Kindergarten Curriculum for Spring 2010

(updated and revised February 1, 2010)

This semester in February will complete a full year of homeschooling! From not knowing her alphabet all the way to reading, writing, and spelling on a more-or-less first grade level is quite the accomplishment for Miss Satori! We are having an absolute blast, who knew homeschooling would be so much FUN! This spring we’re adding a few subjects, but leaving out a few of the extraneous things we attempted last semester. Our main goals by summer include:

  • read chapter books
  • basic addition/subtraction, time, money, geometry, measurement, fractions
  • perfect printing on lined paper
  • love of history, understand ancient civilizations
  • increase vocabulary, science understanding, art appreciation
  • beginning grammar and writing

I’d estimate that half of Satori’s subjects are beyond kindergarten at this point, but I am still calling this spring “kindergarten”. Why put pressure on ourselves? 🙂

My plans have us averaging two hours a day (Monday through Friday) on lessons. This does not include our nightly read-to-me (Satori reading) and read-alouds (parent reading). She has also been known to spend an hour or two a day on educational sites like ReadingEggs.com. We plan to homeschool throughout the year with strategic 1-2 week vacations multiple times in the year.

Kindergarten Curriculum

Reading (Phonics)

Main curriculums used every week:

  • Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (OPG) – 5x/week; main coursebook. Our first week we’ll be at Lesson 100 in this book (there are 231 lessons total which gives approximately a 4th grade reading level). We do a lesson a day in this (which includes review), and tackle it first thing in the morning. These are the easiest to teach in our day, as it’s a scripted program and I just follow the book. Satori learns it quickly as well, so I just love OPG, it’s very effective.
  • Explode the Code (ETC) – 3x/week; We are only doing sample lessons here and there to catch up to our OPG level. This spring we will be finishing books 1-3. I was thinking of ditching this program, but Satori insisted that we continue these workbooks. They are great for review and handwriting practice, but I really want to get caught up to our actual reading level, which by late spring should be ETC book 5/6.

Supplements used on occasion:


Handwriting

  • HWT K – “First Grade – My Printing Book” :  2x/week; We are refining our printing on lined paper, as well as starting to write sentences. Her handwriting improves very fast and she loves to write! Satori is now using proper upper and lowercase when she writes. When given the wide lined paper, she’ll also properly write her letters on it, tall, small, and descending all correctly.
  • StartWrite – Handwriting Worksheets – This is a very cool software handwriting worksheet wizard program. One of the fonts is the HWT fonts,which is very handy. I’m finding we’re using this almost everyday now, either has handwriting practice supplement, or copywork practice with writing and history.

Spelling

I’m pleasantly surprised how well this has been working for us. We started when Satori was 4.5 and was just learning how to read. I’m glad we didn’t wait on spelling, it has helped reading (and writing) along very well. Our dedicated floor whiteboard filled with All About Spelling Tiles definitely deserves its space in our learning loft. Plus, we get tons of cute little handwritten letters every week, as she now knows how to spell pretty well!

  • All About Spelling– 3/x week. Starting off on lesson 19, in 5 more weeks we’ll have finished Level 1 and will more to Level 2. A sampling of words Satori will learn to spell by summer are: handstand, kites, dentist, cupcake, hunger and flower.

Check out this article to see “Is My Child Ready?”. This will answer your question on how soon to start All About Spelling (which is as soon as they’re ready to learn to read).

Update on spelling: I cannot believe what joy Satori gets out of spelling. Lately she has been taking random sheets of paper and writing down all the words she knows, focusing on the latest AAS rules. Boggles the mind. I wish she took to reading and math this way!


Math

For math, we’re at a kindergarten level, as we used two other math programs before deciding upon RightStart. So I feel we lost some time while we dabbled in programs that didn’t work for us, but we’re still ahead of target for her age. I really want to make sure we hit math at least 4 times a week. I now also have the house fully stocked with fun math board and card games (a project I started early January 2010), so we think math is fun now!

RightStart Math A – 4x/week. I cannot believe how great this program is! Satori now says that math is the most fun subject, and that math means games, because this program really does focus on the games. Lessons teach Satori to think in chunks of 5 and 10, so she doesn’t have to count on her hands. Fun, addictive math games instead of boring drills. Interactive, multisensory activities. Lessons don’t look like they’ll ever be boring! So far we haven’t had any trouble understanding the lessons. We are going to focus solely on this one math curriculum this spring. (Last fall I wanted to do 3, lol.)

