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Beanpost Farmstead has received compensation of learning materials in order to provide an honest review of this product. The opinions of this curriculum are wholeheartedly theirs.
Finding a Curriculum For My Developmentally Delayed Child
Homeschooling a special needs child can be confusing. Sometimes I wish there was a curriculum or method I could pull out of a box for my particular learner's special abilities! I lean heavily toward Charlotte Mason's methods as a general rule, and they work well for my differently abled children, too, for the most part. However, there are subjects where we need to think a little differently, and sometimes we just need a little more! Sometimes I see a program or curriculum that looks like it will work, then when I dive in, it doesn't fit at all. The early learning that came so naturally to my other kids just needs a little kick and when I saw Pre-K your way I just had the feeling that it would be a good fit for us!
Pre-K Your Way
Pre-K Your Way is a preschool curriculum created by Jeane Kinne.
"The curriculum was developed to meet the interests of all children and based on the multiple intelligences theory by Howard Gardner. Gardner was a Harvard University Professor who believed that traditional education wasn’t utilizing the strengths of all children. Every child is unique and learns differently. Gardner identified eight different “intelligences” and pathways to learning."
The eight intelligences identified by Gardner are:
Linguistic – “word smart”
Logical-Mathematical –“numbers/reasoning smart”
Spatial - “picture smart”
Bodily-Kinesthetic – “movement smart”
Musical – “Rhythms and songs smart”
Interpersonal – “People smart”
Intrapersonal – “Self-smart”
Naturalist – “outdoors/nature smart”
I have always loved Gardner's "intelligences" because I have found them useful in understanding how each of my kids learns as well as how they view the world and react to new information. But as a special needs mama, I find them indispensable in searching for viable ways to help my kids learn. All kids are smart! It is our job to find out how they are smart and build that up. We can also use their "smartness" to approach concepts that are harder for them. Kids with Down syndrome are universally "People Smart"! To use this to teach a concept is very motivating, I find! Because Pre-K Your way uses activities to teach to all of these "intelligences" in all of their units, we can be assured that there will be activities that fit any learner. Therefore, these activities are excellent for any child, "typical" or special needs.
Real Learning, Real Fun
I have the Learning around the Home to review. All the activities are appropriate for Desi, who is 4 1/2 and has Down syndrome to participate in and learn from. Even though Desi is more limited in her verbal expressions (she doesn't have a lot of words yet) than other 3-4-year-olds, she understands as much as they do! We had to modify the parts that included what she should say, but she was able to demonstrate that she understood the concepts by other means, and I believe the conversation around the activities helped her capabilities of using those words, even if on a simpler level.
In the Household Activities unit, the author has focused on routine household items and activities and made them into learning experiences. No need for formal lessons, just read the unit and incorporate it into your daily activities!
For Instance, with a clean basket of laundry you can play games and complete activities that cover:
- Counting to 5
- Classification by properties
- Different vs. The Same
- Communication skills
- Identifying colors
Desi loves to be right in the middle of things, so these activities are right up her alley! It takes just a little longer to do the normal household routine this way, but it is fun! A lot less frustrating than having your child run around and mess up your stacks of clothes!
The laundry activities include activities such as:
- Having your child fold washcloths into shapes of triangles, rectangles, and squares
- Sort folded laundry into stacks according to people they belong to using pictures as visual cues
- Using visual clues to sort according to categories
- Sorting by color
All of the units and lessons build on concepts from previous lessons and units.
In the end, the curriculum can be accomplished in just a few minutes a day. The child learns by doing. All lessons are simple, yet vitally profound. And each lesson has a game like feel when you are doing it with your child, keeping their enthusiasm and excitement for learning intact.
They are affordable. At around $5 a unit, the price can’t be beaten!
With these units and reading aloud a few books each day, your child will be off to a great start in learning! I am working through the Household activities with Desi now, and I fully intend to work through each unit with her for a fun curriculum that is super easy and relaxed, yet educationally solid. To me, this is just what preschool learning is all about!
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