Pre-K Homeschool: Subjects + Curriculum

Oh my gosh, I have been trying to type this out all week and the kids have been cray cray craycraycrayzay. So here it is, all finished, all imperfect.

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Years back I worked in a preschool while dearest Ollie was growing in and stretchmarking my tum. I swore off preschool and was very much in the mindset to just let kids be kids and keep them home before the bottomless abyss of formal education. But then that little babe came out into this world and 4 years later is this kid who will gladly spend his quiet time typing out entire books or coloring drawings or reciting books from memory. He totally loves playing in dirt, running races, riding his bike, and dreams of being big enough to climb our avocado tree, it’s just that sitting down and learning is something he really, really enjoys and is something I really, really like doing with him. He has a tendency to be a perfectionist and get really worked up over chaos (like me! Sorry Ollie! Us melancholic cholerics are toughies), so being able to sit down and use logic to figure things out is calming to a certain degree. Especially when you have 2 younger siblings who have a tendency to disrupt any activity you’re doing alldayeveryday. So time set aside with no interruptions (lol, limited interruptions) is necessary. You might remember that we were doing some informal schooling last year, but with Ollie starting Kindergarten next year and thanks to SB277 I am stuck with homeschooling (I want to now! Jokes on you, California!), but I wanted to use this year as a test run to learn how he does with scheduled out school time, testing curriculums, and to practice lesson planning. See— organizing and planning calms mah mind just like my Ollie boy.

As you may also also also remember, Ollie is enrolled in a 2 day/week Christian preschool. That is his source of all the things I am bad at: playing, socializing, crafts, music, etc. His class ranges from 2-5 years, but he is one of the oldest with most kids being around 2 or 3, so I’m going to focus more on the academic side here.

It’s important to note that I am 0% stressing about this. It is only pre-K. Once it becomes stressful or too much, it will get pruned down and definitely changed up. Same goes if Ollie seems to be not enjoying it. I am very much open to keeping this fun and simple.

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The plan as of now is to do 2 subjects a day with Tuesday being a free day because he stays late for lunch at his preschool. Monday + Wednesday’s lessons will be taught after breakfast once all the kids (and maybe me) are dressed for the day. My kids moods (and mine) decline as the day progresses and I’m a morning person so this seems like the best plan for us… we’ll see! Thursday’s lesson will be during Atlas/Prim’s naptime because Ollie will be at school all morning. I’m shooting for around only spending 30 minutes for both lessons. Seems doable, right? So the subjects…

 

Subjects:

1. Writing*

2. Math

3. Reading

4. Science

5. Geography

6. Poetry*

7. Cutting**

8. Spanish**

*Catechism will be informally taught by using Catholic/biblical materials as the subject matter for writing/poetry.

** Potentially will be swapped out with another subject as the year continues

 

As far as lesson planning, I’m starting out with only 2 weeks planned out and once I get a feel for how quickly we move through lessons/activities, I’ll plan out up until maybe Christmas. Maybe not. Idk, people.

 

 1. Writing

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For writing, I’m going to have him copy some bible verses/psalms that are listed in The Harp and Laurel Wreath. This book is amazing and was recommended by awholelotta people. Maybe because it spans my ages levels. Maybe because the content is golden. Maybe both. Probably both.

2. Math

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We’re starting out with the Kumon workbook, Simple Addition. It is a lot of tracing which is perfect because when I first read “Simple Addition” I thought that there was no way it would be suitable for the recommended start age of 4. It’s totally doable and approachable. He will do 2 lessons/week.

3. Reading

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Don’t be fooled! He loves this book. Daniel started Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with Ollie about a year ago but they are only on lesson 22. Daniel is still going to continue this with Ollie, but now we will make sure to at least get in 1 lesson/week. Again, another book everyone swears by. Ollie has started sight reading and trying to sound out words so I’m excited to see where 1 lesson/week will take him.

4. Science

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SOOO many ideas for this one. I have a queue of books and ideas, but we are starting with Nature Anatomy. Some of the information in there is extensive, but overall really simple and can be played down to a 4 year old’s level. There are so many pretty illustrations in this and so many topics: volcanoes, earth, solar system, birds, trees, bugs, etc. For example, our first lesson will be to copy a drawing of the Earth and its layers and for him to label it. Baddabing.

5. Geography

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My subject, people (geography major!). Ollie lovesssss flags. I found a sweet flag coloring book on amazon so my plan is for me to tell him which two flags he can color that day, and he has to reference it and look it up in his fave flag book. I have a few other books also in the queue. I just can’t help myself.

6. Poetry

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We are also using The Harp and Laurel Wreath for poetry. I wasn’t sure about this subject so young, but again. People swear by it and I’m just a big ol copycat. We will start off with the simple simple short short poems in the book for him to recite and memorize. I mean, how cute is this one:

I’m glad the sky is painted blue,
And the earth is pained green,
With such a lot of nice fresh air
All sandwiched in between.

