How to Choose the Best Preschool Curriculum for Your Child

So many mommies seek to find the most efficient preschool curriculum for teaching their precious preschooler.

I admit I was one of them. When my little girl was three years old, I began my quest. I wanted to be the best mommy ever, giving her a head start in academics. Especially reading!

A dear friend of mine, settled my anxious heart by simply saying, “take it easy, at her age there’s no need to buy expensive curriculum, just go to a superstore and pick out a $7.99 preschool skill builder workbook, find free preschool activities online and make it fun!”

I took my friend’s advice, bought a few books, found some preschool websites and had lots-n-lots of fun building wonderful memories in which I want to share with you.

Our preschool schedule was easy and flexible. I used the skill builder activity book three days a week. In addition to that, we did lots of reading, singing, fun puzzles, educational videos, and explored several online websites together. I used it all as preschool curriculum. But really it was just time spent playing with her, guided by an educational purpose.

I planned two or three activities a day. The time that I spent in teaching was no more than 10 to 20 minute intervals. Just enough to keep her attention on the subject at hand, and then we moved on to “non-playing” tasks.

However, during our “non-playing” tasks, learning was taking place too. After all there was homemaking skills to acquire. (grin) When Jamie and I went to the grocery store I made it a learning experience for example: “Jamie, please count how many milk cartons we have in our buggy. You are right! 1-2-3-4-5 ” – “What sound do you hear in the word egg?” eh, eh, eh,ggg? – “Will you get 5 round oranges for me and place them in this clear bag?”

When we did laundry, I had her sort the clothes by color. When she took a bath, we would play name that sound with a set of foam alphabet letters and so forth.

One thing I want to emphasize though, descriptive language is very important in teaching your preschooler. Talk to your child in such a way you would an adult using the proper names and descriptions for objects and experiences. Children have a natural affinity for learning. If you present them with intelligible words, their vocabulary and speech will grow abundantly. You can give your child a heads up in English class by simply starting now at the preschool age!

I learned very quickly in the early years of parenting, that a preschool child learns best in a relaxed atmosphere. When mommy smiles, speaks with a pleasant voice, and spends time playing with her child there is a special kind of bonding that takes place… the bond of love. So, let me gently remind you when irritation arises within, give yourself an attitude check and refocus your thoughts and lower your tone of voice. Your child will not only learn early academics from you but also godly character. (big smiles)

To sum it up… let me pass on the advice of which my friend gave me, take it easy during the preschool age. Buy some skill builder books, bookmark a few websites and make the learning atmosphere relaxed and fun!

Your preschooler will love being read to, seeing things, making things, creating things, talking about everything, asking questions and playing outdoors. Remember… enjoy this bonding time with them for it truly a blessing!

Listed below are a few items I’ve used with my first born. Please don’t spend too much money on preschool curriculum you can get creative and find good resources for very little money online or at your local superstore. Don’t forget to use the library too; their books are free but only for a little while!

Suggestive Preschool Resources to Used

Preschool Skill Builder/Activity Books

Preschool Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills – From School Specialty Children’s Publishing. We used this workbook a lot. The pictures are rich in color, and perforated. Subjects include reading, mathematics, language arts, and writing. ISBN 1-56189-374-9

My Heavenly Helper Preschool Skill Builder and Activity Guide – McGraw Hill Children’s Publisher offers a skill builder activity book that I found very helpful in teaching Bible lessons to my preschooler. This particular workbook focuses on concepts such as the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, sequencing, same and difference. Pages are perforated black and white. ISBN 0-7696-2907-5

A Must Have Preschool Educational Video

Letter Factory Video by Leap Frog – This particular pre-reading video is a must have for preschoolers. I recently noticed our local library with a copy. But I suggest you buy a copy for your family library. Your preschooler will learn letters, phonics and listening skills in no time. Creative production to say the least. ISBN 0-7907-8894-2

Free Preschool Curriculum Found Online

Starfall.com – An “absolutely” free website that teaches children to read. Perfect for preschooler too. You can put your preschooler in your lap and click through the alphabet shows. Be sure to let them click your mouse, they’ll love discovering they can interact with the show! FREE printables too.

