The 4 Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum Options in 2022

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum by Such a Little While

Preparing for your homeschooling journey can feel super overwhelming! Yes, it is “only preschool,” but this is also the start of your child’s lifelong relationship with learning.

The rate of U.S. homeschooling skyrocketed by over 60% during the pandemic. With that rise came abundant, diverse at-home learning options and the daunting task of deciphering which one is best for your child.

From play-based learning to printable activities, mail-order kits, online programs, and religious (or not) curricula, I did the hard work for you and combed through them all!

This guide takes the stress out of curriculum hunting. Enjoy this simplified yet detailed list of only the four best homeschool preschool curriculum options in 2022.

The best homeschool preschool curriculum options in 2022 by Such a Little While. (text overlay stock photo of mother and preschool-aged son smiling while completing an activity together).

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How do I start a homeschool preschool curriculum?

Before choosing your homeschool preschool curriculum, consider your goals. What do you hope to achieve with your child during their preschool year(s)?

To find the best fit, give weight to your child’s unique learning style along with your teaching preferences. Also, you will want to consider logistics such as your budget and how much time you have to commit to a preschool curriculum.

Remember, preschool should be FUN! When you and your child are having fun, you will likely stick with it and foster a lifetime of love for learning.

Key factors to consider when choosing a curriculum:

  1. Format (e.g., print-at-home, mail-order kit, online, etc.)
  2. Cost
  3. Time commitment
  4. Duration (e.g., 1 or 2-year program options)
  5. Additional materials required
  6. Teaching/learning style (e.g., play-based, pencil/paper activities, amount of preparation required)
  7. Religious affiliation (e.g., religious vs. non-religious/secular)

What should be included in a homeschool preschool curriculum?

Preschool is a time for your child to explore and learn about their surrounding world. Homeschool preschool parents often make the mistake of trying to replicate a traditional brick-and-mortar preschool.

The beauty of homeschool preschool is that it can look any way you like! Preschool is a time to engage your child’s natural curiosity to spark a love for learning.

Mastery during the preschool years is not required; however, most homeschool curriculums will introduce the following:

  1. Colors
  2. Shapes
  3. Number Sense
  4. Alphabet Awareness (uppercase & lowercase letters)
  5. Phonics (letter sounds)
  6. Sorting & grouping
  7. Problem-solving skills
  8. Social & emotional skills

What is the best homeschool preschool curriculum?

As a homeschooling preschool parent, these are my top favorite curricula. If you’d like to jump ahead to a particular program, you can click the individual links below.

  1. Playing Preschool by Busy Toddler
  2. Preschool Printables by This Reading Mama
  3. God’s Little Explorers by Motherhood on a Dime
  4. ABC Mouse by Age of Learning

#1: Playing Preschool by Busy Toddler

Best Overall Homeschool Preschool Curriculum

Best Overall Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Playing Preschool by Busy Toddler
We ultimately chose Playing Preschool for our three- (now four) year-old. Learn why we could not be happier!

Playing Preschool is comprehensive and uses a highly effective play-based learning approach. It is super affordable and easy to implement. Hands down, Playing Preschool is my number one choice, particularly for families new to homeschooling.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum (image of color and shape matching with classic children's toys- triangle magnetic tile, circular play poins, square block, and rectangular wooden train)
If you’re worried about homeschooling becoming a daily battle, play-based learning is an effective way to make preschool FUN!

Key Features

Playing Preschool is a wildly popular play-based curriculum developed by Susie Allison, a former teacher and founder of the renowned busytoddler.com. Susie’s primary goal is to help parents teach their little ones “how to think” with engaging activities using toys and everyday household items.

Playing Preschool is a 190-day program geared towards preschoolers ages 2.5 to 5. A Year 2 program is available for students who complete the Year 1 curriculum.

