The knowledge you gain through the trial an error of homeschooling your kids gives you unmatchable wisdom. Don’t you wish your best friend had been successfully homeschooling all of her children over the last 20 years, and you could gleam all of her wisdom over a warm cup of coffee? How wonderful it would be to have her perspective regularly!
As a mother of two successfully preschooled children, I have learned a lot through the trenches of schooling a couple 2 – 3 year olds. Most of what you do with a child that age should revolve around playing! Take it from someone who has been there – it is better to snuggle up and read as many books as they will sit through, than to try to force them to hold a pencil before they are ready. (Lesson learned!)
Let them be little, and enjoy this sweet season preparing your babies, through play, for the rest of their academic career – and ultimately the rest of their life.
Your first goal should be to hide God’s words in their tiny hearts that are so full of love and life. You are commanded to do this, and they are never too old to start! (You can sing hymns and pray scripture over even your littlest baby!) There is much training to be done at this age. I have never met a toddler who had fully mastered obedience or self-control. 😉
5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6: 5- 9
Our favorite, tried and true curriculum choices help me to:
- Hide God’s word in their hearts
- Teach them His stories from the Bible
- Train their character
- Expose them to wonderful literature (that helps with all of the above!) AND
- To prepare them for kindergarten
Because those are lofty goals for their preschool years, we combine many of the available curriculum that is out there.
Here are our top picks that fill the preschool years with lots of belly laughs, cuddly story times, a phenomenal character foundation, and sweet memories! 🙂
A library Card
Okay, so this isn’t really a “curriculum” per-say, but this provides SO many opportunities for you to teach your child. In addition to a plethora of great stories, many libraries offer toddler story times and preschool activities. Ours even offers an online database where you can check out children’s audio-books! Having a library card will help you to get the most out of the following actual curriculum!
Toddler and Preschool curriculum through play.
This is the spine of our preschool years. We have used it from ages 2 – 5 for our oldest two children, but there are excellent ideas for children as young as age one on Heidi’s website. The best part of this curriculum, is that it is FREE to print off online for use with your own children! This allows you to pick and choose what activities and worksheets are appropriate for you child. There are lots of printable coloring sheets that correspond with the Bible story and verse for the week.
The workbooks and guides are also available for purchase online, if you would rather have it spelled out in front of you than having to print it all yourself. It is organized by week, is available to start during any time of the year, and has a wonderful story complete with adorable, yet simple craft ideas for every week. My children would tell you that they did not realize that they were learning while we were using this, because it just seemed like a lot of fun. This resource has simplified and blessed our preschool years so much!
You can find the printable curriculum options and the books for purchase here.
Find the ebook versions of the lesson plans here.
A Joyful Journey into Learning
Their character studies are my absolute favorite for young children. They have created printable sheets and character badges that can be downloaded and rewarded as your children are caught exhibit the trait that you are focusing on. Each character quality that you would like to instill in your children comes with scriptural references, bible stories, and a song to help you train your children during the preschool years.
There is a complete preschool curriculum available to print off for FREE or to purchase the lesson plans books (similar to ABC Jesus Loves Me). We have personally used the character study, the sight word booklets and worksheets, and the letter recognition/sorting worksheets. There are a TON of fun ideas on the website for the little ones in your home! We are actually still using the character curriculum with our four and six year old kids during our morning table time at breakfast (the one year old listens in and claps along to our character songs!).
Sing, Spell, Read, and Write
This curriculum has made the daunting task of teaching your child to read a breeze. That was seriously one of my biggest fears when we started homeschooling! We start using this when our children can recognize all of their letters and are ready to start learning all of their letter sounds AND to begin learning how to write them.
I have started this when both of my children were four, at the end of their preschool years. I would not want to start it any earlier, as it requires a page of handwriting each day. We begin with the Off We Go workbook
during the end of our preschool years and work though the Level 1 kit for kindergarten and first-grade level studies. All of the lessons are spelled out in the instructor’s manual, making this a curriculum that requires no pre-planning what so ever!
The Off We Go workbook focuses on a letter each day. There is a catchy letter sound song (on CD in the kit), letter sound games, and fun coloring pages, cutting and pasting practice, and dot-to-dot worksheets involved.
Even though there are newer reading curriculum on the market, this had been so simple to use! It has helped my 6 year old be a voracious reader, so we will be sticking with this one for all of our late preschoolers!
Find the curriculum HERE.
We did an insect unit study when our oldest two were both preschoolers. Together we made these darling lapbooks about the insects/bugs we wanted to study. There is a different bug for every letter of the alphabet (super fun if you are learning how to trace your letters or master your letter sounds!) There is also a bible verse that corresponds with each bug.
Acoording to the website: “For each insect you’ll find a variety of resources however most include Anatomy, Life Cycle, Coloring, Handwriting, Bible Verse, Habitat, Diet, Fun Facts, and Thematic Notebooking pages.” Super fun to check out some library books as use the ideas and resources on this website as a family! The best part is that they are all free to print off!
Affording the homeschool life
Another wonderful resorce we have used MANY times, is freehomeschooldeals.com. You can go to the website and search any topic you would like to use in your preschool. There has never been a topic I have searched for, that there was not a fun free printable for!
Say your preschooler loves penguins and you really want to teach him/her how to count (I seriously just made this topic up…). Go to the website, and type in “Penguin counting” in the search bar. Lo and behold, there is a Penguin PreK and Tot pack available to be downloaded and printed off for free!
We have used this website to print a lot of themed PreK packs because my children enjoyed them so much. There are a lot of cute themed topics (think princess or pirate!) that you can use to get your preschooler excited about learning.
Find the free printables page here.
We love the Raising Lil’ Rock Stars through the Bible learning resources. There are a lot of biblical character printables to go with each letter of the alphabet. There are a lot of fun preschool worksheets that my children both enjoyed going through as well!
Favorite Preschool Activities
If you have older children, you need to have some tricks up your sleeve to keep them entertained while you are helping your older kids with their school work. Here are some of our favorite activities to keep the little ones learning while playing on their own! (These are all items I own and personally use with my preschoolers. Although, my older ones like to play too 😉 )
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my favorite resources to teach your littlest learners! Comment below with your favorite preschool curriculum ideas!
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