I use the All About Reading curriculum with JZ and love it, so last year when J-Bug asked for school work of his own I decided to try out the All About Reading pre-reading level for preschoolers.
Pre-Reading Curriculum for Preschool
Let me start by saying that I don't think preschoolers needs formal curriculum. Preschoolers should play and explore and have quality books read to them often. That being said, younger children usually see what their older siblings are doing and ask for work of their own. That's what J-Bug did. He loved All About Reading. It was a great fit for him. He especially loved Ziggy the Zebra. A year later now in kindergarten, Ziggy still often makes an appearance in our school days. (Ziggy comes in the Deluxe package.)
Two things stand out to me about this curriculum:
1. There is very little prep time needed. When the kit first arrived it took me less than an hour to tear apart the perforated letter and activity cards and organize them in the box included with the Deluxe package. Once the curriculum was organized, the package was ready to use every day when it was time to do J-Bug's work.
2. The program is not a sit at the table and do worksheets type of curriculum. This is very important to me. There many activities including gross motor games, cutting practice, painting, coloring, and a whole list of ideas for incorporating sensory play into alphabet learning. Don't worry, if the hands on activities aren't your thing, they aren't required. Some days we followed the curriculum exactly, and other days we simply read the poems for the day while J-Bug colored the letter sheet.
This is not just a letter recognition program. Of course that is important, but All About Reading encompasses all of the five necessary pre-reading skills: print awareness, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, listening comprehension, and motivation to read.
Pictured above and below is a gross motor activity to work on counting syllables.
Every day there is a letter activity sheet to complete. J-Bug isn't a big fan of coloring, but the activities include a whole lot more than coloring. On the B page, for instance, we used blue paint and sponge daubers to paint blueberries on the letter B. All of the suggested activities are on the back of the letter activity sheet, so there is no need to come up with your own. At the same time, if you prefer to use your own creativity or let your preschooler take the lead, there is room to do so!
Next to Ziggy, the sticker chart was J-Bug's favorite part of the curriculum. He never let me forget to give him a sticker to put on the chart for each completed lesson.
J-Bug is in kindergarten now, and we have continued on with All About Reading. He is halfway through All About Reading Level 1 and reading short words and paragraphs. We have been very happy with the program and highly recommend it to anyone looking to add something to a preschool routine.