9 Signs that Your Preschool Christian Curriculum is Age Appropriate!

By: Mark Arens

There are so many different ways curriculums can go with teaching children the concepts of our Christian faith. The key for preschool Christian school curriculum is to plant the seeds of faith, deposit the concepts of Christianity, and begin to develop the basics of who we are as Christians.

1) Plant The Seeds of Faith!
In planning for Preschool, we look at our Christian curriculums scope and sequence to plant the seeds of faith, deposit the concepts of Christianity, and begin to develop the basics of who we are as Christians. These basics should include: who is God, we are created by God, God is always good, who is Jesus, Jesus loves you, and of course God loves you. Keep it basic, they have many more years to go deeper!

2) Repeat It!
Whether you are focusing on Christian School Curriculum, or a Christian home school curriculum, there is one factor that is the same about preschoolers, they need and love to repeat! So, repeat it! If you have a preschooler, you know that they love to watch that same DVD over and over, and you may never want to hear that favorite song again, but they love it, and they need it. That's how they learn. You have to go back to the concept that preschool is a time to plant the seeds, not perfect things, and repeat it so they know the basics.

3) Repeat It Again!
I know this sounds redundant, but it is really important! Find curriculums that repeat the basic seeds of faith. Find curriculums that bring the same characters back week after week, to help plant those seeds of Faith. Have storytellers use a puppet to tell the story with them. The children will start looking for that puppet each week, they may even talk to the puppet and ask the questions to them. It makes them feel safe. Use curriculums that have repeat characters, so those basic concepts can be learned in a fun and inviting ways.

4) Teach Preschoolers to Pray and Worship.
How will they know if we don't show them? Someone had to teach us the basic concepts of prayer at some point in our lives. Preschoolers need to learn as well. Keep it simple. Start with teaching them a simple prayer, and repeat it. Teach them to worship. What is worship in the preschool world? It's the time to show God you love him. You sing to him, dance for him, clap for him.

5) Model Prayer.
Preschoolers learn from doing and from watching. So in any Christian school curriculum or home school curriculum don't just tell them to pray, model it. Your curriculum should include a group prayer, at the same time each week, maybe the end of worship, but don't let it stop there. If you get a chance to pray during a small group time take that opportunity. Take requests each week. You'll be surprised and amazed at what you hear. Children have such pure hearts and the Lord can really speak to a pure heart.

6) Model Worship.
Preschoolers love to worship! They have no inhibitions about how they look! They are completely sincere! Use the time of music and singing to really show the Lord how you love Him. That means adults too. You can jump, clap, dance, shake it, and model it! The preschoolers don't care if you look silly, they love silly!

7) Always Have Weekly Preschool Program Concepts in Your Christian Curriculum
You want children to want to come to Christian programming, or Sunday school. So, every aspect of "Sunday School" does not have to say Jesus right on it. Preschool children need to feel comfortable, and sometimes toys that they recognize, or even concepts like free time and snack need to be included. This is preschool "comfort food" so to speak. Have routines each week that include these "comfort foods".

8) Free Play
Be sure to have free play included in your Christian curriculum. Have free play even if the time seems to not be about God, because free time is a preschool "comfort food". They will notice everything in the room that is toy oriented, and they will want to play with it, so, just let them, you want them to want to come!

9) Don't Forget Snack!
I once saw a top ten list that preschoolers rated the best thing about coming to school was… snack! We had the discussion as staff members one year deciding should we do snack for preschool? It costs a lot, it's only an hour, and it's not really about God, so we decided no snack. A month into programming the teachers said, "We are just going to buy a snack each week for the kids because we just think they need it!" Comfort food. Do they need it? No. Does it make them want to come? Yes! Remember also the repeat thing. Preschoolers don't need a variety of complicated snacks. You know what they love? Goldfish crackers, every week. A tiny cup of "fishy crackers."It makes all things good! It's worth it, and if you want to make it Christian, talk about the fish being a Christian symbol!

Be sure to put yourself in a preschooler's shoes when you are looking for preschool curriculum. Keep basic concepts, knowing they have many more years to go deeper, and make sure to repeat those concepts. Most importantly make sure the curriculum has those fun and inviting characters, to keep the children wanting to come back week after week.

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Mark Arens, the man with a heart for kids, a hand for parents and a "thumbs up" for families, is expanding his ThumbPeople company with "Curricu-Thumb!" ThumbPeople's, Thumbuddy Club curriculum brings the affirming thumbprint character, Thumbuddy, to preschoolers in school programs, library events, homeschool and Christian curriculum environments. Quickly becoming the official spokesperson for building self worth within children, Thumbuddy encourages kids to see themselves as the unique, one-of-a-kind miracle they were created to be! Come visit: www.christian-curriculums.com.

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