When I first started thinking about homeschooling my kids, my first child was in 1st grade. Fast forward to child 3, and I started homeschooling her in preschool. I guess most parents technically do some sort of homeschooling during the preschool years, as it’s hard not to. Kids that young are like sponges and soak up everything around them. I wish I had started a full preschool curriculum at home with my oldest, but instead I shipped him off to preschool. I don’t regret that decision — but I love the fact that my other two kids were homeschooled through preschool. It gave me extra time with them and helped me foster a love of learning in them early on. That’s why I was so excited when I learned that Oak Meadow, one of my favorite curriculum providers, now has a preschool program! I hope you enjoy this Oak Meadow Preschool Curriculum Review as much as I enjoyed using the program!
Oak Meadow has been one of my favorite curriculum providers for more than 15 years. They are known for experiential education for curious and creative learners. First of all, Oak Meadow’s homeschool curriculum is based on rigorous academic standards, integrated with personalized, student-led education and their learning objectives offer guideposts for the development of core competencies. Meaning, students are given a variety of ways to demonstrate their mastery of skills and knowledge. I also love their holistic approach to education. Oak Meadow believes it is essential to give children opportunities to engage not only their heads, but their hands and hearts as well. Their programs help and encourage students to reflect on their learning, build communication skills, and develop a sense of empathy, social responsibility, and Earth stewardship.
Oak Meadow Preschool Curriculum Review – Preschool Play – Seasons of Wonder Review
When I first opened the curriculum, I was blown away. The entire curriculum is built around five pillars.
1: Working Together
2: Caring for One Another
3. Diversity Makes Us Stronger
This may sound lofty for a preschool program, but I assure you it is not. Children this young need to learn these things and incorporating them early on in their development will help us teach and mold our children into caring, aware, human beings. The early years of a child’s life are a time of wonder, curiosity, experimentation, exploration, and play. In fact, play is how children learn best in the early years.
That’s why this preschool course is not actually school—it is play. There are no formal lessons in reading, writing, or math, but rest assured your child will still be learning a great deal about these topics and developing important skills. Play is a child’s work. Through play, children develop spatial and bodily awareness, enrich their vocabulary, and expand their worldview. Also, children learn how the world works, develop relationship and communication skills, and explore their own interests and natural talents through play. In doing so, they build a foundation for future academic and personal success.
This course invites you to go at your child’s pace and dive into a world of wonder and discovery. Enjoy playing, learning, and growing with your child! As you can see in the table of contents, there are lots of opportunities for learning and play throughout this entire course.
The course starts with teaching/learning rhythm, and stories/storytelling, then moves into the theme of working together.
Oak Meadow Preschool Curriculum Review – Autumn: Working Together Theme
Working together is a key ingredient of family and community. Preschoolers are often eager to pitch in and be involved in family chores and activities. This spirit of teamwork is the theme of this unit, and you’ll find it expressed in the stories and many of the activities. You can model teamwork by cheering others on, noticing and appreciating cooperation, asking for help, and offering to help whenever the occasion arises. Your actions will convey a strong message to your child and help promote harmony in your home and community. Here are just a few of the activities you’ll find in this section of the curriculum.
The fall theme of working together is fantastic. In addition to the activities shown above, there are songs, games, tons more activities, cooking ideas, and stories throughout this theme that focus on working together and teamwork. Then, the curriculum transitions to the theme of caring for one another, which is the theme for the winter months.
Oak Meadow Preschool Curriculum Review – Winter: Caring for One Another
Winter is an excellent time to focus on caring for one another. Children are used to having someone take care of their needs. Giving them the opportunity to care for others is a wonderful way to boost their sense of purpose and place in the family. As you read the stories and do the activities in this unit, find ways to highlight this theme. You might help your child prepare a basket of baked goods for a neighbor or make a card to send to someone far away. Caring for others can also take the form of making a cozy spot for a pet, helping someone do chores or make food, or playing quietly so someone else can rest. Making caring actions a part of everyday life will benefit those who give the care as much as those who receive it. As in the last theme, there are songs, games, activities, cooking, stories, and more throughout this theme that focus on caring for one another. Here are just a few activities included in this theme.
Oak Meadow Preschool Curriculum Review – Spring: Diversity Makes Us Stronger
The Spring theme is: Diversity Makes Us Stronger. Diversity takes many forms. Many people think about racial, ethnic, or cultural diversity. You can notice and talk about diversity in abilities, experiences, practical knowledge, opinions, environments, lifestyles, and more. There is diversity in family structures. There is diversity in art forms. You can celebrate diversity by listening to different types of music and eating different types of food. If you live in an urban area, you are likely to find many ways to appreciate the wide diversity of humanity. If you live in a more rural area or one that is less diverse, you can share with your child picture books that show people of different ethnicities and religious backgrounds, people in wheelchairs or who speak in sign language, people who are missing a limb or have Down Syndrome, and people who look different from you and your child. As you are reading stories, be on the lookout for ways in which the message of “diversity makes us stronger” is evident. As in the last two themes, there are songs, games, activities, cooking, stories, and more throughout this theme that focus on diversity.
Oak Meadow Preschool Curriculum Review – Summer: Community
The Summer theme is all about Community. Summer is when many people spend a lot of time outdoors with friends and neighbors, so it’s a perfect time to celebrate community! Community can take many forms. It can mean those in your geographic area or those you share a common bond or special interest with. Healthy, supportive communities are encouraging, uplifting, and invigorating. Active involvement is an essential ingredient of a vibrant community. Throughout this unit, look for and comment on the many ways in which people connect, gather, and support one another to create something unique and wonderful. Some fun activities are included, as well as cooking, songs, stories and more. Just like the other themes in this program.
Oak Meadow Preschool Curriculum Review – Anytime: Kindness
The last theme of the curriculum is Kindness. We all need kindness. Sweet, thoughtful gestures and words can make someone’s day. Did you know kindness is contagious? When we do a small kindness for someone, they are likely to turn around and be kind to someone else. The best way to encourage kindness in our children is to treat them with kindness. Speak with respect, listen carefully, ask nicely, let your child help, be patient, and— since we all make mistakes—apologize with good grace. Young children learn best by example. Enjoy kindness. Share kindness. Celebrate kindness!
Overall, I couldn’t be more impressed with the breadth and depth of this curriculum. It’s a great way to introduce your child to the concepts of working together, caring for one another, diversity, community and kindness. There are plenty of activities, stories, things to do, and ideas to fill an entire year. And, if you aren’t keen on one of the activities, there are so many included that you could just skip one altogether. The great thing about homeschooling is that YOU get to choose what to teach your children. You can dive deeper into something they are interested in, or skip something altogether. While I’ve always been so impressed with the Oak Meadow programs and philosophy, this program makes me love their programs even more. It’s a great beginning course for both parents and children alike and I whole heartedly recommend this for any homeschooling family getting started on their homeschool journey. It’s an easy introduction and one that is well thought out. I hope you get to enjoy the many activities in this program with your little(s). It was such a fun experience for me and my child. You can learn more about it and purchase it here: https://www.oakmeadowbookstore.com/preschool