Friday, August 10, 2012

Curriculum 2012-2013

I've been reading a lot of blogs answering the question, "What curriculum are you using this year?" I decided to write a post of my own.  Mostly, I think it'll be funny to re-read this in 6-9 months and laugh at how much things changed.  I'm still VERY new at this, still figuring out my kids and their learning styles and preferences, and I'm not at all confident that what I won't change my mind about one or more of these as we go along.

My kids are newly 4 and newly 5.  They are all working at at a PK/K level.  Here's what we're working on now, and what we plan to add or grow into over the course of the year:

Currently we are about halfway through All About Reading pre-level 1, a PK level reading readiness program.  The kids LOVE this program, and its accompanying puppet, Ziggy the zebra.  I think Ziggy will forever be our school mascot. We should finish this by the end of October, and then we'll be working on phonics and learning to read with Phonics Pathways.  All of the kids have started occasional lessons in Phonics Pathways and it seems to be a good fit.  It will become a larger focus in our day after we finish AAR, though.

In addition to the above, we have been practicing letter sounds with the Explode the Code primers.  These have been really good for all of my kids, reinforcing their phonics skills in an enjoyable way.  I expect we'll finish the primers (Get Ready, Get Set, and Go for the Code) this year, and maybe start the main ETC series.  Who knows?  We'll take it at their pace.

We have been using Handwriting Without Tears' PK level materials since January.  They are so fun and have been a wonderful fit for all of my active hands-on kids.  We should finish our PK workbook around mid-year and start the K level at that point.

This is the biggest question mark.  Right now, we're doing a lot of "math lab" play with cuisenaire rods.  I have been getting ideas for c-rod play from the videos on Education Unboxed.  I've started reading through the teacher materials for Miquon math, an elementary math curriculum that uses c-rods as its main manipulative.  I also plan to try Singapore Math's first kindergarten book, maybe in the spring?  Still thinking through all of this.

All the Other Stuff (history, geography, science, and art) will be covered through Five in a Row.  I am so, so, SO excited about this.  We start it in another week or so, and plan to "row" a book every couple of weeks.  I expect we'll thoroughly enjoy this literature unit study approach to learning.  Our FIAR book list this year includes:

The Story About Ping
Mr. Grumpy's Motorcar (correction, Mr. GUMPY's Motorcar--how disappointing! I wanted him to be "Grumpy"!)
The Salamander Room
How to Bake an Apple Pie and See the World
A New Coat for Anna
Katy and the Big Snow
Harold and the Purple Crayon
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Make Way for Ducklings
The Story of Ferdinand
Papa Piccolo
Mirette and the High Wire
Wee Gillis
Andy and the Lion

We are outsourcing music to Musikgarten, and our wonderful Ms. Carla.  My kids have missed her this summer!  We are looking into a homeschool PE class, and I'm sure we'll try another sport in the fall once I have a chance to look over the schedule at the Y.

So that's it.  Gosh, sounds like a lot when I write it all out!  Here's to PK4 and Kindergarten!

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