After teaching preschool, preparing my own kiddos for school, homeschooling 2 preschoolers and their 2 older siblings, I know it can be hard to decide on a preschool curriculum. Setting up a preschool curriculum is a little tricky. You want to teach your 3 year olds and 4 year olds what they need to know for learning success. You do not want to overwhelm these young ones with a program that is too structured.
I feel that too!
I have taught preschool at home for all 4 of my children. Only my oldest went to a 2-day a week preschool program outside of our home when he was 4 ½.
That preschool experience led me to keep my other three kiddos home for preschool. This allowed me to create a simple, functional, flexible preschool curriculum that can be used in a home or school setting. You can use these tips and activities whether you homeschool preschool or send your preschooler to school.
Preschool Curriculum Basics
When you teach preschool, it is important to have certain end-goals in mind. I think that is perfectly ok! We want to be teaching certain academic skills.
I also believe a preschool curriculum should be flexible to allow for further learning, exploration and discovery in a hands-on way.
Preschoolers learn best when they can get their hands on the activity!
I am “old school” in that I think preschool should be teaching letters, numbers, writing the name, and group social skills. These can be taught in a homeschool preschool or in an outside preschool setting.
Keep it simple. Keep it functional. Keep it flexible.
Simple Preschool Curriculum with Free Printables
My tips for teaching preschool at home is where you will want to start. That page gives you a general daily outline with a lot of room for flexibility and adaptation for various learning levels.
These are the basic pieces of my preschool curriculum that I used with both my preschool kids in a school setting and my own children in homeschool preschool.
We focus on 2-3 days a week for preschool at home. If you want to work in 4-5 days a week of preschool curriculum, I would definitely stick to a max of a couple of hours per day unless your child is really ready for more.
Follow their lead. It is not the hours you put in to focused work, but the quality time in those hours that matter most.
Hands-On Activities for Preschoolers
I always incorporate hands-on activities for preschoolers in our daily preschool curriculum. We use these repeatedly over-and-over again every few days as learning centers.
Centers are the key to being able to infuse your child with a lot of learning during preschool time without burning them out with too much structure and table activities.
This page of preschool activities is very versatile for different learning styles and teaches academic concepts within play and hands-on activity.
Activities for 3-Year Olds
These young preschoolers vary greatly (as all age groups do) in focus, calm, and interest in learning-in a more structured way.
I tend to use hands-on preschool activities as my 3 year old preschool curriculum and leave the letter of the day, calendar time, and the other parts of our preschool curriculum for when my kiddos are 4 and up.
You know your child best. If they are ready for it all, go for it!
Just know it is typical for 3 year olds not to be ready for a lot of structured learning time.
One great tool I use for my 3 year olds (especially when I was focusing on their older siblings’ homeschool lessons) is ABC Mouse.
Have you tried ABC Mouse?
ABC Mouse is a great online preschool curriculum. I incorporate ABC Mouse as a learning center for my preschoolers. It helps keep their interest and leads them through learning activities that are beneficial.
Save 60% on 1 year of ABC Mouse through Labor Day (9/3/18)!
That means you can get a full year of ABC Mouse for only $45! Normal rate is still only less than $10 a month. It is a great investment to have activities for preschoolers at the touch of a button.
ABCmouse was the top purchased iOS kids education app for the past three months.
I encourage all preschool parents to balance the screen time their children are getting with great hands-on activities for preschoolers, reading books with you, and free play time on their own and with other children their age.
Free Activities for Preschoolers
Check out the free or cheap activities for preschoolers in your area.
Story time, splash pads, playgrounds, museums, and zoos are great places to look for annual passes or free play opportunities for social interaction (for you and the kiddos).
Yes these activities count as one of our day’s of preschool curriculum in any given week. We just work it in. I love that flexibility!
Preschool in a Box
Another great preschool curriculum idea is Preschool in a Box curriculum activity boxes from M is for Monster.
Don’t be scared of the name. Ha! The boxes are not scary. 😉 They are fun!
Preschool in a Box is a great way to have themed learning activities for 3 year olds and 4 years olds delivered to your door every month, every other month, or whenever you need some extra learning time.
These are great gift ideas for kids too. We love our Preschool in a Box learning kits. They are available for different ages groups and toddler activities too.
Preschool curriculum needs to be simple, functional and flexible to be effective and fun for our kids.
I will be teaching preschool at home this year with my twins. Let me know how teaching preschool is going for you!
Enjoy your time at home!