Inexpensive Kindergarten curriculum - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-26-2010, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I am having a hard time deciding on what to use for Kindergarten for my son this fall. I used Alpha Omega Horizons Preschool boxed curriculum this past year with him and we loved it but we will not have the funds this year to use it again. I like the idea of having each day planned out for me like the AO curriculum did. I need that very much. So, I was wondering if there is a boxed curriculum that tells you what to do each day for lesson plans that is not very expensive? Expensive to me is $100 or more. We are really having to cut back this year in our spending.

Thanks for your help,

Kristy
Mom to Rebecca (15) and David (5)
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:34 AM
 
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I don't know of anything like that for that price, unfortunately. It definitely doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but I haven't heard of it. What exactly are your goals for the K year and where is your son at right now? If you look at those things, you might be able to put together your own curriculum for a very low price. For instance, if you're mainly interested in introducing phonics, writing and basic math, you might be interested in just purchasing a separate curriculum for each of those three things. There are lots of relatively inexpensive books for teaching reading. Off the top of my head, I can think of:

Alpha Phonics
The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading
Phonics Pathways
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

You should be able to find any of the above books for under $20. Then you can print out readers for free from Progressive Phonics.

Making Math Meaningful is a very inexpensive math curriculum that I've heard good things about. http://www.cornerstonecurriculum.com...m/MMM/l100.htm

So is Systematic Mathematics. http://www.systemath.com/

Both of those programs are $45 or less.

And the Mathematics Enhancement Programme is free here: http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mep/default.htm

We use Peterson Directed Handwriting, and got everything we needed for about $25.

I know that's not a complete curriculum like what you were looking for, but I honestly don't know that you can get a boxed curriculum for $100 or less. By putting together your own, you can set your goals based on what your child is ready to do, rather than what comes in your box, kwim? So there is a benefit to it, and when each program has its own schedule, it may not schedule your whole day out for you, but at least you know what you're supposed to be doing for each subject. I haven't found that to be problematic for us. At the K level, it's really easy to cover science and social studies based on interest and context. You can talk about Pilgrims at Thanksgiving, holidays around the world during your holiday season, etc. And science is so easy for kids that age - they're usually very interested in something science-related. For my DD it's animals, for some kids it's chemistry, for others it's weather or the human body. You can use the book What your Kindergartner Needs to Know to be sure you're covering everything that most K'ers will learn.

I think you could easily get math, handwriting and phonics curricula, along with the WYKNTK book for under $100.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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In another thread recently someone said they enjoyed learn at home grade k. maybe you could look at that? it's very cheap used off amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Learn-at-Home-...7242451&sr=8-1

hth

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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My first thought was Learn at Home, too. I just purchased it and it looks really good for what I need.

I don't know your teaching philosophy, but I don't like the idea of a lot of "school" for a 5 year old, but I'm not an unschooler, either. So far, Learn at home looks like it will be good for us. It has every week planned out with something to do in all 6 subjects, plus a bunch of ideas for enrichment each week. I like I that I will be able to open it up on any given day and know what we need to be working on, but the amount of "work" is reasonable.

Another reason I like the look of it so far is that each week, there are only 4-7 or so workbook pages. That will be great for my hands on learner, but if you have a kid that likes workbook pages, there likely won't be enough.

It looks like you will need some pretty good library resources (which we are lucky enough to have) and access to a color copier (which will add to the cost). But, you really can't beat the cost and if you need to supplement in certain areas, you'll still have the budget.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:45 AM
 
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If you're willing to put in the research time, you probably wouldn't have to buy anything between the internet and the library.

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:57 AM
 
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If it were me, I would do the following:

Reading - Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, combined with Progressive Phonics (free, printable) readers, perhaps some Starfall (free) on-line.

Math - MEP. (free, printable) You could also take a look at Math Mammoth (inexpensive)

We are currently using OPGTR, Progressive Phonics, and MEP, and are happy with all of them; Starfall doesn't really work for us but lots of people like it. We just recently started using the Math Mammoth Clock worktext, and it's working well for us.

I would spend some of my money on art supplies.

For everything else, I would hit the library, go on field trips, nature walks, etc. Incidentally, the library probably has the book, "What your Kindergartener Needs to Know," which includes lots of good information.

In terms of scheduling, I would just establish a basic schedule like:

Reading - MTWRF, 20 minutes
Math - MTWRF, 30 minutes
Social Studies - MW, 30 minutes
Science - TR, 45 minutes
Art - F, 45 minutes
Read-alouds - 30-60 minutes/day outside of "school time"

Or whatever subjects you plan to cover.

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Old 02-27-2010, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thank you all for your wonderful replies. I didn't realize there were so many options out there. I love the idea of the Learn at Home workbook. Thank you to each and everyone of you for spelling out what you do each day and what you use. I will go and research all of these and see what I can find that will work for us. It sounds like all of you have it all planned out so well for your homeschool. I hope to be able to get to that point where I can do that and be more confident in picking and choosing different curriculum.

Thanks again for your help and advice. I appreciate the time you all took to type everything out for me.

Kristy
Mom to Rebecca (15) and David (5)
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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so glad i found this! thanks for all the suggestions

SAHM to Hannah (11/04), Cash (02/08), and Adelaide (07/10) dh, Chris.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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Five in a Row is affordable (about $25) if you check the books out from the library. You could supplement with worksheets (Complete Curriculum or Learn at Home or the BIG Book of Kindergarten--each of those are around $10) and free online resources and have a very robust program. I also recently have discovered Flash Kids workbooks (love the Sight Words ones) and those are $7 each.

ETA: If you Google, there is so much available. http://www.letteroftheweek.com/ is one neat-looking one. It would take a little work to plan out your own schedule but that's kind of fun. You could also use workboxes to organize your dd's time and activities.

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Old 03-20-2010, 03:41 AM
 
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I can't remember the details, but a while back I looked at Heart of Dakota and it was very inexpensive. www.heartofdakota.com

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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Would you consider computer stuff? My kids love Mathletics (£10/year for homeschoolers, at least in the uk), and reading eggs (loads of deals, think we paid around ?£35 for 2 accounts.

We supplement with easy-to-read books from charity shops (thrift shops?), car boot (yard?) sales, etc, and for maths, Miquon. Think Miquon has cost us about £40 this year but the kids love it and are racing through the books, think you could do it for less, also in the uk you can't get stuff like the teacher's manual used.

I think for everything else the library or second hand shops will see you right.

ETA: so that is around £85 for 2 kids, which I think is about very roughly $120?

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Old 03-22-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Mom of 3.
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Old 03-22-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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For math, I'd buy Singapore. You can get both Kindy books for about $15.00
http://www.rainbowresource.com/prodl...&category=8291

For reading and science, Ambleside Online is free. Here's Year 0 http://www.amblesideonline.org/00.shtml

Your child may/may not be ready for Year 1
http://www.amblesideonline.org/01sch.shtml

Science is mainly nature walks, etc.

For reading/phonics, rent LeapFrog's Letter Factory (or buy for $8.00 at Costco). Then look into Click-n-Read phonics through the HOmeschooling Buyers Co-op for $29.95. Great program IMHO. ALternatively, use Starfall (free), pbskids.org (free games), Bob books (library), etc.

I'd also look at Sonlight's Kindy reading lists. You can get 90% of them at the library. You can get a free weekly schedule if you join the Yahoo Sonlight PreK/Kindy yahoo group.

For handwriting, The Getty-Dubai Italic program is very good. First book is around $8.00, I think. If you don't want to spend the money, you can print out handwriting sheets (free) at http://www.handwritingworksheets.com/
I'd spend the rest on art supplies.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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