Monday, August 1, 2011

Schooling Your 4-5 Year Old Preschooler

I thought that I would take the time to break down what we used for Luke's 4/5 pre-Kindergarten curriculum.

Curriculum can be so overwhelming. It's hard to know what is right for your family/child. It can be expensive. I am very methodical and a little OCD so I look at it all, think about what our goals are, think about what method we will use, etc. Even when I get it and start using it for a few weeks, it seems crazy, but once we have settled in, I am usually pretty pleased with what we are doing.

Last year for 4/5 pre-K we used Sonlight's P4/5 Core program which includes tons of great books (lots of reading aloud), learning skills workbooks (that focus on motor skills, listening skills, memory, and other learning skills), a Bible and Scriptures to memorize, and lots of creative ideas for further fun/study. It's broken down into 36 weeks (requirement for schooling) and can be done for 4 or 5 days a week. We usually do 3-4 days a week (I just combine).

We used Horizons K for mathematics. I liked it but I thought it was a little accelerated for him at that age. We are going to be switching to Singapore Math for kindergarten.

We used Handwriting Without Tears K for handwriting. I think it is pretty good, but I think you could achieve the same goal with some lined paper. We do one number or letter each week (that corresponds to the math or CORE). We do handwriting 2 days a week. We do the HWT page one day and he does a row on lined paper one day for review. The math has writing numbers so he writes a lot. We are going to be switching to A Reason for Handwriting for kindergarten.

We used Ordinary Parents' Guide to Teaching Reading. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! It's broken down perfectly. You start with short vowel sounds, then consonant sounds, then long vowel sounds, then blends, etc. I love it because it is simple, has cutesy ways to remember stuff, and does a ton of review. We do reading lessons 3 days a week. The book is pretty big so we are going to just keep working through it until we are done. I have a plan to do 3 lessons a week but we can cut down if he needs more time to learn some concepts. I highly recommend this book!!!

Basically our schedule is:
Monday - CORE, Reading
Tuesday - CORE, Handwriting, Math
Wednesday - CORE, Reading
Thursday - CORE, Handwriting, Math
Friday - CORE, Reading

When we need to combine, it works well because we do 2 days of CORE, Reading, Handwriting, and Math.

School takes less than an hour. I like that for preschool because he doesn't need to sit at a table for more than one hour doing worksheets and reading. He also spends a lot of time coloring, doing crafts, doing projects, playing with Play-Doh, and playing games (lots of memory games). We also read a lot.

I hope this has been helpful for those of you who might be interested in homeschooling.

I will do another post about our plans for next year (Kindergarten).

Hope this helps! I would love to hear how you homeschool your 4-5 year old preschool student.

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