Friday, January 30, 2015

Kindergarten Curriculum | 2014-2015 School Year

I am often asked by other moms of how homeschool is going, what we use for curriculum, and any other general homeschool questions that non-homeschool moms ask (or moms considering homeschool but don't know where to start). This is only our first official year, so I am by no means a pro. But I have done a lot of research on what works for us and how and what I want my children to learn. So far, it is working and I couldn't be more pleased.

I started Bridget in Kindergarten back in August but it has been very slow moving because of the newest addition to our family arriving in July. I've been primarily focused on reading, writing, and math. We dabbled in some history but it took a lot of time that I didn't have (having a five year old, a toddler, and a newborn in the same house makes for a very demanding day for mom).

Now we're back into a regular routine (as regular as can be with a constantly changing infant), and are adding a few more subjects to our daily studies.

We start our homeschool day with our core subjects: reading ,writing, and math. If we finish those in a timely manner, we work on history and then science. I save science for the very end since it often includes experiments, which Bridget loves. It provides a bit of motivation for her to get her school work done.

  • Reading: The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, BOB Books (We used only the BOB books in 2014, but beginning in January 2015, I began using the Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. After one month of using this book, I only wish I had started it sooner. We both love it!)
  • Writing: Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Kindergarten (After months of "free-style" teaching of basic handwriting, I decided to finally get a structured curriculum. Zaner-Bloser won because it is the style of handwriting I've been teaching her, and she's doing very well.)
  • Mathematics: Math-U-See Primer
  • History: Story of the World - Ancient Times, Elemental History - Adventures in America (We love SOTW but we stopped to focus more on reading. Now that Bridget is doing well with reading, we've added history back to the curriculum. But this time using Elemental History since it's gentle enough that we can breeze through it in a shorter amount of time. It also includes a states study. SOTW will be used again at the beginning of 1st grade.)
  • Science: Elemental Science - Intro to Science (Once I had decided on a science curriculum for first grade, I discovered that the same company had some more basic texts for K4 and K5. We're trying the K5 level and so far we really like it.)

We both like having a longer homeschool day. In 2014, every time we'd finish up the lessons, my daughter asked me if there was more. She was never ready to stop. Now we've got a full school day for her, but also keeping it fun and simple.

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