Here are some of my favorite preschool programs. Do I think a preschool program is necessary? No, I don’t.
Read, play, read some more, go outside (probably one of the most important things you can do), and above all, point your child to Jesus. Don’t be over-eager to push academics. You can never redo these days. Your child will never be as eager to make footprints in the snow, or pick dandelions, or float sticks in a stream.
However, some of us want some more structure in our days. For those who do, here are some programs I recommend. All of these preschool programs keep your focus where I believe it should be in these early years. You might also want to check out my “Month in Nature” calendars which could easily be used as a preschool curriculum.
Heart of Dakota Little Hands to Heaven
We’ve really enjoyed using Heart of Dakota’s little Hands to Heaven program. It’s a gentle, fun preschool curriculum that uses the Bible as it’s spine. It also includes lot of fun art activities that tie in with the Bible story being studied.
The teacher’s manual is laid out with each day covered in a two-page spread. The activities each take about five minutes to do, so it is easy to schedule them in during your day. It also includes daily Bible Memory, a letter of the week, math concepts, music, and finger plays. It’s not very expensive and since it’s non-consumable you can also buy it used (if money is an issue). I was delighted when I discovered this program since most of the other preschool programs I’ve seen cost more than I could justify spending on preschool. You can check out Little Hands to Heaven on the author’s website for more information.
Before Five in a Row
I’ve been looking at this curriculum for years and I finally bought it this year. It includes a lovely selection of children books and then projects to go with them. The teacher’s manual include activities covering the following subjects:
- Creative Play
- Geography and Culture
- and more!
We’re just using the teacher’s manual and checking out the books that we can find from our library or already own. You can also buy book packages that go with it. According to the author, this curriculum is dedicated to nurturing and protecting the early childhood years. Read more about BFIAR here.
The Gentle + Classical Preschool: Level 1 (Ages 2-4)
This is exactly what it says– a gentle and classical preschool curriculum. The PDF form of this curriculum is absolutely free. It is worth getting just to read the introduction. You will find encouragement in it to focus on what’s important at this age. I don’t think you’ll regret taking the time to read it. Read here why the author created the curriculum and see how you can download it for free. You can also buy a print copy of this on Amazon or on the author’s website.
A Month in Nature Calendar and Nature Study
Since I’ve written this post, I’ve also developed my own nature curriculum.
It includes the following:
- An Inspiring Monthly Nature Calendar
- A Months Worth of Nature Activities
- Beautiful Book Recommendations
- A Nature Tracker Chart and Matching Activity Stickers
- Journal Pages (These will inspire you and your child to record the world around you.)
You can check it out here.
I know that there are many more preschool programs available, both paid and free. What have you done during the preschool years? And if you say, “We just played,” that’s perfectly fine! I haven’t done a formal preschool with all of my children and I certainly haven’t done it every day.
(And did you notice? I got through this whole post without having to use the words curricula or curriculums. Whew, that was hard!)