Preschool Prep

My daughter is now 3.5, and is a very curious little girl. We are going to put her into preschool during the year that she is 4 turning 5. Which means one thing... I have about a year to get her ready. I want to go exploring with her, teach her how to recognize letters, know her tertiary colors and so on. I want to help her grow and develop so when it's time for preschool she is comfortable and prepared.

Update* I have now taught these lessons for 4 years and I am getting ready to start teaching my son. I'll keep adding to my list and my Pinterest page is every growing; I have a board just for learning units. Thanks for stopping by, I can't believe this is my last round teaching to one of my children. We've learned so much together. 
  1. I have this AMAZINGLY talented friend who's daughter is 5 and reads at a 4th grade reading level. I know. So I asked her what her secret was. Do you want to know too? She said from 12 months on she would read to her daughter no shorter than 30-45 minutes a day. During the summer she would pick a theme of the week with books, and center the reading around that theme. I plan on doing the same thing. I'll keep you posted. 
  2. My mother tells me that phonics are what children lack the most in the education system these days. Got it-teach more phonics. Yeah, I have no idea how to do that yet. Baby steps. 
  3. I watched three children full time before the birth of Little Madame, and I planned a theme for each day of the week. Monday-craft day, Tuesday-movie day, Wednesday-cooking, Thursday-Field trip, Friday Library day. I plan on keeping a very similar schedule for my daughters this summer. 
  4. I've heard/seen so many wonderful things about the Montessori program of teaching. I picked up a book from the library today to see what insights I could pick up. 
  5. I want this to be a function of all of her senses. I want to challenge her to do new things, while keeping at her level of comfort. 
  6. I don't plan on spending tons of money on this. I know some will require it, but I want to do as many things as I can for as little to no money if possible. 
I have noticed that kids gravitate toward a regular schedule, so I plan on doing these activities around the same time every day, within reason. Vacations are going to be scheduled, there will be plans with family, and holidays to work around, and I think that's great too. I just want her to get excited about it.
Do you have any themes you would recommend? As we go week by week I'll show the books I picked up from the library, and if you have any must reads, I'd love to hear about them. Any advice would be great too.

WEEK 1: Insects Letter C: chrysalis, caterpillar, cricket, cocoon, centipede
WEEK 2: Color Letter N: negative space, natural, neutral
WEEK 3: Water Letter D: damp, depth, dew, drizzle, drop, drink, drain, drench
WEEK 4: Farm Animals Letter R: rabbit, rooster, rake, reap, rice, ranch
WEEK 5: American History Letter A: America, Apple, Abraham
WEEK 6: Gardening Letter G: garden, green, grow, gate
WEEK 7: Oceans Letter O: oceans, octopus, open, otter, oyster
WEEK 8: Beaches Letter B: Beach, Bay, Barnacle, bathing suit, boat, boogie board, beach ball 
WEEK 9: Summer Olympics Letter V: vault, volleyball, vertical, victory, voyage
WEEK 10: Weather Letter W: water, wet, wind, weather, wave
WEEK 11: Nature Letter M: moon, mountains, marine, moss, mushroom
WEEK 12: Senses Letter T: touch, taste, tingle, try, tell
WEEK 13: Halloween Letter C works here too: crackle, candy, cape, carve, cat, cauldron, coffin, costume
WEEK 14: Winter Letter J: jacket, Jack Frost, January
WEEK 15: Valentine's Day Letter X, X's and O's Arms make and X to Hug, X marks the spot
WEEK 16:  Chinese New Year Letter Y: year, yak, yellow, you
WEEK 17: Space Letter S: space, sphere, solar, star, ship, sky
WEEK 18: Cooking Letter I: Ingredient, increment, include, ice
WEEK 19: Proper Hygiene Letter H: habit, hygiene, hair, head, hand
WEEK 20: Manners Letter P: please, pass, pardon, participate, practice, patience
WEEK 21: Winter olympics/Sports Letter S makes sense here too: Ski, snow, slope, skate, slippery, sled, score so it's a work in progress...
WEEK 22: Spring Letter F: Flower, feather, father, flow, flew, first
WEEK 23: Easter Letter E Easter, egg
WEEK 24: Wild Animals Letter Z : zoo, zebra, zip, zoom, zigzag
WEEK 25: Make Believe Letter Q: queen, quest, quiet
WEEK 26: Wild Wild West, Letter L: lasso, large, long, ladle, leader, Longhorn, livery, little
WEEK 27: Trasnportation Letter U: U-haul, up, unload, utility, unroll, uphold
WEEK 28: Human Body Letter K: Knee, Kidney, Kid, Keep

Optional Themes: Thanksgiving: Turkey, Pilgrim, Corn, Feast, Indian
Christmas: Tree, lights, snow, Christ, birthday, manger, candy cane, gifts, service, candles

Don't forget to follow my board on Pinterest for more great ideas! I'm always pinning new ideas for past, present and future weeks.


Abby said...

i have been wanting to do more with my kids as well. maybe we could team up one day a week this summer and do something together?

Amanda said...

nice! I should have collaborated with you! I just make a schedule and have been working on theme ideas for Owen. I found a site and used some of her schedule. She does "Make something Monday, time to read Tuesday, what's cooking Wednesday, be thoughtful Thursday and somewhere fun Friday." Annie is older than Owen but if you have anything that is a hit, pass it my way! :)

tidbits said...

Abby- That sounds great. I plan on doing a movie on Thursdays. I think it would be really fun to do that together.

tidbits said...

Amanda- I will! I finished planning about 90% of what I would need to do for the rest of the summer. Owen is so smart, I bet most things that Anne is interested in, he would be too.