Let’s dive into the essential features of Busy Toddler’s Playing Preschool program. You can also read our full review here.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: From the creator of Busy Toddler, Playing Preschool (190 days of at-home learning).  Was it worth it?  Honest review 1 year later by Such a Little While.
Format

The Playing Preschool curriculum is sold only in a digital format and includes a 300+ page print-at-home PDF teacher manual. The year is divided into 2-week long units, each focusing on a unique topic and 1-to 2 letters of the alphabet.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Playing Preschool Year 1 Unit Themes & Focus Letters

Playing Preschool also includes a 26-letter alphabet book project your child will complete throughout the year.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Playing Preschool Alphabet Book (child gluing noodles on the letter "N")
My son took great pride in completing his Playing Preschool alphabet book and loved showing off his artwork to his grandparents!
Cost*

At the time of this post-publication, Playing Preschool’s Year 1 curriculum retails for $39.90. Parents can save by purchasing Year 1 and Year 2 together for $69.90 from busytoddler.com.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Playing Preschool Year 1 and Year 2
We opted to purchase Year 1 and Year 2 together for extra savings and recently started Year 2.

*Prices are set by the curriculum developers and are subject to change after the publication of this post.

Time Commitment

Playing Preschool activities take about 45-minutes per day (often less). The suggested curriculum pace is 5 days of engagement per week.

Duration

Playing Preschool is a one-year, 190-day curriculum. Busy Toddler also sells a Year 2 program for children who have already completed Year 1. The Year 2 program is also 190 days.

Additional Materials Required
Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Busy Toddler Playing Preschool Supply List

Playing Preschool activities require mostly everyday household items and toys. The only substantial extra purchase is a children’s calendar that you’ll use daily throughout the program. We were able to borrow all of our unit books from the local library (the specific titles are 100% flexible within the unit topics).

Playing Preschool is sold only as a digital download, so factor in printing costs for the teacher manual.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Playing Preschool (photo of child graphing numbers with fruit loop cereal)
My little guy working on a Playing Preschool Year 1 activity. Who knew graphing numbers could be so much fun?!
Teaching/learning style

Playing Preschool does not use any paper-and-pencil worksheets and is almost entirely play-based. Your preschooler will actively engage in alphabet scavenger hunts (my son’s favorite), card games, counting and sorting toys, exploratory sensory bins, and minimal-prep arts and crafts.

As a parent educator, I found Playing Preschool very beginner-friendly, flexible, and easy to implement. I was worried about getting through the program with a newborn in our house, but we easily shifted our activities around her evolving nap schedule.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: Playing Preschool (photo of child playing in farm-themed sensory bin)
Some Playing Preschool units include a themed sensory bin activity. This is the most preparation you will have to do. This farm-themed bin took a mere 3 minutes to set up and my son played solo in it for 45 minutes!
Religious affiliation:

Playing Preschool is a secular curriculum with no religious affiliation.

Pros/Cons

What I like:

Playing Preschool is my top choice curriculum because it’s so simple, effective, and brings a big “fun factor” to the table! Its easy implementation was a no-brainer for me as a busy stay-at-home/work-at-home mom of a toddler and baby.

As a certified positive discipline parent educator, I’m passionate about fostering a love of learning and not making homeschooling a battle. Playing Preschool’s engaging activities not only make a huge impact on cognitive development but are something kids WANT to do!

What I don’t like:

Although you will find some social/emotional themes woven throughout Playing Preschool, the curriculum does not consistently teach targeted social skills. This said children will naturally learn about self-regulation, patience, and taking turns through play and games.

In addition, there are intentionally no worksheets or handwriting activities to help families focus on the foundational preschool skills that matter most. I don’t find it a big deal and seamlessly integrated an additional handwriting curriculum once my son turned 4.

#2: Preschool Printables by This Reading Mama

Best Homeschool Preschool Printables

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: This Reading Mama Preschool Bundle

Hands down, This Reading Mama is my top choice for academically-focused preschool printables.

What are preschool printables?

Preschool printables are the perfect choice for parents seeking the comfort of structured activities, yet the flexibility to choose what works best for them.

With thousands of preschool printables on the market, consider who created each learning activity and with what educational goal in mind.

