Christ, Coffee, and Chaos

Striving to capture our homeschool adventure as we endeavor to walk the narrow path.

Tag: Curriculum

Curriculum and Routine For 1st Grade and PreK

We plan to start school July 31st and we’re trying out sabbath schooling which is school for 6 weeks followed by a week long break. I’ve changed my mind again (I do that) and we’re starting our first history cycle with Story of The World and corresponding Artistic Pursuits lessons. We’ll also be doing interest-led science as well as Bible as a family while keeping the skill subjects separate. Además, I’ve been completely revamping our Spanish studies. John is my writer and lover of languages while Mary wants to do school with her older brother but is not interested in a challenge at this time.

English

John: Reading Lessons Through LiteratureEvan-Moor Grammar & Punctuation and homemade copywork.

Together: Jot It Down including poetry memorization, word play, big juicy conversations and story telling.

Spanish

John: Getting Started With Spanish as an introduction to grammar and daily copywork.

Mary: Learning to read in Spanish first using Fluent Forever’s Pronunciation Trainer.

Together: Fluent Forever lifestyle utilizing homemade ANKI decks, Salsa (free), radio, and a literature list to be determined. We will continue to pull from this list as we’ve loved all of it so far. 

Greek

John: Song School Greek

Japanese

John: He’s taken an interest in Japanese which is not only a total shocker, but a completely foreign language to me which I have extremely little experience with. I’m going to work on the hiragana alphabet with him while I get my barrings.

Math

John: School Arithmetics Book 1 ($Free)

Mary: After she finishes MEP Reception she will move on to Singapore Earlybird.

Bible

Together: Explorer’s Bible Study with varied evening devotionals and Heroes for Young Readers with the Activity Guide.

History

John: Selected Readings From The Well Trained Mind and Story of the World.

Together: Story of The World Volume I with the Activity Guide.

Science

John: Let’s Read and Find Out Level 1 and Christian Liberty Nature Reader 1.

Together: Apologia Astronomy as a read aloud only and audiobooks by Thornton Burgess ($ | Free).

Art

Together: Artistic Pursuits will be done formally alongside Story of The World because the K-3 series is in chronological order, but my children have constant access to art supplies and how to books which tend to occupy much of their free time. We are also reading through the artist and composer series by Mike Venezia.

Teacher Resources

The Well Trained MindHandbook of Nature Study ($ | Free), Knowing & Teaching Elementary MathematicsFluent ForeverJot It Down, and The Ultimate Homeschool Planner.

The Routine

They wake up around 7 after I’ve had my personal Bible time and worked out. We typically grab a quick snack, read some poetry and head out the door for a two mile nature walk. If we decide that’s not a good idea they take advantage of the aforementioned art supplies, GeoPuzzles, Snap Circuits or library books while I play around on the computer get housework done.

After our walk we have a well deserved, protein rich breakfast while John or I lead the devotional and we go over new memory work. Right now we’re learning 10,000 Razones, The Ten Commandments Poem, and family phone numbers.

Following is showers and and the baby takes a nap while we have screen time (gasp!). Usually John plays with Google Earth or Adobe Illustrator while Mary watches, or they watch Magic School Bus in Spanish.

After the baby has effectively fallen asleep we have school. I get John started on things he can do solo first so I can work with Mary for about 5 minutes before John and I finish up. Then we listen to music, audiobooks, or recorded memory work while I do housework.

Sometime around 11 we all get back together for yoga, read alouds, and structured activities like science projects or art until lunch, followed by quiet time.

1st Grade: Thinking Out Loud

I’ve begun planning out next year and like the look of things so far. I had originally intended to begin our first 4 year cycle in 1st grade, but I think my daughter would benefit from it if we waited until she was in kindergarten and could participate. I strongly considered Berean Builders Science, but have decided to line it up with our second history cycle so all of my students can benefit from it.

