Let me start by introducing the planner I have chosen for this year. It is Mardel'sA Simple Plan planner. Oh, I just love it so much! It includes pretty much everything you need to keep track of records for your state and for yourself. It has sections for monthly book lists, curriculum choices, year at a glance, days attended and some sample pages for us newbies for suggestions on how to use it and so much more. I love it.
He already knows his ABCs so we are starting to go through The Ordinary Parent's Guide To Teaching Reading. First lesson is Aa recognizing the letter and knowing the short vowel sound. It starts off with short vowel sounds in a catchy little poem. Then he would start on consonants, which is a nice catching poem as well. Great for my little audio learner. We are going to take the lesson's at his pace. He is only 3, I'm not in any rush. Then why am I even starting you ask. Because he wants to. His older sister gets to do studies and he has asked to do them as well. My goals for him this year is just to be able to recognize all the letters and be able to say the short vowel sounds as well as the consonant sounds. If he just recognizes the letters this year I'll count that as a win.
Click the image to view on Amazon
Again, I'm just doing math with him because he wants to. I do not have a set curriculum for him in this area. He mainly sits with his sister and pretends to do the same worksheet she does in his spiral notebook. Just from sitting he has learned to recognize and know the value of a penny, nickel and dime. We are working on counting objects to 100 by the end of the year, as well as number recognition.
My main focus for both my kids is reading. Everything else will always take a back seat if they are struggling with their reading. Why? I believe if they can read, they can learn anything. What good is math and writing if they can't read? What good are any of the subjects if they can't read? Assuming he is excelling, at a healthy pace, with his reading and math, then we will focus on writing. For Optimus, I bought him a Kumon tracing book. They are fun, and he likes that he has his own workbook. Goals for him this year in writing is to work on staying in the lines.
Princess is also using The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. It's a complete reading curriculum. There have been some parts that she has been bored with, but I started to incorporate the optional activities at the end of each lesson and now she is liking it quite a bit more. She is a bit like me in that she wants to just jump to the end and be great at it, rather then taking it slow and mastering blends. I think I have her convinced that she needs to learn how to read so she can read to me when I'm older, because I might go blind (She knows I'm joking, or am I...) Don't be a hater about my methods.
This is her playing the silly sentence game, which her and her brother thought was hilarious when the cards were mixed up.
I started Princess last year on Horizons K math and just did the first book. This year we are working through the second book. I think you are suppose to do them both in one year but, she wanted to start last year and we just worked when she wanted to. I love this math curriculum. It is a spiral method of learning. Which means they hit a topic briefly and then revisit it over and over again in other lessons throughout the book, rather than staying on one topic and mastering it before they move on to the next topic. This year we are sticking with it. She isn't to crazy about math because "it's just numbers". Some of you know I was kinda a math nerd in high school, so it slightly hurts my heart. My goal for her this year in math is to fall in love with it, because numbers are beautiful. And hey, if she doesn't, I have two others. One is destined to like math. I hope.
Click the image below to view on Amazon
Princess will be going through Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten this year. Its a pretty simple program. And, it is suppose to be great for lefties, which my son is. I have also printed out copy work for her to do every other day and laminated it, so that we can use it over and over. She enjoys writing therefore I give her as much as she wants. Here in a few months we are going to start writing to her pen pal.
Click the image below to view on Amazon
This is something that we do daily also. I printed out memory verses on index cards that I wanted us to memorize for the year. We are using the Charlotte Mason method of memorizing them. Which you can find here: Memory Box. Last year we just took a chunk of a chapter and memorized it, this year we are using the box and I am really loving it. We memorize these verses all together, which makes it fun. I have searched high and low for a Bible curriculum to use and God laid it on my heart to just read straight from the Bible. Well, that couldn't have been more obvious huh? Each day we focus on two stories. One from the New Testament and one from the Old Testament. We read only 2-3 verses of those stories a day. After we read we act out the story from the beginning up to what we just read that day and then we draw pictures of it. They both love doing it this way as well as retain the information well by going over it and only adding on a little to the story each day.
The kiddos are a little young to remember or even care about history. This subject is more for me. Ha! In my last post I mentioned we were reading The Mystery of History. That is all we do, I read the lesson for that day while they draw pictures of what I'm reading. Most of the time we will get online a google what we were reading about. For example, we read about the ice age last week. We then got on and googled ice caps, ice sheets etc. which were all in the reading that day.
Click the image below to view on Amazon
We are doing two different things for science this year. One of them is Nature Studies. We are studying birds and flowers this year. Nature studies are fun because we can just go out in our backyard with my laptop and their spiral notebooks and study nature. With the birds we made binoculars out of toilet paper tubes to spot birds. Then we research what birds we have in our backyard, as well as try and listen to the song that that species sings. We also research what type of nests they make etc. Putting out bird feeders and houses we make is also on the list. It's really a no pressure way of learning. The kids lead what we learn about the birds or anything they observe in nature and we google the crap out of it, through reliable websites of course.
On days we can't go outside and observe nature we get on Wonderopolis. Its a site that has a random wonder of the day. And they are very random, which makes it fun. It's free, check it out!
I am not a huge fan of organized crafts. I really like to just give the kids stuff and let them do whatever with it. Although, we found this cute show on Amazon Prime called Creative Galaxy. It's this alien that discovers different art techniques to solve whatever problem they are facing. It's really cute. Anyway, we will watch a show once a week and then they want to try out that technique. For example, this week the show was about pointillism, after it was over we grabbed paper, q-tips and paint, then painted pointillism pictures. When we do this I make sure they repeat and incorporate the word pointillism over and over while they are creating or describing what they just created.
Click the image below to view a free episode on Amazon. They are all free if you have Prime.
We do their three R's every day as well as our Bible. But, Science, History and Art we do every other day or more if they ask. This year we are trying year round schooling with only four days a week. I'll blog more on that later, but two major reasons we are, are 1) four days makes for either three or four day weekends which allows us to be very flexible with our time and 2) kids lose so much of what they learn over the summer, we would rather not have to review what they learned the year before when school starts back up the following year. Ok, and third, I would much rather have a few weeks off in the spring and fall when the weather is gorgeous then in the summer when it's so stinking hot.
We are sticking with our curriculum choices this year, come next year we will examine what did and did not work for each child then adjust from there.
What does your curriculum look like for the year? Or, if your kid is in public/private school what does their curriculum look like for the year? I hope school is starting off great for all of you!
This post contains some affiliated links. Thanks for your support!