View Full Version : Where to get preschool curriculum to use at home?
08-10-2005, 08:40 AM
I was wondering if anyone can recommend a place to get either free or for purchase curriculum, that would tell me what I should be doing to work with DD each day. She is only 14 months, but I need the structure of what to work on. As of right now our budget doesn't allow for us to send her to a parents day out program so I would love to be able to know exactly what she should be working on at what ages. I don't want our finances to affect her later in school. I struggled through school most of my life and I didn't like school, so I don't want her to start of behind because we didn't put her in the programs that so many of the other moms around here are able to use.
I realize at this age it should be basic, but I really need something to tell me what to work on.
08-10-2005, 09:37 AM
Someone posted this site a while ago. It has some info on different things to "teach" at different ages.
08-10-2005, 09:47 AM
"Einstein Never Used Flashcards" is an awesome book. I'm a mama who is under tight financial constraints as DH just returned to school for his PhD, so we can't afford Gymboree, etc. right now. However, I firmly believe the best thing you can do is pay attention to your child, and just play play play. There is research out there saying that lots of classes/scheduled early academic type things may actually detract from a child's love of learning and creativity. At such a young age I think the biggest thing you can do is to foster a love of play and learning. Play is really the way that they learn best.
If you are interested, there are some great books out there by Jane Healy (including Endangered Minds) that explain how the push toward early academics really hasn't gotten kids "ahead" in any way. Much of what we perceive as them learning is really rote memorization or a "gloss of sophistication" without much depth behind it.
Of course, this is just my two cents for what it is worth. I am not in the camp that believes there needs to be a big push for scheduled academics at a young age. I know it seems like everyone else has their kiddos involved in lots of classes etc, but there is plenty of research out there saying broad play experiences in a loving home are much more important and beneficial :) Your DD will not start off "behind" IMHO from the kids that have been in all sorts of scheduled programs. The "Einstein Never Used Flashcards" book is fabulous.
08-10-2005, 09:56 AM
I TOTALLY agree with Beth. It's not clear from your post, but I hope that you don't feel that because you don't go to Gymboree type classes your daughter will be behind when she gets to kindergarten.
Definetly read "Einstein Never Used Flash cards." It's a great book.
HTH you a little.
08-10-2005, 10:02 AM
Sometimes I feel bad that she can't do all the "cool" things that other kids in my moms group get to do. I stay home with her and work a whole 3 hours a week, just to get out of the house and this means that we live on a tight budget. We have enough money to provide what she needs, but we don't have the extra money to put her in mothers day out, or gymboree or anything along those lines.
I am actually looking to take a job part time so that we could have some more money, but I really struggle with having to put her in daycare even if just for a few hours until DH can pick her up, so we aren't sure what we are going to do. The other problem is that my DH couldn't pick her up until at the earliest 6:30 and I can't find any daycares that are open past 6 so for know we still haven't done anything just yet.
08-10-2005, 10:33 AM
Beth is reading my mind again. ;)
Mari does love her Music Together class. Honestly, I send her and DH to give DH something to do so he doesn't go stir crazy! She just likes music and hanging out with other kids.
Do you have friends with kids of similar age that you can just get them together to play?
Young at Art is another great book with tips for creativity activities.
08-10-2005, 11:00 AM
I can relate to a degree. With Brig, my parents paid for us to take a gymboree class. It was fun and I did meet Jojo there so it was worth it just for that. But, it was mostly for me- not for ds. He was just as content to stay home and dance with me to our $12 gymbo cd. But now with Cadie we can not afford anything like that and I would need a sitter just to take her to a class. So we stay at home mostly and visit family on other days. I do work p/t and have been catering at night because it means I miss the fewest waking hours with the kids.
One other thing I was thinking is that our public library has a ton of programs that we can go to. Is there a children's museum nearby? We don't have one, but I envy those who do. ;) Our town also sponsers programs that are very reasonable.
One last thought- Brig is happier (and has always been) just taking a walk around the yard and picking things up, etc. than schlepping in the car/out of the car to go anywhere else. Just a thought. Sometimes when I feel like we are shut in, I just take the kids out for a few minutes and let Brig explore on his own. :)
My favorite quote (I wish I knew whose it was) when I was in H.S. was, "Don't let school get in the way of your education." I think it's appropriate now as well.
08-10-2005, 11:15 AM
The web sites mentioned will surely be helpful.
Another good resource is your library system. Ours has an age-appropriate story time that lasts about 20-30 minutes once a week. I'm going to make it a habit to take DD when it starts back up in Sept.
I'm totally with you on the "specific instructions needed" front. I'd be content to never leave the house but know she needs to get out sometimes. I'm very sporadic about my days out and a nap nazi so I always find a reason to stay home all day.
Please don't feel bad about not having a different class every day of the week. I struggle with that at times and you being there will be more important to her than any class she could go to.
Our second morsel due early February 2006!
08-10-2005, 12:34 PM
Have you joined the "Early Discoveries" club at the Children's Museum?
