August 21, 2014

Curriculum for the 2014-2015 School Year (K and 1st)


I have to be honest, when I see other people's curriculum choices I always feel like a huge slacker! I can just never figure out how they get through it all! I guess I just chalk it up to different kids, different learning styles, and the fact that mine are fairly young (with short attention spans) yet!  I am hoping we can add more as the years go on, and the kids figure out the routine! (This post does contain affiliate links for your convenience!)


This year I have a kindergartner, a first grader, and technically, a first year preschool student, but I have never used an organized curriculum for preschool, and I have no intention of starting now! We will spend some time on starfall, play with sensory bins, explore outside, and read lots of books.

The girls will have a few subjects together and a few separate this year. Last year we didn't use an organized curriculum for science or history, so the girls will be starting those together. We are also starting spelling this year as well!

For history we are going with Story of the World Volume 1 - Ancient Times. This curriculum has been highly recommended for its story format. I also like the fact that you can purchase CD's of the textbook, so they will be able to listen to those giving me a little break from reading.

For science we are using Apologia Astronomy. The format of these books is different then what you would find in a normal school because it covers 1 topic in depth rather then many superficially. My girls have been enthralled with stars for a while, so astronomy seemed a good fit. 

For spelling we are using All About Spelling Level 1. This is our first year with spelling, and many people recommended the hands on approach of All About Spelling. My oldest especially learns best with a hands on approach, so it seemed a good fit. 

Now for the subjects we will be working on separately.

My kindergartner is actually working more on a first grade level, so my choices for her are:

All About Reading Level 1 for reading obviously. This multi-sensory approach curriculum looks like it will have something for all types of learners, and just a quick look through shows it is very comprehensive. I didn't even know some of the things it teaches existed other then by simply memorizing words that have that particular sound. 

Singapore Math 1B  or the remainder of it as she started it mid-last year, but did not finish. Once she finishes we will move on to Singapore Math 2A.

Handwriting Without Tears 3 ; I know what you are thinking, you said first grade level not third, but we started cursive last year, and Nadia didn't catch on as quickly. So we are going back to the beginning of cursive with her. 

My first grader is also working ahead in reading and math, so she has the same curriculum on a higher level.

All About Reading Level 2 for reading. She already knows some of it, so we may whiz through. If so no problem, it will at least build confidence.

Singapore Math 2A for math. She really likes this math curriculum because it has hands on activities and not a ton of repetition. Basically you learn the concepts rather then memorizing a bunch of facts. They do still have you memorize basic facts, but most of it is conceptual. You can purchase an extra practice book, but so far we haven't needed it.

Handwriting Without Tears 4 for handwriting. Continuing cursive for her. Both girls wanted to learn "curly" (what they used to call cursive) last year, and Bria caught on pretty well. 

Both will continue their piano lessons, do daily Bible memory work, and use Family Time Fitness for PE. We will likely start gymnastics again at some point as well, but I am unsure if we will do it right away or not. There is also talk of a PE co-op, so we will probably take part in that as we can. I am sure there will be art projects in there too; although I haven't selected a curriculum for them (at least not yet, I am open to recommendations)!

Books I have chosen to read aloud this year are The Secret Garden , James and the Giant Peach , Black Beauty , Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , The Jungle Book , and 20 Shakespeare Children's Stories. If we get through them all then I am certain I can find more (that is never a problem here)!

After last year this all seems like some lofty goals, but I am hoping with the additional planning I have done we will be able to conquer it all without much whining! What curriculum are you using this year? Trying anything new?

August 19, 2014

Fall into Fall Fun at Mom's Library



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It is back-to-school time, and that always leads to fall around here! Hard to believe summer is nearly over, but to help prepare for the change in seasons I have some fall fun to get you started! 


My Fall Time Features This Week!!!



Preschool Powol Packets has some fun apple experiments!



3 Dinosaurs made some yarn corn!



Our Little House in the Country created some Autumn Tree Collages! 



Our Little House in the Country also made some Finger Print Autumn Trees!



Planet Smarty Pants talked about all the Seasons an Apple Tree goes through! 



Christianity Cove is looking way ahead to Thanksgiving with a Thankful Tree Placemat!



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August 15, 2014

The ABC's of Homeschooling: V is for Vacation

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Homeschooling....it's a lot of work, exhausting and at times overwhelming work. There are times many of us question if it is worth it even though we know deep down that it is. It is these times that we may need to consider a Vacation! Yes a vacation; do you make time for those when you homeschool? You should!  And I don't just mean the kind where you get to lounge in the sun on a beach somewhere.  A homeschool vacation may be as simple as taking a week off from organized school work! There are a few reasons why you need to be sure to take a vacation (or stay-cation). Read them all over at My Joy Filled Life!

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