Anyway, my motto this year is "Keep it simple sweetheart!" and my goal is to keep to the curriculum plan that I have mapped out despite whatever whining may occur because a certain someone has a dislike for writing neatly in his notebook. That said, I have spent time evaluating my children's likes/dislikes, needs/wants, and my own expectations before making a final decision. Here we are at the end of the first week and we are enjoying our choices, but already I see the need to pare back some of my over zealousness to keep our choices simple yet satisfying!
For my kindergartner I am using the Abeka language arts program loosely. I say loosely because somewhere in the middle of last year the letter sounds clicked for him and he started reading. So in reality, according to his abilities we can skip the first 60 lessons and start with long vowels. However, though he can read he wasn't really confident in his abilities with cvc words so we are doing a mixture of things to keep the ball rolling. They include but aren't limited too...
- The Step-by-Step Primer with Burnz' Pronouncing Print by Eliza Boardman Burnz. (I'm sure you've never heard of it since it was printed in the late 1800's. It is basically a pure phonics reader. Each lesson introduces a new letter and adds words using the new sound and previously learned sounds. There are also a few sight words thrown in...less than 10 in the first 30 lessons. We are taking it slow and building his confidence!)
- Bob Books readers and other phonetic readers from our library.
- Phonetic readers found online at openlibrary.org. (another post coming soon!)
- Letters and Sounds K and Writing with Phonics K from Abeka book. We are working through them as the lessons appear until we reach the two-vowel rule, and then we will continue the phonics lessons from the teacher's guide as needed.
- Readiness Skills K from Abeka book. It includes activities such as coloring, cutting and logic skills.
We also have a Social Studies book and a Science reader from Abeka to round things out for K5.
This is where I exercised the most brain power! Mr. Bookworm loves to read, loves science, loves computer-based learning, hates writing and avoids it all costs, is super advanced in some areas and needs a little extra help in others! And I? I only have so much time and energy to give. We tried a few different language arts approaches this week just to test the waters and find that delicate balance of oral learning, visual learning, physical learning, and of course, old-fashioned pen and pencil learning.
For math, we are continuing on with BJU's 2nd grade curriculum. We had to pause to work on addition during first grade but we are back in full swing and he is eager to improve his math skills. Praise the Lord!
- The curriculum comes with a workbook and a review book. So each day he does the workbook page with me during the lesson and the review page covers the previous day's work on the front and a cumulative review on the back. Like I said, we are sharpening our skills.
- He also likes to use the review games on Easy Peasy's website.
For language arts...
- Spelling 2 from Abeka. (He choose the simplicity of the format with only short exercises for each lesson. Aside from that he will daily trace the words in a page protector and do some form of hands-on or computer practice like Spelling City.)
- We also already had the phonics and language seatwork books from Abeka so we will incorporate those as needed into his independent work time.
- Easy Peasy All-in-one homeschool for reading. (He loves learning online and Easy Peasy has an advanced reading level that challenges him!)
- Handwriting without Tears - Printing Power (This is the second grade book. He already learned the formation of the letters in first grade, so now we are working on doing it right the first time or doing it again. "Slow and steady wins the race!")
- These are subjects that he loves, and since he soaks up information like a sponge he actually asked to do extra work in these subjects on Easy Peasy in addition to the science and history readers from Abeka. (By the way...he read the entire science book in one sitting before we even started school!)
- Morning time - we pray, sing Bible songs, patriotic songs, memorize Bible passages, poems, finger plays and quotations. Then we have our Bible lesson. This year we are using the Bible Study Guide for all ages and really enjoy it!
- Exploration time - we often branch off and do extended unit studies, usually science related. (Don't gasp in shock. We keep it simple, meaning cut and paste in a notebook, read a book, do research via a YouTube video and we're done!) Right now they are into spiders. Yech!
So that's the plan and I'm sticking to it! Except for one exception...Daddy volunteered to teach Bible so that shortens up our morning time and lightens my load! What are your plans for this year? I'd love to hear them!