It's free. I think we were viewing about 18 months as the age that Susanna would probably enjoy the actual "programs" they offer but if you join their Early Discoveries Club, they will send you a program guide as well as a free pass here and there. I think we have 2 on our fridge now to use. They don't expire for a year. I know it's not an answer to the curriculum question you asked but it's a relatively low cost (I think their programs might be $8-$10 to attend) educational experience. I'll try to think of some other things to do around Indy that are low cost. We're always on the lookout.
Mom to Susanna born 6/29/2004
08-10-2005, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the link, I signed up. We don't belong to anything right now, but my inlaws belong to the museum and the zoo, so I can usually get MIL to go so that we can get in without having to pay.
I am going to look into other things to do in the area that are free as well. I have a friend that is really good at finding these things so I will ask her what she recommends.
08-10-2005, 12:49 PM
Totally off topic...
How's First Steps going? Susanna is being discharged next week. We have been so happy with the program. Looking at her now, you wouldn't have any idea that 4 months ago she wasn't even rolling over.
Mom to Susanna born 6/29/2004
08-10-2005, 12:50 PM
We were just in Indpls (actually Carmel, where my parents & ILs live) a couple of weeks ago and took DD to a new park in Carmel--it's Lawrence Inlow park on 126th St (near Hazeldell). They call it a "spray ground" b/c there are all kinds of sprinklers/showers for the kids. Ellie loved it! And it's totally free!
FWIW, DD also liked that soft play area at Castleton (go when it's not too crowded) & wandering around the Fashion Mall--those were free too (although wandering around the Fashion Mall can be dangerous for me ;)).
08-10-2005, 12:57 PM
It is going pretty well, thanks for asking. She had 4 visits with her therapist and is now crawling correctly (on extended arms). The therapist is coming back in a couple more weeks, we took a month off since she is crawling correctly but the therapist didn't want to discharge her just yet, she would like to see her walking before she discharges her. She said it was easier to have her check on her after this 4 week break then to discharge her from the program and have us realize she has trouble walking in a month or two and have to start the whole evaluation process over again and potentially end up with DD delayed again. So basically we are in a holding pattern waiting to see if she is going to walk. She is 14 months now and walks holding onto furniture and with a little push toy walker, but still doesn't have balance to stand up without holding onto something. So long story short the therapist is coming back the end of this month to see how she thinks she is doing with her balance and potential walking.
Congrats on Susanna doing so well!!! Hopefully we will catch up with you soon. I will say I am very happy with the program so far.
08-10-2005, 01:38 PM
Your daughter won't start school behind at all. I totally agree with
other PPs about this. All your child really needs is for
you to pay attention to her and play. :)
I could afford to send my children to mother's day out and choose
not to do so. I didn't really understand the point.
Basically, I would be paying someone to play with my kids.
Most of my friends sent their kids because they said that they
needed a break. (I don't see my husband taking a 3-hour break
on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!) Just my opinion!!
Here are some recommendations:
*Definitely check out your library. Our library had fun
shows over the summer and we went every week. I need to check
the fall schedule. No cost.
*We got a membership to the zoo. It pays for itself in 2 visits.
Great place to go for the day. Pack up a lunch and head out.
*Check your local Rec Center. My daughter took a Sports
Sampler class there this summer for really cheap.
Check out the www.americansforthearts.org website.
The Americans for the Arts have found that kids participating
in art do better academically, participate in math and science
fairs, win attendance awards, etc.
The arts can so easily be done at home for little cost.
We do art stuff everyday. (Painting, coloring, stickers, rubber
stamps, playdoh, singing, dancing, playing the harmonica, playing drums, etc.)
Hope this helps! I'll keep thinking! :)
08-10-2005, 03:13 PM
Don't know where you are in Indy, but we used to live in Greenwood (moved a couple of years ago). The Greenwood library had GREAT story times for babies and toddlers -- we rarely missed -- that was totally free. Also, the public pools (they did have baby pools too) were only $1 and the kids were free. The zoo is definitely worth the $$$ -- big enough, but not too big, and good "extras" that were included in the cost (Halloween, Christmas lights, etc.). Independence Park, in White River Township, is fun too. It's a big park that was built to be inclusive, so there is are wheelchair swings, adjustable basketball nets, low to the ground play equipment, etc.
That's all I can think of right now. If I come up with any more ideas, I'll post again,
Mom to Alex (3/2002) and Catherine (8/2003)
08-10-2005, 03:14 PM
If you would like to get a preschool curriculum you can go to www.calvertschool.com. They have a box for homeschool for preschool. It's a lot cheaper than sending your child somewhere and I'm sure that you could get good ideas for activities. However it might be more geared towards 3 and 4 year olds. At 14 months, there is probably little that you really need to do, except play.
Mommy to my Strawberry Shortcake lovin' Martie
08-10-2005, 05:04 PM
I get many ideas from the following books: "Honey for a Child's Heart," "Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready," and "Earthways".
I also like this site: http://www.magicalchildhood.com/
08-10-2005, 07:57 PM
Check out Letter of the Week. I think it is great, and it is FREE!!
Also, DD loves www.starfall.com
She loves her ABC's.
I believe the best thing you can do is play, create and imagine. That is all preschoolers need in my opinion.
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