When I was young, I vividly remember Captain Kangaroo reading Caps for Sale on television. I loved it.
When he was young, my husband John read the picture book Make Way for Ducklings. He loved it.
When my children were young, John read them picture books from the library every night. Some quickly became favorites, like Miss Nelson Is Missing (with an incredible twist at the end), the beautiful books of Tomie dePaola, or the intricate drawings of Caldecott-winner Peter Spier. Our children loved these books.
Read-Aloud time was a favorite part of our daily routine.
Fast-forward a few decades.
When my daughter had young sons, she went to look for good picture books. She told me in dismay, "There are so few good ones!" Some had poor writing, or ugly illustrations, or too many "noise" words (what parent wants to read "Boom!" over and over again?), or did not hold her sons' attention.
Would it be possible to build a program for young children, not because they need "school," but because even young children love good books, and good books can be hard to find?
Would it be possible to build a collection that is a good value and reasonably priced, so that parents can afford it and the children have the books always available? If they don't have to be returned to the library, the children could look at them every day for years.
Oh, and, ideally, could that collection include some stories of cultural literacy? After all, children should know about the Gingerbread Man, Cinderella, Goldilocks, and Chicken Little.
That was what I went looking for: excellent, beloved books, for a good value, with plenty of cultural literacy.
And I think this collection meets, and, really, exceeds, my hopes. The 19 books in this program include the complete text of more than 70 popular picture books, some in compilations, and some as individual titles. (After all, one book with 12 titles in it is far more affordable than 12 separate books.)
Besides that, we have 34 fairy tales and 77 nursery rhymes.
And I can use "educational-ese" to make this sound impressive: Your children will increase their vocabulary, gain important pre-reading skills, expand their cultural literacy, enjoy beautiful illustrations, increase their attention span, improve their listening ability, and develop key motor skills.
And that is true.
But, really, no 3-year-old needs "school" to "develop key motor skills."
Three-year-olds need time with their parents, reading and enjoying great books.
And with Sonlight's Preschool program, your home library will have a wonderful collection of books that your children will return to again and again through the years.
Unique among Sonlight's programs, this one doesn't have a daily schedule. Instead, the stories and activities are listed by trimester for you to check off as you enjoy them. If your children want to read one story several times in a row – go for it! Reread your favorites as often as you like, and, with the checklist, you'll know you haven't missed any.
Strap-in for planes, trains, automobiles, and, since this is from Richard Scarry, even a pickle truck! Featuring hundreds of fun and clearly labeled vehicles, this is the perfect book for children who love things that move.
A very practical tool to guide you through our preschool materials and help you capitalize teachable moments to share with your little ones.
At this early beginning, please feel free to "just read" your children's favorite stories with them. We don't want you to feel that you must do something. So the supplemental resource we've created for you to use with Sonlight's Level Preschool is designed—on purpose—to be very practically simple, yet very easy and fun to draw from for those "teachable" moments when you know your little one's eyes, ears, and mind are wide open.
You can enjoy Level Preschool by just cuddling on the couch and reading with your children. But if you're like most Sonlighters, we know you want them to continually delight in their "learning adventure" and thirst for more.
So your special Parent's Companion helps you:
Your Parent's Companion doesn't have a "schedule" like you'll find in the Sonlight Instructor's Guides for later levels. In this Christian preschool curriculum, We simply list the stories by trimester and suggest that you check them off as you read them. If your child wants to read Give a Mouse a Cookie fifteen times in a row—let her do it. And if she wants to skip a book or two "ahead" in the list: go ahead and do that. The goal here is: have fun together!
It goes way beyond the checklist to help you know you've enjoyed each story at least once. Your Parent's Companion offers pages of inspiration you can use to create bonding opportunities—build the relationship between you and your preschooler—and foster in them a lifelong thrill in the discovery process.
The Parent's Companion is great for you, too. Take in everything from quotes and tips to make homeschooling easier and more rewarding to practical notes on organizing and cleaning. There's plenty of "bite-sized nuggets" of help you can use to keep your home running more smoothly all year long—even outside of school time.
The Preschool year is an introduction to homeschooling, so this Parent's Companion is not an Instructor's Guide. Once you begin with Pre-K you can experience all the joys and benefits of Sonlight's IGs including Forum access, schedule and notes, repurchase options and much, much more!
