When my two oldest children were 3 and 4.5 we spent our days doing chores together, baking, playing, exploring nature, and reading books. I was so thankful to be able to stay home and be with them all day. I knew I wanted to spend our days simply and with connection as the central focus. While I knew I didn’t need a curriculum for that young age, I thought it would be helpful to follow along with something gentle that pointed me in the right direction of ways to invite my children into learning through play and exploration. I went on a hunt and what I discovered was that most preschool curriculums I came across were too involved. Too much to buy, too much to print and prepare, and too many pressures and expectations put on the children at such a young age. I really just wanted a solid booklist as the core of the lessons and some gentle ideas to connect to the stories that would engage their senses and imaginations and introduce them to letters and numbers.
I stumbled upon The Peaceful Preschool and immediately fell in love. I downloaded the free letter A unit and jumped in to see how my children responded. We all loved it so much that we ended up going through the entire curriculum twice. The first time we mostly just read the books, participated in the pretend play and large motor activities, and did the baking and craft projects. The following time when my children were a bit older, we added in more of the letter sounds/ recognition and counting skills. Looking back now with children who are in 1st and 2nd grade, I can say that The Peaceful Preschool was the perfect guide to set them up for formal academics when the time came. Using this guide, my children gained a love for stories, made meaningful connections to the world around them, and were introduced to letter formation and early math skills in a very gentle way.
I put a lot of confidence in this preschool curriculum because the author is a seasoned homeschool mother of seven children. I trusted that she knew what early learners really needed to know and experience before formal schooling. I felt as though she was mentoring me through the process because she made herself available to answer questions via email. Also, when you purchase the guide, you are welcomed into a private Facebook group. You can really tell that Jennifer has a heart to see little ones love learning and to experience connections with their families and the world around them.
Let me tell you the main reasons I loved this curriculum and why we will most likely use it again when my next two children are ready!
Simple Lesson Prep
Besides gathering library books, a few supplies, and looking over the lesson for the day, the prep was minimal. This left room for me to plan and add in extra activities if I wanted to, but if I didn’t have the time then it was more than enough.
The activities often required minimal to no supplies that you wouldn’t already have around the house. The curriculum offers a master list of recommended supplies as well as a weekly breakdown. If an activity requires something you don’t have, there are so many options that it wasn’t a big deal just to skip an activity.
I loved that so many of the lesson activities were things like “bake a pie together” or “practice climbing a tree”. This is what I was looking for in a learning guide. The heart of The Peaceful Preschool is to facilitate connection and to grow in the child a love for learning. You really get that sense in every week of the lessons.
Excellent Book List
Each week there is a book list at the core of the lessons. My children adored all of the selections, as did I. The books chosen are creative, beautifully illustrated, and full of life. There was a good range of comprehension levels in the list, which I found useful reading to a younger and older preschooler at the same time.
Rather than learning letter formation with paper and pencil, the children use salt trays and finger tracing. Stories come alive with craft projects and reenactments. The activities are highly engaging to little ones’ senses and draw them in with fun and imaginative learning.
Here are some sneak peeks inside the curriculum and some shots of my children enjoying it over the years.
Hi! I think you could use certain elements for sure and save the rest for future years.
I am looking for something to start with my 4 and 6yo. Do you think this would be too young for them? I remember looking at it a few years ago and we ended up just doing a bit more freeplay and nature explorations but now I feel we are ready to start something more structured. Considering this or AGF, would love your thoughts as I also enjoy a Charlotte mason Montessori Waldorf blend :)
I definitely think you could pull a lot from it!
How would you feel about using it with a 2 year old? I feel my kid needs more structure. He’s a bit wild. I’d like to find something that he could use for an hour or two a day.