I never used preschool curriculum. We bought lots of classic picture books and asked grandparents to do the same so that we could read aloud to our preschoolers several times a day. We limited TV to a half an hour a day so it wouldn't shorten their attention span.
In addition to reading aloud, we played and talked and laughed. My little ones were with me, "helping", as I did laundry, cooked dinner, cleaned the house, made the bed, and grocery shopped. We talked and talked and talked. I answered a million questions and commended them for asking. "What a great question!"
We also went to the playground, the zoo, church, friends' homes, and parks. We baked together. We painted together. We sang songs. We made up songs and rhymes. We went on walks and wagon rides. We swam in the pool and made sand castles at the beach. We created forts in our living room with pillows and blankets. And we talked and talked and talked. I answered so many questions. There were so many teachable moments. Everyday I taught and they learned, but we didn't really think about it--it just happened.
We started formal schooling with a first grade math book (Bob Jones--it was bright and colorful from a Christian perspective) and the Sing, Spell, Read, and Write phonics kit. That was kindergarten.
With that said (I just want to be transparent), I will share with you some preschool curricula that I like.
Little Hands to Heaven from Heart of Dakota Publishing is a set of lesson plans for you to use with your little children. You can also purchase books to go with them. You will have to gather items you will probably have around the house to teach letters, letter formation, letter sounds, early math skills, Bible activities, devotionals, art projects, finger plays, and music. This sounds an awful like what we did, but more structured.
My Father's World preschool curriculum (2's-3's) is a package of picture books, toys, paints, cookie cutters, and more with step-by-step instructions for 60 minutes of schoolwork a day. The pre-K curriculum is similar, but created for older children learned more advanced skills with a workbook.
Sing, Spell, Read, and Write Pre-Kindergarten covers colors, shapes, visual discrimination, matching, opposites, classification, story sequence, letter recognition, letter sounds, and more using catchy songs, puzzles, manipulatives, and workbook. You will need to add lots of beautifully-illustrated, well-written picture books to read aloud to your little ones.
School of Tomorrow's (Accelerated Christian Curricuclum) Preschool with Ace & Christie is a multi-sensory phonetic program using songs, animals, stories, poems, and physical activities. When this program is finished, children are ready to start the PACEs curriculum. You will need to add lots of beautifully-illustrated, well-written picture books to read aloud to your little ones.
Sonlight puts things together in a package so everything is easy to use together. Beautifully-illustrated, well-written picture books combined with activities, games, songs, and art. Parents are give a syllabus/teacher guide to put it all together. Package is over $300.00.
My advice is this: Pray about it and use the curriculum you feel God wants you to use. They are all great!
Or, just be on the lookout for beautifully-illustrated, well-written picture books at garage sales, used book sales, curriculum sales, and online used book stores. Read them aloud to your children. Go on walks, bake together, visit the zoo, play games, and answer all their questions. These years are precious--enjoy them!
If you are looking for practical advice about homeschooling, you will love Joyful and Successful Homeschooling available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip and Currclick. Full of tips, practical wisdom, and family stories from a family that's been homeschooling since 1991, Joyful and Successful Homeschooling has been a blessing to many homeschooling families with help on management, how to teach, educational philosophies, family dynamics, learning styles, how to keep your home running smoothly, and help to teach each subject with curriculum suggestions.
Blessings to you and your family!