Key Features

Becky Spence, veteran reading teacher and homeschooling mother of four, founded This Read Mama. Becky holds a master’s degree in Elementary Reading and exudes a career-long passion for taking the struggle out of learning to read. In other words, she’s a printable activity developer to trust!

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: This Reading Mama Alphabet & Numbers Printables Bundle
It takes a seasoned educator like Becky to seamlessly blend alphabet knowledge, colors, shapes, and counting into one engaging activity. I love how much bang for your buck you get with This Reading Mama’s printables.

Let’s talk about what you’ll find when you visit This Reading Mama’s preschool printables shop.

Key Features

This Reading Mama’s sells nearly 40 print-at-home collections of preschool activities, games, and worksheets. Becky sells homeschool preschool printables individually as well as in discounted bundles.

If you choose the printables route for your homeschool preschool curriculum, consider sticking to just one or two favorite resource creators. This way, your child will become familiar with the structure of the activities, and it will be easier for you to keep learning objectives organized and streamlined.

Printables are also great for supplementing another full-time homeschool preschool curriculum.

This Reading Mama’s printables will help your child learn:

  • Syllables
  • Rhyming
  • Key vocabulary
  • Alphabet recognition
  • Phonics
  • Number recognition
  • Counting
  • Sight words
  • Handwriting
  • Nursery rhymes
Format:

This Reading Mama sells a full shop of self-selected printable PDF activities, including:

  • Matching letter/picture cards
  • Tracing activities
  • Printable games
  • Cutting/pasting activities
  • Arts & crafts activities
  • Dot paint worksheets
  • Playdough mats
  • Puzzles
  • Recommended reading lists
Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: This Reading Mama Printables Learning the Alphabet Bundle Pack
This Reading Mama’s signature bundle for little ones who are brand-new to preschool learning.
Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: This Reading Mama Printables Reading the Alphabet
If your child already knows the alphabet and is ready to tackle letter sounds, This Reading Mama has the perfect printables bundle to meet them where they are!
Cost*:

This Reading Mama’s printable resources range from free to a comprehensive $48 Preschool Curriculum Bundle (20% off thousands of pages of resources).

*Prices are set by the curriculum developers and are subject to change after the publication of this post.

Time commitment:

If you go the preschool printables curriculum route, you’ll need time to print out individual activities. Once printed, most require minimal preparation. This Reading Mama even features activities that are specifically “no-prep.”

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: This Reading Mama Printables No Prep Pre-K/K Interactive Pages Mega Bundle
Over 350 no-prep activity pages to grow with your child into Kindergarten-level skills.

Duration:

This Reading Mama offers an abundance of primarily self-paced resources. You will find more than enough to last a full year of preschool and beyond!

If you’re all-in on the homeschool preschool printables route, I suggest checking out Becky’s full Preschool Curriculum Bundle with lesson planning resources.


Additional materials required:

To get started with This Reading Mama’s printable activities, you’ll only need access to a printer and standard school supplies. Her preschool curriculum offers recommended reading lists; however, you can always borrow children’s books from your local library.


Teaching/learning style:

This Reading Mama’s printables are great for homeschooling parents looking for a more traditional approach to learning. This being said, you’ll be amazed by the level of play and engagement. These activities go far beyond paper!

While This Reading Mama’s printables are beginner-friendly, they may especially appeal to more seasoned homeschoolers looking for a la carte resources that target specific skillsets.


Religious affiliation:

While Becky Spense is very open about her Christian faith on her website, This Reading Mama’s printable activities are not religious.

Pros/Cons

What I like:

Although we are using another full-year curriculum, I love that I can visit This Reading Mama’s printables shop and find an activity to address a specific concern or academic need. These activities supplement any preschool program beautifully!

For example, like many children, my son frequently mixes up lowercase “b” with “d.” Check out this awesome resource to help students through this challenge:

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: This Reading Mama Printables b and d letter reversal activities
What I don’t like:

The biggest downside of choosing homeschool preschool printables is, well… all of the printing! It can be a lot of paper.

