Think back to your childhood and, probably, a treasured teddy bear was there to comfort and cuddle you. Your kids might be the same—Peeper is. Although she sleeps with a stuffed Elmo and a Findus the Cat most nights, a few bears are among her most treasured lovies.
I thought it would be fun, then, to structure a homeschool preschool meeting around a bear curriculum. Grrrrr!
Want to use a bear theme to teach your preschooler, too? Here’s the bear curriculum we used at preschool recently.
I started the bear curriculum by reading two books. First we read The Teddy Bear Picnic (which, by the by, is a song). The kids had such a fun time spotting bears in the book that looked like the teddy bears they brought from home!
We also read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. It’s fun to do motions for each obstacle the family traverses—wave your arms for the wavy grass, tiptoe when they go through the cave. (FYI, you should totally check out Michael Rosen acting out his book—he is hilarious!)
These books also set up the later activities. Read more
Circles and squares and triangles, oh my! From a round Ritz cracker to angular blocks, shapes fill preschoolers’ lives. It makes sense, then, to teach our kids all about shapes. At a recent homeschool preschool I hosted, we did just that, and here I’m sharing my shapes curriculum.
Why learn about shapes?
In fact, shapes form the foundation for later, more advanced skills like writing and math. Learning how to write the letter A, for example, is easier if a child already knows about triangles. And sorting shapes—grouping squares together, say—is a fundamental concept that will later help with math skills.
Children use shapes to sort out the world. (So do adults! You might look for a circle to find a cylinder of Quaker Oats, or recognize four squares as the Microsoft logo.) So learning about shapes gives kids more tools to understand all the information around them.
Finally, understanding shapes widens their vocabulary. You can talk about much more with your kiddos once they have the words to describe the shape of something. (But beware: This skill may make your kids kitchen tyrants—No, Mom, I wanted my sandwich in TRIANGLES!)
A shapes curriculum makes learning fun
Ready to teach your preschooler? Here, then, is our shapes curriculum—a low-pressure, fun, experiential way to learn about shapes.
Forget health food crazes and packed gyms; the nuttiest New Year phenomenon is preschool visits, if you ask me.
Opting out of preschool tour season
In the first months of the year, families tour preschools, descend on open houses and attend fairs, searching for the best preschool for their little one. (If you’re looking for criteria by which to evaluate them, please please please read this. Warning: it contains a whole slew of f-bombs, but the hilarity is well worth the profanity!)
I’m pretty much opting out of the preschool search; I asked a few nearby friends with older kids for their recommendations, and we’re mostly set on one for Peeper to start this fall.
In the meantime, though, she and a handful of her 2-year-old pals are meeting weekly for a homeschool preschool.
A friend I met when our older girls were just babies floated the idea of starting a semi-structured opportunity for the kids to learn and interact. Play dates were nice, but they didn’t have the kinds of activities—circle time, story time—they’d need to practice to thrive in preschool and beyond.
Home Sweet Preschool was born.
Some of my earliest memories feature my great-grandmother, whom we all called Pretty Grandma and after whom Peeper is named. I sometimes watched Hollywood Squares with her—for whatever reason, she loved the trivia and cheesy banter. It was all over my head, but that’s the first thing I think of when someone says “shapes.”
Peeper, and probably your preschooler, doesn’t automatically envision a celebrity tic-tac-toe gameshow, though.
To help little ones learn about squares, triangles, circles—and even quatrefoils, add these books about shapes to your reading rotation. Read more