Grace, my older daughter, is in fourth grade this year. We have done cyber school, boxed curriculum, and our own thing, and we have been through at least a dozen different publishers' stuff. I feel like I'm an old pro at elementary school, even though I've just been through it once.
At any rate, Allie came along into the school mix this year. I started doing some really basic stuff with her around February or March, and she was into it. She wanted to learn to read and write, but she didn't really understand that the letters make sounds, so I was really casual with her about how we “did school.”
Now that she's kindergarten age, we are doing a little more work in earnest, but I agree with Charlotte Mason who said that children should not begin rigorous schooling until age six or later. I made the mistake of pushing Grace into organized schoolwork much too early (inspiring a hatred of anything labeled as school), and I am not going to do the same thing to Allie. I want her to have lots of time to play, paint, draw, study nature, and be read to.
Our Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
Reading – We started midway through last year with All About Reading's Pre-Reading curriculum. Allie loved it, especially the hand puppet zebra. We didn't finish the pre-reading curriculum, but when I was buying Grace's All About Spelling curriculum at the end of the summer, I looked at the pre-test for All About Reading Level 1. Allie was hitting most of the benchmarks, so I went ahead and ordered Level 1 for her. We skipped over the end of Pre-reading and headed straight for the actual reading part. I think she's going to do fine with it, but if she struggles, we can always go back and finish Pre-reading.
Note – We completed lesson 1 of AAR, and Allie was ecstatic. The pieces all fell into place for her, and she was blending letter sounds and sounding out words like a champ. I think she's going to love it.
Spelling – All About Reading suggests on starting All About Spelling after the first year of All About Reading is completed, so we aren't doing any formal spelling instruction this year.
Handwriting – We are using Handwriting without Tears. I used this a little bit with Grace, and it worked for her, so I'm continuing with Allie. She already loves the HWOT Stamp and See set, which she has been playing with for a couple of months. I also really like the HWOT kindergarten teacher's guide, which has stuff for classroom teachers, but also a ton for homeschoolers. It is all focused on kinesthetic activities to get children ready to write, learn the correct posture and finger grip for writing, and finally, get to the business of writing the letters. I love HWOT.
Copywork – I printed the Alphabet Copywork Set from NotebookingPages.com for Allie to work on throughout this school year. Each page has one letter on it, with a big box for drawing or pasting pictures, and a few big sets of lines underneath for writing the letter. I am going to help her make an alphabet notebook as the year goes on. HWOT above introduces the letters based on how easy they are to write, not in alphabetical order, so I think we're going to do these pages out of order, too.
Math – Allie is starting Singapore Math's Earlybird Kindergarten Mathematics. I thought set A would be too easy for her, so I went for set B. We'll see how it goes.
Bible – Allie is doing the Beginner lessons ofThe Bible for All Ages curriculum.
I thought about including Science, History, Geography, and all those other subjects here, but the truth of the matter is that I'm not focusing on them with Allie right now. If she learns to read and write this year, as well as learning some good schoolwork habits in terms of math and Bible lessons, I will be content.
Here's how we're doing fourth grade this year with my older daughter.
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