LetteroftheWeek.com – Letter of the Week was written and compiled by Katrina Lybbert. She created this site from her experiences teaching her 4 children at home. She offers free preschool curriculum. If you have children younger than preschool, you’ll find her website very useful too.

Sex Books For Men – The Top Ten Books Concerning Male Sexual Health on Amazon

Currently, the top ten sex books for men on Amazon are split between two subjects. 80% of the books are devoted to matters relating to male sexual health and performance issues, whilst the other 20% deals with sexual abuse and its aftermath.

Of the eight books centred around male sexual health, six focus specifically on improving potency, with Secret Aphrodisiac Sexual Stimulants: Aphrodisiacs for Male Impotency, Building Libido & Sex Drive Enhancement by William Livingstone revealing the many aphrodisiac sexual stimulants that can be purchased – pills and tonics to boost the libido and bolster the erection – and Male Potency: A Man’s Guide to Optimal Sexual Health by L B Johnson looking at the nutritional factors needed to achieve a healthy and fulfilling sex life, including many herbs of the Amazon rain forest.

However, another two – Drugs Compromising Male Sexual Health by Walter Krause and Sexual Health for Men by Richard F Spark – actively discount these lotions and potions, quoting the risks and dangers of consuming and applying such chemicals.

Male Sexual Dysfunction – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References by ICON Health Publications is a complete medical dictionary of expressions and terms relating to male sexual dysfunction.

Whilst Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy by Mantak Chia and Michael Winn reports on mystical Taoist principles and shows the reader how to harness sexual energy from transcendental states of consciousness.

The two sex books for men at the top of the chart Men’s Sexual Health: Fitness for Satisfying Sex by Barry W McCarthy and Michael E Metz and Male Sexual Health: A Couple’s Guide by Richard F Spark aim to help a man and his partner to learn that mutually satisfying sex is the core principle of any successful relationship. The primary focus is on educating the reader to realise that not all sex finishes with both partners climaxing simultaneously.

There are varying levels of pleasure and satisfaction in between but, at the heart of the best relationships is an honest intimacy that allows a couple to explore all methods of foreplay and erotic arousal that will allow both to achieve orgasm as part of a mutually exciting experience.

The most popular book specifically targets male fitness, as this is a major factor in establishing the stamina to be able to indulge the different types of foreplay and intercourse techniques which will promote the best climaxes.

The two titles that stand apart from the rest in the top ten male sexual health books on Amazon concern sexual abuse. Sexual Abuse of Males: The SAM Model of Theory and Practice by Josef Spiegel looks at the psychological and physical repercussions of the childhood abuse of boys, whilst Opening the Door: A Treatment Model for Therapy With Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Adrian Crowder addresses the various techniques used by professional counsellors and therapists to try to repair the damage.

Therapy for Sex Addiction: Dealing With Intimacy

Any definition, discussion or exploration of compulsive sexuality begins thusly:

“Sex addiction is an intimacy disorder characterized by” blah, blah, blah.

Then it goes on to name the symptoms: pre-occupation with thoughts sexual; persistent, unrelenting urges to sexually act out; continued use despite adverse consequences, loss of control and so forth.

Such definitions are frustratingly vague. While emphasis is given to the symptoms of sex addiction, the idea of it being “an intimacy disorder” never seems to be addressed. This is unfortunate, indeed. I think a “disordered” pattern of intimate relations is at the core and foundation of this debilitating syndrome.

Vanilla sex addiction, fetishism, exhibitionism/voyeurism, BDSM, and all the other various and moribund kinds of sexual perversions are fueled by the very basic (and healthy) motivation to connect.

Sadly, somehow or other, the urge to connect is misfired. Rather than seeking a real relationship with a real person who might, in fact, satisfy some of one’s real relational needs, the sexually compulsive tries to connect with the “unreal” in fantasy. It is a solo act. Sex, for a person who has a perversion or addiction, is always a narcissistic, self-centered endeavor. It is not related sex. The endorphin rush of the sexual high is so dear to them that it precludes any idea of sharing sexual pleasure with a cherished one in the service of enhancing a bond.

What is intimacy?

Let’s look at the word “intimacy”. From the dictionary: the word is derived from the Latin intima, meaning “inner” or “inner-most.” The definition suggests that to be intimate, you need to know your real self. This ability to be in touch with our inner core is a requisite to being intimate.