When Mary Ellen grows tired of reading, Grampa suggests they seek a bee tree—where a hive is hidden. They chase a bee through the Michigan woods and collect an exciting coterie of friends along the way.
Having achieved their goal, Grampa teaches Mary Ellen a poignant lesson about where and how one might find the sweetest things of all. Bright colors and vivid patterns. Beautiful. Full-color.
George and Martha do everything together. They go to the movies. They play at the beach. And like many best friends, they also just hang out together. Along the way, they learn things like: privacy is important, practical jokes can sometimes backfire, and pouring soup into your shoes to spare the chef's feelings is not a great idea.
Georgie Porgie travels with his friends to London for King Cole's birthday, and along they way they sing or recite 77 nursery rhymes. Wow! We play this CD over and over again.
77 classic nursery rhymes and lullabies. One hour of musical entertainment on one CD. 64-page illustrated book with complete lyrics.
Nine beloved classics illustrated by one of the best-loved Little Golden Books® illustrators. Includes nursery rhymes, prayers, poems, and stories.
Single-syllable words in rhythmic repetition and solid colored illustrations have made this an early favorite of children since 1961.
This is a memory mix-and-match game with adorable bear match game cards on extra-thick stock—perfect for little hands to work with as they hunt for pairs of bears.
These eight stories are not often found in fairy tale collections. Includes such stories as The Ugly Duckling and The Emperor's New Clothes. Simple storytelling at its best.
A classic story of faithfulness, with an end so stunning, so right, it defies description. Whimsical illustrations showcase Seuss at his best.
This fairy tale book for children has fourteen fairy tales, including the basic plots of all the favorites: Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, the Frog Prince, and ten more.
This book of fairy tales has luscious illustrations by Julie Downing.
The amazing story of a missionary who sees whether God can move a tree simply through prayer. Incredible!
Similar to pattern blocks, the 32 small plastic pieces fit on 30 pre-printed puzzle boards. An easy and fun introduction to spatial relationships for children ages 3-6.
Your children can see all the pieces needed to build each puzzle in the specially designed storage tray, which also serves as a beginner puzzle.
Help your child develop independence, problem solving skills, and self-confidence as they progress from the building the simplest beginning puzzles to the more complex.
Great rainy day activity!
Warning: Choking hazard. Not for children under 3. Pieces are not magnetic.
A glorious, unabridged, full-format anthology of Virginia Lee Burton's four most famous books including Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and the Caldecott Medal-winning The Little House.
Perennial delights. Full-color.
A lovely picture book tells the story of a 4-year-old boy and his 94-year-old great grandmother who lives in the home of his grandparents.
A touching, tender tribute to those who are significantly older than we are. Full-color.
Almost wordless, this picture book presents Noah as you've not seen him before.
How did Noah keep the animals? Feed them? Do the laundry? You will delight to study this gem in detail over and over again. Full-color.
Follow the antics of the farm animals: the sheep who faints from fear when her wool is shorn, the naughty goat who eats the roses (thorns and all), the geese who pinch, and many more.
Introduce your young ones to the Bible with this beautiful collection of 128 stories from Scripture.
Rich, full-color illustrations and thoughtful questions help you tell each story and teach every principle. Great for family reading time or for children to read for themselves. Keepsake worthy.
A collection of gentle poems and grateful thoughts about God.
Twelve nursery tales, such as the Gingerbread Man, Chicken Little, Jack and the Beanstalk, and the Three Little Pigs.
Eight of the master-illustrator and story-teller's best, most touching stories.
Includes Make Way for Ducklings; Blueberries for Sal; Lentil; Time of Wonder; One Morning in Maine; Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man; and excerpts from Homer Price and Centerburg Tales—all reproduced in their marvelously illustrated glory. Oversized.
Clothed animals show vignettes of various workers: bakers, home-builders, farmers, construction workers, and many more. A favorite title from a favorite illustrator.
Twelve marvelous picture books, including such classics as Caps for Sale, Goodnight Moon, and Harold and the Purple Crayon, plus modern classics such as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and From Head to Toe.
Our 3-year-old grandson takes this to rest time almost every day. Oversize; full-color.
We looked at over 160 science books for young people and this was the best by far. Three sections tell simply, yet accurately, about digestion, the senses, and the growth of a baby.