Saturday, February 9, 2008

Brainstorming for preK, part 2

Now for the undecided part. I know Benny will continue to listen to his sisters' history and science, but I'd like to have a separate program of reading aloud to Benny during his time with me. The themes in preschool this year didn't work for us because there weren't enough books to read. Right now I've just started putting books from the booklist in Honey for a Child's Heart on hold each week to make sure we have something new each week. While it seems to be working for this year, I don't really want to continue flying by the seat of my pants each day with a new baby next year. Benny loves watching animal planet and loves animals in general so I'd like to do something along those lines. Here are some ideas that have been bouncing around in my head so far.

1. Expand on the themes that I used for the coop preschool with units on different animal habitats, reading literature and even simple non-fiction books on animals that live in the different habitats. I would probably have to cover at least 2 different animals each week to have a sufficient number of library books.

2. Do a more geography-based program similar to what I used for Jessie back in K. (Unfortunately, it's no longer on my pc but shouldn't be too difficult to recreate). Each unit would be a different continent with different countries each week. This would let us broaden our reading to include some children's literature related to each country, but we could also include the different animals on each continent as well as major habitats such as the Brazilian rainforest and the Sahara desert. As much as Benny loves ocean animals we would probably lump the oceans together with Antarctica as a unit. I have McGraw Hill's The Complete Book of Animals (The Complete Book Series) and an Usborne's Animal Jigsaw Atlas which both list animals by continent. Jessie found the former to be a bit dry, but Benny seems to like non-fiction books more than his sister. We could always start out with the countries and scale back on areas that don't interest Benny. (It's certainly easier to scale back than try to add on on the fly).

3. Group the animals based more on type of animal (birds, insects, mammals, etc.) Here again we would probably need to cover more than one animal a week to have enough books. I do have a few books from the Dr. Seuss Learning Library that we could use to introduce topics on birds, dinosaurs, bugs, and mammals if we go this route. We also have DK's Animal Encyclopedia that we could use for pictures, but I think some of the text would probably go over Benny's head.

Hmm.. it's looking like choice 2 would be the easiest to expand, but it also has the most potential for me to overdo things. We'll pray about it for a few weeks (I have to get the taxes done in the mean time) and see what direction seems the best at that point.

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