Our intima holds the innermost part of ourselves, our most profound feelings, our enduring motivations, our values, our sense of right and wrong and our most embedded convictions about life. Importantly, our intima also includes that which enables us to express these innermost aspects of our person to “the other”.

So, to be in relationship, and to know yourself/your partner sexually, you need to know and respect your intima. The intima is also the way in which we value and esteem ourselves and determines how we are with being with others. To put it simply, if don’t value yourself, you can’t value another. If you’re not aware of needs and wants, or are shamed by them, then sex becomes no more than a fuck.

I think every person I’ve ever seen in my consulting room for sexual compulsions suffers from estrangement from his intimus. We can survive the disapproval of others. The feeling can be painful, but it’s nothing compared to the disapproval of ourselves. Your personal well being and your ability to love another cannot survive your dislike or disrespect of yourself. If you dislike yourself, you’ll never be comfortable with your sexuality.

It bears repeating… the outstanding quality of intimacy is the sense of being in touch with our real selves. When “the other” also knows and is able to express his/her real self, intimacy happens. Sexuality is both an expression of that intimacy and a bond that enhances intimacy. With this kind of personal/sexual intimacy, our growth experience as humans is energized, enhanced, and fueled. Intimacy is the most meaningful and courageous of human experiences. It’s why people long for it so.

The Perils of Intimacy

However, despite this universal longing, fear and avoidance of intimacy is a reality for many people. People fear and even dread that which they most long for. No wonder there’s such a demand for psychotherapists!

So why would people fear, avoid or sabotage this wonderful thing called intimacy and, in the process, avoid person-related sex?

Sexual compulsion is the end point, the tip of the iceberg, if you will, of a long history of developmental events that begin in early attachment difficulties with caretakes, subsequent overwhelming experiences the child is unable to assimilate, an impaired ability to regulate feelings and impaired self-development.

The capacity for bonding with others is vital for human survival and well-being. Our capacity for intimacy is formed in the crucible of the first two years of life. Mothers that are needy, narcissistic, depressed, enmeshed (over-involved), distant, too protective, controlling, chronically angry, addicted to substances, frustrated with their husbands and displace their needs onto their children… raise children who have the psychic imprint of closeness as being dangerous. They also raise children who will carry self-hatred into their adult lives unless they get good treatment.

If the child’s need for attention, soothing, stimulation, affection, touch, discipline, validation, and so on goes unmet, or is met with feedback that is punishing, invalidating or rejecting, the consequences are woven into the structure of the developing personality. Such children may turn into themselves and disconnect from others, regulating their emotions through the use of substances or process addiction, like sex. They fail to learn to utilize others to soothe or comfort themselves. This increases the child’s vulnerability to mental health problems. These people actively seek familiar environmental interaction, thereby recreating and reenacting familiar early rejections and frustrations with others. They spend their lives further cementing their original isolation.

They develop a rigid defense system (boundaries, walls, turning inward to not need others) in order to psychologically survive. But what worked for them as children doesn’t work for them as adults. For these people, the vulnerability of intimacy harkens back to a time when they were vulnerable as children and they fear re-traumatization in their current relationship.

When a person like this is loved – seen in an affirmative light and encouraged to grow and change – this rigid defensive structure is threatened, so their psychological equilibrium is disrupted. Being loved is not congruent with the negative tapes they run about themselves. They can’t allow the reality of being loved to affect their basic defensive structure. Being vulnerable and open to change feels so threatening that they eschew close relationships and mature sexuality.

Entering into a relationship without having some resolution of childhood wounds results in various kinds of fear of intimacy: fear of being found inadequate, fear of engulfment, fear of the loss of control, fear of losing autonomy, fear of attack, fear of disappointment and betrayal, fear of guilt and fear of rejection and abandonment and so forth.

For this reason, I believe that current sex addiction therapy doesn’t go far enough. Focusing on symptom change techniques, such as relapse prevention, abstinence and social skills training, is necessary, but not sufficient. Successful treatment for sexual compulsions ultimately depends on a depth-approach that can ameliorate the underlying attachment disorders and manifestations in adult intimacy. Literally, a new pattern of way of attaching needs to be “carved” into the brain – the person learns a totally different model of relating.