Tuesday, December 29, 2009
FAQ: Beginning ABCJLM Mid-Year
One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is the one about starting the ABCJLM curriculum in the middle of the year. I wanted to cover this topic as I know several people are looking for a preschool curriculum to begin in January.
All four of the ABCJLM curriculum are created to be flexible. Although they are designed to start in August and finish in May, this is simply to match up the holidays with activities in the curriculum. The basic curriculum does not change.
For starters, decide which curriculum to use.
1st - Figure out how many years the has before Kindergarten. A child who has only one year needs to be doing the 4 Year Curriculum or 5 Year Curriculum if possible so that they are prepared.
2nd - Use the Objective Pre Test to figure out what the child already knows.
3rd - Use the Curriculum Chart Guide to help you decide the best curriculum for what the child already knows.
Next, decide where to start.
All of the curriculum build on themselves in one form or another. The older curriculum even more so than the younger. I would suggest beginning all of the curriculum on Week 1 because of this building factor. Move the holiday activities around as needed. Then choose the pace based upon the child's needs.
Let me give you some scenarios…
Scenario #1 - Fred is 5 and will be attending Kindergarten in the fall. He struggles with some letter sounds but can write and name all of them. He struggles with gross motor skills and mixed us several of his numbers. He also does not know any Bible stories, verses, or songs. Given this, I would suggest starting the 4 Year Curriculum at the beginning but moving at a faster pace so that you cover two lesson plans in one week. Focus on the Bible stories, songs, and activities that Fred most needs.
Scenario #2 – Sara is 4 and won’t attend Kindergarten for 1 ½ years because you have chosen to red shirt her a year. She knows the basic colors and shapes and knows most of the letters and numbers. I would suggest beginning the 4 Year Curriculum for Sara, moving at her pace. Then in the fall, follow up with the 5 year curriculum to further prepare her for Kindergarten.
Scenario #3 – Tommy is 3 and won’t attend Kindergarten for 2 ½ years. The pre-assessment shows that Tommy knows his colors and most shapes but very few letters. I would begin Tommy at the beginning of the 3 year curriculum. Continue as far as the calendar will allow until August and begin the 4 Year Curriculum.
Scenario #4 - Kate is 25 months and knows all of her colors, many letters and numbers, and most shapes. While this is very advances for a 2-year-old, I would begin Kate on the 2 Year Curriculum because there is so much more to the curriculum than academic concepts. Focus on the Bible stories, songs, social skills, fine and gross motor skills, etc.
So, dive in. Be flexible. Move at a pace that works for you and your child. Most of all – have fun.