Preschool to First Grade Curriculum and Organization

A dear reader asked, “Hi Tricia! Which curriculum you are using this new school year for your little ones?” How did she know I was formulating a series leading up to our Hodgepodge Curricula 2012-2013? There are just too many great resources for our age range of children to put them all in one post.

Homeschool Organization for Little Ones

Little Desks. But before I get into curricula resources, I want to share with you part of the continuing homeschool makeover. A big part of homeschooling is finding your groove. We’ve found that learning centers are the very best for our ages and stages. I really love our bay window in our homeschool room. It’s the perfect spot for the two little desks Nana gave us when we started ‘officially’ homeschooling. (I’ve been asked several times: The desks came from Pottery Barn Kids in 2001. I’ve checked and they are no longer selling them. You might be able to find some on Ebay?)

Cubby bench. But our two littlest ones needed some easy storage close to their desks. They have been using plastic workboxes. Those were displaced when we got our IKEA baskets. Chief Organizational Officer, Hodgepodgedad, found this little cubby bench at Target. The three, red, fabric boxes were also purchased there.

The two youngest children and I each have a cubby! One for Lil’ Buddy – next to his desk on the left. One for me in the middle. And one on the right for first grader. Everything is right there where we need it. Rod and Staff workbooks, Saxon Math 1…all the basics for starting the school day. Plus, I have a soft spot to sit or to spread out math manipulatives.

Preschool and First Grade Curricula

So, each day I start with the little ones first. Since there are some of you that might be looking for resources for the littlest of littlest crowd, I’ll share with you a few resources, besides just classic books, we use up until age four:

Five in a Row

With both our preschooler and first grader, we will again enjoy Five in a Row (FIAR) books. (And a few of those favorite Before Five in a Row books for good measure). We’ll read about one book every two weeks. These usually match up beautifully with our Tapestry of Grace and/or nature studies. I also especially like Daniele at Domestic Serenity’s plan of enjoying Five in a Row books seasonally.

FIAR we keep around the couch for easy reading. These are the same books we’ve enjoyed for years and years. So many wonderful memories with Five in a Row books. There are even free lapbooks at Homeschool Share we will enjoy. Plus so many Pinterest resources to supplement an already wonderful curriculum.

Pre-K (4)

1st Grade

The Rest of the Day

The 10 Parts of the Hodgepodge Schedule – (including how we fit in all the extras, afternoon quiet time and the household service opportunities).

We’re enjoying again this wonderful bedtime (or anytime) reading: Leading Little Ones to God

Apps and Technology

We make use of some fun learning apps to compliment the 3 Rs: Hodgepodgedad’s app and technology reviews

Multiple Ages: Our younger two will both be joining in Tapestry of Grace, Science studies, Harmony Fine Arts, nature, art with Nana, etc. in age-appropriate doses.

Extras: Plus there are all those things our youngest two children participate in throughout the week and month. Children’s choir, mission friends, park days and field trips with our homeschool group. Creation Club. It’s a full and rich life!

Those are the basics. I hope that helps you visualize how our littlest ones start the day at their little desks after their Before 8:45 checklist. Preschooler spends about 10-15 minutes and first grader stays a little longer. Then we enjoy FIAR books on the couch in the family room. Other learning – all together – outside or at the kitchen table.

Additional Resources

I hope you’ll be back! I invite you to subscribe to Hodgepodge so you won’t miss a post. Over the next several days I’ll be sharing the remainder of our plans for 5th, 8th and 9th grades plus those things we enjoy with multiple ages. Our Curricula 2012-2013.

Are you homeschooling little ones this year?


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    Wish I could go back to Kindergarten and start in your school! Ok, not really, but we have used many of the same or similar resources you are using. This is the age of wonder and discovery – so exciting! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to more curric posts.

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    Ah, so excited I stumbled upon your blog!! I am loving your plans for your littles one for the year! We have 3 girls under age 4 right now and are planning to start preschool with the oldest this year. I love, love, love all your ideas and seeing what I can use for the next year or two! I found that Leading Little Ones to God book at a garage sale and have saved it for next year. Right now, we are using a God and Me devotional at night and it is perfect for the almost 3 and 4 year old! We also are using Before Five in a Row this year too! Well, I am off to keep browsing around your site! :)

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      Carolyn – thanks so much for your kind words! Sounds like you have some wonderful resources – we have used a God and Me devotional too and really enjoyed it. Blessings on your year of learning together.

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    Stacey says

    Hi there,
    I’ve been reading all over your website because I’m hoping to start TOG with my oldest this coming fall. My first question, however, would be what age do you start first grade? My daughter will be 5 in a couple of weeks, so I figured I’d start Kinder with her in the fall. That said, if I use TOG, she’ll go through the cycle 3x plus an extra year of year 1 (assuming I start in year one and get through it all in one year.) Is this reasonable? I see they have a Primer coming out this year which maybe I’ll do for Kinder for her this fall to get us in the swing of TOG. But then I have two more that will be coming up in the next 4 years in which the same question applies – when to start Kinder? I hope this makes sense! :)

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