While my personal opinion is that you do not NEED any curriculum for preschool, I know many people, including myself, often like to have some pre-made plans just to make life simpler, and sometimes kids really like and enjoy this type of thing. Plus, most curriculums have really come a long ways in recent years, and a big majority of them really help to make learning hands-on and FUN! My children really enjoy the curriculum and programs we’ve tried so far, and the truth is, well…I heart curriculum! I really do.
Another reason I am pro-curriculum is that I just don’t have the time to make every lesson or activity we do from scratch!
The curriculums and programs listed below range in level from preschool to kindergarten to early elementary because every child is different and regardless of age, may be at a different level — so always read about curriculums with your child’s current levels and interests in mind. Don’t always just go by the level listed on the curriculum; those are meant more as a guide than set-in-stone! Keep in mind that you want to challenge your child, but not frustrate them! Try to remember that the main goal in working with your young child is not to fill their head with facts, but to nurture their curiosity in hopes of creating a lifelong learner!
Also worthy of noting: some of these curriculums may be Christian- or Biblically-based, even if not stated outright.
Whether you are looking to do preschool at home like we do (homeschool), want to supplement at home what your child is doing at preschool or school, or are a teacher of little ones, here are some curriculum, programs, handbooks, and guides we personally like, have used, are using, or are looking into using in the future.
Reading — Literature (Read Alouds):
- Before Five in a Row
- Five in a Row
- I have multiple posts on BFIAR and FIAR on the blog and will hopefully add lots more this year as this is one of our favorite programs…use the search bar in the upper right to search; even if you don’t buy the actual FIAR manuals, you can find the EXCELLENT book lists and go-along activities online. Also, your library may have the manuals and books available for check-out.
Reading — Alphabet / Letter of the Day or Week:
- All About Reading Level Pre-1 (read our reviews here and here)
- Animal ABCs by 1+1+1=1 Review Coming Soon! FREE!
- LeapFrog Letter Factory DVD
- Letter of the Week by Confessions of a Homeschooler
Reading — Learning to Read / Reading Instruction:
- All About Reading Level 1 (and level 2)
- BOB Books (phonics readers)
- These may be available for check out at your library.
- Leapfrog TAG Learn to Read Bundle or TAG Get Ready for Kindergarten Book Bundle
- The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons Review Coming Soon!
- Reading Made Easy by Valerie Bendt
Reading — Sight Words:
- Draw Write Now
- Handwriting Without Tears
- Kumon mazes
- LetterSchool – iPad / iPhone / iPod Touch app (lite version is FREE! to try)
- Life of Fred (the elementary books)
- The Verbal Math Lesson: Math Fluency Without Pencil or Paper
- Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics A and B by Singapore Math
- Primary Mathematics 1A workbook and textbook by Singapore Math
- Cusinaire Rods
- Pattern Blocks
- Melissa and Doug Beginner Pattern Blocks
- these are great starter pattern blocks for around ages 18m to 2-1/2yo
- Printable Pattern Block Cards from PreKinders FREE!
- Pattern Block Design Cards
- Unifix Cubes
- Great Science Adventures by Dinah Zike and Susan Simpson
- work for grades K-8 for multi-level teaching
- Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
- a good parental guide for nature walks and all things nature if you really want to get into things….
- NaturExplorers Studies Review Coming Soon!
- themed guides for nature walks and nature study
- Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum
- The Usborne Book of Science Activities Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three
- Usborne Complete Book of Nature
- Snap Circuits by Elenco
- hands-on kit for building electrical circuits
- rated for ages 8 and up but we use the kit WITH our 4yo
Social Studies / Geography / History:
- A Child’s Geography
- Little Passports (countries version and *new* US version) — use code AUG10 to save 10% in the month of August Review Coming Soon!
- The Story of the World
- Classics for Kids FREE!
- The Monday Musical Series (listen to a new musical each week)
- Piano for Preschoolers
- Child Training Bible
- Fighter Verses and Foundation Verses from Children Desiring God – Bible verse memorization resources (read our review here)
- Grapevine Bible Studies — Stick Figuring Through the Bible (read our review here)
- The Jesus Storybook Bible
- Raising Rock Stars FREE!
- Raising Rock Stars Preschool FREE!
- Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten FREE!
- What’s in the Bible? (DVD series)
- Leading Little Ones’s to God
- Telling God’s Story
- Kumon books of basic skills (ages 2-8)
Montessori (books & resources for parents):
These may be available for check out at your library.
- How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin
- Montessori at Home (e-book)
- Montessori From the Start: The Child at Home, From Birth to Age Three by Paula Polk Lillard
- Montessori Play and Learn: A Parent’s Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six by Lesley Britton
- Teach Me To Do it Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child by Maja Pitamic
- Teaching Montessori in the Home: The Preschool Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock
Comprehensive or General Curriculum:
- Preschool and Tot Packs by 1+1+1=1 FREE!
- Unit Studies and FIAR Resources by Homeschool Share FREE!
- Preschool Packs by Living Life Intentionally FREE!
- Printables by 3 Dinosaurs FREE!
- Printables by Small Types FREE!
- Toddler, PreK, and Kindergarten Pack Printables by Royal Baloo FREE!
- Printables by The Wise Owl Factory: Book a Day FREE!
Please add any curriculums or early learning programs that you like, are researching, or want to know more about in the comments!!! I will add more here as I learn about them and try them out.
Also, if you have any questions about anything mentioned above, feel free to ask!! If there’s a lot of interest in particular ones, I can always do a more in-depth post on it.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I only accept and review products on my blog that interest me, my family, and that I think would truly interest and benefit you, my readers. All posts on this blog reflect my personal opinions and are not swayed by compensation and/or free products.
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