thank you so much for this post. I've been feeling the pressure to put my three year old in preschool. I know there are other alternatives and it's nice to know that not all parents go the preschool route.

I appreciate the information and resources, especially this time of the year when everyone is looking for classes to keep their kids busy.

I am grateful to have the opportunity to spend these years with my daughter.

Jill said...

I'm so glad you found it helpful! Enjoy your daughter. Mine is about to turn 11 so let me assure you that you'll never feel like she had too much time with you, but rather not nearly enough :)

Ruby in Montreal said...

Thank you for this information! We are going into our third year of homeschooling and have a child ready to do kindergarten, so the links are quite handy :)