Here is an updated version of a previous post. I saw a friend at the library today who asked how I decide what books to get at the library. Below are some ways to find good books and some of my favorites!
I had a friend ask about homeschooling preschool and thought I’d share a few ideas. Basically, all I do is read a lot of books (mostly picture books for the ages of 4 and under) starting when they turn 1 year old. (When I stop nursing, I replace it with reading books before each nap and bedtime.) I find that it’s very natural for me to find things in books to use to teach areas rather than just reading. For example, in the book "Goodnight Moon", we look for the mouse on each page. Maybe I’ll ask them to count how many stars are in the sky or what shape or color something is. We use books like Dr. Seuss’s ABC and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to learn the alphabet. I try to steer clear of "twaddle" books, and there are a lot of them! For example, many of the "character" books such as Disney, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Barbie, etc. and just not even worth my time. They are so poorly written. I love to read books above their level as soon as they can handle it. My oldest son listened all the Chronicles of Narnia when he was 4 and loved them! I just finished reading the full 9-book series of Little House by Laura Ingalls Wilder to my preschool girls (started when they were 3 and 5, now they are 4 and 6).
The other thing I do for preschool is make sure we have quality toys to develop their imaginations: puzzles, dress-up clothes, dolls and accessories, play kitchen, trains, Tinker Toys, dollhouses, etc.
The two previous things are basic. I know there are some people who have the desire, the time and the energy to do more with their preschoolers. It’s fine to do so, but not necessary. I’ve never bought any curriculum or special guides for teaching my preschoolers. Below are some great ideas of "curriculae" which have been helpful to some people.
To get a good list of books to read to preschoolers, check out the following websites and their booklists:
Five in a Row
Letter of the Week
The book Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
I, of course, do other things, too, which I feel are valuable such as reading the Bible, memorizing Scripture (age 3), narration (age 4), music and movement, field trips, art, chores, nature exploration/ outdoor play. I start "handwriting" with the Handwriting Without Tears preschool books. There are also some fun lapbooks to do with preschoolers which may be found at Hands of a Child, Knowledge Box Central and Live N Learn Press. (You can try a free lapbook called "All About Me" here.) You’ll find only free lapbooks at HomeschoolShare and HomeschoolHelperOnline. I also love the free Tot Books found here. Homeschooling preschool is fun and easy–and you won’t get the negative peer pressure and bad attitudes (and loss of money) that come when sending them to a preschool!
Here are some children’s picture books that I have enjoyed:
A is For Adam and D is For Dinosaur by Ken and Mally Ham (great for creation science).
The Creation Bible by Ken Ham
Where Does God Sleep, Momma by Nancy Bestmann
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau (one of my favorites!)
M is For Melody by Kathy-jo Wargin
Quilting Now and Then by Karen Bates Willing and Julie Bates Dock
Robert McCloskey books (like Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal and Lentil)
The Lord Builds the House: the 127th Psalm illustrated by Johannah Bluedorn
Baby’s First Book of Blessings and Baby’s First Book of Psalms by Stephen Elkins
Sheep in a Jeep (and others) by Nancy Shaw
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Sandra Boynton books (like Blue Hat, Green Hat; Moo, Baa, Lalala; Birthday Monsters; Oh Me, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs; Hippos Go Berserk).
Eric Carle Books (like Very Hungry Caterpillar, Very Quiet Cricket, Click Beetle The Very Busy Spider, Mixed-up Chameleon, and Animals, Animals,a collection of poems).
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert.
Curious George by H.A. Rey.
Kathleen Long Bostrom books (like What is God Like?, Who is Jesus?, What About Heaven?, Are Angels Real?).
Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and others) by Jaura Joffe Numeroff
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza (Philemon Sturges)
Welcome to the Ice House by Jane Yolen
Best Mother Goose Ever by Richard Scarry
The Vert First Christmas and The Very First Easter by Paul L. Maier
Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop
The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow.
Dr. Suess books (like ABC book; One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish).
Jan Brett books (like Berlioz the Bear, The Mitten, and The Owl and the Pussycat. She has beautiful illustrations.).
Sebastian: A Book About Bach by Jeanette Winter
Good Night Sweet Butterflies by Dawn Bentley.
The Veggiecational Book by Phil Vischer.
Stan and Jan Berenstain books (like Bears on Wheels and The Berenstains’ B Book).
Good Night Moon and Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Burton
The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
Bedtime for Frances and Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Petunia by Roger Duvoisin
Laura Ingalls Wilder picture books.
Beatrix Potter books.
Winnie the Pooh stories by A.A. Milne.
Raggedy Ann stories.
Mercer Mayer books
And here are a few suggestions by REInvestor:
I love children’s picture books too. Many of those you have listed are ones we love too. We also like Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse by Lindsey Barrett George, books by Patricia Polacco, and my kids all loved The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Longfellow. Also my son loved St. George and The Dragon adapted by Margaret Hodges.
Please share your favorite picture books!