Philosophy and Objectives of the Program
Horizons Preschool is a complete preschool program that was made to be adaptable to many situations: a classroom, homeschool and daycare situtation. Five days a week of lessons are provided with the understanding that any number of days per week may be used successfully. New concepts are introduced on days 1, 3 and 5 of the week. Days 3 and 4 have activities that expand and further practice the concepts.
FINE MOTOR SKILLS
If you have a child that is still developing fine motor skills, that's fine- write in sand or shaving cream until it's built up. There are helps within the program such as tracing letters and activities to enjoy that will build fine motor skills that they need to start writing. If your child is already able to write, the curriculum is more open and go.
HOW to Think, not WHAT to Think
There is a very helpful section in the beginning of the Horizons program that addresses understanding a young child and how they think versus how an adult thinks. Horizons Preschool's goal is to teach the child HOW to think instead of WHAT to think. The importance of allowing a child free time after a teaching session is stressed because how the child plays will show what has been absorbed and internalized. The usual age for starting Horizons Preschool is 4 years old, Horizons warns not to push it, let the child's actions and desires guide the decision to start, not age or grandparents. Lol.
HOW TO CREATE A POSITIVE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
There is more about how to go about teaching your child, what elements are most important and how you can move forward to accomplish a positive learning experience for your child. Elements addressed are discipline, routine, limitations of time, unstructured time to play and how the teacher can encourage the child. All very helpful!
DESIGNED TO BE ACTIVITY AND ACADEMIC CENTERED
This preschool program has been designed to meet the needs of two different types of preschool programs- an activity centered preschool and the academic centered program. This means there is far more material presented in the teacher's guide than what can be covered. It is a pick and choose program that supports half day programs, three day programs and all-day programs.
1. Student Workbooks: Consumable workbooks which contain 180 lessons in 4 color in a perfect bound book with perforated pages for easy tear out. Most pages are front and back but pages with crafts that require cutting are only 1-sided.
2. Teacher's Guide: Detailed (whew! the details) daily lesson planner that provides enough activities for a full day.
3. Resource Packet: Full color teaching aids and black line masters for reproduction.
- Memory Verse cards provided separately in NIV and KJV
- Alphabet Puzzle
- Flashcards (I love these!): Numbers 1-12, Letters (Aa-Zz), Colors, Shapes, Time (analog & digital clocks by the hour), Seasons, and Months. There are smaller flashcards which are full color and two sided and huge flashcards 8.5x11 that are also full color and two sided.
- Music CD contains Bible songs to reinforce key ideas, recorded using children's voices and serves as a sing-along instructional aid.
The Daily Lesson Structure only in Teacher's Guide:
- Bible Reference, this is chapter and verse
- Bible Concept to Present: overall objective of the lessons from a nondenominational viewpoint (yay!)
- Bible Lesson: provides information you need but is suggested that you present this instead of reading it
- Social Studies: materials that affect the child's life, items that have an impact on the child's lifestyle and people around him, many suggestions are activity oriented
- Science: based on God's creation, activity oriented with specific subjects discussed
- Language Arts: words exercises, poems, verbalizations, games, etc. Reading should only be taught when the child is ready.
- Phonics: Letter recognition and alphabet order. Associating, differentiating and blend the letters sounds comprises the remainder of the program which Horizons suggests using LIFEPAC Kindergarten Language Arts or Horizons Kindergarten Phonics & Reading. Yeah, we won't.
- Reading: Primary goal is to increase the verbal skills, narration is promoted.
- Writing: developmental progressions with the goal of having the child write their first name by the end of the program
- Memory Verses: memorization tips
- Math: Teach fundamentals of number sense through multi-sensory activities.
- Shapes: identifying basic geometric shapes- a new shape is introduced about every 2 weeks
- Colors: also introduced every two weeks
- Story Time: this has been left very open (thankfully for us!) but there is a list of books to choose from. Specific books are not tied into the individual lessons. Rereading a book numerous times is encouraged, and many more helps are provided.
- Music: Suggested for each lessons, the CD is tied to each lesson as well as popular toddler and preschool songs. There is a new song every 7 lessons
- Arts & Crafts: plenty of suggestions throughout
- Physical Education: to develop motor coordination needed, develop large muscle motor skills, grace and rhythm
- Outdoor Activities: nature
- Creative Cooking: a way to involve more senses (Danny loves to cook!)
- Health & Safety: habits of hygiene and everyday safety skills
- Field Trips: suggestions given
- Homework pages: Can be done with Dad in the evenings but more for traditional school
- Catch Up: Listed every six to eight weeks for when you don't have time to do a lesson, this is when you "catch-up"
This program can be as involved or as simple as you'd like! Here's some pictures.
Yes, that is a yeast cell. Cool, huh?
Pages from Lesson 19
Page from Lesson 100
Page from Lesson 104
Seasons flashcards 8.5 x 11, front Fall, back of the winter card on right
Color this picture of heaven, Lesson 3
Smaller and larger flashcards to use
Front and back of the Number flashcards
Time by the hour
Pages in the resource packet for reproduction
Colorful illustrations as teaching aids- yes that's the brain and the five senses are noted
and safety signs.
You know why else I love this program? If we don't cover something in PreK, we can continue it into K and use some of the elements later on in science, etc. There is SO much to this program, I cannot find one thing I have an issue with. I hope this helps others.