help me design my curriculum for next year! (5 year old doing first grade) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-15-2014, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This year (we called it kindergarden) was our first full year of homeschooling.  I know no one else who homeschools so we are winging it.  We did Oak Meadow's Kindergarden syllabus.  I supplemented it with explode the code (she loved the primers but isn't loving book 1) and online Reading Eggs/Mathseeds.

 

This worked out well for us, she's going to be 5 next month and knows all her letters and sounds, can start to do phonetic spelling alone (ha ha, it's so cute the things she comes up with) and is starting to (with help) sound out level one kids learning to read books.  In math she can count to 29, if i prompt her on the 30, 40, etc she can go higher.  She can add and subtract single digit numbers in her head and can add groups of 3 single numbers.  We did a few health lessons on where babies come from, and what is inside her body.  We did a few science lessons on the planets and she can name them all and a fact about most.

 

Does that seem OK for a kindergardener?  All her IRL friends were in preschool this year but I wasn't going to do homeschool preschool KWIM?  We only have 3-4 hours a week set aside for homeschool.  I have a very busy toddler as well and I need DH to commit to watch the toddler while I do one on one with my DD1.

 

So our plan is to do first grade next year.  I am thinking more of the same....Oak Meadow and reading eggs/mathseeds?  Maybe "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" since she doesn't like explode the code anymore?  But I'd love to add a few new things so she doesn't get bored, also I love the idea of varying our learning resources.

 

Everything I know about homeschool came from what I learned on MDC so please, help me more  if you can!


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#2 of 14 Old 03-15-2014, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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LOL.  I'm used to posting in the vaccinations boards where I get instant responses.  I have to make myself stop checking this thread :)


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#3 of 14 Old 03-15-2014, 09:28 PM
 
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I think she's doing great for a not even 5 year old! We did Hooked On Phonics for K through 2nd grade, and we all loved it. It took a little while to find our footing with math, my DS (9) did K a year early also (started at 4.5) and for math he did something that we were given from the public school district (in California at the time). He didn't like it but went through it in just a few months (the K level). Then I started using some Miquon work books and got the cuisenaire rods, and also gave him some random things that I made up. Some time in the later part of that same year he started in the 1st grade level of that same public school curriculum, but after he finished that before too long, I switched him to Singapore Math. It is more challenging, but a much better fit for him. By 3rd grade I switched to the Math in Focus version of Singapore Math, which we're still doing (nearly done with 4B now).

 

For writing in the early grades, we really liked Handwriting Without Tears. Other than phonics, writing and math, we just read a lot. I mostly read to the kids, but of course they also had their own reading. I did have a science and social studies curriculum (again from the public school district), and I read out of that too, but was never really impressed with it. Haven't used it in a couple of years now. For the most part we just read lots of library books these days, about whatever sparks his interest (my oldest, DD, not quite 10, is in public school, per her request). Not sure myself what we'll do next year.

 

Hope that's of some help. BTW, I love your avatar picture! I never got a pic of it, but my DS did the exact same thing, all the time, when I was pg with him!! Hopefully you didn't end up with a big abdominal hernia from it like I did. LOL

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#4 of 14 Old 03-16-2014, 10:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't take credit for my photo! I found it online smile.gif. It's not me. I WISH our state offered resources! Or maybe they do and I just don't know how to option them? (I'm in WA if anyone knows.). Your post made me realize I should add a handwriting part in. Is handwriting without tears a series? And what is Singapore math? Thanks so much for your response!!!!

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#5 of 14 Old 03-16-2014, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by nukuspot View Post

I can't take credit for my photo! I found it online smile.gif. It's not me. I WISH our state offered resources! Or maybe they do and I just don't know how to option them? (I'm in WA if anyone knows.). Your post made me realize I should add a handwriting part in. Is handwriting without tears a series? And what is Singapore math? Thanks so much for your response!!!!

Our state does offer resources, but you need to enrolled in a "parent partnership" (PP) program or other ALE (alternative learning experience). Some of the pp programs are great, and others are terrible.  You are usually obligated to do some reporting, you are technically a public school student, and the funding varies by program.  Some offer classes one day per week, some offer fieldtrips, etc.  We have done a couple different ones, however recent legislation has made it not worth the effort for me.  There are still some good ones though.  One (about an hour drive for me) offers such a selection of courses, that if I lived closer I would sign up for.  My friend's kid is taking piano, karate, hands on science, and PE group games on Thursdays.  They love it.

 

With regard to your current question, it sounds like your child is doing well.  Drop the explode the code (at least for now).  She doesn't like it and I felt that level one requires a fairly solid grasp of blending words before starting.  I know it says level one, but it can be frustrating for them at first.  100 easy lessons can get boring, so be sure to read your child's reaction too.  She is young still.  Work on it a bit, but read TO her often.  Let reading be fun.  Little notes, scavenger hunts, and other games can integrate reading skills without being a boring curriculum.  

 

Amy

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#6 of 14 Old 03-16-2014, 12:10 PM
 
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(fwiw, that photo is widely believed to be fake. Wrong spot for a central abdominal hernia, and a uterine wall that's far too thin for that level of detail. It's still cute, though.)