Curriculum

Reading Lessons Through Literature Level 1 2Xwk
Homemade Copywork 3Xwk

Ray’s New Intellectual Arithmetic  (Free Version Here) 1Xwk*
School Arithmetics Book One (Free Version Here) 4Xwk

Homemade Greek & Spanish 5Xwk

Tapestry Of Grace Primer 3Xwk
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding 1Xwk
Artistic Pursuits 1Xwk

Memory Work

CC Foundations Guide
Fighter Verses**
Hymns For a Kids Heart
English and Spanish poetry

Book Basket

Supports for TOG & BFSU

YWAM Heroes for Young Readers
The Ology
Leading Little Ones To God
The Church History ABCs
Wisdom & The Millers
Ahora Puedo Leer Mi Biblia

Tales From Shakespeare
Books from Suppose The Wolf Were an Octopus
Various poetry books

Canta de Colores
Poemas

A Child’s Book of Character Building
Question Mark

Readers

Treadwell
McGuffey
Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader

Games

Beethoven Who?
Geopuzzles

*These are oral exercises which will take less time than the worksheets in School Arithmetics. I believe it will be perfect for Mondays when memory work is introduced because of the time we will need to cover the new memory work.
I promise I’m not torturing my child, I just like options.

**Never mind; I didn’t realize how expensive this is! There are free coloring pages all over the web. So far I like these.

My Crisis Of Homeschool aka Our Kindergarten Curriculum

A crisis? In kindergarten? What does this bode for my future?

I was so looking forward to all of my wonderful plans until I discovered that my son isn’t going to learn as much or enjoy school as much as he could, if I were to follow through with them. Shocking, I know. As it stands we’re continuing with the same resources for skill subjects, but using a book basket for content subjects. I’ll tell you what we’re doing now and update at the end of the year.

Bible

Egermeier’s Bible Story Book with memory work. We’ve done John 1:1-5, Psalm 23 and are now working on Matthew 5.

Language Arts

Reading Lessons Through Literature twice a week and English Lessons Through Literature three times a week.

Math & Logic

Ray’s Primary Arithmetic with Cuisenaire Rods and RightStart games, and Developing The Early Learner.

Foreign Language

Hey Andrew! for Greek and Memrise for Spanish as well as Pio Peep! for memory work. We also read, listen to and watch lots of Spanish because I’m trying to make it a lifestyle.

Art

Drawing With Children.

History, Geography, and Science

This is where the book basket comes in. Right now we’re enjoying the Let’s Read and Find Out Series, The Big Book of History and picks from Sonlight’s PK curriculum and Core A but I will give a full list at the end of the year.

School: What We’re Doing Now

For us school consists of reading, math and memory work. Other than that I have this smorgasbord of educational materials and toys that we can use during school, not during school, in the car, or take to church while I’m working. I wanted to share my smorgasbord. I recommend everything I’m including in this post.

Seatwork

Reading Lessons Through Literature: phonogram review everyday, 3 spelling words a week, copywork of his choice on non spelling days, 5 minutes a day.

Math: Miquon, Rays or playing with the rods: his choice, at least 3 times a week, 5-15 minutes.

Memory work: Bible verses, everyday, 2ish minutes.

Our Favorite Things

Bible: Bible For Kids app from You Version is great for retention while The Jesus Storybook Bible sparks great conversations. My ABC Bible Versus is my personal favorite for application of scripture.

Reading: The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury, Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics and Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes are our personal favorites from Sonlight 3/4. starfall.com is an excellent free resource for early learning.

Math & Logic: A huge recommendation for Cuisenaire Rods and Developing The Early Learner.

History: Classical Conversations Timeline Song is an amazing resource!

Geography: Geopuzzles. Everyone should own this. My son’s political geography knowledge is beyond that of most adults.

Science: The Magic School Bus, which is available on YouTube in English & Spanish, and Snap Circuits.

Foreign Language: Salsa and our favorite books in Spanish.

Music: Since I’m our church secretary I know what songs we’re going to sing in church and I teach him those with a YouTube playlist. Daddy teaches piano on demand with the oooooooold version of Step by Step.

