We’re on a budget, as most people should. But we anticipate that budget getting smaller and smaller in the next few months as my disability/maternity payments end. I don’t want to return to work as much as I was which means we have to make budget cuts. I’d love for my daughter to still take advantage of a “preschool-like” program but we can’t afford to send her to a formal preschool at this point. Being an OT, who works with children, I am aware of many skills they need to develop. As well, I can be quite creative. The key words in that…”can be.” I don’t feel I have the time to be creative and intentional like I want to be in educating her. I set out trying to find some material to use and ran across this program.
God’s Little Explorers Preschool Program. I love it. It incorporates gross motor skills, fine motor skills, alphabet learning, number learning, sensory exploration, Bible stories, and more. The thing I love about it most…I can look at what I’m supposed to do each day and do it! I don’t have to come up with it all on my own. This feature alone makes doing it 4 days a week practical for me. It cost my $14 and I downloaded it. I knew it was exactly what I was looking for right away. I’m still incorporating things of my own and from my OT world as well, such as using the Handwriting Without Tears wooden pieces (she’s still not quite 3 and I don’t want to push writing letters yet, but will do more with actual formation of letters later, using HWT).
I do wish that it followed more a developmental approach to learning the letters (i.e. it starts off with X and diagonal lines are the hardest to learn.), but I’m just adapting it and not expecting that she’ll perfect any of it right away. I’m just wanting her to engage with the material for exposure rather than expecting that by the end of it she’ll be able to write all her letters.
There are 28 weeks of lesson plans, 4 days a week. It gives suggestions for books to read, sensory activities to do, self-care activities, bible songs, etc.
We started this week. My daughter was super excited to wake up to find little X’s around the house for our “X marks the spot” treasure hunt. We made a pair of binoculars, a journal for her to keep her letters and projects in, a box for her to store all her supplies in, and a learning map. Today we went on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood identifying objects that were shaped like rectangles, forming the letter X with various mediums (wikistix, wooden sticks, etc), and making the sound of “ks.”
I’ve been using it as special time for her alone during my son’s first nap. But we try to incorporate the information throughout the rest of the day too. Singing the song we learned, “The B-I-B-L-E” song.