I’ve been planning to share some of what we have planned for Lulu’s upcoming kindergarten year, and when I saw that the theme for the first week of Darcy’s month-long Blog Hop is curriculum, I decided to go ahead with it today. I don’t have anything else to do. ;-) A few weekends ago, Steady Eddie and I spent all day on Saturday at his office with our binder and various books spread out on the conference table. My goal was to have a rough idea of where we are headed, at least through Christmas, and I am pleased to say that I accomplished my goal (at least on paper).
We plan to officially begin Lulu’s kindergarten year August 24. My idea now is that we will be year-’round schoolers, but our summer school will be very light–two to three days a week at most. I just couldn’t countenance the idea of starting something new in the middle of summer, despite the fact that the public schools start next week in our neck of the woods. There are still almost two months of good swimming weather ahead of us here! However, I think we’re all about ready to get into some sort of routine. Now that we’re in the throes of remodeling and my floors are decorated with highly visible sawdust and sheetrock dust footprints, I think I will say that we’re starting kindergarten August 24, when the school room is set up, or just before I go crazy, which ever comes first.
And now, without further ado, the curriculum:
I’ve written already about what we’ve already done for reading up until now. Because I get antsy if we’re not doing SOMETHING structured at all times, we have been using Jump Right into Reading as a review for the past few weeks. I had hoped to finish it quickly, but because life is a little crazy right now, what with all the extra folks, the drilling, and the banging, we haven’t made much progress. When we finish that (if not before), we will continue with The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading. I also have Explode the Code 1 and Explode the Code 2, which I plan to use alternatingly with OPGTR. Of course, excepting the OPGTR, this is all untried, so this is all subject to revision. Right now I’m hoping to be finished with ETC 1, through lesson 53 in OPGTR, and through lesson six in ETC 2 by Christmas. Add into the mix that we will be reviewing Rocket Phonics for TOS Homeschool Crew, and it’s likely that I”ve overplanned. We’ll see.
I commissioned Steady Eddie with the job of choosing a math curriculum. He took his job seriously. :-) After lurking on lots of math-related threads over at The Well Trained Mind K-8 forums and perusing several publishes’ websites, he settled on RightStart Math for kindergarten. Math is the thing I feel the most distanced from–it has been a looooong time since I scraped by with a C in Calculus II as a college freshman. I also think this might be the subject I’m (secretly) most excited about because I think Lulu is going to adore it. I think RightStart will be a good fit for her.
After going back and forth about which model of handwriting we liked the best (I can see us now–bedazzled by the thought that we hold our children’s entire educations in the palms of our hands and have a choice about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g), we finally decided on Handwriting Without Tears because it seemed like the one that would appeal to Lulu the most. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything bad about it.
Science, History, Geography, Art, Etc.
This will mostly be approached through little unit studies from Five in a Row: Volume 1. We enjoyed the books we explored through Before Five in a Row this past year, so I thought we’d continue on in the same vein. I also hope to undertake a consistent nature study (maybe once a week) by participating in The Outdoor Hour Nature Study Challenge over at Handbook of Nature Study blog. This is all extra, though–I consider the reading, math, and handwriting our priorities.
As far as Bible and physical education go, I consider them a natural part of our day. (I do need to be more deliberate about the physical activity part, though.) We have devotions after breakfast, a Bible story or two at night, and I hope to pick back up our family memorization challenges soon.
Of course, reading aloud will continue to be a cornerstone of our day, too.
Whew! After getting this all typed out, it seems like a lot. I’m really excited to begin this new venture, and my prayer that this year is a joy and delight for us all. I know there will be some rough patches, but I want us all to look back at this official year with the feeling that we’re really glad we embarked on this journey as a family!