Monday, August 3, 2015

Our Kindergarten Cirriculum

What curriculum are you using? It's a common question, with a not so common answer. As I'm learning in homeschool circles, there are likely as many answers to that question as there are individual homeschools!

 The beauty of teaching your children at home is that you have the freedom and flexibility to customize your teaching to their unique and individual learning styles. Because of that, we've really tried to stay away from the one size fits all "curriculum in a box types," and have chosen different materials for each subject(of course, if that type of thing works for you, rock on!).  There's a sea of choices and different methods of teaching out there, and add to that a great amount of books and resources dedicated to helping you evaluate those choices and what would work best for you. Read: Overwhelming!
Enter "The Well Trained Mind" to the rescue! Thankfully I'm kind of a planning and research nerd, and have really enjoyed sifting through the options out there over the past year(or more, embarrassingly). This gem of a book has by far become my favorite resource and in effect, our road map to a classical education at home.  She's basically my own personal Siri for all things school related.

So here are my humble picks for this the first chapter in our homeschooling adventure. In a nutshell, I plan to focus most of our time on the "3 R's," and color the rest of our day with fun unit study activities.

Reading-We are working our way through Bauer's recommended "Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading," and using a variety of phonics primers provided by Usborne(a fave!) and Scholastic.

wRiting- We choose "Handwriting without Tears" because well, self explanatory.

aRithmatic-I feel like Evan will be a strong math student, so I felt comfortable going with the Singapore based "Math in Focus" to start. Not only has it come highly recommended, but once I saw how nicely illustrated and colorful the workbooks were, I knew they would be a hit. We actually started with this set earlier this summer and are currently whizzing though Kindergarten math-thanks in large part to all of Evan's excellent preschool teachers for giving us such a solid foundation.

As an aside, Cathy Duffy's curriculum review website has been such a helpful reference. You can read Cathy Duffy's review of Math in Focus here...
To mix in the arts and a wide breadth of other subjects, we are also doing monthly unit studies. We started off July with "Under the Sea" and will be moving onto Dinosaurs this month(because my Evan is ALL about some dinos right now!), then the Solar system, and so on. The bulk of our library books, science and art projects will tie into whatever theme we are learning about that month.

Speaking of art, we've noticed that Evan has picked up a budding interest in drawing, so we've recently added some books on first drawing lessons to our library-a perfect example of something I hadn't necessarily planned for at this point, but decided to follow his little 5 year old lead on.

Later on this year I'll add piano into the mix and use the Bastien primer to start-simply because that's what I learned on. Music is a huge part our everyday life with the hubbs being such a talented musician and serving as worship leader at our church, it's only natural that it would pulse through our schooling as well.

So that's the plan! If you're a fellow homeschooling family, please feel free to share you're doing this year!

*Disclaimer-all plans subject to change! ;-)

1 comment:

Francesca said...

Hi Rebecca! This plan is so well thought out. I may just follow right in your footsteps! I don't really see why I need to reinvent the wheel when there's already a very good wheel right here LOL. Thanks! Francesca