Art: Art For Kids Hub and Arttango are both free, and The Big Yellow Drawing Book has been a huge hit.

Toys: Lincoln Logs, Magnatiles (they have played with these everyday for over a year!), wooden train tracks,  and Playsilk.

I Suppose It’s Time For a PreK Update

I mentioned our plans in my last post, but things have evolved and I wanted to share what we actually do on a daily basis.

First we pray and read a Bible story from Beloved Bible Stories, The Jesus Storybook Bible, or The Family-Time Bible in Pictures. This takes no more than 5 minutes.

Then we do our memory work which takes about 5 minutes:

His Getty-Dubay Italics Handwriting takes about 2 minutes.

We are using Education Unboxed which is free, and the RightStart Activities for AL Abacus for math concepts. This takes as long as he likes.

Casually we watch The Magic School Bus, Salsa or El Mickey Mouse, and do Pinterest style art. I also plan to soon implement Drawing With Children. We read for about an hour a day, and Daddy’s teaching him piano on demand. Our favorite things are Cuisienaire Rods, Sketchbooks (so they can watch their progression and build upon old ideas), Reading Lessons Through Literature phonogram cards, and almost every book mentioned on the AO list, in Sonlight 3/4, or by Dr. Seuss. We also love our Appletters and plan to purchase Spanish Banana Grams.

So, We’ve Decided to Have a Formal PreK Year…

I am not really an advocate for beginning school at the age of 4. I am actually a bigger fan of the idea of beginning formal education later rather than earlier, but we need more structure in our day and John really enjoys what little school we do and is asking for more so we are taking the plunge and will officially be homeschoolers soon! I have been so exited all this time, and now I am tremendously nervous.

Anyway, without further ado, this is our curriculum plan for our 4 year old boy for the year of 2015:

Bible

Beloved Bible Stories, by Rhonda Davies.

Language Arts

Reading Lessons Through Literature will eventually cover Spelling, and Reading for the elementary ages, but for now we are just beginning the phonogram cards and some light writing. I said originally that I was going to use Logic of English, but after spending time with both programs I feel that Spell to Write & Read is a better fit for our family.

Math

I found Education Unboxed while looking for something fun for a child so young. Next year I intend to start Ray’s Arithmetic, possibly paired with RightStart, but for now I do not believe that a twenty minute math program is a great idea for John.

Spanish

We are not really using a curriculum for this yet. We are using flash cards and I am teaching him some basic conversational skills.

Piano

Matt has been teaching John using the Step by Step course which is how he learned. I imagine that they will work their way through the entire program in the next six years or so.

Memory Work

This year we are just concentrating on songs we sing at church and Bible verses. Simply Charlotte Mason has a great free resource for scripture memory.

Read Alouds

So far we have used Ambleside Online Year 0  to select most of our books, and will continue to do so.

I am intentionally trying to keep things light, so that we are not doing everything that caught my attention, but I will recommend a few things for you to check out that I heavily contemplated for us this year. I would not be surprised if they they all make the list next year.

Sonlight PreK

RightStart A

Beginning Thinking Skills

Linguistic Development Through Poetry

How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

Free & Cheap Spanish Resources

Getting Started With Spanish by William E. Linney and Antonio L. Orta is a fantastic resource of 177 lessons of mostly grammar that take less than five minutes per day. It’s mastery based, and I believe could be appropriate for children as young as kindergarten. The author provides free pronunciation resources at www.gettingstartedwithspanish.com.

Learn Spanish Vocabulary 101, by Innovative Language is free and comes with a free audio download from innovativelanguage.com

You can typically buy very inexpensive flash cards to develop vocabulary at your local educational store, and I personally am interested in The Complete Book of Starter Spanish and The Complete Book of Spanish for my young children.

Free Spanish Readers For Kindle:

An Elementary Spanish Reader, by Earl Stanley Harrison

Heath’s Modern Language Series:  The Spanish American Reader, by Ernesto Nelson, and Spanish Short Stories

A First Spanish Reader, by Alfred Remy

And most importantly:

The Library!

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