Five Awesome Benefits of Using a Literature-Based Preschool Curriculum in Your Homeschool

Why should your plans for preschool include a literature-based preschool curriculum? Here are five reasons why and an outstanding resource that can help!

I can still picture those days.

My older two kids, three and four at the time, gathered with me at our small, plastic Little Tykes picnic table. In fact, we called this “Gather at the Table Time.” We weren't formally homeschooling at this point. But we were doing preschool at home.

Our learning focused on real books. Because…of course it did!

I love all things literature-related. And I wanted to introduce my kids to good books from the time they were very young. I had already been reading aloud to my kids-from before birth! And, as they began to move toward school age, they were so excited about learning, soaking it up like little sponges. So, I decided to add to the books we were reading, to extend them to introduce concepts in science and history and reading and math skills.

At the time, I was coming up with most of what we were doing by myself. But that was sometimes a struggle. I was a young mom with preschoolers who was pregnant with child #3. There were many times I wished that I had a formal “curriculum”, a guide to tell me what books to use and what activities to do along with the books.

I had to struggle along and come up with this myself. But you, Mama, are more fortunate. 

Literature-based preschool curriculum SonLight

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. All opinions are always my own.

Now you have outstanding resources like SonLight's Pre-Kindergarten Package: Exploring God's World. Whether you know you want to homeschool long term or you're just planning to keep your preschoolers home and do some relaxed but structured learning, there's an outstanding resource to help you!

I've been reviewing this incredible literature-based preschool curriculum. And, this is a resource literature-loving homeschool mamas don't need to miss!

In this post, I'm sharing five benefits of starting your preschoolers out with literature-based curricula. And I'm giving you information about this fantastic pre-k package from SonLight. You can also watch the video below to get a look at the beautiful resources in this literature-based preschool curriculum.

Five Benefits of Using a Literature-Based Preschool Curriculum

Using real literature with your preschoolers instills a lifelong love of reading in your kids.

I read to my children from the time I knew I was pregnant. Seriously. Occasionally, I read children's books. Sometimes I just read aloud from a book I was reading for myself. I wanted my children to know the language of books. And I wanted books to be a large and important part of their lives.

As we began formal schooling, I read even more. I read aloud for school. And we continued to read aloud for fun as well. I was certain that all of this reading together would produce kids who loved to read.

I wasn't sure it was working for a while. During their elementary school years, they didn't automatically love reading as I had hoped they would. A couple loved books, but the others didn't really feel that spark, that love of reading. 

I'm pleased to say that, as teens and young adults now, all of my kids love a good book. And all of them will tell you that this is largely due to how often I bombarded them with read aloud to them as young kids.

Starting your young children off with a preschool curriculum that uses real literature is a great way to instill a love of reading that really will last a lifetime.

A literature-based preschool curriculum increases reading and listening comprehension and vocabulary.

Did you know that children can usually comprehend what's read much earlier than they can actually read independently? It's true. And, you might think that your child is “behind” in learning to read. But there are studies that show that the developmental age to learn to read might be much older than the age at which we now push kids to be independent readers.

So even though your preschoolers can't read independently- and that's developmentally normal-reading good books to them can be building their listening and comprehending skills. Then, when they are ready to read independently, they are better able to understand what they're reading.

Listening to good books can also help to develop your child's vocabulary. A literature-based preschool curriculum can expose your child to new words and to good sentence patterns. This can help them to become better writers as they began to read and write independently.

SonLight Preschool Curriculum

Reading great books with your little ones gives you meaningful moments together and helps you create memories.

I've been a little maudlin lately. I've now graduated my last two homeschoolers. And, as I've been thinking back over our homeschooling years, do you know the things I remember most?

I remember times spent reading together. Really. Those are the moments that stand out to me.

I remember reading to my oldest two when they were just preschoolers- the “Gather at the Table Time” I mentioned at the start of this post. I remember reading to all four kids as they sat at the table eating lunch. That was our read aloud time for many years. And I remember the kids sitting on the floor, working on puzzles or building with blocks, as we read good books.

Why are those the times I remember? Well, of course, the fact that reading was a large part of our homeschool is one reason. But those are also meaningful, memorable moments because sharing a good book together is a special thing.

When you read a good book together, you'll remember the joy of “meeting” the book's funny or heroic characters. You'll remember how you felt in the moments of suspense. What's going to happen next? You'll remember laughing at the funny parts of the book and crying- or watching mom cry-at the sad parts. Sharing those books that are part of your literature-based preschool curriculum will get you started making sweet memories from the very beginning.

Using real books as the foundation of your curriculum helps your kids to see that they can learn from good books.

My son was lamenting about the general state of education in our country the other day. (These conversations with my, now adult, kids are fun!) He was saying that what kids generally learn in school is pretty irrelevant in real life. “You can learn anything you actually need from the internet now. Why learn things like algebra in school? You'll never need to simplify equations in real life. And, if you do need to know some scientific or math equation, you can just look up what you need.”

And then he said something that made me smile. “Because you read to us all the time, and we learned how to read and figure out what we need to know, we were pretty prepared to learn anything.”

