Rhys’ Curriculum Choices for 2013-2014 (Kindergarten)
Here’s what Rhys will be using for Kindergarten:
Horizons K Math – Very colorful and begins simply and gradually increases in difficulty. This curriculum “spirals” somewhat, mixing up questions within each lesson and repeating those questions in future lessons. I did not buy the set, I bought just the workbooks.
Saxon Phonics 1 – I used Saxon Phonics 2 with Henry when he was in 1st grade and it was a great program. He already had a pretty strong grasp of phonics from doing Christian Liberty Press’ K curriculum, but he didn’t know what a “macron” was and assorted phonetic vernacular. I liked Saxon because it drilled and used flash cards. I did NOT like tearing out all the flash cards. My advice to you if you’re going to purchase this set is to tear out the white cards (spelling, letter…my mind escapes me and they’re not within reaching distance) and leave the colored “kid cards” intact until you see if your child needs extra help. I tore up all 38 million kid cards for Henry and didn’t use them once.
Handwriting Without Tears – This book is new to me so I don’t have a lot to say about it, other than I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and it gets good reviews. He needed a handwriting book so we bought it. Tada!
Exploring Creation with Astronomy – We are studying astronomy as part of our science curriculum in Classical Conversations this coming cycle, so our science this year will focus on astronomy. This book has 14 lessons and experiments. Some of the experiments themselves might be over Rhys’ head, but some – like the first which will have the boys making a replica of the solar system to hang in their room – won’t, and he’ll be able to participate and enjoy the lesson as much as Henry. Henry will be keeping a notebook with dividers for each lesson, I am not sure what I will do for Rhys, perhaps the same and fill it with pictures to color/things to cut and glue/etc. instead of questions to answer, until (hopefully) he’s able to write. He could also do some copy work for the notebook – so yes, as I’m typing, Rhys will indeed get a science notebook. Thank you for helping me make up my mind!
Story of the World – Despite the fact that CC is on a totally different schedule, we’re going to start working through Story of the World in the first volume, Ancient Times. The four volumes may take us four years to complete, but that’s fine. By the time we’re through with them I’d like to move on to a different curriculum called BiblioPlan. I’d actually like to do it now, but it’s very pricey and I’ve already spent a ton of money on homeschool stuff this year so…we’ll see.
Classical Conversations – The last piece of our homeschool puzzle, but ultimately the backbone that will guide us all 13 years of their educations. Each week he will learn small facts he will later apply as an upper elementary student, then broaden the scope of these pegs as they become research subjects in middle school and finally he will be able to debate and defend these subjects (or any subject of his choice) as a high school student. The “pegs” he’ll learn each week include: English grammar, a history sentence, math (either skip counting or a mathematical formula), Latin conjugations, declensions and various memory work, a science fact, art or music, geography, and seven timeline cards. Each year the CC student memorizes a timeline of history from creation to modern day using flash cards as an aid and they’re broken down into seven cards per week. Within these cards they also memorize all the Presidents of the USA.
CC sounds like a lot of work, but in reality it only takes about 20 minutes a day to review the memory work though you can spend as much time as you’d like going deeper into subjects your kids are interested in. We’ve made so many good friends AND found our church through the group…I can’t say enough good things about the program itself or the people within it. I’m not sure I could homeschool without my CC peeps!
Wow. Okay, that turned out to take a lot longer than I anticipated! I need to do a lot of things around the house today so I’m going to have to write Henry’s out later because it’s a lot longer. I hope this was helpful for those of you with kiddos going into Kindergarten this year. If this is your first year – RELAX! You can do it! It need not be structured like public school, after all, it’s not public school – it’s home school.
- Do not expect them to sit still at the table for three hours, that’s never going to happen unless you break their legs (please do not do this).
- Don’t spend hundreds of dollars on a curriculum – your child might hate it.
- Before you start schooling, take time to read some books or blogs on types of schooling: Montessori, Charlotte Mason, the classical education model (me!), unschooling, etc.
- Personally, I recommend you read The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, it helped me immensely and made homeschooling make sense, finally. It also helped me relax and realize that I wasn’t going to RUIN THEM!!!1!1!!. Which was a fear. I also stopped torturing poor Henry with 15 subjects as a Kindergartner – he only needed to know how to read, write and do math. Period. Science, history, social studies, health, etc. could all wait. If he couldn’t read, what good did any of those things do? Granted, Rhys is doing those, but only because I know he loves to listen in on what Henry and I are doing. He will probably also do First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and The Complete Writer: Writing with Ease Level Two by Susan Wise Bauer because he listened in on those all last year. I doubt I’ll formally count it though, since he can’t do the writing portion and he’ll have to redo it in first grade anyway.
Okay, okay I can’t dish out any more advice. My quiet time on the porch has unceremoniously come to an end on two counts: the scent of a dead thing is wafting through the air and making me nauseous and also Dave is getting ready to sand our deck in order to stain it.
Please leave me a comment if you have any questions. Emails seem to get lost! Thanks!!
Posted on July 27, 2013, in Donna being Donna and tagged Charlotte Mason, Classical Conversations, classical education, Education, First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind, homeschool, Kindergarten, Susan Wise Bauer, unschooling, Well-Trained Mind. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.