Monday, August 4, 2014

3rd Grade and Kindergarten Curriculum Choices- 2nd Year Launch!

Last year was a big year.  Our transition to homeschooling from public school for our oldest (then second grade) had its ups and downs.  We switched curriculums around a few times and ended up with a year of memories and growth.

I was able to attend a Great Homeschool Convention in April which was helpful in touching and feeling different options.  So after praying, exploring, and a little trial and error, here are our curriculum choices for (at least the start) of this year!

Izzy- 3rd Grade

Math:  Christian Light Education (CLE) 300
Reading & Language Arts:  Total Language Plus (TLP) "The Courage of Sarah Noble" and "The Whipping Boy" with a Unit Study on the  American Girl Kit series in the middle since she enjoyed our Samantha and Addy series so much last year.  I also have daily language skill sheets for her to do if needed to supplement during unit studies.
Writing:  Our biggest struggle last year and we ended up with basically copy work and a few journal entry responses with our unit studies.  I'm hoping our new choice of Essentials in Writing level 3 will be a great fit for us!
Handwriting:  A Reason For Handwriting cursive.  She will get printing practice with TLP
Spelling:  All About Spelling finishing level 2 and going onto 3.  We started this program mid-year last year and have mixed feelings about it.  The phonics education has been great for her (she learned to read primarily on sight words) but the spelling has not improved as much as I would have hoped.  I've been encouraged to keep with it- so we'll at least go through level 3.
Social Studies:  Story of the World vol 1 and Abeka's Our American Heritage for grade 3.  I was intrigued by the Story of the World idea but wanted to keep going in our American studies so we will probably filter back and forth.  The Abeka will be more independent in nature and less up front for me for those busier weeks or when I'm working with little sister.
Bible:  Adventure Bible Devotional by Zonderkidz.  We are going to also focus on applying to Fruits of the Spirit to our lives as they are one of our 'school rules'.
Ancillary Program:  We are going to try a local homeschool program all day on Mondays which will give grade level experiences each week in Art, Music, Drama, Gym, Math Games, Spanish, and Science Experiments.  It will be nice to have such a variety of experiences for her to draw upon and to be in a more 'classroom' setting which she has missed.  We are hopeful this will be a great addition to our family.

Liliana- Kindergarten
Lili is 4.5 but ready to start some basic Kindergarten.  She is past preschool curriculums, so I project taking 1.5 years to do K work, but will let her dictate her own pace.

Calendar: I have a homemade presentation book with laminated pages for our calendar/circle time.  Pages include counting, temperature, monthly calendar, venn diagram, tally marks, writing numerically, math problem of the day, patterns, time, place value, and money.  It works great, its portable and customizable, and was super easy to do!
Math:  Christian Light Education (CLE) 100.  Technically 1st grade books, but she was beyond their Kindergarten books, so we will start slow.  I do not expect to finish, but rather use this level for 2 full years.  We will supplement with extra practice pages as needed so she does not move too fast for her stage of development.
Reading:  I got drawn into the Horizon's program's beautiful books.  I'm not sure I love it and kind of wish I had done something different, but we'll see how it works.  I have a feeling we will fly through the first book as she already knows most of her basic phonics.  I also have some readers like BOB books and an Usborne Ted and Friends books on cd to help boost sight words.
Handwriting:  A Reason for Handwriting
Social Studies:  Story of the World with big sister as her attention span allows.  I figured out some adaptable activities to engage her while big sis is working on more intricate projects.
Bible:  Adventure Bible Devotional by Zonderkidz.  We are going to also focus on applying to Fruits of the Spirit to our lives as they are one of our 'school rules'.

My blog is shared at the not back-to-school hop over at ihomeschoolnetwork!  Head over there to see other great curriculum choices homeschool parents around the world have chosen!

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