Site Map

Homeschool Fact:
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt - all were self-educated and learned at home!

Contact Info
If you need to contact us, please us the WebSupport Contact Form

Best Curriculum for Preschool-Kindergarten

What is the best curriculum for a preschool-kindergarten age child? I also have two toddlers to keep entertained, what can I do?

I suggest, first, that you try to change your thinking from the entertainment idea to something more like training. If you train your children, including toddlers, concerning what they are allowed to play with around the house/and how to put things away, this is curriculum. Train them to help in any household chores that they can manage at their young ages. As I mentioned in the preceding answer, many good ideas are written in the books by homeschooling moms. Let your children set the table for lunch,sing or recite a grace, eat and talk about God's provision, about nutrition, and about anything else, say Please and Thank You, and have the children help clean up afterward. View all these little matters as curriculum.

If you have errands to do, that all becomes curriculum too. Add naps, bathtub play, outdoor play, indoor play, story time, drawing or scribbling, and some music, both listening and singing (and rhythmical movement), and you have a very full curriculum. Don't overlook the fact that you are conversing with your children during much of this time and that is important for their language development. If you could manage a visit to a preschool or kindergarten someday, you would realize that your curriculum at home is rich indeed. I can't seem to say often enough that our middle class families do not need kindergarten at all.

If you still want to get your feet wet with books, try an idea given by homeschool writer,Cathy Duffy. She suggests buying workbooks from the grocery store. These are not too long, as an official curriculum for the kindergartner may be.

If getting your feet wet means getting ready for first grade, I will add that you need make no drastic change for age 6. Children do not change drastically at that time. At story time your oldest child will simply be recognizing more of the words; at drawing time, he will be writing more labels or sentence captions for his pictures and so on. You can ease gradually into any bookwork that you want to add.

A note by Debbie Strayer:
Several years ago, I had to take a course in early childhood education to maintain that area on my teaching certificate. Since this was an undergraduate level course, the teacher was preparing the students who were to become teachers of young children, probably as their first experience teaching. The curriculum that was being taught as the best for preschoolers was astonishing to me, not because of it's difficulty, but because it was exactly what most children would normally do every day. The curriculum was basically to recreate home life.

A corner of the classroom was to be devoted to kitchen play (complete with miniature sinks, stoves and refrigerators), a corner with dress-up clothes for make-believe, a corner with books for quiet reading, a listening center where children could listen to tapes or watch videos, and then an area for free play which included toys like blocks and cars. They would use an area of the room for sand and water play, or painting and art. The teachers were to plan the day with time for snacks, lunch and outdoor play. Except for the fact that all the materials are not out at once,I realized that the main goals of a good preschool were the same kinds of things done in most homes by stay-at-home moms, and that the quality preschool education they were talking about was just an attempt to duplicate a home with interested and caring family members.

Concerning the issues of getting along with others, taking turns, etc., I again realized these were addressed daily in our home, and with a manageable number of children. Often the behavior problems children have in preschool are because of the lack of individual attention from adults. I came away from that class knowing that homeschoolers never need to feel inadequate regarding the educational opportunities they provide for their preschoolers.

Dr. Ruth Beechick is a former teacher, professor, and curriculum developer. Now retired, she writes for homeschoolers whom she sees as the greatest hope for the future of our society.

This article is reprinted with permission of the author, Dr. Ruth Beechick. Excerpted from Dr. Beechick's Homeschool Answer Book, which contains answers on many topics.

Homeschool girl reading