We are ready to start school! I reorganized the play room so it is now more of a school room. I left out only the toys that they really play with and are somewhat educational.
I have found that when it comes to toys, less is more. Ever since I removed over half the toys, they have played so much better with the ones they do have. They both actually play with the toys rather than throw them around and cry when I tell them to clean up.
I have really enjoyed planning for the school year, looking at curriculum, planning lessons, spending way too much time on pinterest, and other various websites looking for interesting kindergarten activities. It's so fun!
Growing up, we were textbook/test style homeschoolers. I loved that. I loved taking tests, I loved doing well on tests. I liked doing the work, having a definite start and finish and I loved knowing that when you finish the book, you are done and you've learned all that you need to. I have always planned on homeschooling my kids the same way but unfortunately I can tell already that Claire is not going to be a textbook homeschooler. She is going to be a hands on, "how does this make you feel", experience-it-in-every-way-possible-before-you-understand-it, type learner. The kind of learner that is going to require a curriculum like Konos. Ugh. Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of Konos and I still vividly remember the Konos studies that my mom did with us when I was 3 and 4 years old, it is just A LOT more work than my preferred textbook route. I looked into it extensively and decided that although I know she would love it, I am going to wait and start it when I have at least 2 kids able to benefit from it.
That being said, I am extremely happy and excited about my alternative choices for Claire's kindergarten this year So, here it is, my 2013-2014 curriculum!
Sing, Spell Read and Write - We started this over a year ago so she is quite a bit ahead. We haven't done it since we've moved and she struggles still so we will do a review from the beginning and then keep forging on.
McRuffy Kindergarten Science. I really need science and social studies to be my fun hands-on subjects since math and reading just aren't and in my opinion never will be. I have always been set on doing Abeka for science and history but abekas K science was so lame and boring. I stumbled on this curriculum by chance during some bunny trail google searches and immediately knew it was the one.
It is simple enough for kindergarten but I can make units that interest Claire so much richer through extra curricular activities and crafts. So, with science, we are kind of going with a simple/pre-konos approach. I also like that McRuffy aligns there material with the National Science Education Standards so I feel like she is learning what she needs to in this area. (There are sample pages on the website)
Horizons. I always knew I would use Horizons, no surprises there
My younger brother was lucky enough to get to do Horizons instead of Saxon for math. I vowed when I was in 5th grade that I would never make my kids do Saxon math - a vow I am very passionate about and plan to keep. McRuffy actually has a kindergarten math book which I ordered to compare with Horizon. Concepts being taught were identical, but Horizons' pictures and printing quality was better so I returned the McRuffy.
Again, Abeka was a total bomb in this area and I found that there really isn't history curriculum out there for such a young age. I decided I would like her to know the basics about the world. Isn't it funny to think that little people need to be taught even the most simplistic concepts? Like, the world is round, there are continents and countries, the world is a big, wonderful place and they are not the center of it? Then I think how serious a responsibility and privilege it is to teach her these things accurately and that there is no way I would entrust that job to some stranger at a school who could impress her young mind in anyway they wanted.
Anyway, so I decided to teach a very basic, hands-on geography. I cut out this enormous world map out of felt
and ordered a few books from Amazon; Beginning Geography, and two different A Trip Around The World books. The library is also probably sick of me for putting so many books on hold. I plan to incorporate crafts, recipes and other activities into our entry level study of the world.
Claire will be a Sparky this year so I planned her Sparks book as her Bible curriculum. We also were given this Bible on cassette tape that we will listen to each morning.
Poor Joy is going to feel left out I think. We plan for her to join us for the Bible story and any crafts and activities we do. Hopefully she and Paige will behave themselves in the mornings.
We start on Monday! We can't wait!