Choosing Preschool Curriculum

Sonlight Preschool

We’ve made our very first homeschool curriculum decision and are looking forward to starting our first year of preschool at home. We found a curriculum that fits in beautifully with our philosophy about preschool education and are excited to begin learning with a little bit of structure.

Last summer, a Sonlight catalog arrived in our mailbox. I started reading a little about their approach to learning and was immediately impressed.

‘We believe most children respond more positively to great literature than they do to textbooks.’ -Sonlight

I love books. In my own education, I’ve learned so much more from reading interesting books than I ever learned from textbooks.

Paxton loves books. I started reading to him from birth and he has an insatiable appetite for being read to. And, he’s learned so much from reading storybooks.

I was feeling like Sonlight just might be the perfect fit for us! I excitedly turned to the page that had a picture of their preschool curriculum and was immediately excited. There were several books on their preschool lists that we already owned.

The thing about these books, they were the books that were Paxton’s favorites and my favorites to read to him. This immediately convinced me that they have high standards when it comes to children’s literature and choose quality books that both parents and children love.

Now, remember this was over a year ago. Believe me, I was so excited about finding a curriculum that I loved the philosophy behind. I was ready to order the Preschool 3/4 curriculum and dive in.

Instead, I decided to squelch my excitement and slow down. We have years and years of homeschool ahead of us but the laid back days of just playing and reading leisurely are fleeting.

I talked to experienced homeschool mamas who encouraged me to slow down, enjoy my time as a mama of a baby and 2-year-old and do a little more research on options. (I did more research and kept coming back to Sonlight. It fits perfectly in with what I want for preschool, not sure beyond that because I’m not at that stage just yet.)

My husband and I talked about budgeting for the curriculum and since we already owned several of the books. He suggested that I start piecing together the Preschool 3/4 curriculum as I found books at used book stores and thrift stores. Once we were ready to start, we would purchase the remaining books from Sonlight.

At the beginning of this year, I started acquiring books that were on the list. Each book that we purchased quickly became a new favorite and reinforced my decision to use Sonlight.

Sonlight P3:4

The thing I love the most about Sonlight’s Preschool 3/4 curriculum is that it really isn’t a curriculum. There isn’t a schedule to follow. The instructor guide comes with a checklist of books to read and activities to do with your child. It’s a very laid back approach with the emphasis being on spending time reading and making memories with lots of free time for preschoolers to play.

I like that as a parent, I have a guide to follow that gives me ideas and will allow me check off the books we’ve read and activities we’ve done. I feel like this is a wonderful fit for me as a first time homeschool mama to start easing into the lifestyle of structured learning at home.

We’re planning on beginning our preschool at home in September. I’m looking forward to reading a lot of wonderful books, enjoying fun activities centered on those books, and creating memories with Paxton.

Our very favorite Sonlight Preschool 3/4 Books:

Sonlight CurriculumThis post includes affiliate links that help support this site. 

 

responses to “Choosing Preschool Curriculum” 18

  1. I teach preschool and am a firm believer in immersing children in quality literature. I think you've made a wise choice for the beginning of your homeschooling journey. Keep reading and enjoy those books with your precious children!

  2. Wonderful! Glad that you have found curriculum that fits you and your family! While I really liked Sonlight too, it was not practical for me to use with 4 kids. But I did use the reading and book lists A LOT! For my older kids I kept a copy of the catalog in the library bag and encouraged them to chose SonLight books to read. And when I needed to find books to fill gaps in some history, I used Sonlight (and Beautiful Feet) to suppliment. Enjoy!

    1. I do love their reading lists. Not sure that we'll stick with Sonlight beyond preschool or not but we'll definitely look to them for reading suggestions throughout our homeschooling journey!

  3. I love that this posted today. I was thinking last night about messaging you and asking if you're are doing preschool and what curriculum you're using! This worked out perfectly!
    I am finding more and more of our books through thrift shops and antique malls that are around. It's such a money saver. Sonlight is pretty pricey but finding used books definitely helps the budget!
    Enjoy!

    1. I'm glad this post answered some questions! 🙂 Used books definitely help stretch the money. I've bought several books that were like new on Amazon for $.01 plus the $3.99 shipping. $4 is awesome for Sonlight books.

  4. We wll be starting Before Five in A Row as a preschool curricumlum this fall with our almost 2.5 year old! I am so excited that it is based on classic childrens literature and in our budget! I bought the manual for $15 and plan to use the library for the books we do not own. I have also found some wonderful blogs where mothers share their activies/ideas to go along with the BFIAR resorces. It will be nice to have a bit more structure in our day too! Good luck with your preschooler – it will be fun to hear your experiance as we go through it the first time too!

    1. I'm excited to dive into our Sonlight preschool. Paxton and I both love reading so it should be a lot of fun! We're all doing very well, I hope your family is too!

  5. Thanks so much for this post, Rachel! My oldest will be three next month and even though we've decided to home school to begin with, I haven't really looked into curriculum or well, anything. Your thoughts not only encouraged me to find some sort of curriculum to keep me accountable, but also to specifically look into Sonlight. I'm thinking many of the book could just be found at the library too, to keep costs down? That might be my first approach. 🙂

    1. I bought the guide for Sonlight (3/4 yrs) and we have many of the books, find them at Goodwill for a few bucks and our local library has quite a selection too. I think you'll be able to find many of the books that way! And like Rachel said above, finding them on Amazon for $4 total is a great price.

    2. Since the beginning preschool is so simple, just borrow the books on their reading list from the library with nothing spent out of pocket! I think over half of the Sonlight P3/4 books are at our library.

  6. This sounds like a wonderful preschool curriculum! I have always struggled to get my kids to sit still to be read to but around three and a half Amelia all of a sudden figured out how wonderful being read to is! She always liked to independently look through books but it's only been the past year or so that I have been able to participate and read to her without a struggle – I love it!

    Good luck as you start this adventure next month! I bet it will be awesome!

    1. Isn't wonderful when they start to sit still and really engage with the stories! I love, love, love reading to Paxton. And, Weston is getting there, he still can't sit still for long but we're getting there!

  7. I was a Political Science major at Florida International University and classic literature was instrumental in their curriculum. When we studied Russian political history, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was required reading. Fiction can be an invaluable in learning about the world. Good luck as you build your curriculum.

  8. Thanks so much for posting. I love reading your blog. It's full of wonderful insights and inspiration. Thank You! Sonlight sounds like a great program. I'm sure you will enjoy using it with your beautiful family. My Husband and I chose and recently purchased Horizon's Preschool Curriculum with complete multi media set by Alpha Omega Publishing to use with our 2 sweet boys. Being a former Preschool Teacher and Nanny for 10 years before getting married and having our two sweet boys I am really looking forward to start Homeschool Preschool soon as their are currently 20 months and 6 months old.
    God Bless

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