Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tot School Tuesday: New School Room and New Curriculum

Yes, I am well aware that February is an odd time to start the "school year".  We had wanted to start in January, but between traveling, illnesses, and getting organized, January quickly passed!  And as much as I love making up our own curriculum and planning each lesson, we decided that with baby #3 on it's way that it would be better to have some sort of curriculum to at least somewhat follow.  We spent many months going back and forth on what would be best for "M", keeping in mind that we also wanted to include "Boo".  We wanted something that would plant the Word of God in her heart while teaching her typical preschool skills.  We wanted to cultivate a love for reading, encourage her in the arts (she enjoys painting and music), and teach her life skills.  After months of research and prayer, here is what we decided:
Main Curriculum: Heart of Dakota's "Little Hands to Heaven" by Carrie Austin
with "The New BIBLE in Pictures for Little Eyes" by Kenneth Taylor
and "Big Thoughts for Little People" by Kenneth Taylor
along with Focus on the Family's "The Singing Bible"

Each week I will be adding printables from the following books:
"Answers for Preschoolers Book 1"
"Getting Your Preschooler Ready for Math"
Kumon's "My First Book of Tracing"
"A is for Adam" by Ken and Mally Ham

"Little Hands to Heaven" has 33 units, with each unit meant to last 5 days.  However, we have planned a review day at the end of each unit, so the units will be 6 days.  In between each unit we are doing a mini history unit using the book "Little Hands Celebrate America!" by Jill Frankel Hauser.

My husband bought us some wonderful bookcases for the room!  Each bookcase gives me three top shelves for storage, and two bottom shelves that will have the children's activities on them, including one Montessori type activity, one sensory bin, one manipulative, one art project, their folders with their printables, and various other puzzles, games, and activities.

We are two weeks into school now and the whole family is loving school time.  Although all of the Heart of Dakota activities could easily be completed in 30 minutes, we often spend 1-2 hours in our school room.  The girls love the weekly fingerplay that is a part of the "Little Hands to Heaven" curriculum, and I think the whole family has learned some new biblical knowledge since we have started.  My husband has been tailoring our nightly family worship times (we call it "Bible Time") to what the girls are learning in school, so it is reinforced several times.  Be sure to check back next Tuesday to take a look at Unit 1!

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