If you’re eager to learn more about homeschool preschool printables, I invite you to head on over to This Reading Mama’s shop:

#3: God’s Little Explorers by Motherhood on a Dime

Best Christian Homeschool Preschool Curriculum

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: God's Little Explorers (A-Z Adventures in God's Word and World for Preschoolers) by Stacie Ann Nelson

If you’re a Christan homeschooling family, it can feel like a lot to teach the Bible to a three or four-year-old, while also juggling teaching key academic and social skills. Fortunately, the God’s Little Explorers curriculum by Motherhood on a Dime will cover all of your bases.

This 28-week print-at-home preschool curriculum will take your child on a Biblical journey from Genesis to Revelation. Little ones will also enjoy loads of daily hands-on foundational academic activities, a treasure hunt adventure, and a long-term service project.

Stacie Nelson, former elementary school teacher, homeschool mother of three, and founder of motherhoodonadime.com created and has continued to grow the Gods’ Little Explorers curriculum over several years.

Key Features

Let’s talk about the key features that make God’s Little Explorers a standout choice for the best Christian homeschool preschool curriculum in 2022.

Format: 

God’s Little Explorers by Motherhood on a Dime is sold only as a digital PDF file (192 pages). It includes lesson plans, printable activities, an alphabet notebook, a Bible story chart, an assessment form, and more).

Stacie has seamlessly created a curriculum that blends the alphabet with the books of the Bible. For example, when reading the story of Adam and Eve, you’ll also explore the letter “G” (for garden).

The curriculum consists of 4 primary components:

  1. Bible Adventure (excerpts from a Children’s Bible with a related activity)
  2. Theme Adventure (e.g., arts & crafts, cooking activities, science experiments)
  3. ABC & 123 (e.g., year-long Alphabet book project, counting, shapes, colors)
  4. Life Skills (e.g., self-help skills, character education, year-long service project)

Cost*: 

At the time of this post, the God’s Litle Explorer’s curriculum sells for just $22. If you plan to use the activities in a classroom, church group, or homeschool co-op setting, you can purchase an extended license for $45.

*Prices are set by the curriculum developers and are subject to change after the publication of this post.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: God's Little Explorers: A-Z Adventures in God's Word and World for Preschoolers

Time commitment: 

God’s Little Explorers is structured for 4 days per week. Lessons and activities take approximately 20 to 45 minutes per day.


Duration: 

At 28-weeks long, God’s Little Explorers is slightly less than a full school-year curriculum.

Although you can start anytime you like, starting at the beginning of September is ideal so that the biblical stories match up in time with the Christmas season.


Additional materials required: 

Once you print your PDF curriculum materials, you’ll also need:

  • A Children’s Bible (Stacie recommends the Read and Learn Bible).
  • Standard school supplies
  • Suggested children’s books (can be borrowed from your local library)

Teaching/learning style: 

God’s Little Explorers provides both hands-on learning and printable paper-based activities.

The lesson plan PDF contains links to activity directions and examples posted on motherhoodonadime.com. You’ll likely find it necessary to access your instructor materials electronically from time to time, even after printing the materials.


Religious affiliation: 

God’s Little Explorers is a Christian-based homeschool preschool curriculum designed to build academic skills, social skills, faith, and biblical knowledge.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum: God's Little Explorers (A-Z Adventures in God's Word and World for Preschoolers) by Stacie Ann Nelson

Pros/Cons

What I like:

I love the story behind God’s Little Explorers. When you purchase the curriculum for your family, you will also participate in a larger mission. According to Stacie Nelson, Motherhood on a Dime donates 50% of the curriculum proceeds towards missions, which have already funded the construction of an all-girls orphanage in Southeast Asia.

What I don’t like:

Truthfully, it’s hard to find something I don’t love about God’s Little Explorers. I do not particularly love the length. 28 weeks (or 7 months) is a bit short if you’re looking for a curriculum to match up with a full school year. However, this is an easy workaround with supplementary materials.

#4: ABC Mouse

Best Online Homeschool Preschool Curriculum

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ABC Mouse is my top online homeschool preschool curriculum choice. It became wildly popular through the pandemic, and rightfully so!

