We are two weeks into our homeschool year. I am loving our new preschool program – so much that I wanted to share it with you!!
Note: I have not been compensated by AOP for the following review, and I am not in any way affiliated with anyone or anything that is linked in the post. Feel free to click away on the links! Nothing is going into my pocket!!
I am sharing out of joy and excitement in the hopes that another family can benefit from this product.
We used the Horizon Preschool program for when our two older kiddos were 4 & 2 and loved it. They released a new program last year that was too young for Charger, so he also used the Horizon Preschool curriculum. This year, Otter is turning three, so we had a perfect candidate to take advantage of the new Preschool for Three’s program.
According to the Children’s Health Network, “a normal attention span is 3 to 5 minutes per year of a child’s age”. If we can keep Otter’s attention on a task for nine minutes, we call it a win.
Why I love Preschool for Threes:
- Otter has a chance to “do school” without being overwhelmed.
- She has a reader that is just for her.
- She practices school readiness skills every day.
- She is introduced to one letter concept and one number concept a week, and the worksheets provide an opportunity to reinforce both.
- The worksheets have delightful animals that carry through the theme every week.
She is so proud to be able to sit at the school table with her older siblings, and believe it or not, they want to do her work, too. They *love* her animal coloring pages and cannot believe that I do not have enough worksheets to go around for them to color their own animal. We are talking a nine-, seven- and five-year-old here. I guess my only complaint is that I have to get on-line to find them line drawings of animals to color so they don’t feel left out!!
Here is what you get with the program…along with my insight about why there is so much to love about the Preschool for Threes program:
Every week is themed around one bible lesson. The lesson plan offers a supply checklist plus additional activities to supplement the worksheets and the theme. I like having a checkbox, and we also start reasoning skills at the preschool level, so I created a spreadsheet that I can fill in for the week ahead on Sunday night, and then check off throughout the week. I get all of the supplemental material ready so all I have to do on the weekday is pull out a packet for that day, all ready to go. Total prep time on Sunday night: 1 hour.
These are the worksheets for the program. You can tear them out as needed, or if you have other children to prep for, do it all at once and lay it out for the week. Horizon has the best illustrations and colors – as I said earlier, our older kiddos pine for pages like these although they are way beyond 3-year-old work.
Student Workbook Companion:
These pages are printed on heavier weight paper. They consist of games and activities that can be played throughout the school year. So far we have prepared a lacing card, a language arts aid, and now we have a memory game for next week. I am pasting them on card stock to make them last even longer, and as soon as I have a working laminator again, they will be laminated. I write the lesson theme on the back or the container so that I can remember to reinforce it as the school year stretches on and the themes aren’t at the tip of my tongue.
Since the language arts aid for this week was a child’s face, we have been talking about the vocabulary for different parts of the face in English and In Spanish. The theme of the week was “Sin” from the fall of the the garden of Eden. As we go forward to use this aid, we will use the song O Be Careful, Little Eyes to reinforce the vocabulary as well as the lesson.
I am thrilled to be able to fill a preschool box for Otter of just her own activities. At any point going forward in the school year, she can entertain herself with sturdy materials that can be used over and over.
Bible Story Reader:
This is by far Otter’s favorite part of the program. She is delighted to have her very own book since we have bookshelves full of books for each of our other children’s school programs. She proudly pulls down her “God book” every day. We are not just reading the story for the week. The illustrations are fantastic, so as she finds an illustration that appeals to her, I “read” her the story. Not always the whole thing, maybe a sentence or two, or I ask her what she sees in the picture. As you may have noticed in some of the photos, although we are only two weeks into the program, the book is already well-loved. I have admonished all our other children to keep things well-taken care of since they have to be used four times over, and we don’t want Otter to get dog-eared hand-me-downs. This is going to be Otter’s very own book so I am patient in letting it be loved.
All in all, I do “school” with her and Charger (5yo) for about an hour a day. She sits at the table to do her worksheet and her other supplemental activity, then I lose her for a little bit while she goes to play and I work with Charger, and then she comes back and we do the other supplemental activity for the day and/or re-play an activity she liked. We usually come back in the afternoon to finish whatever we didn’t cover in the morning, or do more re-play as well.
This program is just so perfect for a three year old, it seems like it was written by other three year olds for their peers to enjoy. Thank goodness that there are educational experts who have studied child development…I have a strong suspicion that they were consulted on this program.
Horizon has exceeded my expectations with this program. I have always enjoyed their colorful pages and activities. This is about to become my favorite Horizon program, and I am only going to get to use it once! At least we are going to get to use it and love it well for the next nine months – I can’t wait to see how our littlest Sweet Pea blossoms with this program.