Kindergarten

Kindergarten Curricula 2011-2012 

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Mathematics

  • Singapore Primary Math – Here is my reasoning for choosing two different math curricula. 4x a week, 20 minute lesson.
  • Miquon Math – We jumped back and forth between the orange and red workbooks.  Also, a must is the Lab Annotations for Teachers and First Grade Diary to familiarize yourself with this off-beat approach.   I also recommend a set of plastic non-connecting cuiseniare rods. You can read about my love for c-rods and Miquon here.  1x week, 15 minute lesson.
  • Math Play Day Games– to spice up our week and add a bit of variety to our lessons, we use Fridays to focus on a math game.  This can be anything from a board game, computer game, app., living book, etc.  A couple of our online favorites are:                                  —Timez Attack – a free online math-based computer game                                                                         —Jumpstart– an online learning virtual world
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Reading/Phonics

                Supplements used:

  • Now I am Reading books by Nora Gaydos.  We love these collections of short, zanny stories.  I recommend getting at least one from each level.
  • Starfall.com – I can not stress my LOVE for this free website enough.  We utililized the free site exculsively with Mira and recently went ahead and purchased their expanded more.starfall.com subscription.  It’s the best $30something dollars I spend all year.
  • Leap Frog Fridge Magnets– we incorporated our old toy into our current lessons by utilizing these magnets in impromptu learning games.  You can see them in action here.
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Spelling

  • All About Spelling – One of our favorite homeschooling resources.  Here’s one of my reviews. 3x week, 15-20 minute lesson.
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Handwriting

  • Joy of Handwriting – We started cursive earlier than I had anticipated because Mira kept asking to learn the “fancy” way of writing.  I spent ages researching different types of handwriting programs but finally settled with this ebook from Currclick.  I use this as our main program but add in personalized worksheets that I create using Startwrite.  You can read about our “fancy” writing progress here.  5x week, 5 min lesson.
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Foreign Language
  • American Sign Language– We start ASL with my children when they are babies and toddlers, teaching them basic signs for a variety of words.  In Kindergarten we take the time to learn the ASL alphabet and include it in our morning ABC songs.
  • Song School Latin – I wanted to start a foreign language but couldn’t seem to get myself motivated to follow through with anything other than Latin.  SSL is a song-based approach to teaching simple Latin vocabulary and sentences.  It’s gentle enough that I was able to include my younger daughter Stella, and eventually, even my baby Lyra began singing along.  Here are links to my review in which I describe how I catered the program to work with younger students and subsequent follow up.  3x week, 15 minute lesson.

              Supplement used:

  • Headventureland– The folks that made Song School Latin also have curriculum for Spanish, Greek, Logic, and the Bible.  This FREE online website is crammed FULL of fun learning resources- games, videos, readers, and printable resources.  For us, the coloring pages were a must to use along with Song School Latin.
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Logic
  • Lollipop Logic – Mira loved the puzzles and thinking games in this set of workbooks.  1x week, 10-15 minute lesson.
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Art
  • Adventures in Art – We started this late in the year after receiving an inspirational musical CD from which I went on to create our own mini-unit on art-appreciation lessons.  Check out my review of the music CD that started it all.  Weekly time varied through activities and number of books read.
  • Mark Kistler’s Imagination Station – My, oh my! How my children do adore Mark Kistler and his zanny teaching style.  These online mini-marshmallow lessons are perfect for young budding artists.  Be sure to check the Homeschool Buyer’s Club because they normally have Kistler’s yearly subscription on sale (and since HSBC is free to join- you’d be silly not to check it out!) You can see my review and some samples of the girls work here.

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Literature
  • Five In A Row – This is the book that started it all for us.  It was the “gateway drug” that really cemented homeschooling as a viable option for our family.  It gave me just enough confidence to realize I could in fact teach my child in a fun and engaging way.  I was able to tweak the activities so I could include my younger daughter Stella into the lessons.  She would pop in and out as her interest demanded; but more often than not when FIAR was being done, I had two bright-eyed students ready to play and learn.  You can see some of our FIAR activities here.  Weekly time varied.
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History
  • Prehistory unit– I knew we would start Story of the World in First Grade so I took this opportunity to piece together our own Prehistory unit so we could lead up to humans.  Mira has such a huge interest in dinosaurs that I wanted to take the time to really focus on them.  I hope to (someday) organize all our prehistory posts into one area on my curriculum page but in the meantime you can sort through them all here.
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Science
  • Building Foundations Of Scientific Understanding by Bernard Nebel.  We are BIG into science in this house and science is something we really look forward to delving into when the girls are a bit older.  In the meantime, we used BFSU as a stepping stone for some fun projects and to explain some concepts.  You can see some of our BFSU posts here.  Weekly time varied depending on the lesson and number of books read.

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Mira’s kindergarten year was a smashing success, and even though it may seem overwhelming all typed out, our school days were usually completed in 1½ hours. We would start around 10am (when my youngest was napping) and be finished with enough time for me to have lunch made by noon.  That left plenty of free time for play dates, field trips, and life.
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One Response to Kindergarten

  1. Amy says:

    Love seeing where you came from last year to seeing what you are using this year! I feel like our stuff looks so intensive all laid out on paper too, but like you said, it doesn’t take that long in reality. Thanks for linking up to Trivium Tuesdays last week!

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