Monday, August 5, 2013

Kindergarten Curriculum for Our New School Year

This month I am joining other homeschool bloggers at the 5th Annual "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop.  The topic for this week is "Curriculum".  L and E just turned 4, but they are reading at a mid-first-grade level, and have mastered about 75% of the items in Common Core for Kindergarten Math, so I'm just going to go ahead and start Kindergarten with them this year (with some first grade materials thrown in as well).  We already started our school year earlier this summer, but I think the first month was more for getting into a rhythm and seeing what will and won't work.  Here's our curriculum right now...


The girls LOVE reading and are making improvements in their reading fluency every day.  I've been buying them a lot of early reader books, which they are just devouring.  I'd rather spend money on books than an expensive reading curriculum.

We're also using Take It to Your Seat Phonics Centers, Grades 1-2 from Evan-Moor
to practice decoding skills.  I might also add Hooked on Phonics (First and Second Grade levels) sometime this year to reinforce some of the concepts.

The girls (especially L) enjoy the Daily Reading Comprehension, Grade 1 worksheets, also from Evan-Moor.  They read the passages themselves, as well as all the questions and multiple-choice answers. 


Handwriting will be a big focus this year since the girls don't form most of their letters and numbers correctly (plus they are both left handed which I think makes it more of a challenge).  They have so many wonderful ideas in their heads and are always illustrating and writing their own stories, so I think that mastering handwriting will allow them to express themselves on paper without getting frustrated.  I plan on printing some free worksheets off the web for this instead of buying a handwriting curriculum (but might consider Handwriting Without Tears if the girls aren't progressing in a couple months).


We're going to continue informally with RightStart Math A (we got about half way through the book last year).  I've also been throwing in Saxon Math 1 worksheets - they seem to be around Kindergarten level and have the repetition we need. 

I'm most excited about the Life of Fred math series.  The girls absolutely love read-alouds, and enjoy hearing about Fred's adventures.  We review the end-of-chapter exercises orally as I'm reading.  This is more for the fun exposure to math concepts and puzzles.  Next year, I'll probably have the girls go through the elementary books again, this time reading them on their own and answering the questions on paper.  Right now, we're just having fun with it.

I'm also including a lot of hands-on activities for the math concepts we're learning.

History and Geography

I found a workbook called Beginning Geography, Grades K-2 (Evan-Moor publishing), which introduces maps and geography concepts with fun hands-on activities for kids.  I'll be putting some of these worksheets in the girls' folders weekly.

Last year I tried to do Story of the World: Ancient Times with the kids, but they were just too young.  This year they're starting to get it, and we're adding a lot of fun projects along the way.  This will probably be something we repeat again next year when they can gain an even better understanding of the topics.


I don't have a set curriculum for Science.  The plan at the moment is just to do a lot of experiments and get the girls to write the results in their lab journals.  We'll cover topics like state of matter, magnetism, light and colors, simple machines, space, the earth, plants, animals, the human body, and whatever else I can fit in..

Art & Music

 My little artists do daily art projects - drawing, painting, sculpture, and general messiness/ creativity.  I'm starting to teach them about famous artists (and composers for music), and we'll be doing some projects emulating their styles.

That's what we have planned right now, and so far it has been a lot of fun and just the right balance of work and play.  Looking back at the last year, my girls have grown and developed by leaps and bounds and I just can't wait to see what this year holds in store for us.

To see other homeschoolers' curriculum choices, visit the "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop:

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  1. I love your blog and I will be sure to follow it closely this year since I too have a boy starting K this year :)

  2. As a veteran homeschool mom, I offer one piece of advice. By all means, go into Kindergarten level work with them as they sound quite ready, but just don't call it their official Kindergarten year. Call their grade level by whatever it is by typical grade age, regardless of the level of work they are doing. There are lots of reasons for this, but I'll share just one. Imagine them as high school seniors at 16, competing for colleges and scholarships with kids that are 17 and 18 years old. From a college point of view, a kid that is the typical age for their grade doing advanced classes is much more impressive than a kid that is young for their grade doing typical classes.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing on the NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop.

  3. Thanks for sharing! My kids are similar in age to yours. I get so much inspiration and so many great ideas from your blog!

  4. These activities are very helpful in gaining mind capabilities to do work. It increases mental sharpness of child. Phoenix pre-k does the same.


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