Child Coloring

PK4 Curriculum Guide

by Tondi King on 10/20/2022

Welcome to the 100 Days of Home School PK4 curriculum guide! PK4 is essential for building a foundation for your child who is starting kindergarten in a year. But being important doesn't mean it should be dull. PK4 should be so fun that it barely feels like "school." 

The four essential areas to cover in PK4 are beginning math, letter names, pre-reading, and pre-writing. Remember to keep it brief for your young child and only spend about 20 minutes total a day. Since we cover four areas, you can choose to do two subjects a day for 10 minutes each and rotate the subjects every other day. Or you can do all four each day and only require 5 minutes of work on each one. 

Beginning Math

If you only cover one area in preschool, it should be beginning math! The studies show that your child's overall academic achievement correlates to their level of math skills entering kindergarten. I believe this is because the combination of language and logic in beginning math hardwires a young child's brain in a way that is foundational to learning other subject later. A strong foundation in beginning math will set them up for academic success. 

Children can learn most preschool and kindergarten math concepts before they are developmentally ready for handwriting. However, most preschool math programs ignore this critical development time by making beginning math a subject that requires handwriting. This is why I ended up writing Simple Beginning Math

Simple Beginning Math allows children to spend 5 minutes a day and work at their own pace through beginning math skills. The method I use in this book is also fun for kids. You only spend 5 minutes working on a concept. And most of the activities involve moving pieces around on the table or counting with a number chart. I have used this method in my childcare with many children over the last five years and have yet to find a child who doesn't love it! 

Letter Names

Knowing letter names will not necessarily give your child an advantage when they start learning to read in kindergarten. But it will be helpful to know the names of letters when you are talking about the spelling of a word or specific phonics rules later. 

And since learning letter names is much simpler than learning to read, PK4 is a great time to start working on this. Letter names are simply memorization work!

Start with a book that introduces letters. I like A is for Apple. This book will grab the attention of your kinesthetic learners by letting them use their fingers to trace each letter in the groves. 

After a couple of weeks of working with a letter book, you can introduce the concept of flash cards. When you start working with flashcards, only introduce three letters at a time. Once your child knows those, add a few more. Also, instead of adding letters in alphabetic order, such as A, B, and C, group letters with a similar shape or look. You might start with C, O, and Q. 

Pre-Reading Skills

Reading to your child is essential to building a foundation for reading. If you want your child to be motivated to learn to read when they get to kindergarten, you need to build a love for books. The best way to do this is to read to them! If you already have several good books your child loves, you might not need to buy anything for this area. But if you are looking for some new books, these are a few of our favorites.  

Pre-Writing Skills

Pre-writing skills are also known as fine-motor skills. Most preschoolers are not ready to write letters, but it's important to work on building hand strength and coordination. This will make learning to write numbers and letters easier when they enter kindergarten. 

I like to rotate through a few favorite activities. I offer the child one activity a day that targets building their hand strength and coordination. Fine motor activities should be fun! If the child doesn't like one activity, take it out of the rotation for a couple of months before trying it again.

Here are four of our favorite fine motor activities:


Coloring is a great place to start. Most preschoolers love to color! Markers are usually the preschoolers’ favorite. But if you don't want to worry about markers drying out because lids are left off, grab a box of crayons. 

Cutting activities

Cutting activities are another great way to challenge the coordination of small hands. I recommend a nice pair of round-tipped scissors. But I don't recommend scissors labeled "safety scissors." Safety scissors are usually so safe that they hardly cut paper. This will frustrate your preschooler, who is just learning to use scissors. Instead, supervise the activity and help them learn how to use scissors appropriately.

If your child has no experience with scissors, keep the activity super simple at first and give them pieces of construction paper to snip into small bits. This will allow them to learn how to hold and coordinate the scissors and paper movements without worrying about following a line. Once they have basic snipping down, go ahead and add some activities that involve cutting on a line. The Melissa & Doug Scissor Skills Activity Book is great for this!


Playdough is another favorite activity that is great for building hand strength. Make sure to add a few playdough toys for hours of fun! Also, if your child loves working with scissors but you worry about them cutting inappropriate items, playdough scissors are great! They cut the playdough really well but won't cut anything else.


Drawing is different from coloring because the child gets to experience creating their own designs. Any kind of plain paper is acceptable for this. I find printer paper to be the best value. But I also love to keep a sketchbook or two on hand. A sketchbook and a bag of colored pencils make an easy activity to grab when we are on the go. It's a perfect activity to keep kids busy for a few minutes while waiting at an appointment or a restaurant!

Take time to enjoy this year of preschool with your child. When it's all said and done, your relationship with your child is more important than any educational goal. So enjoy this journey together! <3

Tondi King

Tondi King is a passionate educator with over 10 years of experience studying child development. She is fascinated by how the brain works and how it affects learning, and is always looking for new and innovative ways to help students succeed. In addition to homeschooling her two elementary-aged children, Tondi is writing curriculum and creating resources for homeschoolers.

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