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My Rambling Thoughts on Choosing a Kindergarten Curriculum

Steady Eddie and I spent the weekend at the Georgia Home Education Association convention.  This was a special treat for us–a weekend away with no children thanks to our mothers, and one in which we were both encouraged in our homeschooling journey and got to spend some time together eating out and soaking up some history at the King Tut exhibit in Atlanta.

At the conference I sat in on an excellent session at the conference by Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason.  I’ve been drawn to the Charlotte Mason approach to education since reading so much about it online, and I feel like it might be one (perhaps in combination with a classical approach) we want to employ.  I’m just really not sure where the different curricula fit into this picture, though.

Maybe I should title this post “My Rambling Thoughts on Choosing Kindergarten Curricula” because I’m really not looking for an all-in-one curriculum, but rather, a good fit for us in terms of the separate subjects about which we want/need to learn.  Obviously, we will be working on phonics, and I feel pretty good about continuing on with The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading.  It’s not flashy at all, but it works.  I’ve thought about supplementing this with Explode the Code, but I’m not sure it’s necessary.

I bought volume 1 of Five in a Row and five of the books at the convention used book sale (along with lots of other goodies), and I’ve been leaning toward making Five in a Row a part of our day next year.  I have implemented Before Five in a Row this year some, but I have not been as consistent with it as I would have liked.  This makes me a little leery of trying FIAR because I wonder if I’ll be any more successful with it in terms of consistency.  Another thing is that I’ve never really considered myself a unit study kind of person.  But maybe my girls will be?

I’ve always been drawn to Sonlight–I mean, really, how could a booklover not be?  I visited the Sonlight booth this weekend and was once again impressed and comforted by the idea of having everything mapped out for me.  However, I’ve always thought I might just do what I’ve read so many other have done–use the Sonlight catalog as an annotated bibliography of sorts and do the books as read-alouds. I’ve read that it’s choppy to implement, too.

And then there’s My Father’s World.  I love the simplicity of it and the emphasis on God’s Word.  I also like that it seems to be a Charlotte Mason/classical hybrid.  My heart has always been classical education, and I’ve really only lately come to appreciate the Charlotte Mason approach, too, so My Father’s World seems like it might be a good fit.

I’ve commissioned Steady Eddie with the responsibility of finding a math curriculum.  🙂  So far he has really liked RightStart, perhaps in tandem with Singapore and/or Miquon as the girls get older.

There you have it–my very scattered thoughts about the future of our homeschool.  Although we are far from making a concrete decision, we are closer than we’ve ever been.  This is a matter that I plan to continue to mull over, research, and pray about.

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4 Responses

  1. I’ve never made it to a homeschooling conference yet. I could sure use the encouragement, though.

    I’ve used the curriculum recommended in WTM so far. I started with Singapore math, then switched to Saxon because I felt I needed the support of the scripted lessons. It’s had pros and cons, but I stick with it because I don’t want to make too many switches.

  2. Janet,

    We’re convention junkies, I’m afraid. This was our second convention, and Lulu isn’t even in K yet! We’re planning to go to two more by the end of the summer. Part of it has to do with the nature of dh’s job–he goes to a LOT of education conventions, anyway, so he really likes these.

    I’m still waiting on my copy of WTM. I’m reserving judgment ’til then. 🙂

  3. Such decisions. I have a friend that loves Sonlight. She uses one year of curriculum over two years and modifies it for several ages. If you are like me, half the fun is just researching all the different options! 🙂

  4. May I cast my vote for Saxon math? We have used it with Lizi from day one – she’s going into seventh grade this fall – and love, love, love it! The only thing I would change is to skip kindergarten and go straight to first grade, because they are practically the same; and don’t feel you have to do every single thing the curriculum recommends if your children don’t need the practice, because it gets excessive at times. YOU are the teacher, you get to decide what your students have to do!

    I have never used Sonlight, but it does look good, doesn’t it?

    As a reference, I would recommend Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp. Good stuff.

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