Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Kindergarten Curriculum

After a ton of research and reading and blog browsing and going to the home school convention and praying and thinking and pondering and fretting and praying some more…I was finally able to decide on our kindergarten curriculum.

I was going to use Heart of Dakota’s Little Hearts for His Glory (LHFHG) but I decided I wanted a slightly gentler approach. It looks awesome but I wasn’t so sure about history for a kindergartner. I think I might use it for 1st grade. I kept being drawn to their math though. It uses Singapore Earlybird but the author has included tons of hands on activities to go along with the workbook so…I bought the LHFHG manual and the Singapore workbooks.

For phonics and reading, I went with Abeka K5. I was very unsure about this and almost switched to the Reading Lesson. I didn’t like all the materials you needed: flashcards, books, etc. I ordered off Ebay and went with the minimum I thought I could get by with. We shall see how it goes.

I am using A Reason for Handwriting for handwriting. Again, I was unsure and almost went with Handwriting Without Tears, but after looking at the workbooks over and over at the home school convention I finally made a decision.

Finally, I am using Five in A Row (FIAR) for everything else. With FIAR you read the same story every day, with a different emphasis each day. The first day is history/geography, second day is language arts, third day is art, fourth day is applied math, and fifth day is science. I was very excited when I ordered it but was extremely disappointed when it came in (its hard to find samples online of this curriculum). It seemed vague and general to me. Some books had a lot of suggested activities and others had very few. Then I went online and looked at blogs of people who “row” (that’s what they call it) and became overwhelmed with the amount of work that went into it. I put it aside for a few months and when I came back to it, I fell in love. After spending so much time looking at workbooks and lesson plans, I was drawn to its simplicity and gentleness. I read a post from the creator, Jane Lambert, about how all the extras were good and fine but if you will stick to the manual you will be surprised at what your child can learn. I decided to go with this approach. I am now super excited to start “rowing.”

I don’t have anything formal planned for music or PE. And there may be other area I have neglected but I can always add to it.

We will also be joining the home school co-op in our area. Abby and Lyla are very excited about this! We will go on Mondays for a few hours to have some learning time with others their age. It will also give us the opportunity to go on field trips with others. I am looking forward to meeting others who home school-I don't know many other home schoolers yet.

So those are our choices for our kindergarten year. I am sure we will have to tweak and change a little but hopefully all that praying led me in the right direction.