ABC Mouse offers engaging academic activities catered to preschoolers’ skill levels through the convenience of online learning.

Key Features

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ABC Mouse provides a complete academic curriculum for children ages 2-8.

When you register or sign up for a free 30-day trial, you will complete a few minutes of onboarding questions. From there, your child will enter their personalized “learning path” to complete a vast range of educational activities and games.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum ABC Mouse Learning Path
Format:

ABC Mouse can be completed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone; however, I would highly recommend something with a touch screen for preschool students.

Students will spend most of their time on their learning path, which spans 10 levels and includes over 10,000 activities. Preschoolers will enjoy short-story read-alouds, puzzles, finger-tracing activities, and even virtual arts and crafts!

ABC Mouse covers every primary subject, including:

  • Reading & language arts
  • Math
  • Science & social studies
  • Arts & colors

Cost*:

We were eager to take advantage of ABC Mouse’s free 30-day trial with my 4-year-old. Unsurprisingly, the program hooked him in minutes!

Even if you don’t plan to use the program for your primary homeschool curriculum, ABC Mouse makes for a great educational experience instead of ordinary screen time.

Once your 30-day trial expires, ABC Mouse will cost you $12.99 per month.

*Prices are set by the curriculum developers and are subject to change after the publication of this post.

Get 30 Days FREE of ABCmouse.com!

Time commitment:

ABC Mouse is self-paced, but you can check your parent settings to see how much time your child has spent on each content area per week.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum ABC Mouse Assessment Results

Duration:

ABC Mouse is designed for children ages 2-8 and has the potential to grow with your child for years. One of my favorite elements of the curriculum is the ability to personalize the level of difficulty for your child.

Age of Learning, the developer of ABC Mouse, also hosts an Adventure Academy for kids ages 8-13.


Additional materials required:

You will need an electronic device with internet access (again, I highly recommend one with a touch screen).


Teaching/learning style:

ABC Mouse is an excellent option for work-at-home parents or parents homeschooling multiple kids, as it allows for more independent student work. At the same time, I do not advocate for a total “hands-off” approach. Preschoolers will always need parental engagement in their learning.

Preschoolers will also need help getting familiar with how to move from one activity to the next. My 4-year-old had the standard buttons figured out in minutes but needed reminders to “wait for the audio directions” before engaging with an activity.


Religious affiliation:

ABC Mouse is a secular curriculum with no religious affiliation.

Pros/Cons

What I like:

I love how you can personalize the ABC Mouse experience for your child.

While creating our account, I answered a few simple questions about my child and started with his suggested level. We found it was too easy, so I adjusted the settings on my parent account in just two minutes.

In addition, there are personalization options to get kids excited and engaged, such as a correct pronunciation feature for your child’s name. Kids can also select their own “pet” to act as their travel companion down the learning path.

Best Homeschool Preschool Curriculum ABC Mouse Avatar
My son loved picking out his avatar and pet!
What I don’t like:

ABC Mouse relies on positive reinforcement by using a ticket reward system. Kids can “spend” their tickets at a virtual pet shop, movie theater, etc.

As a certified positive discipline parent educator, I much prefer instilling intrinsic motivation in kids. This said, there are parental controls available so that your child cannot “spend” without your permission and involvement.

Lastly, although every activity has an educational component, it is still screen time. Children ages 2 to 5 should generally spend no more than 1 hour on screens per day. While that’s plenty of time to engage with the ABC Mouse curriculum, families may wish to consider scaling back other screentime to make room for the program.

The last thing you need to know about choosing a homeschool preschool curriculum

While choosing the “right” homeschool preschool curriculum feels like a big decision, know this: Learning at home happens 24/7, not just within your chosen program.

My advice is to go with your gut, choose a curriculum, and get started with your new routine. Don’t overthink it. Preschoolers are naturally curious. They’ll learn through your activities and lessons as well as the simple moments you spend with one another.

Keep connection as a top priority. You are enough for your preschooler. I wish you loads of laughs and learning as you embark on this incredible learning journey!

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