Saturday, July 19, 2008


This year taught me a lot about homeschooling and me! I'm glad I did PreK at home with Autumn. I thought I would have lots of time to plan and do fun art projects and put together my own curriculum and collate it from several books for one subject. But, it just hasn't turned out that way. I realized quickly that I actually have less time to prep for my lessons at home than I did when I was teaching in the public schools!

So, this year, I am picking a book or curriculum for each subject with Autumn. I do have a few books that I am going to supplement with because I love them so much.
So, here's the books I plan to use:
Reading: Continue with How to Teach your child to read in 100 Easy Lessons. Then, use a book I found called "Teaching Phonics: A Balanced Approach" I may have to purchase something midyear if the second book doesn't work out the way I hope.
Reading Comprehension: 2 Read Alouds Every Day
Easy Reading: It's a book with lesson plans to help children learn how to picture what they're reading in their heads. I found it at a book sale at the library and I'm excited to try it. I'll keep you posted on how it works out!

Singapore Math: I wanted to use this because it promotes critical thinking about Math, but it is still a book that I can use to go through and this year, it has been aligned with CA state standards for math, which I'm happy about.
Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson, Books 1, 2, and 3
I absolutely love these books! Math has been my favorite subject to teach to older students. In grad school, I didn't understand what children initially need to learn in order to gain a good understanding of mathematics and be successful in applying what they've learned. In Book 1, Kathy Richardson explains the basic concepts that children first need to learn--even in learning how to count! It may sound silly, but it was like the lights went on for me when I read it because I just hadn't understood. It has also helped me be much more patient and observant with her in math. I will probably write another post about these books sometime because I just love them so much.

Horizons Health for K
I haven't ordered them yet, but will soon. I liked the sample because the workbook is designed for Pre-Readers/Early Readers and so many books (like the Singapore Science ones I bought) are not. So, I'm going to try and use the Horizons Health in the fall and Singapore Science in the spring, hopefully.

Write from the Start
We'll see. I'm curious if this will work for us or not.

Bible: Next year, I want to save up and purchase the sunday school curriculum from Desiring God ministries (John Piper's church), but for this year, my goal is to teach them several hymns and use other books I have.
Daily we start off with The Bible Illustrated for Little Children by Ella Lindvall. I love it! I would recommend it to anyone homeschooling or not. The pictures are not exciting, but the stories are good and biblical. After each little story, there are three questions and it has really helped Autumn learn how to start answering questions about what she has heard. At the beginning of last year, she couldn't answer any of them and now she answers most of them.
I also have Play 'n Learn Bible Stories and I'm going to get My ABC Bible Verses by Susan Hunt. I also have another book that I've started using called Every Day Adventures by Pat Holt that I found at another book sale. It is a treasure. How often do you find a book with stories about Children and God that has questions at the end of each based on Bloom's Taxonomy? They are good questions and I still treasure it all the more knowing I only paid a dime for it!

Nursery Art from Singapore
I liked the Sample and I'm excited to use it. I found a set of 6 books at a book sale to supplement the curriculum with more examples that the girls will be able to see.

Spanish: I found a fun book with songs to help the girls learn beginning Spanish words and that's where we're going to start this year for an introduction. They already know one of the songs.

Music: Next year, we're hoping to enroll Autumn in Violin lessons, but we're going to wait until then. At home, I plan on doing a lot of dancing with them and learning a lot of new songs. I've ordered a CD by Cedarmont Kids for Patriotic Songs and next month I'm going to order two more by Cedarmont Kids called Christmas Favorites and Christmas Carols.

I think that is one of the most surprising things to me is to realize how much children are exposed to in school and how many resources I want to have at home so that they don't miss out on learning those things. A good example is the CDs by Cedarmont Kids. I really want the girls to learn and enjoy those songs and it does fall under Social Studies.

Writing: I have a curriculum called Step Up To Writing that I used when I was teaching that works for grades K-8, so I'm going to try and use that this year. I think it will involve some prep for me, so I'm not sure how well it's going to work though. But, I love the curriculum, so I'm going to try!

Critical Thinking:
Mind Benders Warm-Up
High Five Alive by Highlights.
Autumn was given a subscription to High Five Alive by her Grandma and we all really like it.

Social Studies: I have a list of topics that need to be covered and a lot of various books to read with them. I also want to go on field trips with the girls so they can see places that we talk about. There's a wonderful library near us that has a place called "Storyville". It is a miniature town for kids 0-5 (no one over 5 can go in). And it's free! It's really a miniature hands-on children's museum for little kids.

PE: I really want to make sure the girls are active every day. We have two exercise videos for kids that they like to do inside when it's hot. One is a My Gym video featuring MYMO, a monkey, and the other is Yoga Kids ABCs. Both are great! I'm going to sign the girls up for soccer for September/October and then Autumn for dance this year.

It sounds like a lot, but I don't think it will be. I discovered last year that lessons at this age are so much shorter than they are in the later grades. I'm not going to overload Autumn. A lot of the subjects will only be twice a week. Next post, I'll try and type up my schedule plan! I'm going to try and learn to format on this better so it will be easier to read next time =)

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