We have three goals in providing lesson plans for children who are aged 5 and younger:
- To train them in orderliness, respect for others, self-control, and biblical character – These character qualities form the foundation of everything else in life. The books of Deuteronomy and Proverbs are emphasized, and plenty of advice and help for parents is included in the lesson plans.
- To give them special time with Mom – Little ones can get left out when life gets busy. Our plans will remind you of priorities of motherhood. You’ll enjoy spending time doing activities with your children, and you’ll cultivate special memories while feeling good that you remembered to teach them important skills and life lessons from Scripture.
- To help mothers feel less overwhelmed – You don’t have to do everything we recommend, but you’ll probably enjoy having “check boxes” of the common sense things you want to remember with your preschoolers. We even remind you of character qualities you can develop in your own life, such as joy, peace, and contentment.
Our lesson plans are based on 5 activities we recommend for preschoolers each day. Please note that we believe in short, easy lessons.
- Learning Time – We’ll give you short and pleasurable ideas for basic life skills that all preschoolers should learn, from Scripture memory work, ABCs, 123s, telling time, manners, and more.
- Creative Time – We’ll recommend fun table-time activities your preschoolers can work on by themselves, with you or an older sibling in the room.
- Building Time – We’ll suggest hands-on playtime activities that will help your preschoolers develop self-control, imagination, and attention-building skills.
- Outside Time – We’ll recommend ways to encourage your preschoolers to play outside, weather permitting, or at least to get up and moving inside.
- Rest Time – We’ll give gentle ideas for ways your youngest children can rest, relax, and get away from the over-stimulation that often occurs in a busy, homeschooling household.
Skills We Cover
- Five Senses
- Language Development
- Relationships (longer/shorter, on top of, etc.)
- Sorting and Classifying
- Counting and Measuring
- Problem Solving
- Family Identity
- Physical Growth
A Note about Schedules
“Schedule” is often a bad word among parents of preschoolers. Maybe “flexible routine” would be a more realistic way to say it, but we have found that having a daily schedule is a foundation to a peaceful and joyful home. You can read more about why we believe this way in our book, The Four Foundations of Lifelong Learning, available free with your membership.
We strongly advise that you set up a schedule for your preschooler’s day. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Get out a blank piece of paper and divide it into half-hour time slots.
- Pencil in 3 consistent meal times, plus maybe some snack times. For the sake of your child’s metabolism and circadian rhythms, try to feed him at close to the same times each day.
- Plan for a nap after lunch.
- What time does your child normally wake up in the morning? What time would you like to have him in bed at night? (Preschool children need at least 10 hours of sleep each night.)
- What are some other activities that happen each day? Baths, bedtime routines, and events outside the home?
- Don’t forget to start training your child to do simple household chores. After breakfast, before supper, and before bed are three good times for picking up toys, taking care of his room and play areas, and helping with small kitchen jobs.
- What “together” times does your family have? Do you read the Torah portion together as a family each day? Do you have a family read-aloud time?
Now you can start to see how much time is left over in your child’s day. If you have school-aged children that you’re teaching, you probably face some frustration of finding things for your preschool child to do during that time. Here are some suggestions:
- Can your preschooler play alone while you teach phonics or other, more intensive subjects to your older children? Plan 20-30 minutes a day for your child to play in a safe place, supervised but not needing to be entertained by anyone else. (By the way, this is good for him! It teaches him many helpful skills, increases his attention span, and boosts his creativity.)
- Our curriculum provides suggestions for 5 time periods. Depending on the age of your child and your family’s circumstances, put these time periods into your schedule, giving each one 30-60 minutes.
- Learning Time — This is with Mom.
- Creative Time — This one is near Mom and needing Mom’s help at the beginning and maybe at the end to clean up.
- Building Time — This one is in the same room as Mom or a responsible sibling. This could also be done during his independent, alone time (see above).
- Outside Time — Depending on your circumstances, this one is with a responsible sibling or with Mom nearby. (“Outside time” means “active movement time,” so when weather outside is bad, just move the activity to a safe place indoors.)
- Rest Time — This one is maybe in the living room, or in a quiet corner of the house, with Mom’s oversight but not necessarily anyone else’s presence. (Use your good judgment….)
- Siblings can be a big help. Can they take turns playing with each other, as partners, for a short time each day? You’ll have to decide how well this could work in your own particular family.
The number one skill your child will need, in order for a schedule to work, is obedience. But isn’t this one of the most important things your child needs to learn anyway?
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12, ESV).
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land'” (Ephesians 6:1-3, ESV).
If I ask my children to do something, I expect them to obey. In our home, obedience is defined as obeying immediately and completely, with a happy spirit.
So I ask myself:
- Did the child obey immediately?
- Did the child obey completely?
- Did the child have a happy spirit?
If I had to answer “No” to any of these questions, then the child did not obey.
“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15, ESV).”
How to Use This Curriculum
- Lessons Plans for Mom to use each week.
- Basic craft supplies (crayons, markers, scissors, tape, construction paper, poster board, etc.)
- Household supplies such as boxes and totes, toys and bubbles 🙂
- Let’s Learn Our Bible! curriculum
- ABC Bible Memory Verse Songs
This curriculum is intended primarily for children ages 3-5 who do not yet know the sounds of the letters of the alphabet.
About Foundations of Preschool
Foundations of Preschool is copyright 2013 by Anne Elliott.
All rights reserved. No part of this curriculum may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. You do have permission to photocopy the curriculum for your own personal use. You may select individual pages to copy, or you may copy the entire curriculum! It is up to you how much of the information you want to copy and for how many children in your family you want to use it. You can copy this curriculum for use in your immediate family only; redistributing the book to other families is strictly prohibited.
Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12).
Published by Foundations Press.