Our Preschool Curriculum
At 5:58 am I was up working on getting our day rolling. Summer is my time to experiment with schedules and routines a bit to see what fits best. I’ve found that mornings are my sacred time for peace and quiet as I’m blessed with a late sleeper.
Previously, I was trying to get our day prepped the night before so that she can get up and see the activities and be ready to go. I’ve found that night time is a little too busy and so I’m working on getting everything setup in the mornings.
Setting up our Preschool Day
Granted, there’s not much to set up, as we use the Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum. Each day comes packaged in a separate bag so it’s open and go basically. You do need some additional materials you’ll generally have on hand for the STEAM stations and the crafts.
After breakfast when we roll into our schooling routine, if I’ve spent the 10 minutes required for setup it flows so much smoother. I find that if she sees the stations she’s curious and eager and doesn’t ask to watch TV or play with toys.
What our Preschool Curriculum Includes
Today we’re working through a leftover day from last winter. As we’re doing a lot of traveling during the summer months, we’ve chosen to work through some days we had set aside, before getting rolling again in September.
Ironically, it is a high of 107 outside and we’re here learning about winter time, but the power of imagination is helping to cool us down.
Preschool Circle Time at Home
We start out with Circle Time, which is a work in progress for us. In the past, we’ve tried Circle Time at the breakfast table, in her room, in the living room. Currently we have a rocking chair so we combine snuggles with Circle Time questions.
I have intentions to set up a more formal Circle Time again before September gets here, but for now we’re enjoying the morning moments of discussion.
I do use the Circle Time CD that we got from Mother Goose Time. I find that Miss M thrives on routine and predictable transition. Instead of trying to head straight for the stations that are set up, she understands the expectations and meets me at the rocking chair.
We used our box of clothes to determine what was appropriate for Winter this morning. Swimsuits were a no go, but hats, gloves and mittens were all approved. Shoes were a little harder. Living in Texas doesn’t help the concept of seasons since we definitely wear shorts in December at times.
After that I gave her the mittens that were missing their mate and she searched around the house to find them.
Arts and Crafts Activity
We moved into our creative art section and learned about sewing. I just finished sewing her some dresses and jammies for our Disney trip, so it was easy to supplement her understanding. She enjoyed working with the needle and thread, and it helped work on her Fine Motor Skills.
Toddler STEAM Station
After this, I introduce the STEAM stations. I used to do the STEAM stations later in the day, but I’ve found that they are usually where she wants to spend a lot of time and focus.
Now, I’ve found that if I introduce the concept and we play for a bit, then she enjoys continuing to play with the station for awhile. I always make sure to tell her that she can go play with her toys if she’d like, but generally she chooses to continue the activity.
Today we were dressing our animals in winter appropriate gear. While she dressed them up in scarves and hats and mittens, naturally she needed to get cozy as well. Thank goodness for great AC, because Texas is like living on the surface of the sun currently.
I slipped away and put some laundry in and completed my cleaning chores for the day. I always set a timer to hold me accountable to our schedule otherwise I’ll get sucked into a different project. Generally if she sees me cleaning she wants to come “help”.
Toddler Literacy Activity
After our timer goes off, we moved on to our Literacy activity for the day. Keeping with the theme of winter time, the words were in a winter hat.
Since we are doing this day out of order, I didn’t have our hands on letters I normally would have had. We improvised with some of her magnetic letters, and they worked just great. She was able to pair the words and choose the missing letter.
After all of the words were out of the hat, she chose to wear the hat for our next activity. Again…it’s 107 outside, seriously kid…107. But, she is her own sort of fashionista.
Our last formal activity of the day is cube shapes. We use our counting cubes to create shapes on the outlined squares. Miss M only had focus for 3 out of the 4 cards, which is fine. I try to maintain an environment that encourages her to try new things but encourages her interests.
Despite being out of order, I did still have the cubes as I save all of our manipulatives. I’m not entirely sure why I save them, but I have a bin full of them. Since we get new ones each month, I consciously acknowledge that I don’t need them, but I love the learning resources and can’t part with them yet.
This brings us to lunch time where we have red peppers shaped like skis and a sandwich cut into squares that we build like an igloo. After lunch is story time before nap. While we have gone to the library and gotten a book from the suggested readings book, she asked for one of her other books.
Purposeful Reading Activities
Along with the manipulatives, I save not only the book we get each month, but the supplemental materials. Each book generally comes with magnets and a puzzle which I bag up at the end of the month. When I get out the book I get everything else out and hope it helps grow her love of reading and her comprehension.
This time she chose Does a Bear Wear a Hat in the Winter? I’m assuming it’s due to the dress up time with her bear this morning, but regardless she loves this book. I love that it’s simple and fun and that she recognizes the words No and Yes the different pages.
And then it’s off to nap time. Sometimes if we have a busy morning when we’re off to the library for story time, or a playdate, or errands, we change our routine up. On those days if possible, we still start with an activity and STEAM station before heading out. Then, we fit in the rest after nap time.
The arts and crafts are a great way to keep her engaged while I’m cooking if it’s a dinner that isn’t super kiddo friendly in preparation.
How do you structure your preschool days? What’s your biggest challenge?