I love this time of year. I walked into Target yesterday and got positively giddy at the back to school section. Is there anything more exciting then shelves full of pencils, crayons, markers, paper, notebooks.. you get the idea.
So in honor of “Back to School” I thought I would share our curriculum choices for 2014-2015. Now, I may have 3 kids, but only one of them is old enough for a real curriculum. I learned a lot from last year’s TK. For example, I’m awful at just winging it and really need a little more structure for what to study and when. So, even though it’s just Kindergarten this year, we have a lot more ‘formal’ curriculum. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to push Green Bubbles to hard. Everything will still be kept to his pace and when things stop working, we’ll take a break and switch it up a bit.
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Megatron’s job this year is to just keep growing. I’m sure we’ll see crawling, first words, first steps, none of which require any type of curriculum. I think it’s important to keep that in mind for the older two as well. So much learning takes place every single day, no matter how old you are, without a well planned out curriculum to follow.
I totally intend to just keep doing what we’re doing right now. Using weekly themes for her, reading everyday, and just exploring what she’s interested in. She’ll sit in as desired on Green Bubbles lessons and I’m sure she’ll suck up whatever knowledge she wants to in the process like she already has. I’ll probably grab some fun packs from Confessions of a Homeschooler and 1+1+1=1 for her to play with as well.
– Handwriting without Tears: Letters and Numbers for Me : We used HWT last year and it was great. The preschool level only teaches upper case letters. That was great at the time but over the summer Green Bubbles has started getting frustrated that he doesn’t know how to make many of the lower case letters. Thankfully it’s something we’ll be covering this year so I’m sure he’ll be as excited as any little boy can be with handwriting.
– All About Reading: Pre-reading – This is one I wish we did last year and I have hopes it will help him learn his ABC’s better then my letter of the week type approach we did last year. Green Bubbles is not one of those kids who just picked up the ABC’s and phonics sounds all by himself (unlike Little Miss which, from what I can tell, knows more letters than her brother). All About Reading does more than just letters though which is why I picked it. Stay tuned later in the year for our review to see how it worked out for us.
– The Story of the World: Volume 1: Ancient Times and Activity Book – We’ll be reading through Story of the world and using at least one activity and various books recommended in the activity book to supplement. Also, there should be a few history related field trips coming up. Hopefully, this will help history stay fun since it will be more hands on than what we did last year.
–R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey- Life (level one) – We tried REAL Science for Kids last year and it started out great but mid-book we struggled. Odyssey has more hands on projects and activities so I’m hoping it will be a better fit for my guy.
– Nature Study – We have a group of friends we meet with weekly at various nature centers, beaches, and wilderness parks in the area. This is still very informal for us and isn’t really guided yet. 1st grade we’ll step up how structured we are with this.
Math – Singapore Primary Mathematics Standards Edition Level 1 – We did the Early Bird level (Kinder) over two years, preschool and TK. Depending on how Green Bubbles does we may stretch this out two years as well or pick up our pace and complete it in one year. He does well with math but I don’t want to burn him out.
– Swim Lessons with Blue Buoy Swim School: Green Bubbles has been asking to go back ever since we stopped for summer. He loves his swim teacher and has improved dramically from last year.
– Flag Football with i9 sports – We’ve done two seasons now and Green Bubbles keeps asking for more. He didn’t enjoy t ball so I’m glad we found something he likes so much.
– Art – I still need to figure out how much funds we have left over from our charter school. If there’s enough I’d like to enroll him in Art Steps. A friend goes here and it was highly recommended.