Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kindergarten Curriculum

As promised, here are my curriculum suggestions for Kindergarten :)

First of all, I want to encourage all new homeschooling moms to take a deep breath. And another. Now, your children will not be deprived in any way if you snuggle on the couch everyday and read fantastic books together. That is all you have to do. I know that is VERY hard to swallow. I know. I was the frantic-first-time-homeschool mom. Ask my oldest son. I was a drill sargeant. We did flashcards for 5 mins., reading practice for 10 minutes, math worksheet, then counting practice and then more flashcards.....on and on. You get the idea? He hated school. With my 2nd son, I was already homeschooling the older one and just didn't have the time to spend 2 hours drilling flashcards (and by then I knew it wouldn't work anyway!). So Greg got 2 worksheets every day; one phonics and one math. We would spend 5 minutes with Alphaphonics and then he would be included in Lee's history, science and literature....ALL of which were basic read alouds and coloring pages. He loves school. So, take it from me......reading is all you really need to do.

However, if you feel compelled to DO something, take a look at my preschool suggestions. Most of them still apply here. We use Alphaphonics to teach reading so if your child is interested, then I would suggest that. I also used Modern Curriculum Press's Kindergarten math book with the older boys, one page a day. I don't know if I will get that technical the next time, but it was a good value and worked as a "gentle" beginning for math. We use Math-U-See for math after that, so we will probably look into the primer for kindergaten.

Other suggestions:
Five in a Row (we didn't use this, but I really like the looks of it)
Sonlight K
My Father's World K

***As a thought, all of the above are basically focused around reading GREAT children's books aloud to your children. You can save a BUNCH of money by just getting great books from the library and reading them, over and over, to your children. Read the books, discuss the books, live the books. Throw in some children's history and science books if it makes you happy. Sit on the couch or lay on the floor (or better yet, a blanket in the yard) and read together. Don't forget to let everyone (even the big ones!) look at the pictures. I would also suggest that you read "bigger" books to your children. When Lee was 5, we read the whole Little House on the Prairie series during bedtime. Take a look at Madeline, House on Pooh Corner and Charlotte's Web as well.

Don't forget Bible. If you are still using a Bible storybook, you should continue with that but throw in at least one day a week of reading passage from the Bible. We use KJV and my children haven't ever had any problem understanding it. I firmly believe that children become accustomed to what they are exposed to. I would also encourage you to sing hymns with your children. We own several children's praise music CDs that are fantastic and really get God's word into their little hearts. If you aren't memorizing scripture together as a family yet, now is the time to start. HERE are some verses to start with if you are stumped.

Simply Charlotte Mason is a wonderful site dedicated to helping parents educate their children via Charlotte Mason's method. To read more you can go HERE. Cindy Rusthon also has some fantastic articles about learning through "living books" HERE.

Spend this year as you did last year. Learn the habits of reading and living together day by day. Share your life with your children and explore the world together. Enjoy your children! This year will be gone so fast that you will wonder where it went.

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