April 17, 2015

If you've been keeping up with our Week in Review posts, you've had glimpses of Prissy's Letter of the Week fun.  As I shared in my Beyond Playtime post, I initially planned to wait a while to add her to our homeschool roster.  However, she made her way to the table sooner than expected because she was ready for more than playtime.

Preschool Early Learning Homeschool Letter of the Week Update

So, how's our Letter of the Week focus going?  I'm so glad you asked.  In Beyond Playtime, I touched a little on how I'm using Kathy Hutto's A to Z Toddler and Preschool Curriculum* as our foundation and even mentioned that I wasn't following it completely.  Now that we're several weeks into our Letter of the Week, loosely using it is probably more accurate than "not following it completely."  Sad, I know...

*Note: This is my affiliate link and I will receive compensation for any purchases made through it.

I genuinely like A to Z*.  It's organized in a manageable format for preschool at home and it has a great mix of letters, math concepts, music, art, and all the other things you need for your preschooler.  It also has great themes each week, which are appealing in the preschool world.  However, the themes are actually what makes it hard for me to follow.  

Letter of the Week Review a b c d preschool early learning homeschool
Not one of these matched our themes in our curriculum.  We're just rebellious like that. 

For example, the theme for Letter D's week was Down on the Farm.  While I have access to tons of farm-related resources, I felt they would be better for us to use for Letter F.  Since Letter D itself was the focus for the week, it seemed better to say D is for David or D is for Dinosaur.  Meanwhile, the theme for Letter E was Emotions.  Prissy's only three years-old.  While she has emotions and understands differences in how she's feeling, I felt she needed something more visually relatable to the letter she was learning at the time. 

I reiterate: it's all great material.  Even so, my intention with this Letter of the Week focus is simply to introduce her to letters and ease her into our homeschool routine.  Because of that, I'm making adjustments when it seems that the themes get in the way of those introductions.  (If she was one year older, I would most likely be using the curriculum as is; she would already be past the introduction stage.)

Letter of the Week Update homeschool early learning preschool
You guessed it - none of these lined up with our curriculum either.  They were cute though, so there's some redemption there.
Since we're not using A to Z* to its fullest capacity, here's what happens to fill in the gaps:
  • I start with A to Z* and go from there; if I can make the theme work for her, I do.  If not, I check my preschool flashdrive to see what resources I have that would allow for easy letter recognition and association. 
  • Pinterest is my next stop.  That's really surprising, huh?  I check for anything that would add to A to Z* or for ideas I can use in its place if I'm running low on my own ideas.  I also search for free printable packs that give her opportunities to practice recognition and prewriting.  (I pin most of these items to my A-Z board on Pinterest.  Feel free to follow if you're looking for Letter of the Week ideas.)
  • Lastly, I check my bookshelf for books that can help with either the theme of the week or the letter in general.  I usually try to incorporate a book each day; if I don't have enough here, I head to our local library and borrow what I need. 
Once I've got all of this lined up, we get started for the week.  She joins The Boy at the table and works as hard as you can expect a three year-old to work.  That said, 30 minutes is about all her attention span can handle in one day. 

Letter of the Week update preschool early learning homeschool
Look Mom,  I see letter A in the sky! 
Curriculum or not, I love the fact that I'm seeing fruit from this effort already.  She's pointing out letters she's learned everywhere we go. 

Have you done a Letter of the Week focus before?  How was your experience? 

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