Wednesday, September 1, 2010

School Days - Books n' Things

I have to admit that I have way too many resources. I was planning on using a little of this and a little of that. Then my cousin gave me the PreK Horizons curriculum that she received free to review as a preschool teacher. That was when I became completely overwhelmed. And like a first-time homeschool mom I have overbought, and have made myself a little nuts. ;)

It's hard for me to plan because I'm not sure when my internet resources will be publishing their lessons (weekly, monthly, ??) so that puts a damper on my planning - and if you know me at all, you know how much I like to plan. I'm sure this list will change as the weeks go on, but here's where I'm starting.

Devotions from ABC Jesus Loves Me - I've taken this from the 4yr curriculum of ABC Jesus Loves Me. It's based on character traits from the Bible and includes suggestions from many different children's Bibles, songs, other books, and activities/crafts. I really liked how you can tell the same story every day from a different version of the Bible. I think it helps my boys to remember the stories better. It's nice to finally use all the children's bibles that we've purchased or received as gifts. Here are the children's Bibles & books we're using:

Big Thoughts for Little People

The Big Picture Story Bible

The Rhyme Bible Storybook

The New Bible In Pictures for Little Eyes

Jesus Storybook Bible

Pray through our family prayer book - This has been a great resource to me, specifically and it's nice to pass it on to my kids. It's kind of like a scrapbook that has pictures of our family, our extended family, friends, and missionaries we support. It makes it easier for my boys to pray for them when they can see their faces. We also include any letters that we get from our missionaries so we can be specific in our prayers for them. This is a great resource from Legacy Prayer Journals.

Calendar craft/activities from Preschool Calendar. This book is full of seasonal ideas, fine/gross motor activities, worksheets (must make your own copies), social studies units, community themes, bulletin board examples, etc.

Bible memory verses based on the letter we're working on for the week are taken from My ABC Bible Verses. We'll use the book in random order of the letters that we're working on.

I received the PreK Horizons set from my cousin who was reviewing pre-k homeschooling resources and she gave me the whole pile. Kind of fun even though it's a little late for planning. I'd like to be using as much out of this book as I can since I didn't have to pay for it. It has 36 weeks of lessons and I'm planning on 36 weeks of school so that works out nicely. I'm not sure about the timing with my other resources (Raising Rock Stars Preschool and Handwriting Without Tears) but I want to use what I've got. Mostly I'm planning on using math, social studies, science as my main subjects from these books. The Bible studies are different than what I'm wanting right now and I have some great reading/phonics, and writing resources that we'll be using.

Handwriting Without Tears will obviously be our handwriting curriculum. I ordered the PreK teacher's manual and workbook "Get Set for School". I also bought the wood pieces for capital letters and the laminated cards to go with them. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have bought the cards laminated and just laminate them myself - but I ordered them before I owned my laminator. There's a learning curve to all of this. ;)

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons will be our "learning-to-read" resource. I'm excited about this because it was recommended to me by so many homeschooling parents. It seems weird like most of the curriculum that I'm using because it doesn't go in alphabetical order. Just seems so un-school-like to me.

And then the last thing is Raising Rock Stars Preschool. If I had it to do all over again (and could get some of my money back) I would stick to one thing and this would probably be it. Although there is no real math - besides learning numbers which my four-year-old already knows - it's a great program for letters, vocab, writing, and reading. It's also based on Christian principles and has some great Biblical themes. The PreK Horizons is a lot busier, but if you wanted something simple I think this would be the best choice. Most of her stuff is free online but if you want to become a member and receive all the free stuff and a lot more she charges a one-time fee of $10. Sounds pretty reasonable considering all the time and money spent on other curriculum.

Anyway, that's my curriculum review. I'm sure I'll be using less of this and more of that. And another exciting thing we're using are file folder games and preschool activity bags. But more on that later. Hope this gives you an idea of how crazy I am. ;)

1 comment:

Heather said...

The variety of resources for homeschooling can sure be overwhelming - I know totally how you feel! it seems there is always something else we could try. Looks like you have a great assortment and I know your boys will benefit from the time that you invest with them. They will most definitely be learning, little sponges that they are, and you can trust Jesus to grow their little minds as you have done your part in exposing them to truth and a variety of ways to learn. You're going a GREAT job Jess!! Trust Jesus with all the rest - it's what I have to do every day. : )