We joined a charter last fall, and it pays for all of our chosen curriculum in the 4 main subjects. It's been great, but I just don't love the language arts programs I've found so far. We are using Plaid Phonics, Explode the Code, and HWT. My two oldest breeze through ETC, and one of them likes it.
The charter would like for me to have a curriculum list by May. I have an incoming Kindergartner who has not been formally taught at all. We don't believe in pushing reading and writing at such a young age, and we try to put our focus on math and science (in fun, engaging ways). However, the school needs to see something produced, so we need something he can do on paper, even if it's cut and paste, coloring, etc. My kindy child is not like my other boys, and he will be a challenge to keep engaged - he's very smart, but moody like a teenager. I would like to find a Language Arts program that will satisfy him, keep him engaged, and get him enthusiastic about using it. He loves art and games and hands-on projects.
In fact, none of my boys are thrilled about Language Arts in general. They'll do it, and sometimes have fun, but they'd rather do something else.
On that note, are there any fun social studies curriculum out there? We have used story of the world, and that's ok. The kids did enjoy the mapping and my place in the world stuff from plain old school books, but they get bored with the monotony. Any suggestions? TIA.
We did K this year and really enjoyed Sonlight. I can't say much about the LA program (K is really easy - mostly just read the mini book each week), but the core history/social studies stuff has been a real hit for us. Good books. Also, we used the sciecne K, and my kids LOVED it and always wanted to read more of that too (and do the experiment things). The K science mostly used Usborne books, actually. It's not hard to use, and works well for a variety of ages. Someone I know has really liked the LA sonlight stuff for higher grades, but I haven't seen it myself.
It is Christian, I don't know if that matters to you or not. I have the old version, where the Christian content is easy to do or skip as you like, but the newer version looks to me (from my browsing online) to have the Christian content more integrated, so you'd be looking at it in your teachers' manual each week now.
You might enjoy a cirriculum called "learn your letters, learn to serve" - I bought it and intend to use it over the summer with the kids (rising K and 1st grade). It's laid back, focuses on one letter a week and serving others (like you'd bring Banana Bread to Barbara during the B week...). That would give you a lot of photo ops and you can do a letter practice sheet they give too, so you'd have tangibles to show the powers that be.
Since you aren't Christian, you would have a lot to skip in this one, but you could design something like learn your letters/serve for yourself. It isn't rocket science or anything, the stuff that is put together is easy to use and has cute ideas (but there are verses and prayer ideas and Bible questions in this).
Another LA idea is First Language Lessons. We did level 1 this year (haven't finished it, but we're slowly doing it). It's really easy, takes very little time, but covers things like capitalization, nouns, poem memorizing. It takes less than 10 minutes a day, we do it only once or twice a week, but you could 5x a week if you wanted. Not intense at all. As you go up in grades you do copywork (we're about to hit it halfway through Level 1). There are other programs like it to choose from too. FLL is very gentle and short, but I believe the others are too.
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