Saturday, November 19, 2016

Preschool for my Boys - My LDS Preschool

As a homeschool mother of nine children I have learned the value of investing in quality curricula. This frees me up to spend my time with my children instead of with stacks of books and planner pages. This year I have 1 high schooler, 4 elementary students, 1 Kindergartener, 2 preschoolers, and a 1 year old. My days are busy, fun, and little crazy. I'm pretty laid back on starting formal school work until a child is 6 or 7. At the same time I have all these little boys who want my focused time and attention. They ask to ‘do school like the big kids’. When they don’t get focused time with mom they find other ways to fill their time, usually with lots of mischief involved.

What’s a mom to do? I don’t have time to plan out activities and pull together themed materials that will interest my little boys. They like variety, mess, and movement. I’m not creative enough to come up with interesting activities every week in a variety of skill areas.  
I decided to look for a preschool curriculum to take the planning burden off my shoulders. I found many preschool curricula to be a stack of alphabet worksheets and printables that were exactly the same each week: trace the uppercase letter, trace the lowercase letter, count the themed items that start with that letter, sort the items by size, dot paint the letter, color a picture that includes the letter, glue things to a paper of the letter, cut up the letter into a puzzle and put it together again. Each letter had the exact same pages to do and no real activities, stories, or fun. That wasn't going to be a good fit for my active sons.

In my search I came across My LDS Preschool. It caught my eye with themes included scripture stories and gospel topics my children are familiar with. I started looking into it more and found that it was not just another stack of alphabet worksheets. My LDS Preschool is written for two days of preschool, lasting 3 hours each day. Because I’m doing it just with my own family I can break up the two 3 hour blocks of activities into shorter daily work. I have activities at my fingertips that are varied and engaging for my 5, 4, and 3 year olds sons.

Each week of My LDS Preschool has a theme. The free sample you can download covers A is for Ammon, with an emphasis on service. Each week covers both scripture stories and literature titles and includes calendar time, songs with music to download, full lesson plans, and printables to go along. The activities for this particular week are broken down into categories including:

·         Movement – The children learn to scatter and gather like the sheep in Ammon’s story. They make a sling and shoot cotton balls at a target on the wall (picture of the men scattering the sheep). They play letter detector while searching for hidden letter A’s. They have an apple relay race balancing apples on spoons.

·         Math – Hands on counting of sheep using cotton balls and clothespins, measuring when cooking apple pies, counting apples floating in water.

·         Arts and Crafts – This week includes an apple pie paper plate project and shaving cream sheep.

·         Story Time – Telling the story of Ammon and the King’s sheep, with pictures to help retell the story, time for kids to act it out,

·         ABC Time – The kids learn the letter and sounds it makes, find things that start with that sound, write the letter.

·         Snack – Ants on a log, mini apple pies. Each child makes 2 mini pies, one for them, one to give away.

·         Free Play – suggestions this week include flying around like airplanes or running a pretend apple stand.

·         Songs – This week you’ll sing several songs in calendar time (ABC song, Calendar song, Days of the Week song) as well as Do You Know the Letter A?

·         Literature – This week suggests Enemy Pie and has discussion prompts for relating it to the children and to the week’s theme.

·         Vocabulary – Word pairs introduced in context of the scripture story and a literature book are scatter/gather and friend/enemy.

My LDS Preschool is packed full of activities! And if you want the regular preschool-ish pages to print it has those too:

Each week has 3 PDF documents to download: Day 1’s lesson plans, Day 2’s lesson plans, and all the printables. In a day’s lesson plans it has a single list of materials to gather for different activities and clickable links to take you to each activity or back to the menu of activities for easy navigation. The printables file is in color but often there are black and white versions of the pages in the file to save on ink and offer kids who enjoy coloring pages that can be colored.

When you purchase a My LDS Preschool membership you get permanent access to the curriculum. There are no recurring fees each year, which I love! Right now the membership is $70, which breaks down to $2.50 for each week of lesson plans and printables. On the membership site you find each week’s material organized on individual pages with links to all files (lessons, printables, music) as well as links to videos of the literature books where available. They are also working to add a video to each week giving you an overview of what to expect in that week's lessons. As a member you also get access to a private Facebook group for My LDS Preschool that provides support. It is a place to ask questions, get help, and interact with others using the curriculum. Right now 11 weeks of the 28 week curriculum are already released on the member site. New weeks are released about once a week, with a break taken in December for the holidays, then picking back up with weekly releases at the end of December. The final week’s lessons will be released April 25th of next year. You can visit My LDS Preschool's website here. They are also on Facebook here.

I'm excited to be using My LDS Preschool with my younger boys! I decided to share our journey, so consider this your brief introduction. We're just getting started. I hope to share an update of our adventures in January. In the mean time, check out their website, ask me any questions you have through the comments, and be sure to read my Friday Mash Up posts going forward to catch peeks at what we're up to in our homeschool.

{Disclaimer: I received membership access to My LDS Preschool in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.}

1 comment:

  1. You are an amazing mom! So glad you found the curriculum! What a wonderful review and such a detailed explanation of the program. I wish you happy success teaching your little boys!


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