Discover more in this series on Intentional Learning with the ABCJesusLovesMe Curriculum
1. Combining the 1 and 3 Year Curricula
2. How to Use the 5 Year Curriculum
3. How to Use the 3 Year Curriculum in a Preschool
4. Intentional Learning with the 2 Year Curriculum
I am frequently asked, “How do you use multiple ABCJesusLovesMe Curricula at a time?”.
Keeping two or more active children focused for intentional learning can be challenging. But by using daily activities and intentional play-based learning, it isn’t nearly as hard as you might think!
For just 30 minutes a day, Stacy builds a strong foundation of academics, Bible, and development in her toddler and preschooler. Using the 1 and 3 Year Curricula simultaneously, she provides age-appropriate learning for her 1 and 3-year olds in ways that they don’t even realize they are learning.
Discover her daily routine and how Stacy introduced her children to the Week 1 learning objectives from the 1 and 3 Year Curricula.
Breakfast and Chores (5-10 minutes)
From Stacy: After breakfast, my 3-year-old does age-appropriate chores (making bed, cleaning off table, etc.). Using a modified version of Heidi’s Quarter System, we keep this time lighthearted and fun by singing the poem (Ba Ba Black Sheep) and Bible songs of the week.
With my toddler, we use breakfast time to work on language, fine motor, “Taking Care of Me” activities, and colors. In Week 1 this includes the activities: So Big, Peak-a-Boo, and finding her head. For her chore imitation, she enjoys using a washcloth to clean the highchair. A few sprays of water add fun to her task.
Learning Time (5-10 minutes)
My preschooler has the option of sitting in a child’s chair or on a specific spot on the rug. Not to be outdone, little sister sits close to him on the rug or on the floor in a chair with a tray. I place items on her tray that relate to the Shape, Color, or Animal of the Week to keep her interest. This week she had black toys and circle lids to play with.
We begin with “This is the Day” (Bible Song of the Week) and talk about the date, draw a picture on the calendar of something special to do that day or count to upcoming holidays. If time allows, we talk about what we did yesterday or practice songs about the months of the year or days of the week.
This is also the time that I introduce the Letter or Number of the Week (Letters Aa) on the chalkboard.
To end, we read one of the chosen books from the curriculum (e.g. Book of the Week, Letter Book, or Number Book) or supplemental books that I find at the library. We look for the Color of the Week (black) and the Animal of the Week (raccoon) in the books.
Art Time (15 minutes)
Naptime for my little one provides opportunity to craft, do Fine Motor Activities, and focus on handwriting with my 3-year-old. We work with tactile numbers and letters, Progressive Art, and other workbooks activities. When my daughter awakes, my preschooler finishes his art while I steal some one-on-one time to read, say the Nursery Rhyme (Row, Row, Row Your Boat), or be intentional with her. If she doesn’t nap, she participates in art fun (Color Train) for a few moments.
While I prep for lunch, the kids play nearby or help me in the kitchen. If extra time allows, we will act out the Bible Story of the Week or do the Gross Motor Activity. For Week 1, the intentional learning activities are Barnyard Dance and Noah’s Ark play.
Lunch & Nap Time
At lunch we look for colors and shapes in the food we eat and I always look for other teachable moments during our conversations. We read one or two books or Bible stories prior to nap time.
Family Bible Time (5-15 minutes)
Evening time is when Daddy joins us to use the flannelgraph board (an optional addition to the curriculum) and teach the Bible story, verse, and song. Because we are using both the 1 and 3 Year Curricula, we alternate the Bible stories (Creation and Noah’s Ark) to cover each several times a week.
Intentional learning is the focus of bath time. We incorporate one or two of the following play options:
- Crayola Color Dropz to change bath water to color of the week and we sing the ABCJesusLovesMe Color Song
- Shaving cream to draw the weekly letters, numbers, and/or shapes on the sides of the bathtub
- Toy animals or other items to support the Animal, Book, or Bible Story of the Week (may be the same manipulatives used earlier)
- Discuss “About Me” objectives, how God made us, or other learning objectives
And what’s a bedtime without just one more story!
Combining ABCJesusLovesMe Curriculum
Thank you, Stacy, for sharing these simple, yet fun ideas.
Each of the ABCJesusLovesMe Curricula are separate and unique. But by rotating through objectives, having a daily routine, and using teachable moments, you can easily cover the age-appropriate learning to provide your children with a love for learning.
Have More Than One Child?
Purchase the “We are Learning…” poster as a guide to help you combine the five curricula objectives. When used alongside the 36 Week Scope and Sequences provided in the printed Curriculum Guides, you can quickly choose the objectives you desire to cover. Place combined objectives in the bold boxes and child-specific objectives in the thin boxes. Place the poster in a plastic cover or picture frame, then mark up the objectives with a dry erase marker to reuse the one poster as many times as you need.