A ha! Yes! That was precisely what I was going for.

You can't possibly teach your kids all the facts, concepts, skills in the world. So, why do we try so hard to do just that? Instead, why don't we focus on teaching them to learn from good books?

Starting your preschoolers off with a curriculum based on good books will help you begin to do that. And, when kids realize that they can learn from good books, they can become lifelong learners.

A good literature-based preschool curriculum teaches academic concepts and inspires learning based on great books.

If you just want to introduce your preschoolers to letters and sounds or numbers or shapes, there are many resources out there. You can get little workbooks or print pages for them to complete. But, in my experience, that kind of learning isn't very, well, inspiring. Yes, it might accomplish teaching your preschooler early skills. However, it might also teach your kids that learning consists of boring, repetitive workbook pages that are fun at first, but that quickly become not-so-fun after they do them over and over.

If you want a way to inspire your kids to learn, reading good books is one of the best things you can do.

Imagine you and your kids becoming absorbed in a good book. Then you draw the concepts you want your kids to learn out of that great book. Your kids will be much more inspired than they will be after completing yet another little workbook page. 

If you use a good literature-based preschool curriculum, you'll see that spark, that inspiration that comes from learning with great books.

Literature-based preschool curriculum SonLight

Introducing SonLight's Pre-Kindergarten Package: Exploring God's World

Sonlight's Pre-Kindergarten Package: Exploring God's World is a literature-based curriculum that bridges their preschool program-which is also literature-based- and their kindergarten program. 

The beautifully illustrated books in this package will introduce kids to stories from around the world. They'll be developing early phonics skills and reading readiness. Good books will begin introducing them to how the world works with early science concepts. They will get a broad introduction to subjects like Bible, history, and art. And they'll begin with developing life skills-both cognitive and developmental -with hands-on Montessori-style materials.

This curriculum is a 36-week program that will take about 20 minutes to an hour and a half each day for four days a week. That means that you can begin to introduce a learning routine that will help kids see learning as fun. And the curriculum is simple and flexible and not something that is going to tire kids and turn them off.

Who this curriculum package is for…

This pre-kindergarten package is intended for 4-5 year olds. It was created to be used between SonLight's preschool program and SonLight K. SonLight's resources are all literature-based and are written from a Christian perspective.

This curriculum package will definitely appeal to homeschoolers- both long-time homeschoolers who already have older kids they're homeschooling and first-time homeschoolers with only young children. But this is also a resource that can be used by families who don't intend to homeschool long-term but just want to do some structured preschool at home.

What this literature-based preschool curriculum package includes…

The SonLight Pre-Kindergarten Package: Exploring God's World includes everything you need for a full year of pre-kindergarten instruction. 
  • There is a complete instructor's guide that includes lesson plans that detail everything you'll do each day. This guide has instructions for all the reading and activities you'll do, in addition to some pages you'll copy for the kids to use.
  • The package includes over 20 books. These books are beautifully illustrated and include picture books as well as some beginning chapter books. There are books to introduce kids to history and science, as well as humanities like art and poetry. There is also a Bible storybook and other general storybooks.
  • You'll also get hands-on manipulatives like tactile letter and number cards, counting beads and ten bead bars of ten beads each, and a teen board and number tiles for counting.
  • And you'll get four hands-on workbooks that will be used alongside the books you're reading to develop fine motor skills, visual skills, auditory skills, and comprehension. These are skills that will help kids as they become independent readers and writers.

Why you need this preschool curriculum for your little ones…

Now that you're convinced of the benefit of a literature-based preschool curriculum, why do you need this particular pre-kindergarten package from SonLight?

1) It's complete. It has everything you require all in one. There will be no scrambling trying to get together materials from a materials list. If you're new to homeschooling- or not even planning to homeschool long term-you'll find detailed plans that help you know exactly what to do each day.

2) It's structured…but low-stress. I don't think preschoolers always need a formal curriculum. If you're planning for your preschooler to spend hours a day doing structured, formal schooling, you're going to burn them- and you- out! With this package, you'll have some structure to get kids used to the routine of school-which is helpful whether you're homeschooling or sending them to a traditional school. But SonLight has designed this program to only take 20 minutes to an hour and a half, four days a week. That will give you structure without pushing kids to do too much too soon.

3) The chosen books are outstanding. Really. If you haven't had a chance to watch my video above and see some of these amazing resources, make sure you do that. The books used in the program have beautiful illustrations, and they are books that you and the kids will want to read again and again.

4) This program is for you whether you're planning to homeschool long-term or you just want to do some structured preschool at home. Although I did homeschool long-term, I had several friends who kept their kids at home until kindergarten or first grade. But, although they didn't send them to traditional school in those early years, they wanted to begin providing something structured for the kids to do. This package is an excellent choice if that is you!

Literature-based preschool curriculum

How to enter the giveaway and purchase this package for your home…

Ready to grab your Pre-Kindergarten Package: Exploring God's World? You can pick it up here. 

You can also enter the giveaway below to win a package!

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