Our Adventures in Homeschooling: Pre-K Curriculum and Prep Work

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our adventures in homeschooling

The Curriculum

In my previous post about homeschooling I promised to show the curriculum we’re using this year.   At the beginning of this whole process I had a few guidelines in place for finding a curriculum.  It had to be (1) Bible based, (2) easy to prepare, and (3) really cheap.

We certainly didn’t have the money to spend on some of the curricula I’ve seen that fit guidelines 1 and 2 — no matter how good they are.  My daughter has only just turned three so this is just a “warm-up” year for us.  I wanted to make sure homeschooling is the thing for us before we made any major financial commitments.  But I also wanted to start teaching her as well.  She catches onto things so quickly.  She’s impressed me with the things she has already learned and I want to feed her hunger for knowledge.

And I absolutely adore the curriculum we’ve chosen.  It’s called God’s Little Explorers, written by Stacie Nelson over at Motherhood on a Dime.  Did I mention how much I love it?

Stacie has done such a great job putting it together that even someone as teaching-challenged as me feels confident enough to try it.  She even has each lesson available individually for download — for FREE!  You can’t beat that!

I chose to purchase the total package though, and I am glad I did.  I like having everything together in one download.  I also love the extras she included in the purchase package (especially the assessment).  It was well worth the price to me.

So with the curriculum chosen I went to work putting together the extra resources and reviewing the first few lessons.

The Prep Work

First, I printed the lessons and whatnot from the GLE download.  I printed all of the lessons (and most of the extras) in black and white to save on ink costs.  I only printed in color when necessary for the learning experience.  Then I stuck them in sheet protectors and put them in a binder.  I’m hoping to also be able to use this curriculum with my son in a few years so I wanted to make sure they last.

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I downloaded printable coloring sheets from several different websites for each week (the ones I used came from What’s In the BibleMaking Art Fun and Calvary Curriculum).  My daughter likes to color (like most children!) and it’s good motor skills work.

I hit up the Dollar Tree or the back-to-school sales going on to stock up on the supplies we would need.  I spent less than $20 on supplies and feel I have enough to last the entire school year.  I bought glue, glue sticks, a magnifying glass, scissors, colored pencils, a dry erase page protector, craft sticks, stickers, pom poms, markers and a few other odds and ends.  We already had some things, like crayons, construction paper, hole punch, dry erase markers, etc.

I also purchased the Read And Learn Bible Stacie mentioned in this post.  I’m hoping to order the Wee Sings CD soon as I’m sure C would enjoy it.  She loves to sing — especially while using my mascara tube as a microphone!  We already had the first What’s In the Bible DVD and I’m hoping to have enough Swagbucks* saved up to purchase Vol. 2 by the time we need that in a few weeks.

Then I got out some paper and began writing down everything I would need for each lesson.  I have each week on a separate piece of paper and I stuck them right before the lesson plans for that week in my GLE binder.  Some items on the list are things I can do ahead of time so I try to get that done and marked off the list.  Most of them will need to be done the night before we work on that lesson but at least I have a list and it’s easy to knock it out then instead of scrambling around during the lesson because I ran out of construction paper/tape/whatever.  (I know how I am!)

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{Pardon my chicken scratch; I didn’t intend on taking pictures of this when I wrote it!}

I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money purchasing the recommended Book Bag books each week (although I’m sure there will be some we want to buy) so I went to our local library to see what I could find there.  Thankfully (for the first three weeks at least) I was able to find most of them.  If the library didn’t have the book then I tried to locate one that would be comparable.  (For example, our library did not have Planting a Rainbow by L. Ehlert so I got Growing Vegetable Soup by L. Ehlert instead.)   I also tried to use books we already had on hand.  (Like Bob and Larry’s Creation Vacation to use during week two).

I did put together some of the Learning Bag ideas — and some of them I had already done.  I love the idea of Learning Bags (aka Busy Bags — my daughter just calls them “games”) and we use them regularly.   They’re a great sanity saver while I’m trying to make supper or put the baby down for a nap.  If C is occupied and happy then we’re all happy. 🙂

And that’s about all I’ve done so far, other than organize a place for C to do her school work and keep her things.  I’m actually looking forward to beginning next week, albeit a bit nervously.

Stay tuned next weekend to hear about how we did for the first week!  Fingers crossed!

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*Please note that if you sign up for Swagbucks using the above link I may receive some compensation from Swagbucks.

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Our Adventures in Homeschooling: Week 1 Review | Happily A Homemaker

  2. Pingback: Our Adventures in Homeschooling: Week 2 Review | Happily A Homemaker

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