Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Revisited

Awhile ago, I shared what we are using for kindergarten homeschool curriculum.   If we say we started in September, that puts us 7 months into our first year of homeschool.  There are so many days I feel like I’m not doing very much actual teaching, but the reality is, the kids are learning so much!  It just looks different than what I envisioned.  You see, I use very little of what I actually purchased for kindergarten curriculum.

For the most part, I still like what we decided on and it worked fine for us, but we just changed.  The one thing we purchased that just wasn’t working out for us was All About Reading.  Maggie hated it.  Pure hate and a fight if I even suggested we work on it.  Since I became an Usborne Books & More consultant last February, I eventually ordered the Usborne Very First Reading Set {which I later replaced with the Usborne Very First Reading Library}.  I figured it couldn’t hurt.  We got down to it after taking some time off because she seriously got upset just talking about her learning to read.  Then I busted out Pirate Pat.  We spent the first day just looking at it and talking about the letter sounds and how we would read them together.  It took us 3 or 4 days to get through the first book but she was SO excited because she just finished reading a book.  This was such a great decision for our family.  She is up to book 11 or 12 but we don’t use this as our reading time as often.  You see, she realized about a month ago that she could read anything.  I mean that.  She can read any word now.  She isn’t fluid, but she’s able to read anything so that’s just what she does.  She picks up a book, magazine, cereal box, etc. and reads it.  The library takes us up into second grade, so we will keep reading it but the reality is that now she just needs to keep practicing and she LOVES to read.

 

We stopped using Moving Beyond the Page.  I loved it, I still think it’s great.  We did do some of the units and had fun with them.   But then the kids got really interested in something so we ran with it and left our curriculum behind.  Now, I use books to design our curriculum based on what we feel like learning about.

 

We do still follow Singapore Math pretty consistently.  She’s now onto the second half of first grade math.  When we finished the first half of first grade math, we took some time off to really keep reinforcing what she had learned.  She could do it all but it took quite a bit of time and I wanted it to be more automatic for her.  She liked not having to do her workbook again and I was planning to wait at least a few more weeks and just keep playing math games like Math Room with her but she wanted to start working on her book again so we are about six lessons in right now.

 

I did order Mystery of History to kind of sort of use for history.  I say that because I love how it weaves the bible into history instead of always seeming like they are two separate things.  We read the 1-2 pages once a week but really love the timelines as a fun, visual way to learn about history.  Most of our history comes from books at bedtime.

 

I also added in Devotions Off the Map.  I love the quick story as they go on a journey and then we discuss the bible verses and the open ended questions that we can discuss together as a family.

 

In all honesty though, a very large part of our school day takes place in the car or at bedtime.  We read a story at bedtime and there are a million questions to go along with it.  It really leads into discussion the next day as well and we pull out some more books to go along with whatever “it” happens to be.  Lately, we’ve been reading  Who was Rosa Parks? and other titles as well as the If You Traveled West in a Covered Wagon series. <— These might be my favorite.  I love asking them what they think because each section is titled with a question.  I ask their thoughts, we read the section and talk about it.   They are really bringing history to life in such a fun, exciting story.  Maybe I’ve read them myself when the kids were playing, that’s not weird, is it?!  I hated history growing up so I want it to be fun for these guys.

 

Our school day lacks structure and it’s absolutely wonderful.  We do our math when we finish breakfast.  We do our reading practice during nap time since it’s also quiet time.  Geography, history, science, art, music, etc., they take place randomly throughout the day. Often times, our art lessons take place when our friends are here.  Art Treasury and Art Ideas give the kids a great place to start learning about a different art technique while talking about famous artists.  We pull out 365 Science Activities and have some fun.  Density was our favorite, it was so much fun!   We have a geography book we do once in a while, but mostly, we love to look through Atlases or talk about where my sister is in the Navy or learn all about the rainforests which leads to talking about where the rainforests are.  Sometimes, we just pull out my old scrapbooks and talk about places I have traveled to.  We visit the science museum, history museums and there are always places to go exploring.  We learned about badgers after our nature hike one day.  When it’s something they love, I put my planning cap on and put together a theme unit like this one on space or weather.  We change up what we do for writing all the time.  The Very First Story Writing book is a lot of fun and one of our favorites.  She is also getting this Fun Schooling Horse Journal for Easter.

 

How has your year of homeschool changed from when you started?

 

 

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