We are so excited to begin some more focused preschool activities with Karis this year. She loves her school time! My goals this year for my little preschooler is to read a lot of good solid literature together, memorize one Bible verse each week, learn our letters, and cultivate a love for learning and serving.
We have decided to use Sonlight for our curriculum base because I simply love the focus on a literature based education. Sonlight provided us with such a wonderful set of literature as we purchased the P 3/4 curriculum (many of the books in this set are available used through Amazon, which provided a significant savings).
This curriculum core is simply a collection of fabulous classic children’s literature that has stood the test of time. I love the literature based method of education because it focuses on just stirring up a love for reading and books, and what better way to learn about history, geography, writing, and so much more rather than just a textbook. The P 3/4 curriculum does not include any lesson plans or workbooks unlike the other Sonlight curriculum sets, but is basically just encouraging a lot of reading together, which is simple and fun, providing us with a solid base for her education. We spend 30 minutes every morning just reading these books together, over and over, and talking about the stories and concepts. The literature selection is awesome! Even if you don’t use the curriculum guide, you are getting a wealth of good stories. Both my children (2 & 4 years) absolutely love these books!
UPDATE: As of January 2011, we graduated up to the P4/5 curriculum and love it too! It is a great literature supplement to the letters curriculum that I share about below. The book titles help graduate my daughter up to reading longer stories with fewer pictures. We love the Developing the Early Learner workbooks that accompany this set, providing a lot of practice with pre-reading skills. My daughter loves any workbook practice, so they are a great addition to our collection.
Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve
The second part of our preschool plan is utilizing Laura at Heavenly Homemaker’s newly launched preschool curriculum, Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve. This 240+ kit includes thorough lesson plans, games, crafts, recipes, memory verses for each letter of the alphabet, Bible story suggestions, vocabulary stimulation and discussion, play, books to read and so much more…all while encouraging service to God!
I absolutely love Laura’s unique focus on teaching letters while creatively serving other people. As you learn each letter, you identify one person whose name begins with that letter, and you think of a creative gift to give them that also begins with that letter. Each letter you study includes suggestions for service, such as “Take a new Bible to B__________” on Bb week, “Make soup for someone who is sick on Ss week, and “Deliver flowers to F_______________” on Ff week. Your child will make gifts or food, offer help and learn to think of others. As a family you can delight in praying together about who you would like to serve and what form of service you would like to offer!
The lessons are not complicated but very simple and manageable, especially if you have multiple lessons, and a great option to supplement with any other activities you may have planned. I am eager to start working this in to our schedule as well and encouraging my little ones to delight in serving others in creative means! I also love how this course could be used easily for multiple age groups and is not limited to preschoolers alone. Check out a free sample lesson here!
Character Building & Scripture Memory
Along with these resources, we are using Teach Them to Your Children: An Alphabet of Biblical Poems, Verses, and Stories by Sarah Wean, and My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt for further Scripture memory inspiration around the alphabet along with quality character building stories. Our goal is to memorize one verse a week and study each letter for two weeks, thus memorizing two verses for each letter of the alphabet. Thus far, Karis has actually memorized four verses for letter A. We write it out on a dry-erase board and store in a visible place in our living room/dining room. We strive to read the verse several times a day, but mainly at means times. And of course she loves listening to Songs for Saplings: ABC CD, and God’s Word from A-Z by Abe & Liza Philips for verses set to music. These little preschoolers can really store up the Scriptures! I have been pleasantly surprised by the way she so sweetly articulates each verse we learn.
That’s our preschool plan this year along with lots of trips to the library and exploring nature together!