When my oldest child was two years old I started doing Letter of the Week lessons one on one with him and it ended up being such a fun and enriching experience for us. It was so rewarding to see his excitement for learning and his increased knowledge as he picked up new information. I worked together with a friend to create an outline for the format of the lesson and then I planned lessons for each letter that I could use with him. I saved my lessons so I would be able to use them for future children and I’m so glad I did!
Last year an opportunity was presented to me to start having other kids come into my home for preschool lessons to learn along with my two year old daughter. The kids were there for 2.5 hours so I needed to expand my lessons, but I used the previous outline and built upon it.
When I did the one on one lessons with my son they were much shorter (sometimes as short as 30 minutes and always less than an hour). We did it twice a week and focused on two different topics for the letter each week (e.g. A is for Apple as A is for Ant). But I certainly don’t think that’s a necessity and you could do only one lesson a week or spread the same topic throughout the whole week.
Below is the outline I followed when planning each lesson, but pay attention to what your child most enjoys and most connects with and you can put more focus on that area. For example, my older son wasn’t really into doing crafts at this age, but he loved reading books and doing learning activities so I stuck to just one craft and added more books and activities in. But my second child was much more interested in crafts. I think it’s still good to spend time in all the areas even if it’s not their favorite and encourage them to try new things, but don’t force them to do it because this is supposed to be fun and to help them develop of a love of learning.
The basic outline:
- Letter Craft- I’m not very crafty, so most of my letter craft ideas have come from other blogs as found through Pinterest.
- Book- I chose one or two books to read that fit with the theme. Since my son loved the book part so much I ended up adding more books into the lesson, but you certainly don’t have to.
- Song- This is another area I’m not strong in, but I thought it was important to expose my children to music. If I couldn’t think of a song I knew that fit with the theme I searched around Pinterest, google, or youtube until I found something good.
- Snack- I tried to think of simple, kid-friendly snacks that fit in with the theme or started with the same letter.
- Activity- There is a lot of variety in what this could be. I did things like setting up imaginative play, doing learning worksheets/puzzles/games, bringing the theme to playdough, and much more. This is where the lesson can really be expanded or shortened depending on your child’s interest and how much time you have.
We also ended each lesson by reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and adding the letter to our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree
When I expanded the lessons for my home preschool I followed this same outline and basically repeated it throughout the lesson. We always do a letter craft at the beginning and then I read a book, do a craft or activity that fits with it, throw in songs and more active elements, and repeat. About halfway through the lesson we always have a snack break. I definitely don’t keep the kids sitting at the table the whole time and make sure there are active elements spread throughout. Weather permitting, we will do things outside, but we at least move to different parts of the room or house.
This provides a basic outline if you want to create your own lessons. If you’d like to see the ideas I used in my lessons I have pretty detailed posts for each lesson on this site, although since I didn’t start my blog until after I’d already been doing most of the lessons, only the last part of the alphabet is one here as of August 2018. I will be starting another round of preschool lessons September 2018 and will post all the lessons to my blog as I do them. All of the lessons on here are for the expanded home preschool lessons, so if you want to do shorter/simpler lessons just pull out the books, crafts, and activities that are the best fit for you.
Good luck and have fun!
Also check out this list of Preschool Supplies I very frequently use in lessons that also includes examples of how we use the materials: