2012-2013 Curriculum: Kindergarten Lite

Homeschool Curriculum

I’ve been wanting to post about our 2012-13 curriculum choices for Kindergarten for ages now. That was difficult though because I hadn’t decided on curriculum, despite obsessively thinking about it every day for months on end. I’m going to share what I eventually came up with and am now teaching! This will also be the beginning of our ‘Friday Flashback’ series, as I chronicle what’s up in our homeschool each week.
{Hahaha, it’s not going to be weekly. Don’t fool yourself.}
So here’s our curriculum run down for the year. Hopefully someone finds this interesting…

I should note, I’m trying to keep her daily work to a minimum. She is ready for kindergarten level work, but is only 4.5, so I’ve coined this year “Kindergarten Lite.”

This was a difficult one to figure out! I’ve come up with some fun plans for Book of Mormon Stories for Little Children. Maybe I’ll share it with you here sometime. Eventually. :) Essentially we’ll be using that in conjunction with the Children’s Songbook, scriptures, and gospel art.

I struggled to choose between my two favorite curriculum choices, then I randomly ordered a third. ? No, I don’t know why I do what I do. I picked McRuffy Math K. She loves it. We are about 30 lessons in, as we worked on it over the summer, and I’m still undecided if I love it or not! It’s a spiral method, which I don’t love, as they introduce a topic then go over it several times, getting more thorough each time. It’s TONS of games though, and she really enjoys all the hands-on activities to go with the workbook. I’m very grateful that her first introduction to ‘math’ has been a good one. It’s the subject I’m the most miserable at, and the subject I’m most afraid to teach!

Most of our official “phonics” instruction comes from UPSTART, a free computer-based preschool for four year olds. She spends 15-20 minutes a day on it. It’s a ‘learning’ software to adjust to where your child is, and the program is still ‘learning’ what level Nicole is on. Nicole is pretty advanced and reading, but so far hasn’t minded the A is for alligator, B is for ball review games.

The other part of our phonics and reading program I’ve talked about on this blog post. To keep her work ‘lite,’ we are finishing up Bob Books Sight Words Kindergarten, (we use these printables!) then we will either move into the Bob Books Advanced Books or the Mormon Little Books. The Mormon Little Books are great since they span such a large range of reading abilities. We may start doing a book every other week or so, since they move at a faster pace.

Social Studies, Lang. Arts, Art, Applied Math, and Science
I’ve fallen in love with the concept of this literature-based program: Five in a Row. You read one quality picture book each day, then do an activity based on the book. On Monday, we do a social studies activity (history, geography, family relationships, etc.), on Tuesday, we do Language Arts (vocabulary, grammar, etc.) and so on. My one concern with this particular program and us is that… Nicole was literally terrified of the first book we ‘rowed.’ Seriously!

My other concern is that it really tends to make our day long. I’m trying to see where I can cut out other things so that we aren’t overwhelmed. Plus, I can only keep the toddler entertained for so long before destructive things start happening! I’m going to keep at it and see what happens when we row a more preschool-friendly book next week. This year we’ll be reading classics like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow, Lentil, and more. We’ll also be weaving in a few of the wonderful books from Before Five in a Row (like Caps for Sale and Corduroy)

Calendar Time
We started out by doing this darling calendar journal I found on Homeschool Creations. Due to getting into the ‘groove’ of homeschool, combined with Nicole’s young age… it was just too much for us to get done, so I’m saving it for next year.

Now for calendar time we have three easy pages that came with our McRuffy math program. (I’ve been meaning to do a review of that particular program at some point.) The first page is a colorful list of days of the week, so she circles the day, then we sing the days to the tune of the “Addam’s Family” theme song. On the second page, we have a list of the months of the year. She circles the month, and we sing the months to the tune of Ten Little Indians. The final page is a blank calendar. She writes the date each day and we talk about how a calendar is formatted. It’s really simple and we like that.

I actually kind of laugh at me, to do daily poetry with my child, because I’m so not that person! But a curriculum I really think highly of (Sonlight), has their kindergartners read a daily poem from this book. That seemed all well and good, but I really loved the idea of sharing my personal favorite poet with Nicole, Shel Silverstein! Her first introduction to poetry comes from a book I loved as a kid: Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Read Alouds
We are working on reading aloud a chapter book each day. Nicole has a decent attention span but still, she’s four, so we don’t always read a full chapter. I like the flexibility of not being on a specific schedule. We are currently reading Beezus and Ramona, and over the summer we read The Great Cake Mystery: A No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Book for Young Readers. (I loved the HBO series of The No. 1 Ladies Detectice Agency so I appreciated this book slightly more than Nicole, but we both liked it!)

