So, I finally picked out and ordered our curriculum for next year. I've noticed that a bunch of the mom bloggers that I keep up with who have Kindergarten/Pre K kids are using free online curriculum or just making their own curriculum; props to you mommas! I am not that creative, nor do I have the desire to sort through and plan all of my curriculum choices from scratch. I'm overwhelmed enough as it is being new to homeschooling, that I really wanted to purchase curriculum for the upcoming year. Also, knowing how particular I am, I doubt I'd be happy with the free choices available (though they are probably great, I'm just too picky for that!). Altogether, though I did take cost into consideration, our curriculum did cost us a fair amount of money. I console myself by remembering that 1)Miss O can use it all next year, and 2) if I weren't homeschooling, they would be in preschool/Pre K/private school (the PS system here is not the best), so I would be spending WAY more to send them to school each day than I spent on their curriculum. That was probably a really unnecessary paragraph, lol, but there it is anyway! ;)
So for Miss O I kept things really simple. I chose:
Handwriting Without Tears, Pre K for letters, shapes, colors and number recognition as well as for beginning handwriting;
Get Ready, Get Set and Go for the Code (Explode the Code, Books A, B and C) for letter recognition, letter names and sounds, and pre-reading activities.
In addition to this, I plan to provide her with plenty of hands-on, open ended, tactile experiences, read-alouds, a regular circle time, crafts, and plenty of Tot School activities.
For Little Bean I chose:
Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten (he will participate alongside Miss O in her Pre-K book for review as well) for his handwriting curriculum.
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, Explode the Code Book 3 and 3.5, and Bob Books Set Two for reading. As many of you know, we are halfway through 100 Lessons, and are taking an extended break. Interestingly, Little Bean continues to ask about doing our lessons, even though we have agreed to stop for a while. My plan is to use 100 Lessons alongside ETC and Bob Books to provide a more interactive, gentle approach to reading instruction for Bean. I'll intersperse these three pieces of curriculum throughout the school week to give him a break from 100 Lessons and to make the reading more fun for him.
Sentence School for Grammar. This is a brand new program made by the same people who put out Handwriting Without Tears. I've had a chance to view it on their site, and it seems like something I want to introduce to Little Bean this coming year.
Right Start Math, Level A for math. We have had this for a long time, and use parts of it from time to time. My plan is to do half a lesson per day, so for a four day week that's two lessons a week. With this schedule, we would have no problem finishing Level A in a school year.
McRuffy Science, Kindergarten for Science. I spent a whole lot of time on homeschoolreviews.com reviewing homeschooling curriculum (this is my new favorite hobby, lol), and while there were only a few reviews for this science program, I visited the site where they have sample lessons available and I thought it would be perfect for Little Bean. When I received it in the mail and looked through it, I am absolutely certain he will LOVE this science program.
In addition to these, I want to allow Little Bean plenty of free reading time, time for open-ended, dramatic play as well as social time with the family and friends.