How to Involve Your Pre-Schoolers
We invite you to experience Seton Home Study School’s Pre-Kindergarten Program—the first new grade added to Seton’s Homeschool Curriculum in over 30 years!
For many years, one of the most popular requests Seton received from our enrolled families was the creation of an educational program for pre-kindergarten children. Thanks to a number of providential meetings and collaborations, we are finally able to provide this much needed service to our families.
How It Began
In the spring of 2010, Seton began conversations with Nan Alcott, an educational expert in the field of pre-kindergarten learning, about the development of a Seton Pre-K Program. We consulted with Mrs. Alcott on how we might develop the finest academic program as well as one rich in our Catholic Faith. Nan, a homeschooling parent and grandparent as well as someone thoroughly familiar with Seton’s curriculum, offered to help us. The result of that collaboration far exceeded our expectations!
About the Author
Nan Alcott holds her Master of Education in Early Childhood Special Education from James Madison University. Her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education/Special Education is from Marygrove College.
Early Literacy for Young Catholics draws extensively on her experience of 21 years as a Special Education teacher, nine of which have been at the preschool level.
Nan has taught catechesis for seven years and homeschooled her youngest child for three high school years. Of her sterling achievements, Nan is perhaps most proud to state that she is “blessed to be a wife, mother of 6, and grandmother of 12.”
About the Illustrator
Ben Hatke is an artist, writer, and comics creator. His work for Seton Press includes Seton’s phonics books, the Vocabulary for Young Catholics series, and the Seton Literary Classics edition of Ballad of the White Horse.
Ben learned painting by studying the Italian Masters and by training at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy.
He lives and works in Front Royal, Virginia, with his lovely wife and growing family. Ben enjoys swords and whistles and juggling and adventures.
Her work resulted in Early Literacy for Young Catholics Pre-K Activity Book and a comprehensive set of lesson plans to complement it. This material is the cornerstone of our Pre-K Program. The wonderfully nuanced educational content authored by Nan was taken to an even higher level through the vivid illustrations by acclaimed children’s artist Ben Hatke. Ben has worked on many Seton books, but he was most enthusiastic about this new book—and it shows!
Another great strength of the Program that we are sure you will appreciate is the new Religion for Young Catholics Pre-Kindergarten. Developed by Seton staff, it is based on the philosophy of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
The instructions in Religion Pre-K are presented within the context of a loving Catholic family. It is our hope that a child growing up in such an environment from an early age will view Catholicism as natural and necessary as the air he breathes.
The Program’s Goals
Two key points: First, because preschoolers learn best by doing and playing, Seton’s Pre-K Program is activity-based. Second, this is a year of exposure, not mastery, of the alphabet and its sounds.
A note about the skills developed in Seton’s Pre-Kindergarten Program
Early Literacy for Young Catholics Pre-K Activity Book and Pre-K lesson plans were written to enable you to help your child develop the essential skills for four-year-olds in the areas of Literacy, Mathematics, Science, History and Social Science, Physical and Motor Development, and Personal and Social Development.
Four of the six Literacy Foundation Blocks are addressed in Early Literacy for Young Catholics Pre-K Activity Book: Vocabulary, Phonetic Awareness, Letter Knowledge, and Written Expression. The other two components, Oral Expression and Print and Book Awareness, are covered in the accompanying lesson plans.
The criteria for these six standards is based on the Virginia Department of Education’s Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds (2007).
You can be assured that the books and lesson plans you receive will provide the guidance and materials you need and will help you create a Catholic and child-friendly learning environment.
The Program is designed to refresh your own wonder and curiosity as you work and play with your young child. Not only will this be a year to reflect and teach, it will be a time to introduce concepts and to expose your child to vocabulary, the notion of letters and sounds, many sensory activities as precursors to handwriting, as well as print and book awareness in a developmentally appropriate way for a four-year-old.
Preparing a Catholic Home Environment
Our Faith is precious, and our traditions are rich. Preschoolers do not understand the depths of the mysteries of our Faith; however, they absorb a tremendous amount by ardently observing what we as parents do. Even one-year-olds at the table will stop and watch intently as the family makes the Sign of the Cross and prays grace together. You will find simple, suggested activities throughout the Program which are consciously designed to emphasize the Catholic Faith in your home life.
One Last Point!
Preschoolers need time outside everyday! They need time to enjoy God’s creation and the weather, to run, climb, dig, and jump with no fear of knocking over fragile items!
Our hope is that this Program will assist you in teaching your preschool child Catholic values and culture, along with essential pre-literacy skills. May God bless your family in this endeavor!