I received an email from a friend this week asking me about starting a preschool group. I have enjoyed teaching my kids preschool for the past 11 years and here is a review of some of the curriculums that I have used and liked:
I am still trying to decided what curriculum I want to use with my little 4 year old this year. I enjoy them all!
Pictures of some of last years preschool kids!
I have used the Joy School curriculum with some of my kids and I love the values and stories that it uses. The Eyre's have just revised the Joy School Curriculum and it is now call Joy School 2.0. The good news is that the new program is even cheaper than it was before.
I have also adapted the "Five in A Row" curriculum for a preschool curriculum. It was written as a homeschool curriculum, but can easily be adapted. It is based on classic children's literature and you use one book per week to teach about many different subjects.
We have most often just made up our own curriculum, there is so much available on the internet it is easy to just assign lessons like this:
Week 1: Letter A, Number 1 (animals)
Week 2: Letter B, Number 2 (balls) . . .
Another idea that some of my friends have used in the past is FunShine Express. It is more expensive, but sends you everything you need to teach preschool.
You might remember that last year I wrote at article for Power Of Moms called, "Mom Adventures." It is about a summer tradition that we have had for several summers to set aside one day a week that I focus on my kids and we have an adventure together. Here is our first adventure for this summer:
We have been taking walks each morning this week by a beautiful lake near our home. We usually end up walking about 2 miles. Today we were determined to make the full loop around the lake which is about 4 miles. The kids weren't worried about their ability to finish the course, they were worried about my ability to finish the course! I am a bit slower when I am pregnant! The kids were awesome, they pushed the stroller to give me extra speed and literally ran circles around me! We completed the course in 1 hour and 5 minutes! Which is quite remarkable considering the extra weight I carry, the stroller, and the fact that we had six kids! (one of the boys was at basketball camp)
We had so much fun and felt such a sense of accomplishment. After picking up our basketball camp boy we went through a drive thru for hot dogs and went to a park we had never visited before and enjoyed the perfect 65 degree weather!
Today I went to a routine O.B. doctor visit. The nurse I usually see wasn't there so a new nurse showed me to my room. I had my two little girls with me and seeing my daughters, the nurse asked if our new baby would be a girl or boy?
I responded that we are having a girl! She commented on how fun it will be to have 3 daughters.
I smiled and said, "Actually this will be our fifth! We also have three sons!"
-- at this point in conversations there is usually silence because whoever has just figured out that we are having our 8th child usually thinks we are amazing or crazy!
Trying to be nice the nurse said something about how I must like being pregnant or I must at least have great pregnancies.
I responded by saying, "It's not that I love being pregnant, it is just that I really like my kids!"
I reflected on that conversation throughout the day. Why have I chosen to spend so many of the last 13+ years pregnant? It is not because I love wearing maternity clothes, I don't enjoy gaining and then trying to loose large amounts of weight. I definitely don't look forward to feeling nauseous for weeks on end. I do it because I focus on the big picture. I love that Heavenly Father has a plan for us as a whole human family, but he also has a plan for me. I know that his plan for me was to be a mother of many children. It is a job I am so thankful for every day (even on the hard days). I know pregnancy isn't always pleasant, but creating life and having an eternal family is well worth the price!
I am glad that I read it. I have given away many garbage bags full of stuff to Goodwill, I have thrown out garbage bags full of papers, my drawers have never looked better! This book really motivated me to look at what I own in a new way.
The most valuable lesson I learned from Marie Kondo is:
Only Keep What Brings You Joy
I would recommend this book, but I would first warn you that she is is an organizing expert from Japan and not all of her practices will apply to American families (especially big American families).
I would also like you to know that I don't talk to my belongings :) You will understand if you read the book!
Overall, I am glad that I read about her method of decluttering and organizing!
A pearl of wisdom from Linda Eyre, she said something to the effect of, "Write down three things on your calendar that don't relate to mothering and figure out how to delegate or delete."
I sat down with my crazy long list of things to do and places to be before school is out on May 22nd. I was overwhelmed and I was taking it all out on my husband and kids. In the back of my mind was that thought from the Power of Moms retreat. I looked again at my long list and asked myself what do I really have to have done by this week. What do I have to have done by next week? What can wait until summer. How can I put more focus on being the mom and less on being the To-Do lady? I decided to try to seize the small moments.
After school I put the to-do list aside and we made an after school snack from the cookbook my 4th grader made me for Mothers Day. My older boys were gone and it was a rare occasion to spend time with my four youngest kids.
Later, I spent time talking to my oldest daughter and then I enjoyed watching my little girls do a dance they made up using my Mother's Day roses as props. I loved it and despite the fact that not everything on my list is complete, I feel complete because I put the focus back where it should be, on being a mom.
I guess you could say, I took time to "smell the roses." (Even the very smashed rose that my little one used as her dance prop!)
I love to visit the home of a friend. It seems that I am always inspired when I learn from other women how they manage their home and teach their children. This blog is a visit to our home. Just click on an above topic to see what thoughts I have posted in that area. I am always adding new thoughts so that I can preserve my memories of being a mom to 7 young children and wife of a wonderful husband.