By Adela Osmond
So many mommies seek to find the most efficient preschool curriculum for teaching their precious preschooler.
I admit I was one of them. When my little girl was three years old, I began my quest. I wanted to be the best mommy ever, giving her a head start in academics. Especially reading!
A dear friend of mine, settled my anxious heart by simply saying, "take it easy, at her age there's no need to buy expensive curriculum, just go to a superstore and pick out a $7.99 preschool skill builder workbook, find free preschool activities online and make it fun!"
I took my friends advice, bought a few books, found some preschool websites and had lots-n-lots of fun building wonderful memories in which I want to share with you.
Our preschool schedule was easy and flexible. I used the skill builder activity book three days a week. In addition to that, we did lots of reading, singing, fun puzzles, educational videos, and explored several online websites together. I used it all as preschool curriculum. But really it was just time spent playing with her, guided by an educational purpose.
I planned two or three activities a day. The time that I spent in teaching was no more than 10 to 20 minute intervals. Just enough to keep her attention on the subject at hand, then we moved on to "non-playing" tasks.
However, during our "non-playing" tasks, learning was taking place too. After all there was homemaking skills to acquire. (grin) When Jamie and I went to the grocery store I made it a learning experience for example: "Jamie, please count how many milk cartons we have in our buggy. You are right! 1-2-3-4-5 " - "What sound do you hear in the word egg?" eh, eh, eh,ggg? - "Will you get 5 round oranges for me and place them in this clear bag?"
When we did laundry, I had her sort the clothes by color. When she took a bath, we would play name that sound with a set of foam alphabet letters and so forth.
One thing I want to emphasize though, descriptive language is very important in teaching your preschooler. Talk to your child in such a way you would an adult using the proper names and descriptions for objects and experiences. Children have a natural affinity for learning. If you present them with intelligible words, their vocabulary and speech will grow abundantly. You can give your child a heads up in English class by simply starting now at the preschool age!
I learned very quickly in the early years of parenting, that a preschool child learns best in a relaxed atmosphere. When mommy smiles, speaks with a pleasant voice, and spends time playing with her child there is a special kind of bonding that takes place... the bond of love. So, let me gently remind you when irritation arises within, give yourself an attitude check and refocus your thoughts and lower your tone of voice. Your child will not only learn early academics from you but also godly character. (big smiles)
To sum it up... let me pass on the advice of which my friend gave me, take it easy during the preschool age. Buy some skill builder books, bookmark a few websites and make the learning atmosphere relaxed and fun!
Your preschooler will love being read to, seeing things, making things, creating things, talking about everything, asking questions and playing outdoors. Remember... enjoy this bonding time with them for it truly a blessing!
Listed below are a few items I've used with my first born. Please don't spend too much money on preschool curriculum you can get creative and find good resources for very little money online, or at your local superstore. Don't forget to use the library too; their books are free, but only for a little while!
Preschool Skill Builder/Activity Books:
Preschool Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills - From School Specialty Children's Publishing. We used this workbook a lot. The pictures are rich in color, and perforated. Subjects include reading, mathematics, language arts, and writing. You can find this workbook at Amazon.com which you can find them as low as $2.00 a workbook. ISBN 1-56189-374-9
My Heavenly Helper Preschool Skill Builder and Activity Guide - McGraw Hill Children's Publisher offers a skill builder activity book that I found very helpful in teaching Bible lessons to my preschooler. This particular workbook focuses on concepts such as the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, sequencing, same and difference. Pages are perforated black and white. ISBN 0-7696-2907-5
A Must Have Preschool Educational Video:
Letter Factory Video by Leap Frog - This particular pre-reading video is a must have for preschoolers. I recently noticed our local library with a copy. But I suggest you buy a copy for your family library. Your preschooler will learn letters, phonics and listening skills in no time. It's a creative production to say the least. ISBN 0-7907-8894-2
Free Preschool Curriculum Found Online:
Starfall.com - An "absolutely" free website that teaches children to read. It's perfect for preschoolers too. You can put your preschooler in your lap and click through the alphabet shows. Be sure to let them click your mouse, they'll love discovering they can interact with the show! FREE printables too.
LetteroftheWeek.com - Letter of the Week was written and compiled by Katrina Lybbert. She created this site from her experiences teaching her 4 children at home. She offers free preschool curriculum. If you have children younger than preschool, you'll find her website very useful too.
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