So as I’ve been looking into teaching preschoolers at home, various activities and curriculums… there is so much out there!
I am looking for: non-techology based (no DVDs or computer games), a strong literacy component, and a focus on character traits and Christian themes (although those I can always add on my own). Personally, I would be happiest buying every book I see that looks good, but our budget, space limitations, and the worried look that crosses my hubby’s face when I walk in the door with yet another armload of books just won’t allow it!
Annette Fronz has created a set of seasonal-based guidebooks for teaching preschoolers. Her Seasons of Joy PDF guidebooks are available in versions for all four seasons and for Christmas. Every guidebook has 10-weeks of ideas for circle time activities, stories, arts, crafts, play and more.
I had the pleasure to peruse her Fall Seasons of Joy guidebook. What a delightful collection of traditional folk tales, nursery rhymes, and activities! So many were pleasantly recollected from my own childhood! For various songs, she includes the music score, so if you’re unfamiliar with the tune, you could plunk it out on a keyboard (wish I had one!). There are ideas for baking, outings, a special section of ideas for babies. Also a weekly planning guide!
With each set of stories and rhymes, Annette gives suggestions for possible play-acting, artwork, crafts and other related activities. She makes it easy to browse her 70+ page guidebook and select what works for you! While I wouldn’t necessarily use everything in the book, I got a ton of great ideas and loved having ONE resource to cull from instead of visiting twenty books and websites. This guidebook saved me a lot of time!
I used her guidebook and planning sheet to create a 2-week Fall themed lesson plan. Basically, I wrote one week of lessons, and repeated it two weeks in a row. My son is too young to get bored, and there is also value in repeating lessons and activities!
Our week included reading apple- and nature-themed stories, collecting and “cooking” with acorns, and singing fall rhymes. I incorporated Christian themes, like singing “All Creatures of Our God and King” after watching squirrels play, and “Bringing in the Sheaves” because it’s harvest time! (I love the fall season in New England!). I would have loved to try out some activities with play silks, like demonstrating leaves falling down, or decorating a fall-themed table … but perhaps later on! And there are some fun felt craft ideas for when he is older!
Now, my son didn’t seem the least bit impressed with this new “Teacher Mom” version of myself, but “Teacher Mom” had a great time getting back into the “lesson planning” swing of things. Because of the weather we didn’t have a chance to incorporate any nature walks or apple picking, but, as I said, the particular theme I chose can be repeated several times before fall is over. The great part about a guidebook like this is it spans a range of ages, so it can be used throughout the years!
BUY IT: You can purchase Seasons of Joy guidebooks (either by themselves or as a complete 4-book set) directly from their website!
WIN IT: One reader will receive a free PDF Seasons of Joy Fall guidebook! (ARV $15).
DISCLOSURE: I was sent a product sample to facilitate this review. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.