36 Week Lesson Plan Chart (pdf) (doc)
(1) PRESCHOOL IS NOT COMPULSORY. In both the US and the UK formal education before age five is optional. Many families like to have some kind of educational plan for their preschoolers, and we are making suggestions on this basis. Please do not feel that because the suggestions are there you must follow them. Readiness varies widely between children - one four year old may be ready to read, another may not yet be ready to learn the alphabet; some children may want to "do school" like older brothers and sisters, whereas others may have no interest in doing anything structured.
(2) READ TO YOUR CHILD. If you do nothing else with a four or five year old, a short time reading to your child each day will lay important foundations. It helps to cultivate the habit of attention, build vocabulary and general knowledge, and - best of all - gives both mother and child some enjoyable one-on-one time. If you have a wriggly four year old, just a few minutes at a time is fine. Don't put your child off the reading experience by forcing him to sit past the point where it is enjoyable.
(3) WHEN IN DOUBT - DO LESS. Trying to do too much with a young child is worse than doing too little. It is better to start from scratch with a six year old than to find yourself dealing with one who doesn't want to do schoolwork any more. Be sensitive to your child's needs and readiness. If he or she isn't ready, then holding off for a year or so is fine.
(4) YOU ARE THE EDUCATOR. The resources listed here are suggestions meant to give you a clear picture of what is recommended at this level but they are not set in stone. If you find a suitable resource that you prefer, please feel free to substitute.