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Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven: A Catholic Preschool Curriculum Paperback – April 19, 2012
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About the Author
Sarah Park is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she earned a degree in Humanities and Catholic Culture. Sarah s great passion is educating her five children, and she also enjoys sewing, gardening and cooking in her spare time. Sarah and her family live outside Houston, Texas, and at the time of printing, they are expecting their sixth child. Twenty-Six Letters to Heaven is her first publication.
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Top Customer Reviews
Really is a gem.
Wish I had it three kids ago. It's everything
You need for preschool, and doubles up as morning time with all the family, since you study bible verses and saints.
Younger kids like to join in ok the crafts, and my older daughter leads the little
Ones in making the recipes. The
Booklist is also nice. It includes
Books from fiar, catholic mosaic, and others the author suggests. It is easy to
Implement, and ,
Other that having supplies ready,
Pretty much open and go.
Like other have stated, there are a couple of different bible verses, virtues, a list of saints, crafts and activities for math and a sometimes science, social studies, and aspects of faith, a collage you can do for each letter, cooking, and a booklist.
First of all, I have to agree that the booklist is pretty fabulous and possibly the strongest aspect of the book. Lot of great authors like Tomie DePoala, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, and few library classics as well. Unfortunately, I'm finding that I'm having to go to more than one library to find most of the books, but that may be a limitation of my local area. I'm also a little disappointed that there isn't a saint book for every letter, but perhaps a page from a book of saints with the corresponding letter would do.
Another strong point for me would be the recipes as I like to cook and would love to incorporate my daughter more in the kitchen. My daughter really seemed to enjoy making applesauce and blueberry banana bread with me as well. However, after reviewing all the recipes that go with each letter I should warn that there are A LOT of sweet and sugary ones. I get that kids probably get more excited about making cakes and cookies with mom over healthier options, so this may not be such an issue if you already have a large family or if you only eat a few and freeze the rest. BUT, if you're trying to encourage healthier eating habits, lose weight, avoid gestational diabetes, or have certain food allergies you may want to find alternative recipes.
As for my criticisms, while others have stated the virtues and bible verses as strong points, I'm not as fond of them. Perhaps it's me, but it seems like the corresponding verses that go with the virtues seem either too wordy for my four year old to memorize or inappropriate. It seems like better ones could have been chosen to correspond with the virtues. I also feel like using them for handwriting (or alternatively, chapter and verse number) with my daughter is not appropriate FOR HER at this time as I'm still teaching her how to properly hold a pencil and actually form something that looks like a letter. This may not reflect your situation though and may be something I'd consider later on. I also wish that some of the books on the book list would correspond with the virtues. If you're looking to have your child memorize scripture, I believe there are Scripture Alphabet cards via Catholic Icing that you can download may be more preschool friendly but won't necessarily correspond with the virtues. I'm also a little disappointed there isn't a faith activity for every letter. Overall, I kind of like the idea of teaching faith aspects around the liturgical calendar that Catholic Icing seems to promote better. Something about the faith portion of this feels more disjointed to me, but then again that could just be me. I'm almost considering using more from Catholic Icing, but debating if it's worth buying the curriculum, even if just for the templates, since I've read other reviews suggest you're not getting much more than what's already on the website. It's just that if my kids notice I'm on the computer they quickly want to highjack it for starfall or something, so not a lot of time for momma
hunt and look for materials. In fact, my four year old is pouncing on me as I type.
My biggest complaint I have, and maybe it's because it was written so you can work with different ages, is that it lumps all the letter sounds all together, including the weird sounding ones that don't follow the traditional sound. For example, for letter C instead of focusing on the traditional C sound like the C in "Cat", it lumps words like the Ch in "Church" and C in Cecilia. I think this is confusing to a child when introducing phonics and in trying to plan ahead I'm finding I have to cut out activities and approaching them later because of this. While vowels obviously are an exception with long and short sounds, the same is true here as well. For example, letter E has a lesson on the Eucharist and while I definitely believe every Catholic child should learn about the Eucharist, it makes a terrible example for teaching the letter E because it sounds more like a U than long or short E. I wish this was a lesson in Letter C instead and called communion. I would love to know what others thought of this as well.
While I like that it tries to be flexible and incorporate a variety of different subjects, I often wonder if it really is that complete and if I should supplement with something else. I almost wonder if I should have started with a box curriculum like the Pre-K program from CHC if for no other reason than guidance for the first year and used 26 letters for fun activities instead. Or at least used in conjunction with Catholic ABC's for faith.
There is a variety of activities, but like another reviewer said I almost feel like there aren't enough. That being said
We have learned SO many Bible verses and because of Sarah's flexible format, have been able to use '26 Letters' as a springboard for MANY other homeschool ideas.
The curriculum includes: Virtue of the week; corresponding Bible verse & Saint; writing/ language skills activities; math & science ideas; suggested children's books; recipes; and more!
I've never felt pressured to complete every activity but instead have used Sarah's suggestions to find 'what works' and pick which activities are suitable for each child. We all learn the Bible verse and virtue of the week. My 4 & 5 year-olds make collages and complete many of the subject matter activities and my 2 year-old is included often with coloring & identifying the Letter of the Week!
This is NOT a to-do list for pre-school at home rather it's an organized approach to teaching the young children Faith AND Knowledge- with plenty of room for flexibility!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I used this with my son when he was three and four, and I used it again when my daughter was three. We are Protestant not Catholic.Read more