Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Search for Preschool Curriculum

I have a problem with the teacher supply stores, you know the type that sell everything from huge bundles of #2 pencils to classroom furniture and charts. We have a store like that not far from the house. It's an "education super-store" for sure. And I get totally overwhelmed every time I go there.

I can browse this store for hours and end up buying nothing or, worse, things I don't need. So to save time, I now put together a list first, which I (mostly) follow.

Today I got my list and with Mr. M and the hubby in tow drove to the teacher supply store. I really meant to strictly follow my list, but got a bit side-tracked by curriculum books. This place has dozens of preschool curriculum books - general, arts, science, math, nature, multiple intelligences, literacy, seasons, you name it.

I really tried to stay cool, but couldn't help but think that Mr. M, being homeschooled, is missing out on much of the education he's supposed to be getting. Panicking, I grabbed a couple of the thickest books, but willed myself to put them down once I saw their price tags. Instead, I got back to my list - letter stamps, red poster paint, blunt-end scissors - alternating between anxiety and sticker shock.

This is not the first time I ask myself this question - is Mr. M learning what he's supposed to learn age-wise? I tried searching for homeschooling curriculums for 2-3 year-olds and found quite a few, but none fit our needs. Turns out, secular bilingual preschool homeschooling curriculum is a sort of white unicorn (if you sight it, let me know).

Fortunately, some time ago I bought a wonderful book by Rebecca Rupp, Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School.

Here's what Rebecca has to say on the subject of preschool curriculum:

... preschoolers should be given the freedom to explore. Chances are, they'll learn more in an afternoon spent making mud in the sandbox than they will from even the best-designed curriculum.

Ahh, I'm breathing the sigh of relief every time I re-read these words. I think I might make a wallet-size copy of the above paragraph and carry it with me.

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