Have you ever wondered about our curriculum? How we decide what to teach, and when, to your child? Here at Peace of Mind, we proudly use the Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence – a set of guidelines that describe specific knowledge, and fundamental competencies to provide the foundation for later learning in kindergarten and beyond.

First of all, Core Knowledge is not Common Core. The developer of Core Knowledge, E.D. Hirsch, believed that there is a “core” of knowledge that all children need to learn in order to become culturally literate citizens of the United States. He believed that children learn more when they have a deep background knowledge in history, science, and literature. In order to be able to communicate with others across the country, to understand news, jokes, and other discussions on a national level, there is a sequence of knowledge that we all need to know, and understand. This understanding helps us to be active, well-informed participants in our democratic society.

The Core Knowledge sequence, taught at every grade level from preschool through 8th grade, is divided into the categories of Language Arts, World History and Geography, American History and Geography, Visual Arts, Music, Mathematics, and Science. Core Knowledge is highly defined content, which is rich, challenging, interesting, and gives solid details to strengthen background knowledge. Common Core on the other hand, consists of standards and highly defined skills.

At Peace of Mind, we are teaching the Minnesota early learning standards, known as Early Childhood Indicators of Progress (ECIPs), which include the Common Core standards – but we are doing that via the Core Knowledge Curriculum. In other words, we are teaching the highly defined skills designated by Common Core, with the highly defined content of the Core Knowledge sequence. While it might be easy to confuse the Common Core State Standards with a Core Knowledge curriculum, the difference is this: Common Core Standards state what children should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level, while Core Knowledge curriculum is what children need to learn in order to meet those standards.

The general outline for the Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence is:

Movement and Coordination

  1. Physical Attention and Relaxation
  2. Gross Motor Skills
  3. Coordination
  4. Group Games
  5. Using the Body Expressively

Social and Emotional Development

  1. Autonomy
  2. Social Skills
  3. Work Habits Language
    • Oral Language
      • Functions of Language
      • Forms of Language
    • Nursery Rhymes, Poems, Finger-plays and Songs
      • Memorization Skills
      • Listening
      • Developing a Sense of Rhyme
    • Storybook Reading and Storytelling
      • Listening to Stories
      • Participating in Stories
      • Story Schema
      • Book and Print Awareness
    • Emerging Literacy Skills in Reading and Writing
      • Print Awareness
      • Print Structure
      • Phonemic Awareness
      • Fine Motor Skills

Visual Arts

  1. Attention to Visual Detail
  2. Exploration and Creation
  3. Art Appreciation

Music

  1. Attention to Differences in Sound
  2. Imitate and Produce Sound
  3. Listen to and Sing Songs
  4. Listen to and Move to Music

Mathematics

  1. Patterns and Classification
  2. Geometry and Measurement
  3. Numbers and Number Sense
  4. Computation
  5. Money

History and Geography

  1. Orientation in Time
    • Vocabulary
    • Measures of Time
    • Passage of Time (Past, Present, Future)
  2. Orientation in Space
    • Vocabulary
    • Actual and Representational Space
    • Simple Maps
    • Basic Geographic Concepts

Science

  1. Human Characteristics, Needs and Development
  2. Animal Characteristics, Needs and Development
  3. Plant Characteristics, Needs and Development
  4. Physical Elements (Air, Water, Light)
  5. Introduction to Magnetism
  6. Seasons and Weather
  7. Taking Care of the Earth
  8. Tools

As always, if you have any questions about our curriculum, Minnesota early learning standards, Core Knowledge, or anything at all – please ask! We love to talk about learning!!