Monday, August 1, 2011

2011-2012 School Year – Kindergarten & Tot School

Not Back to School Blog Hop

*This is basically a repost of my curriculum plan posted in March*

After talking to some other mommies and looking at things online and a whole host of other things, we’ve decided that Kahlen is ready to start Kindergarten in the fall. She will be very young for it, as she’ll turn 5 in December, but it will be our third year of school already, with doing Kitchen Table Play and Learn with Hubbard’s Cupboard, and RRSP / Letter of the Week this year.

I’m glad I already had a plan picked out before I found out we we’re having a third child in February, otherwise I might feel a bit (more) overwhelmed. As is, I think this should work out just fine as I truly hope to have everything completely planned, purchased, and printed by the time we start school in 4 weeks.

Main curriculum: Tapestry of Grace, year 1image

A friend of mine found this curriculum and I was surprised at how much I like it. The more I look at it, the more I like it, in fact. It’s a classical education model. It’s a bit of a stretch for Kindergarten, but I think we can make it work. We’re going to stretch the first year out over two years instead, which will make it more reasonable as far as workload.

The main thing that we like about this curriculum is that it’s super-flexible as far as what assignments you do and don’t do. Since this is a classical curriculum, all grades are included with the initial purchase, so I can change what we’re doing to something more advanced halfway through the year if I need to.

The other thing I really like is the subjects covered, specifically Bible in conjunction with History and Geography. I like the literature aspect too, and I have already checked that I can get most of the books from the library, yippee!

Math: Math U Seeimage

We got a chance to look at this one at the homeschooling fair that we went to. Hubby remembered this from his childhood; he used it in preschool, and remembers all that he learned using it. After that, he went to a different school and doesn’t remember much math until college. That was recommendation enough for me. That, and I like it too. It’s very hands-on, which I think will be good for us.

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tearsimage

I looked into several handwriting programs, and I like the looks of this one. Also, it’s inexpensive, even better! Hubby said that he’s going to do it with her in the evenings, because his handwriting could use some help too ;)

Reading: Explode the Code & The Ordinary Parent’s Guideimage

image I looked at several books about teaching children how to read, and finally settled on this one. I think it’s a good match because the lessons are short, hands-on, and require not very much prep work from me. They are more interesting than some other books I saw, and more complete as well. As for a workbook, we’re going to try Explode the Code and see how that goes. It’s very black-and-white, but I think it’s still the best because it’s basic and yet covers what it needs too.

Spanish: Unknown…

I decided about, oh, a week ago, that I would like to start Spanish this year as well, but I don’t really have a plan about it yet. Any cheap ideas? I might just get some flash cards or something of that nature and do that twice a week.

Piano: Alfred’s Basic Piano Prep Course image

We started using this book last year, but she really wasn’t ready for it. She struggled with everything about it, so I didn’t push it. We’ll try again this year :) Nate might even join us since he’s already shown much more interest in actually learning how to make music than Kahlen ever has.


Tot School

Tot School:

Nothing really definite yet, actually. I’m waiting to see what he is capable and interested in doing. I know we’ll be doing Tot School Printables from Carissa at 1+1+1=1. Also, after reading several posts from Carissa about Montessori At Home! I purchased the download version. I figured for $7.95, I couldn’t really go wrong. I don’t know how much we’ll implement this year, since he’s young and a boy and not all that interested in organized activities yet. And, frankly, my attention will mostly be on Kahlen as we start Kindergarten and try to get in the swing of an actual curriculum. I’m also reviewing Before Five In A Row for TOS Homeschool Crew, which is chock-full of great ideas for this age. Watch for my review soon!

All that to say, we’ll probably mostly focus on tot trays with toys that we already have and worksheets occasionally from Tot School Printables with a few extra things thrown in occasionally.

Well, that seems like a lot quite enough to try to get through. The best part about homeschooling, though, is this is totally flexible and we can change it anytime if it’s not working for us! I’m also on the TOS Homeschool Crew for this year, which will provide us with many new things to evaluate and play with and fit into this plan.

So if we’re starting Kindergarten, does that mean we’re “officially” a homeschool family? Nah, we already were that…



Izzie, Mac & Me said...

My oldest will be starting kindergarten this fall! We'll be using BFIAR too! Excited to see your ideas with it!

fixedonHIM said...

Our youngest started K early with a December birthday too, she is now going into fourth. What a fun year you have planned!

Lindsay said...

This looks like a lot of fun! I am trying to decide what to use to teach reading.. I really need to look into The Ordinary Parent’s Guide for teaching reading :-)

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