How To Teach Preschool With Less Prep Time

As teachers, we love learning about tricks for how to teach preschool with less prep time.  The fun part about creating preschool curriculum is thinking about how your students will grow and learn and enjoy the activities.

But I’ll be honest.  There’s one thing I don’t like about preparing lessons for the next day.  And that is:

Excessive Prep Time.

And if I had to survey 100 preschool or child care teachers I bet they’d agree: Prepping for preschool takes too much of our time, and we’d rather spend it with our families.

So what does preschool prep time include?  It includes planning the daily schedule, finding activities, creating lesson plans, and getting arts & crafts materials ready for the next day.  And it can take HOURS upon HOURS every day if you don’t know how to do it correctly.

The Wrong Way To Prepare Curriculum

And my very first year I did it all wrong.  You see, as soon as I opened my preschool I knew I needed a curriculum to teach from.  So I went on eBay and bought one for $100 that seemed like it would work.  And you know what?

It was a piece of crap!

So I bought a different curriculum.  Same result.  Because each curriculum was made for a daycare where they could spend 5+ hours doing activities, and the themes were stretched out over 5 different days.  It was horrible!  I didn’t need that – I just needed a lesson plan that fit a 2-3 hour class.  So what ended up happening was I had to re-write the lesson plans to make them fit for MY preschool.  What a waste of time when I had already spent so much money!

And on top of that, I had to search online every night for even more activities, songs, arts & crafts, and story ideas.  Sure, I could find activities online for free, but it was taking so much time away from my family that I finally had enough.

Feeling Frustrated

So I talked with my husband one night and said:

“Honey, I’m going to go online and look for a curriculum again.  And if I can find one that has the lesson plan created for a 2-3 hour class, I’m going to buy it.  Even if it costs $2,000.”  He looked at me sort of surprised, but then replied: “I know you spend a ton of time trying to create your own lesson plans.  So if it will help you spend more time with the family and less time preparing for preschool, then it’s worth it.”

And you know what?

I searched for hours to try to find such a curriculum.  And I couldn’t even find one that fit my preschool!  I was so frustrated!  I was ready to drop $2,000 – ready to just hand over my money to some company that could provide the solution to my problems.  But no one had the solution.  Every curriculum out there was made for a daycare setting where the lesson plans stretched 4-5 hours each day.

Finally, a preschool curriculum that fit

So, unable to buy a curriculum that would fit my preschool, I decided to create one instead.  Because I knew that every other year I would be teaching the same curriculum (we have a 2-year revolving curriculum so preschoolers don’t get the same lesson plans two years in a row) I realized that I had two choices:

  1. Continue to create lesson plans every day for as many years as I taught preschool -or-
  2. Create a year’s worth of curriculum that I could use every other year

I chose option #2, and created our FUNDAMENTALS Preschool Curriculum.  It features a fun, theme-based, activity-rich curriculum with weekly themes that correspond with a letter.  For instance,  A is for “Astronomy,” and B is for “Baking.”  It has 36 weekly themes (26 alphabet-based themes, and 10 holiday themes) which makes 9 months’ worth of lesson plans, printables, field trip & snack ideas, and so much more!

Our curriculum works with your students

Unlike cookie-cutter curriculum out on the market, our curriculum can be tailored to your students’ needs.  The best part about our curriculum is that you can still choose what YOUR students are interested in, and teach to their interests.  You can also pick and choose from the activities based on their developmental needs at the time.

We’ve had hundreds of preschool teachers use our curriculum and tell us how much they love it:


The more I use the curriculum, the more I know I have made a great investment in my business and in the education of my students. I especially love how fun and easy to plan the lessons are.Cara Larsen, Rising Stars Academy
I wish I had your curriculum when I started my own preschool 3 years ago! It would have saved me sooo much time! I spent hours and hours trying to figure out what skills 3- and 4-year-olds should know. I am absolutely THRILLED that you put this together!Cathy Yoder
So here’s the deal:

I know you’re tired of spending hours finding activities from multiple online sites and creating lesson plans for your students.

Tastronomyo show you the value in our curriculum, please review and enjoy two of our lesson plans: Astronomy and Baking.


And if you can see the value in our curriculum, if you can see how many hours you can save (and spend with your family instead!) then I want you to purchase our curriculum so you can have a much more enjoyable preschool year ahead of you.  You’ll be glad you did!  Everything is included on our CD-ROM, but if you prefer the convenience of having a teaching manual readily accessible that tells you exactly how to teach preschool with less prep time (without having to print out your lesson plans) then please purchase the 500-page manual as well below.




About the Author

Joy Anderson

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Preschool expert Joy Anderson is the creator of Preschool In A Box, the complete business kit to help women start preschools in their homes. She is the founder of the home preschool model and has helped thousands of women create a supplemental or full-time income by simply teaching preschool classes to 3- to 5-year-olds for a few hours each day. She still runs her own wildly successful preschool and can often be found running after her five children and husband in Boise, Idaho.

Comments 12

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  2. Ximena

    Hey lady! Hope preschool is going well for you guys! I cannot say enough
    good things about your curriculum. I opened it up yesterday morning before the kids came at 9 am and saw that we were supposed to do the star craft where you get white paper and draw stars and then paint with black paint. I happened to have all of the materials and the kids had a blast! It is like Curriculum for dummies! NO JOKE! I LOVE IT!

  3. corianne

    You say you use this curriculum every other year. What do you use for the other years? So you are not repeating?

  4. Post
    Joy Anderson

    Hi Corianne – Yes, we use this curriculum as our “Year 1” Curriculum. We’re developing our 2nd year of curriculum currently and it will be available for purchase this summer.

    And hi Karen – This curriculum is in the Preschool In A Box. 🙂

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  6. Leslie

    I just signed up on your website yesterday… for the membership club. Does that mean I still need to buy the CD/Manual?

  7. Post
    Joy Anderson

    Great question Leslie. The 7 Secrets CD you’re referring to (that you purchased) does not include our curriculum, so yes, you’ll need to purchase the curriculum separately.

  8. Yvette Diaz

    Hello again,

    An idea just crossed my mind: A 3 Month Summer Curriculum.

    (Pretty much a review of what was taught during the school year).

    For those teachers wanting to teach during the summer break months.

    That way they can earn income all year long!

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