Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.

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Nurturing the Years of Wonder
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Posted: April 25 2006 at 9:34pm | IP Logged Quote esperanza

I have been drawn to FIAR and now the Little Saints Preschool Program has caught my attention. Is anyone familiar with both? My 4 yo ds is very delayed with speech and he loves seat work ..he has a great attention span. I will have my 2 yo ds close by during lessons, also.
I have never done formal preschool before. I have used Ruth Beechicks books for tips and focussed more on older dc. I want to expose my 4 yo ds to a richer language environment...but not force it. He loves books so it should be easy...I need the guidance with well laid out plans and ideas.

In His Peace,

Tammy Gonzalez in VA
mom to Tara-'85, Noelle-'88, Jeremy-'91, Elizabeth-'93, Emma-'96, Dominic-'99, Gabriel-'01, Elijah-03
and Jacinta-06
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Rachel May
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Posted: April 26 2006 at 12:25pm | IP Logged Quote Rachel May

My experience with Little Saints was that it had really good book lists, but the projects had a lot of prep involved or were ill-conceived. Two project related memories stand out for me: a night I was up until 2 am cutting out paper monkeys for a 5 minute game and a time I kept trying to convince myself that a hole punch works on felt because the book said so.

In retrospect, I had being a new homeschooler and sleep deprivation working against me. I've kept the program but rarely look at it anymore unless I want to find some book ideas on a certain topic.

Thomas and Anthony (10), Maria (8), Charles (6), Cecilia (5), James (3), and Joseph (1)
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Posted: April 26 2006 at 12:48pm | IP Logged Quote Dawn

Tammy, I have The Little Saints Program, and I also have a very speech delayed 4yo boy! I plan to use it in the fall with him. I agree with Rachel it looks like there might be a lot of prep, but I'm hoping I'll do a lot of the prep over the summer (and/or simplify those activities that are too much for us). My son also loves books, writing and drawing so it looks like a good fit. I bought it for my middle son and never used it.

Dawn, mum to 3 boys
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Posted: April 26 2006 at 8:32pm | IP Logged Quote eschuetter

Rachel May wrote:
My experience with Little Saints was that it had really good book lists, but the projects had a lot of prep involved or were ill-conceived.

I completely agree. The book lists are great and I'll go back to the book again for them but not for much else. I liked the music selections that matched the unit themes as well... but searching them out, and requesting them from the library inevitably meant the music related to the "animals" unit arrived at the library the week after we finished the "animals" unit. kwim?

Rachel May wrote:
Two project related memories stand out for me: a night I was up until 2 am cutting out paper monkeys for a 5 minute game...

This is so funny -- those monkeys were great fun (but short lived as well) for my 4 yo... so I'm not sure they were really worth the trouble of all the cutting, etc.

If you can get the prep work done ahead of time, it may put you a step ahead. We faded away from Little Saints as the year progressed and my energy for all the prep work waned. So, when ds#2 is old enough, I'll be looking for something new. Perhaps FIAR - haven't tried it yet.

I'll be following this post for ideas - thanks for starting the thread.
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Becky Parker
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Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:06am | IP Logged Quote Becky Parker

I did Little Saints with my dd. We really liked it, but because of the prep involved we only got about 1/2 way through it. Preparing ahead of time will definitely help. When it was all said and done, I thought I should have set up a file system of sorts and as I made items for each lesson, filed them for future use.
There is just one thing that I was disappointed in about the program and that is the lack of Religion. In the beginning of the book it actually states that you will need to supply your own catechism, but I thought with a name like "Little Saints" that it should be included. Maybe it has changed some since I bought it though.
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Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:30am | IP Logged Quote stacykay

Just to echo everyone else, I bought Little Saints a few years back. If you really want to use it (it does have great ideas,) I think it recommended using the summer to gather all of the materials and prepare for all of the projects. I found it way too daunting, at that time. I am considering pulling it out this summer (early!) and pulling out projects and recommendations I can handle . My 4yo ds likes to have his "work" to do along with his brothers. I think he will enjoy this, along with whatever else we are investigating.
God Bless,
Stacy in MI
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Posted: April 27 2006 at 7:09am | IP Logged Quote farmgirls

I have done both and FIAR wins hands down. I never tried a formal preschool program and Little Saints was definitely not my style. My kids could definitely sense that and my oldest daughter was complaining that I had never done anything like that with her! I like FIAR because I don't have to plan. The book lists for Little Saints are great.
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Posted: April 27 2006 at 10:43am | IP Logged Quote folklaur

I am so glad to hear other people say this about Little Saints. I thought it might just be me .

I remembered, as soon as you posted, trying to hole-punch felt also.
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Posted: April 27 2006 at 6:14pm | IP Logged Quote TracyQ

     I can't speak to Little Saints, but did use FIAR for years and years. Now our kids are 15, 13, and 11. But our FIAR days bring beautiful memories of reading wonderful books together, cuddling on the couch, doing wonderful activities as we could, and talking about and learning SO MANY wonderful things!

     It's painless, it's pretty easy, and one thing I can tell you about it, is that because we used this literature based, wonderful curriculum, our kids have developed this wonderful love of reading and literature, and this wonderful love of learning that I think FIAR was very much a part of instilling in them.

     In fact, there are times I'll pull a week out to do with my youngest still. I always get warm, fuzzy, cozy feelings from it, and it's just been the best thing we've every used in our 11 years of homeschooling!

Blessings and Peace,
Tracy Q.
wife of Marty for 20 years, mom of 3 wonderful children (1 homeschool graduate, 1 12th grader, and a 9th grader),
homeschooling in 15th year in Buffalo, NY
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