Fun with Math Fridays – A new “subject” we’ll do every Friday afternoon instead of formal math. This might be RightStart card games, Family Math, Family Math for Young Children, Games for Math and fun board/card games that deal with math or logic.

I would love to squeeze in some Singapore Math and maybe watch Math-U-See videos, as we also have those two programs, but for now RightStart is working out so much better than Singapore or MUS did for us.


Vocabulary

Wordly Wise 3000 2nd Edition – 3x/week. Satori loves these stories and learning the new words! She is so cute when she incorporates her new vocabulary into everyday speech and the letters she writes. 🙂 We’re doing both Kindergarten and Grade 1 this spring. (I’ve found Wordly Wise cheaper on Rainbow Resource.)

February update: Satori begs to do Vocabulary everyday, multiple times a day. The Wordly Wise words are too easy for her, so I think we need something more challenging. On the other hand, I love how much she relishes learning and using any new words. She picks up on new words that I say too and immediately asks what they mean. At this rate, I am on the lookout for another fun but more challenging vocabulary program to use this year. I look forward to starting the MCT program, but this is meant to start in Grade 3.


History

We had a blast studying prehistory, now we’ll continue with actual “history”. We’re using Story of the World Volume 1 (Ancient Times) along with the Story of the World Activity Book which I highly recommend! Lots of read-alongs and hands-on activities should make it fun. I plan to give Satori (and myself!) a well-rounded education by introducing art, music, literature, even foods as we study history!

We are also trying to mesh History Odyssey in with SOTW to get the best of both worlds!

February Update: Oh my. History has been such a fun program for us! Satori literally jumps up and down when she thinks about history. Check out all our history activities in the blog!


Science

  • Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2, by Bernard J Nebel – 1-2x a week. We jumped into this a bit last fall and love what we’ve learned. Now just have to stick with it every week! Last fall we learned about matter, gravity, living/non-living things… this spring we’ll cover energy, electricity, magnets, inertia, friction, and much more.  There is also a new version coming out this spring for older children.If we decide to follow a more classical curriculum, I also have R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey by Pandia Press. Level One covers Life. We have the eBook version. We may try this out as well this spring and see how it goes!

Art

  • Artistic Pursuits: The Way They See It and Book One– 1-2x a week. We’ll be wrapping up the early program and then continuing with their K-3 program, starting with Ancient Art to correspond with our history studies. They have programs all the way up through High School. Now they just need to update their website, it is ugly.

Logic

  • Lollipop Logic : Critical Thinking Activities – 1x/week. Introduces complex thinking skills suitable for grades K-2. Satori loves this, we don’t consider this as schoolwork. We also use tons of very fun card and board games for logic, like Rush Hour Jr, tanagrams, Blokus and more. I am starting to blog about our favorite games. We are looking for computer games as well, let me know if you know of any suitable for K-1. I’m on the lookout for the next workbook.

Writing

The Complete Writer: Writing With Ease: Strong Fundamentals – 2x/week. I never know what to call this, so I’m calling it WWE for Writing With Ease. This is a four-year program, and our first year will introduce Satori to narration, copywork and dictation using samples from childhood classics. Prices on Amazon are less expensive than on the Peace Hill Press store for both the text and the Level 1 Workbook, but it is awfully handy to have a PDF of the Writing With Ease Student Workbook!

So far this is working out well. I always like to have a backup ready in case we decide we don’t like something. In this case, our backup is The Write Source. I have Grade K and Grade 1 ready. I think this is a great program, but if we follow a classical education, creative writing is discouraged in the early grades. Satori is already writing her own stories, so we just might start this program anyway!


Grammar

First Language Lessons – 2x/week. We started this last summer and Satori was ecstatic to memorize her first poem. She now memorizes poems super easily that it scares me, lol. She gets a big kick out of it. I am not sure how well we are both going to enjoy learning about nouns all spring and summer, but we’ll see how it goes. It’s a scripted lesson and thus very easy to do and only takes a few minutes per lesson. This program covers grade 1 and 2.


Haven’t started yet, still thinking…. Our day already seems so full, maybe we’ll wait until summer!

La Clase Divertida Spanish OR Song School Latin

Pianimals OR Kinderbach