Tot School
I can’t leave out little Abigail! Since she will be with us for every single moment of school (big long sigh here–she’s mostly outgrown naps!), I have to be pretty creative on things that will occupy her for more than ten seconds at a given time. Actually, even ten seconds is a blessing! Walk Beside Me is still too advanced for her, so we’re doing “tot school.” Basically: coloring, alphabet recognition, fine motor skills (stringing beads, cutting with safety scissors) and whatever else I can throw in there to keep her busy. For now, we’re using these fun tot school printables I found.

It’s a struggle to keep her occupied. I try to throw in a snack during our day and try to time her watching a tv show when Nicole will need me most–like during math. I often feel harried and frazzled due to constant interruptions while working with Nicole. Nicole, in turn, gets distracted and loses her patience.

That covers everything. I hope. I don’t know? I worry. I panic. I pray. I calm down. (Cycle: repeat.) I know things will continue to evolve as we hit our rhythm. It will be interesting to see where we are with this curriculum “plan” at the end of the year!

If you’re homeschooling, I’d love to hear what curriculum you chose this year!

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10 Responses to 2012-2013 Curriculum: Kindergarten Lite

  1. Karen Lacy says:

    I LOVE what you are doing with all of this. You are so lucky to have,so much time with them and so good to use the time so well! (see I do read your insightful, well written and entertaining blog. Usually on my phone.) Keep up the good work!

  2. Anni says:

    I just found your blog over the summer…from Pinterest…I think, anyway I too have ADHD, and decided last year to homeschool my 4 year old daughter(who is slightly gifted, she did Kindergarten last year)and I love how you incorporate the gospel into daily lessons!…oh I’m also LDS :) I must say I think you’re fantastically organized! I love reading your blog, and seeing what you’re using for your schooling materials and such, and my daughter LOVED your Walk Beside Me preschool(I modified some of it to make it more of a kindergarten level, mostly I made her read everything, she wrote the letters and words of some of the pictures ect.) but we both loved the concept! I’ve recommended your blog and your Walk Beside Me Preshcool to quite a few of my friends who want to home preschool their child, as I think it’s amazing! I LOVE the printable packets! Thank you so much for putting those out there! You are helping many more parents and children than you will ever know! So I just thought I’d say thank you! And keep it up, your hard work is being appreciated!

    • Anni, THANK YOU! Yes, the preschool is definitely geared towards the K4 age group, which my daughter did when she was 3/4. I have to say, organization=sanity. Unfortunately, I’m really NOT that organized. I still haven’t figured out exactly where to STORE all my stuff, and it’s driving me crazy. I do notice when I stay organized, I have an easier time staying on track and managing my ADHD.

      I feel so grateful when those who are ADHD, and especially ADHD homeschoolers, stop in to say hello. It makes me feel like maybe I’m not as crazy as I sometimes think I am?!

  3. […] week, we used our Five in a Row curriculum to begin ‘rowing’ the book Storm in the Night, by Mary Stolz. Quite honestly, my […]

  4. […] Chain October 23, 2012   theslackermom   No comments As of right now, I have no idea what we’re doing as far as ‘homeschool.‘ I’m switching up some of my curriculum plans and trying some new things out. For now, […]

  5. […] what’s changed in our “kindergarten lite” curriculum, bullet point […]

  6. pam says:

    I am raising a little boy who will be 4 late this summer. I work full time but will retire in 2 years. He is a drug exposed child and a premmie. We have been through so much with him and he almost did not make it on two separate occasions. However, he is doing so much better now. He is learning to read and is very excited about it. I so want to homeschool him. We are already working with him on our own. I am very new to the idea/concept of homeschooling and have no idea what kind of materials I will need or anything. I want to be buying them now so I will have them when I need them. I love your ideas on organizing everything…that will be a must for me or I will never get things done. Any suggestions you have will be most appreciated on what I need to start with and where to go to get it. Do you have a list of things like that. I appreciate your web site on this and will for sure keep checking back. So nice to know there is LDS items to help with this. How I love that idea. Just now discovered that was out there.

  7. […] is huge for me as I’ve never been very good at doing bedtime stories. We ended up doing more read alouds than I had originally planned!.yme7{position:absolute;clip:rect(495px,auto,auto,472px);}related […]

  8. […] I’m proud that they are actual plans, not just half-formed ideas. Last year, I posted our “Kindergarten Lite” curriculum. While my 4 year old easily worked on a Kindergarten level, I took ‘lite’ a […]

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