Back At It: UPDATED Kindergarten Curriculum 2011-2012

ETA: When you know better, do better!

What you will find below the line is the WORST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR KINDERGARTENER.

No seriously; do not do what I did below.

  • There is NO need for a curriculum at this age.
  • There is NO need for a schedule at this age.
  • There IS a need for
    • Play.
    • Getting dirty.
    • Reading books.
    • Singing Songs
    • Traveling.
    • Experiementing with food; music. sounds, and dance.
    • Sleeping.
    • Cuddling.
    • And ignoring school!

After deciding to halt the Kindergarten progress back in July because we were just not ready (the beauty of homeschooling), we dove in this past week and have made so much progress. Our day is pretty much outlined here, but we are flexible. This week has proven that while daunting on paper, our schedule is doable on most days!

Truthfully, we did not start out too well. The Tornado was reluctant and defiant at the beginning of the week. I am still in awe of how independent and stubborn she is despite her age. She fights me on everything which is odd because she begs to do schoolwork but then wants to do anything but work when we start. She is really testing the boundaries because in the past I was extremely flexible. Unfortunately, I had to pull back on that flexibility to maximize the hours in the day. I also work from home as a social media manager for several large brands and I have reports and other things due almost daily. With the stressed out days of last year behind us, I am fully determined to get things in order. The Tornado would rather play video games, watch tv, and be under me all day. Of course, that is so not going to happen. I don’t have the strength to allow her to lead her education in full as of yet because I don’t believe she is capable of making those decisions… at least not yet. In other words, unschooling is not an option in our home.

At any rate, things took a turn for the better after I decided to change-up our schedule and do some of the more fun things earlier in the day. Being flexible although stern is something that I am learning but have yet to master. I have mastered, however, the art of revision. Having the sense to know when something is not working is half the battle. With that in mind, we made a few revisions to our first version of the curriculum and I wanted to update our progress so far:

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Phonics (Reading)

  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (TYC) – 5    3x/week; main coursework- We’ve cut back to make room for All About Spelling.
  • Explode the Code (ETC) – 3x/week; We do one letter sound a day, roughly about 12 pages. We have completed Book A and are about half-way through book B. She loves this and we have paired it up with TYC and Progressive Phonics.
  • NEW: All About Spelling– 5x/week; We love this. It is fun simple and is helping so much!
  • Progressive Phonics: For everything! Completely free and full of phonics goodness. The Tornado loves these books so we have added this to the regular rotation. She is completely through Book 1 and almost done with Book 2.

Supplements used on occasion:

  • Various Early Reader Books
  • Jumpstart.com – Subscription based service that provides a plethora of learning games.
  • Your Baby Can Read – really good books, flashcards, and video supplements. We will use the books and flashcards for on the go sight word practice.  We’ve decided to only use these if we have to and only after all work has been completed.
  • Starfall.com – free site that we will use when I need to work. The Tornado does not like this at all! She is bored with the games.

Literature

  • Calvert: We have the Calvert Curriculum for Pre-K but it has a lot of good material for literature. We will use this as our primary curriculum.
  • LibriVox: Free Audiobooks (recordings of books in the Public Domain)
  • Various Read-alouds

Handwriting

  • HWT K – “Letters and Numbers For Me”5x/week The Tornado has known how to write her letters since she was 2 but she needs a lot of help with writing neater in between lines. We are going to use HWT because it seems like it is the best program. We also already have the chalkboard thanks to my sister-in-law who is a Teacher’s Assistant. This is a necessary evil. The Tornado is not really a fan of the work book stuff, but she loves copy-work on the 2-lined paper. We are plowing through it because it really is helping, but it’s not fun and unfortunately, it’s filled with tears because she is a perfectionist.

Supplements used on occasion (List remains the same)

Math

  • NEW: Mathematics Enhancement Programme (Year: Reception)– 5x/week: It was so difficult to choose a math curriculum but when I came across this program, I instantly fell in love. It is free and provides full lessons and worksheets for all grades. The Tornado enjoys it and I think it’s building a good foundation. We started with the Reception year are blasting through it and hope to start Year 1 in January.
  • RightStart Math A – 3-4x/week. $45 for the lesson book and $5 for the worksheet book.  No need to by the kit since we have most of the manipulative and/or can buy from teaching store.  Will give an outline for what must be accomplished and will tailor lessons based on strong/weak points.
  • Singapore EarlyBird – 1-2x/weekTextbook A & B $22 ea.  Activity book A & B $16.50 ea. Highly rated homeschooling resource that again can offer backbone outline and lesson plan.

Supplements used on occasion  (List remains the same)

Math Reading Books (List remains the same)

Science

Supplements used on occasion

Logic

History

Physical Education

  • Nature Walks and Scavenger Hunts
  • Swimming (Seasonal)
  • Sports Skills and Gymnastics @  The Little Gym
  • Bike Riding
  • Zumba and other dance classes
  • Wii Active Life Outdoor Challenge
  • Wii Dance Dance Revolution
  • Wii EA Active and More EA Active
  • Wii Michael Jackson: the Experience
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4 comments

  1. This is awesome! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. Can you tell me why you moved away from RightStart? My daughter is way too young for it, but it looked promising to me. I’d love a critical review from one who tried the program.

    • Hi Rachel. Thanks for visiting an commenting. I decided to move away from RightStart because The Tornado just did not like it. She found it boring. That’s as critical as I can get because we used it for only a week or two.

      She really connected with MEP and while it is a little easy for her, I think it’s great to build her confidence with it before heading forward. I also use math worksheets and other ixl.com to supplement. She really does like math.

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