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How to Create a Curriculum for Your Preschooler
Preschool Curriculum and Lesson Plans
It is easy to create a homeschool curriculum for a preschooler. The best way to do this is to create themes. Themes make curriculum development and planning much easier and keep you on related topics over a period of time. This will increase your child's understanding and will ensure that they remember far more of what you teach. I will explain how to create a theme and provide a list of possible themes you can teach. If you have a toddler, see How to Create a Curriculum for a Toddler.
Create Your Preschool Curriculum
Start out by brainstorming. Create a list of everything you want to teach. When your list is ready start creating themes. I will use seasons as an example of how a theme works.
Day 1 - cover all of the seasons.
Day 2 - teach about the earth's tilt to explain why we have seasons
Day 3 - teach about winter only.
Day 4 - teach about animal survival in winter: hibernation, migration, foraging.
Day 5 - read poems and simple stories about winter
Day 6 - introduce spring
Repeat the same process with spring. Possible themes are:
Continents - teach all seven continents. For each continent cover things like native animals, celebrations, landmarks (Great Wall of China, Grand Canyon, Amazon Rainforest, etc.).
Plants - start teaching general information about plants. Then break down into trees, flowers, desert plants, how seeds grow, parts of plants, etc.
Water - first teach about different kinds of bodies of water. Then break into oceans, rivers, lakes, ponds, streams, etc. Cover the kinds of plant and animal life that can be found in each.
Nocturnal animals - cover different nocturnal animals, such as owls, raccoons, etc.
Farms - cover farm animals, farm machinery and the different kinds of farming (crops, dairy, cotton, etc.)
Animal habitats - temperate forests, rainforests, deserts, tundra, etc.
Three States of Matter - solids, liquids, gases
Construction - machinery, construction workers (bricklayers, plumbers, electricians), architects and drawing plans
Solar System - sun, earth, moon, planets, comets, asteroids
Space - stars, planets, galaxies, nebula, supernova, bios of famous astronomers
Famous Scientists - this can be a great way to introduce children to basic scientific concepts
American Presidents - you could cover one president each week
US States - get a states jigsaw puzzle. Choose a state of the day to discuss.
Create a lesson plan and schedule for each theme and what you will cover each day. When you have almost completed a theme start planning the next one.
Reading and Math
Buy a preschool workbook, such as Everything for Early Learning, Preschool. Do a few pages everyday. When your child completes the preschool workbook, get a Kindergarten workbook. These workbooks will cover a lot of the math your child will need. The preschool years are a great time to start focusing on learning addition and subtraction math facts because your child will have plenty of time to learn. See Ways to Help Your Child Memorize Addition Math Facts for more information. You can also introduce your preschooler to basic multiplication and division. See How to Teach Multiplication and Division to a Preschooler.
If you want to teach your preschooler to read, there are many good teaching books, such Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Teach Your Child to Read in Just Ten Minutes a Day and The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons.
Put together a list of materials you want to use to teach. The following is a list of suggested materials:
Books - Use your schedule to choose books at the library based on what you will be teaching for the week.If you can't find appropriate preschool books, get books aimed at older children. Pick out only the simpler sentences to read and explain the pictures. Children's encyclopedias are great because they cover a lot of different topics. You can easily buy used copies.
Flashcards - You can make your own flashcards in Microsoft Word using the Tables feature. Download pictures from the Internet. After you have shown all the cards you can play a game. Spread all the cards on the floor. Ask questions and help your child with the answer. You can make PowerPoint slides if you don't want to make paper flashcards.
Songs - songs are a great way to teach. Make up a short, simple, and repetitive song with your child's help for each day's topic. Sing the song throughout the day.
Online Materials - YouTube is a great source for educational videos. Search for appropriate videos in advance and save them in a folder in your Favorites. Rename the videos, so you can remember their purpose. Look online for images, simple worksheets or stories that help explain the concepts you are covering.