A Preschool Curriculum Round-Up

Why use curriculum in preschool?

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!  

A Few Notes About Curriculum

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.  

homeschool preschool books curriculum teach at home in lieu of preschool

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:

Reading — Learning to Read / Reading Instruction:

Reading — Sight Words:




Math Manipulatives:


Social Studies / Geography / History:




Language Learning:

Fine Motor:

Montessori (books & resources for parents):
These may be available for check out at your library.

Comprehensive or General Curriculum:

Blogs & Sites Offering FREE!  Printables:

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. 🙂

supplement school daycare teacher preschool math reading science social studies history art music beginning reading

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.  

This post may contain affiliate links.

Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Thank you for this useful list. We have used Five in a Row over the last 15 months and love this curriculum. Sadly, we are running out of FIAR books so are planning to do our own “Book of the week” next year.

    I used Life of Fred (apples) with my five year old, this last year although it has great reviews, it just didn’t work for her. I did wonder whether she was a bit young for it. We swapped onto something called Mousematics which is a traditional weekbook based course, from Wales. She loves this and looks forward to maths. I guess that it is a case of one man’s meat being another’s poison!

    • Genny Upton says:

      We love FIAR, too!! As for Life of Fred, it’s an “interesting” program…we have only done the first two lessons in Apples so far and I haven’t really made up my mind about it. I know lots of people swear by it though! We will probably stick with it this year if my son is interested, but it definitely won’t be the only math we do. I’ll have to check out Mousematics; haven’t heard of that one before. Thanks for taking the time to post! 🙂

  • Nicolet says:

    Hi! I recently stumbled upon your Facebook page and blog and am so excited! I have a little boy who will be 5 in Decenber so isn’t eligible for Kindergarten until fall 2013 and I have chosen to not send him to preschool (despite getting looks like I have sprouted another head!) I would love some advice. He is pretty smart, and has known his alphabet since he was 2 and the sounds each letter makes since about 2-1/2. He knows numbers and can figure some simple math. He has been writing his name since last year, though we do need to work on that, it has gotten better. He knows quite a lot of sight words. I bought a couple kindergarten workbooks for us to do, but I don’t really know how else to start. I want to have a curriculum for him starting in September so he can be ready next year AND so we both have a schedule. I think we need it! Can you offer some suggestions/advice? Thank you!!!

  • gsv says:

    We absolutely love Moffatt Girls’ Ready to Read. I have a few posts on my blog that give a nice peak inside. My soon to be 4 year old has loved it and found it great fun.

  • Jennifer Kochert says:

    My daughter is almost 3 1/2 and for this pre-school year I am doing Mother Goose Time for a monthly unit study, they cover most of the different subject areas. I also use All about reading level pre-1, raising rock stars and a pre-school bible for bible study. I am using a character cirriculum from the learning parent and for art we use artistic pursuits, and a a couple subscription craft boxes from kiwi crate or babbabox which are always fun for crafts. Lastly I just started before five in a row and plan on doing 1-2 books per month(we just started jesse bear what will you wear), we usually get about 15 books from the libary depending on the months unit study and read those for read-aloud time througout the month.

  • Lisa says:

    I have been trying out Flowering Baby Age 3 curriculum. So far enjoying it immensely. It’s simple, yet thorough. It’s play and literature based. Has daily suggestions for 5 days a week, 12 months of the year yet is flexible and you can jump in at any point. I love the variety in the reading. We read a chapter book (last month was Winnie the Pooh), and daily selections of picture books and non-fiction such as a DK Eyewitness book. Simple outings are suggested. Language/ABCs and math skills are presented In simple play based ways. You listen to a variety of music (this month is jazz), there’s cultural awareness, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, exposure to basic science and nature studies…

  • Nicolet says:

    So many wonderful suggestions! I will be looking into all of these things. Thank you!!!

  • karlamcurry says:

    Last year I created a preschool curriculum for my 3-year-old (who was just turning 4). I combined ABC Jesus Loves Me with some of my own ideas and lots of things I found online as well as a whole slew of workbooks I pulled from.

    I used ABCJLM’s Bible outline and came up with a theme each week to go along with a different letter of the alphabet. I implemented many of the printables from Totally Tots, Homeschool Creations, Homeschool Share in addition to others I found (just by googling). I have all my resources listed on my blog.

    This year I plan do to FIAR but I don’t want to buy the manuals. I checked one of the volumes out of the library to get an idea of how they do it, skimmed through a few of the FIAR books I own and tried to pull elements out myself for each subject category. It seems pretty doable on my own, so that’s my plan!

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • This looks great! Do you sell your cirriculum packages?

  • Lori says:

    I saw someone else mentioned it, but we are also using ABCJLM this year. I’ve heard great things about “My Father’s World” and “Hubbard’s Cupboard”. Reading wise, “How To Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” was highly recommended from several preschool moms so we are doing that this year too

  • Such a great and informative post. Thanks for sharing those few notes about preschool curriculum. This will really help parents.

  • Very good knowledge to share! thanks for posting on this! This is useful for all parents everywhere!

  • Ami Tango says:

    Hi, Thank for your website. I find it as a good place to start with my daughter who is turning 4 soon. Do you have a curriculum in teaching social skills. I think this is one of the most essential things pre-school children should be learning with or before the academics. Most schools would just say they “teach social skills”, but when you really ask them what exactly they teach, everything is up in the air depending on the teacher’s style. I think teaching social skills will help children become more aware of their own feelings as well as others, and they will have better self-esteem as they become more creative in dealing with others and solving problems among peers.

  • schoolencasa says:

    We’ve enjoyed the Sonlight P3/4 and P4/5 programs. Better World Books is our favorite source for books (great prices used, plus they donate 1 book for every book you buy). I basically use the Sonlight book suggestions plus more in Spanish, as we school bilingually, use some of the printable packs listed in this post, and make my own in Spanish. For K4 we’re doing a letter-of-the-week style program, primarily in Spanish, and I’ll be sharing the printables.
    Thanks for putting together this excellent list!

  • Maria says:

    Thanks for sharing this post to us. This is indeed a great post for parents as well as the kids about preschool. Keep posting!

  • Maria says:

    Thanks! This is what I needed. I introduced Life of Fred to my 2nd and 4th grader at the end of last year and they both love them! We did Saxon most of the year, it just wasn’t for us. They both enjoy math now and are happy to learn new concepts because they are engaged in Fred’s story. I have a up and coming kindergartener and preschooler, so all your suggestions were helpful.

  • […] In Lieu of Preschool—Advice about curriculum and many books to use along with preschool curriculum are included in this post. […]

  • magiri de Oliveira Braga says:

    I like your suggestions!Thank.

  • >