Sunday, June 19, 2011

Alphabet Path meets Little Saints

Little Saints, if you aren't familiar, is a popular Montessori-based Catholic preschool curriculum. But it was a bust for Jack. I just couldn't engage him. It's not the fault of this lovely work. Jack has lots of attention issues and I have a really difficult time engaging him in..well, almost anything. He doesn't like crafts, and he didn't get hand rhymes and sort of thing, and in the end it just didn't feel like it was worth battling over. I saved my energy for kindergarten. The Alphabet Path was a smidge more successful because I was able to customize it for him, but still, he wasn't really very interested in most of it and it just kind of fizzled. It wasn't enjoyable for him, and since it wasn't essential, I just let it drop.

Well, now Tess is 3 years old, and she loves to "do school". She loves crafts, loves read alouds and hand rhymes and all that fun preschool-y stuff. And ironically, the more she is interested in doing such things, the more I find Jack wanting to join in. And let's not forget Henry! He is one year old now, and while he is much too young for crafts and such, he does already love songs and read alouds and that sort of thing.

So, what I've done is I've turned the Little Saint's curriculum into our own little Alphabet Path. This will be primarily for Tess, but I plan to have Henry join us for the parts he will enjoy and Jack will always be invited to join in as well. This will be our Alphabet Path for the next two years because we will continue to do one stop on the path each month (four weeks, really). That is just what is realistic for us. Jack will still be doing MODG's first grade curriculum, remember, and I do still have two other big kids to work with too! I offer my notes here of how I've broken this down. Maybe it will help someone who already has Little Saints and would like to use it this way, or maybe it will help someone looking for more Alphabet Path ideas. I am listing our themes by month because some of these themes are seasonal or based on the liturgical year. Sometimes the title Little Saints gives the theme matches the letter of the alphabet for that month, but many times I had to tweak it to make it match. When the latter occurs, I will put my name for this theme first, and the corresponding Little Saints theme in parentheses.

August- A - Angels (from Colors, day 1) and Alphabet Fun
September- B - By Sea and Sky
Late Sept/Oct.-C - Colors (days 2 and 3) and Cool Fall Weather (Fall Is Here)
Late Oct/Nov- D - Dentists, Doctors, and other Friends (Good Health Friends)
Late Nov/Dec- E - Emmanuel (some activities from the Christmas unit appropriate for
Advent
Late Dec/Jan- F - Felis Navidad (anything we didn't do in the Christmas Unit, plus the Epiphany unit) and Feathered Friends
Late Jan/Feb- G- Gardens (Plant Life) and Grocery Stores (At the Supermarket)
Feb- H - Home (My Home and Neighborhood) and Hibernation (Forest Animals)
March-I - Insects, Ireland (a one day unit in LS on St. Patrick), and Italy (a one day unit on St. Joseph, the patron of Italy)
April- J - Joyful Easter (Easter Time) and Jump Into Spring (Spring has Sprung)
May- K - Keeping Safe (Safety Friends)
June- L - Long Days of Summer (Summer Fun), Life in a City
July- M - My Family
August- N -Number Fun, Nursery Rhymes
September- O On the Farm (In the Country)
Late Sept/Oct-P Pond and Sea, Pets and Pals
Late Oct/Nov- Q Queens and Kings (Fairy Tales)
Late Nov/Dec- R Restaurants (Eating Out)
Late Dec/Jan- S Snow (Winter Fun) and Storytime (Fables and Folktales)
Late Jan/Feb- T Triangles and other Shapes (Shapes), and Time (It's About Time)
Feb- U Up In Space, United States (My America)
March- V loVing Your Neighbor
April- W What's the Weather, World of Friends (Children Around the World)
May- X
(Little Christians)
June- Y All About You (I Belong to God, My Five Senses)
July- Z Zoo Animals

So that's it...maybe this will help someone out there with their planning. At the very least it will be here for me when Henry is 3! I plan to take Tess down Elizabeth Foss's Alphabet Path again when she is done with this Little Saint's version.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Mel, this sounds awesome! I can't wait to see photos of the "journey!" :-)

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