 

7. Cutting

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We started another Kumon workbook last year, Pasting, but didn’t get very far. I’m planning to do this one while Atlas + Prim are asleep because for some reason, Ollie has the hardest time focusing on this and I typically get really impatient soooooo, gonna try it out with no one else around.

8. Spanish

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I looked up a few Spanish apps for kids, and Gus on the Go seemed like the best fit. We haven’t tried it yet, but looks promising!

 

That’s pretty much it! As far as supplies and where we will be working, I totally copied Amina and turned my old diaper station into a portable school station. (Ikea ikea ikea). I’m also dreaming of turning our guest room into a school room but I priced it all out with dreamy Land of Nod furniture and loled as I closed the tab.

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Also, I have been eyeing this dreamy planner by Rifle Paper Co because I finally had an excuse to get one. It’s perfecto.

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I’ll update throughout the school year with added books but some that are on the horizon are:

Atlas of Adventure

Animalium

Number Games 1-150

Easy Telling Time

The 50 States

Home

 

We are all super excited to start on Monday. Am I crazy? Anyone else doing pre-k work with their kid? Talk to me! Solidarity, please.

 

 

13 Comments

Lauren

I love the poetry and bible verse – I may need to copy that for my kindergartener (who is in 1/2 day afternoon classes but I supplement at home). Last year at 4 years old, she also loved BOB books (we would read one a day until she mastered each book –a very rewarding way to learn to read). Also I bought a $1 USA map from target and then you put cashews or choc chips or raisins on each state and they eat the ones they know. She learned 30 states so fast! And it was fun. She also loved writing letters in shaving cream and playing memory or UNO during our preschool time. I did it 20 min a day and it was always our special time during the boys’ naps. Now I am doing it again with my 3 year old son–watching his interests, trying fun alphabet and math activities and making learning fun!

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gma yvonne

Ok so I pretty much died a little (in the very best way) when I saw The Harp and the Laurel Wreath. If I were to do it all over I would do Classical Education with my kids. Of course that’s pretty much what my PhD is in so that makes sense. Education in the U.S. is largely based on the progressive and pragmatic theories of John Dewey, intent on making good little citizens who will be productive workers. Animal Farm style.
A solid Classical education in the arts and sciences prepares a student to do anything, because they learn to be critical thinkers who can make a lasting difference in the world. I think my kids came out pretty good, and think well, so I’m not complaining. But I wish they had read more Homer, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, for starters.

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Jenna Wilber

That’s so amazing. I’m still learning about all the different curriculums so the classical style is still so foreign to me, but it sounds ideal.
Also, when I was fawning over the book with Daniel while the kids were in bed the other night, he remembered one of the poems in it and said that he remembered having to learn it. :)
I’m excited to go on this journey (so cheesy) with Ollie because my entire education was very much as you described as the American standard.

Lenora Minschke

Found your blog through the rabbit hole of catholic mom blogs…love it and this post. and thanks for doing all the heavy lifting for me-this list is great! :)

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Kate

So glad you wrote this post! Life has us a little in over our heads currently (baby, reno, move) but I’m excited to do some stuff with Jake! I’m just like you in that I thought preschool was TOTAL overkill…until my four year old decides to start copying words out of books himself and I’m like: are you going to force me into being an overachieving preschool mom???

I’m pretty sure we’ll try to tackle some 100 Easy Lessons, and we might try a little math. You’ve used the Kumon books in the past and you’ve been happy with them, is that right? I LOVE the idea of using Nature Anatomy! We have Farm Anatomy and the kids love it! Good luck! I’m excited to share this journey with you!

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Jenna Wilber

I’ve loved the Kumon books. They aren’t an eyesore and Ollie enjoys them.
I can’t wait to see the reno and all once it’s complete! I guess I can’t wait to see your baby too…

Jaime

First, love the planner! I need to get one, planning and organizing calms my brain, too. A lot.

Your lesson plan sounds awesome! And music is my jam… …okok but seriously if you and Ollie ever want a free lesson!

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arendadee

We are planning to start pre-k homeschooling this year, too, so it was a delight to read through your blog post and take a peek at your curriculum selections. (I actually had a dream that involved a group of women each sharing about their favourite curriculum – how crazy is that?!)

One thing we’ve been doing for the past few months is Morning Time. We open with prayer, read a Bible story, sing some hymns, memorize/review Bible verses, recite some poetry, say the Lord’s prayer in Latin and go over a few catechism questions (Westminster, as I’m not Catholic ;) ). My four-year old loves it! And even my 20-month old sticks around for the songs and Bible story (and snack). This post was really helpful in thinking it through: http://www.ordo-amoris.com/2008/09/what-is-morning-time.html

All the best as you go forward! :)

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