I am a certified early childhood teacher but
want to stay home with my children so I am planning to teach a
preschool in my home. I have been looking at curriculums trying
to find one that I could base off from to add to and adjust but
haven't had much luck. I plan to teach two-hour sessions two
days a week and plan on having a session for 3-year-olds and one for
4-year-olds. I would appreciate any suggestions of curriculums
to look at. I'm not particularly interested in ones that supply
all of the materials--they seem to costly. Especially if I didn't use
all of the materials.
Try the High/Scope curriculum. I have been
working at a center for four years that uses this approach. It
is wonderful, and you can adapt it to your specific needs.
I have run an in-home pre-school for 6
years. I have developed a simple plan. I have a written
class plan prepared every season. I have a craft day, an
activity day and regular learning days. We do crafts 2-3 times a
month. I think up clever craft ideas and go to a hobby store for
the items needed. I have several dress up and theme costumes,
some puppets and and "stage" with a curtain. I have
two school tables and 16 chairs in a decorated "school
room". I have two used computers on computer desks with
lots of software. The jumpstart software is great! I keep
an inventory of products and paperwork for the season in a big closet
kept well organized. We have a bi-monthly safety lesson, and a
monthly morality or health lesson. We have a snack time and a
play time. I have a big play area indoors and out.
Everyday the kids have something to take home. I charge a
registration fee of $35 and provide a colorful bag a t-shirt to each
Miss Jennifer, All Aboard Dayschool
You should not need to buy a curriculum.
Just have the essentials in your lesson plan. Most you can fill in
using sites like http://www.preschooleducation.com
. The essentials would be a craft or art project a day, a few math
based activates, language skills, science activates, dramatic play,
writing, small and large motor skills, music, cooking etc...
I have two great programs worth your attention.
The firstone is MY favorite-"Sing, Spell, Read and Write".
This program offers a CD and cassettes for learning shapes, numbers,
letters, sounds of letters, and more. It also has games,
puzzles, a tracking and reward system. The pre-K kit runs
about $70. I have used this program in the primary grades and loved
it. I recently ordered the pre-K kit for my four year old and we
can't get in the car without "her tapes".
My second favorite is "Before Five In A Row".
This book has great book reads and extension activities to do with
each. Down side is some of the books are no longer in print or
hard to find. Most of the books lend quite easily to science and
math activities. The cost of BFIAR is about $25. Both
programs have sites online with customer ratings. Look 'em up!
I have been involved in early childhood
ed. for many years and know I am teaching graduate students. I feel
that you truly need to allow children to direct activities and there
are many idea books out there. I have had good luck with Red Leaf
Publications-there is one book-THE CREATIVE CURRICULUM FOR FAMILY
CHILD CARE that might help you in your needs. The internet site is www.redleafpress.org.
Good Luck, remember just giving out your time and passion is a great
gift. Make it fun.
Donna M. Ray
I am a first year preschool teacher, so I
am not familiar with many preschool curriculums yet. I have been
using a combination of a few books that I find very helpful, they are:
1. "Storybook-Based Curriculum," by Kate E. Fetherston,
M.A., CCC-SLP and Kate Brady England, M.A., CCC-SLP. 1998
2. "More Hands-On Reading," by Jane Kelly & Teresa
3. "I Can Cook, Too!" by Pat Mervine, Marie Mark, and
Michele Burton 1995
I hope these are helpful for you too!
Remember that preschool children need to
connect with the world around them. They need experiences that will
build their confidence and strengthen their physical, emotional, and
social skills. You don't need a printed curriculum or a pre-programmed
kit. Just use your imagination and materials all around you. Is it
spring? Teach the children about flowers and birds and insects and
growth. Let them plant seeds and sing like birds and watch ladybugs in
a jar and look at their own baby pictures. Teach them the names of
things and the sounds of letters. Let them count anything and
everything. Read books every day. Let them draw and paint and cut and
color and sing and dance. If you want ideas check Lessonplanz.com and
other sites. But don't get hung up on curriculum. Children need to
learn EVERYTHING, but they need a foundation of basic skills,
curiosity, and confidence.
I use several different sites when
looking for material to teach my 2 & 3 year olds. This site has a
lot of useful information, About.com, Miss Alphabet and Miss Rosline
are also good sites to check out. There is a relatively new site
called firstschool.com. If you are unable to make connections with
these sites you may e-mail me for the addresses.
Country Air Child Care
Have you tried www.about6.educators.com
or Kinderart.com or Disney.com Enchanted
These web sites may help you as an early childhood educator.
The preschool activities used in my day
care. My curriculum I created using the alphabet, shapes,
colors, numbers, and familiar things such as family, pets, holidays,
etc. I have enough to cover most all the school year. I
used 1 gallon freezer bags and one paper folder for each topic or
letter. I then began looking for activities that I wanted to use on
the internet at the library, I asked other day care providers. I used
ideas from seminars from your local resource and referral and ours has
a lending library with 100's of books to use. I picked out
activities that we inexpensive. I made sure I had worksheets of
some sort for each topic and began collecting books in my 1 gallon bag
so we had something related with story time. I learned to be
creative in adding our lunch or snack items somehow related to our
weekly theme. I put out monthly newsletters and parents will
bring items from home such as milk caps, dish bottles, just be sure to
plan in advance when asking for these items.
With your background AND education, you
should not need to purchase a "canned" curriculum. You can
develop your own. There are lots of good resources out there. The
canned ones have alot of "busy" work, dittos, uncreative