Gearing Up for Early Preschool

My big guy turns 3 this summer – I can’t believe it!

In the past several months, E’s vocabulary has just exploded. We’ve come a LONG way since struggling to get more than a handful of words out of him.

He has really started showing an interest in reading books together, and in the past month, he has even learned to recognize several letters. I was honestly a little surprised when he started pointing at letters on my shirts and trying to name them.

In addition, just in the past week or so, he has started counting objects. He can distinguish between one and two items.

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Our plan has been to start some early preschool content this summer after the new baby arrives. I want to spend the next couple of months getting materials prepared ahead of time so that I don’t have anything to prepare or plan while tending to a newborn and an 18-month-old.

I love the Letter of the Week concept. Our local library branch does an ABC club each week, and plans stories, crafts and activities that focus on one particular letter. I have also seen a ton of ideas, as well as curriculum variations, online. If you follow me on Pinterest, I’ve been pinning ideas to incorporate into our preschool.

I have been putting together a list of materials to prepare and hope to have a full year of Letter of the Week prepared. I will also be introducing more computer and app time, and of course lots of reading!

Confessions of a Homeschooler: Letter of the Week This is a wonderful resource with many printables available. All are free on the website, or can be purchased as a bundle.

Brightly Beaming: Letter of the Week Wonderful book and activity suggestions for each letter.

ABC Jesus Loves Me: Preschool Curriculum Wonderful activities, printables and ideas. Can be purchased as a bound curriculum or available free from the website.

No Time For Flashcards Lots of printables, theme and craft ideas, book suggestions.

Starfall  Lots of online content. Songs, stories, letters, and numbers. And they are transitioning to being ipad friendly!

Before Five in a Row Not a letter of the week program, but great activities to go along with wonderful reading selections.

Preparing for our second homeschooler has really solidified our identity as a homeschool family. This is a lifestyle we have chosen to embrace and I am loving it! I am so excited to start preschool with Ender!

10 Little Caterpillars: September Virtual Book Club

We have been reading A LOT of books to Ender as part of his early preschool. At 2 1/2  years old,  lots of colorful, engaging books, along with plenty of messy crafts, make for an excellent early preschool curriculum.

I have really been looking forward to participating in the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month we have focused on several wonderful selections by Bill Martin Jr., the September book club author.
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? Board Book
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? Board Book (World of Eric Carle)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Ten Little Caterpillars

I decided to plan a craft day for just one of our reading selections (and it was a tough choice!). I cut out 10 caterpillar shapes from white card stock. I free hand drew one and then used it as a template for the remaining caterpillars. This wasn’t really a work of art, I just kind of sketched something that resembled a mix between a jellybean and an oval, approximately 6 – 7 inches long.

I then cut thin strips from various colored paper. I also used a hole punch to make a pile of little dots to be used to decorate the caterpillars. Then I let the kids have at it, saving only one caterpillar for myself. Ender is still getting the hang of the whole “glue stick” thing, so we did end up with paper glued to the table as well as his hands, but he had a blast! I finished each caterpillar with a small eye drawn in with a black marker.

After our caterpillars were finished, I attached small craft sticks to each one to turn them into puppets. We then read through 10 Little Caterpillars several times, using our caterpillar puppets to interact with the gorgeous scenes in the book.

We have read this book quite often since getting it from the library, and it is one of Ender’s favorites – he loves pointing out the caterpillars and other small creatures on each page. Letting him interact with the book using the caterpillar puppets totally made his day!

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