One of the first questions you may ask when you decide to school at home is “What do I look for in curriculum?” I strongly believe that the answer to this question does not come in a neat and tidy package. There are many teaching styles, and it is important that you choose a plan that is sustainable and life-giving to you as the teacher, as well as your children. I think we often neglect this side of the equation. Each child in your family has a unique learning style and distinct needs. It is our job to study them and create a plan around how they learn best to discover what makes them fall in love with learning.
For our homeschool preschool, I have been using a beautiful curriculum as my foundation, and I build off of it based on my children’s interests and needs. The curriculum I am using is The Peaceful Preschool, developed by the seasoned homeschool moms of The Peaceful Press. It is simple to follow and beautifully laid out. It comes with a weekly plan for each letter of the alphabet along with a book list. The curriculum also includes activities for fine motor skills, counting skills, practical life skills, large motor skills, and art skills. I have taken their 26-week curriculum and am turning it into a year-long curriculum. I extend each letter unit to two weeks instead of one. For the first week of each letter, I loosely follow The Peaceful Preschool’s themes, suggested books, and most of the activities. I say loosely because I change, remove, or add things based on the skill levels of my children as we go. For the second week, I choose another theme and books that correlate with the letter that were not covered in the first week. For example, for the letter “A”, The Peaceful Preschool focused on apples during Week 1. For Week 2 of the letter A, our family planned activities around the themes of alligators and airplanes. I typically choose what themes and books we will be using a couple weeks ahead of time, based on what I think my children will find interesting.
We add in a lot of extra sensory play, life skills, and fine motor skill practice because these are areas that my son needs extra work in right now. Our family reads a lot, so if there is a book that my kids are really interested in, even if it does not correlate with the current theme, I will run with it and use that as a launching ground for activities and things to study.
You can also read my review of The Peaceful Preschool curriculum after using it for several months.