Preschool curriculum ideas can be found all around us. Many of them require little preparation and can be gotten at a relatively small cost, too. Preschool materials can be purchased or obtained for free from the Internet or your Public Library.
Basically, you will be looking for resources to start teaching the alphabet and other basic skills to your young learners.
I have found that one of the best ways to teach this subject is to read a Bible story and have a related craft or activity to follow. So, in teaching about the story of David and Goliath, I would read the account from a children's Bible. Then, we would discuss the story and complete a free Sunday school coloring sheet like those found at the Calvary Chapel website. Lastly, I would make as many references to the account during our day-to-day events to keep the concept fresh in their mind.
Initially, I start by teaching my preschooler how to say the numbers from 0-20, write the numbers, and begin to use them to count. I teach the numbers with charts, flashcards, and number tracing worksheets. Then, we count everything imaginable from edible treats like raisins, animal crackers, and cookies to household items such as pencils, blocks, and eraser caps. I make sure the concepts of adding, subtracting, and sharing equally (fractions) are fully understood by using manipulatives before introducing those skills abstractly on a practice worksheet.
I teach phonics right away with the vowel sounds first and then the consonants. I show a letter and then name common items that begin with that letter sound for my preschooler. We practice those same picture names until I know he is comfortable with them. Later, I try to see if he can suggest other things that have the same sound. If so, I know we can move to the next letter.
We also read a lot of books during this time and I have him "read" books to me as well. It is so much fun for him to try to share a book with me after having heard it so many times before. When he comes to an unfamiliar book, I encourage him to tell me a story based on the pictures he sees on that page.
I have to tell you, some of his stories are so original and comical.
At this point, I am merely attempting to introduce various concepts and skills at this time. I teach directions like north, south, east, and west. I make sure he understands a map and can locate where we live and the distance from our home to his grandparents in another state. Then, I try to cover holidays and significant Biblical and historical facts. We really keep it simple and continue to have loads of fun learning how others lived at different time periods and in other places.
Science is also kept to a minimum and I allow him to learn by watching and participating in cooking and other projects. We make Play Dough, volcanoes that erupt, and of course, the obligatory soap bubbles with different types of wands.
In both areas, I try to show the relationships between people who lived during the same time and try to create a pictorial timeline expressing these facts. We have used wall maps and timelines to show where things are located and how they are related.
This category includes music, dance, and theatrical expression. Here is where you can really "let loose" and let your children shine. We create musical instruments from whatever is available and will sometimes purchase them if the price is right.
We have a piano, flute, and guitar in our home and when we combine these with our tambourines we can create quite a band!
The goal is to expose them to music at this time and encourage them to pursue any instrument they may have an interest in. Our community is so fortunate to have access to a fantastic community music school which we utilize for home school music in the later years.
For our art lessons, which translate into providing plenty of opportunities to explore through coloring, crafts, cutting, and creating things, we try to use as many different outlets as possible. Eventually we add photography too because there always comes a time when I have to capture a picture of a "creation" before it is broken down or has to be tossed.
For us, these preschool curriculum ideas have been timeless and have worked across the board with all of our children. They are foundational but have also been effective in exposing little ones to the basic subjects while still having fun with them. Try them out and see if the same is true for your family.