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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Our fall curriculum looks like this

When Maddie started preschool I felt fairly confident that I could get her academically were she needed to go and I was right. However, because I now have one in first grade and three in preschool, I need to be on my game and not wing it quite so much. This fall I need a game plan, I need to be organized so that learning can easily happen without much stress to me. 

Here are some things that are going to make preschool successful this fall.

* Hand writing without tears, a preschool curriculum that helps build motor skill and hand muscle, preparing little hands to be able to write letters and numbers correctly.
* Bible time and bible memorization is very important to Mark and I, to help write God's word on our kid's hearts we are going to use Hide'em in your heart vl. I & vl. II, by Steve Green. 

* Circle time is a great way to start the school day. Our circle time is a time when I pray over them and pray with them. We say the pledge of allegiance, we sing two ABC songs, one to learn letter sound and one to learn alphabet sequence. We practice the days of the week, months of the year, and discuss today, tomorrow, and yesterday. Circle time is great because it is a short amount of time when they learn there are times when you have to be quiet and wait to be called on. Times when you have to fight to not let the wiggles come out. We only meet for about 10-15 minutes, but to a three or four year old, that can seem like a long, long time. But, it is still an important skill they need to learn.

* The company Leap frog has produced videos that have been super helpful with my kiddo's learning math, as well as learning letter sounds. The videos are great for Minnesota cold winter months.

* Reading lots and lots and lots of books together. 

* What do dried beans, dried noodles, corn, rice, gravel/sand, shaving cream, finger paint, and play-doh all have in common? They all make fantastic sensory bins! Engaging kid's in sensory play is so important, because while they think they are playing, which they are doing, they are also learning. They are learning to measure and pour. They are learning about the world around them. To a preschooler all the world can be a science lap!

* One very important part of our schooling this year is going to be monster truck based! We will use them to create art, trace numbers, learn shapes, colors, and many, many other important lessons only monster trucks can teach!

* Field trips are not only super fun, but they get us out with people and let us have some social interaction. We love going bowling, ice skating. This year Naomi gets to start dance for the first time! We are also going to go to our local golf course and let the kids hit some balls at the driving range. 

* We have begun to learn sign language using signing time videos. The kid's have really enjoyed these video's. 

* Character training is very important to us. Being honest, obeying right away without delay, putting others before themselves, learning to pray and rely on the Lord for all of our needs. There is no greater character training guide than the bible! 

* Along with character training, home skills are important to pass on and teach my kid's. Learning to cook and bake, learning how to clean toilets, sweep and mop. How to organize a bookshelf, and line up shoes neatly.

* Art is another area we want our kid's to experience.  We have been listening to Say yes to Classical Music, we love what we call "Katie Books" by James Mayhew, books about a little girl who goes to art museums with her Grandma. We are also going to use a book called How to teach art to children.

Fall is a long ways away, so I am quiet confident that this list will get tweaked as we go through spring and summer, but it is a good place to start. 

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