 

Singapore Math usually refers to one of several math curricula (cross-published in the US) based on the state math curriculum of Singapore. Singapore is one of those Asian nations that scores very well on measures of math education, and conveniently happens to have English as its language of instruction. Singapore Primary Math is the best-known and most ubiquitous in the US homeschool market; it's actually no longer used in Singapore, but is still kind of the gold standard here. In Singapore it's been supplanted by a variety of similar programs all based on the same standards and pedagogical approach, but with a bit more technology integration and a variety of presentation styles. Math in Focus is one of those newer ones. 

 

My family didn't use any curriculum at all at the KG and 1st grade level. Gradually, around age 5 or so, my kids were interested in doing a tiny bit of curriculum-based learning. I just provided Singapore Primary Math (they were ready for level 2A or 2B by then) and they dabbled in that. They learned to read and write very well without curriculum in child-led ways. I read aloud to them a lot. They read what they were ready for. By the time they were looking for more curriculum they were pretty much at middle-school level or beyond. They've done very well in the school system as high schoolers and beyond. As I see it the advantage of having  relatively academically precocious children is that you don't have to stress over instructing them in order to make sure they're not lagging behind where society thinks they should be. You can stay low-key and not worry about imposing specific expectations.

 

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#7 of 14 Old 03-16-2014, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This has all been super helpful, I really appreciate your BTDT replies.

 

And I always wondered if the photo was fake.  It makes a great avatar though :)


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#8 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 01:29 PM
 
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So...I'm probably not going to say what you want to hear...but...
I have an advanced/gifted learner. He is five going on 6. We have homeschooled for 3 years.
I think you should move away from calling it by grade and switching to doing it by age. It's a psychological hurdle.
I think you should ask her what she wants to learn. I do this every year and find building a curriculum off of that to be better for us...as a family and individually.
Perhaps you should find gaps in her learning and focus on that. When I took the time to find them, I was shocked.
I used this list to help identify learning goals and find gaps...it's very simple.
http://www.worldbook.com/typical-course-of-study?wbredirect=1&Itemid=216
I also think you should expand organically and horizontially as opposed to vertically.
For example it's great she can do simple addition/subtraction and can count to 29...how about counting backwards? Odds, evens...how about sets. Money identification, sorting counting change...saving money...2d & 3d shapes...you know, stuff like that.
Memorizing poems
Audio books, art identification...biographies
Continents & global cultures
Animals & animal classification & habitat vs biome vs environment vs home

Also...I say from the trenches...the 5 year old is a different...more obstinate animal. ^_^ (obnoxiously more gratifying)

Enjoy and have fun. We really enjoyed this year and was floored by all we did...and didn't do ^_^

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#9 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 01:31 PM
 
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OH YEA!!!
Critical thinking!

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#10 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate your alternative vision and I will take a lot into consideration. We are sticking with a "grade level" because I really don't know if we will homeschool forever. I need us to fit somewhat into traditional thinking confines because of that...

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#11 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your link doesn't work! I was really interested in it. Can you find it another way?

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#12 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 04:28 PM
 
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You're right. I also do my paperwork this way for the same reason. I apologize, I did assume you used grades when speaking freely. I should not have done so. like I said...it's just a psychological hurdle.
My son just asked why his books were labeled with grades if he was in kindergarten...so it's forefront in my mind.

However, because your daughter is working at an advanced level, she may need placement testing. It is possible that her advanced learning will plateau to meet her age by the time you (hypothetically) put her in school.

It's funny...I get a lot of...how are you going to do trigonometry? Or whatever...And I answer, that's too far in the future. I have committed to homeschooling this year and next year and that's as far as we can look. (I also am prone to say...well, I don't have to teach trig...I just have to provide resources, support, and a healthy learning environment.) ^_^

Peas, love, and tofu ^_^

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#13 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 04:31 PM
 
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Oops.

http://www.worldbook.com/typical-course-of-study

If that doesn't work...try googling: world book curriculum
Typical course of study should come up from worldbook.com

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#14 of 14 Old 03-17-2014, 05:09 PM
 
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When I ask around, which I frequently do, I'm surprised at how much doesn't happen at school. From what I can gather, k-2 grade is mostly about learning to read and write.  A little math, science and history are bonus.  I just asked a friend what her k student is doing, and was surprised.  Also, supposedly, we live in an area where the schools are very "competitive".  What that means, I don't know.  Anyway, her dd is learning to sight read 100 words, a handful of shapes and colors, and a letter a week.  I'm sure there are the typical grow a bean in a paper towel experiments, and pilgrims and Indians on the side, but that's about it.   I asked another mom of a student in the gifted 4th grade class how much they are writing.  She said ONE five sentence paragraph is all that is required.  They are learning (gifted 4th graders) to read a factual book and then extrapolate the information.  Another mom from another state said her son is writing much longer things in class (gifted third grade) BUT it is all free writing, and fiction based.  Grammar and structure and the like aren't the focus yet. 

 

Math?  Roughly...

K  counting to 20 or 30, shapes, colors, maybe a little money, patterns

1st single digit addition to a sum of 10, if you are lucky up to 20, a little subtraction (from 10), a little more money

2nd beginning double digit addition and subtraction, later in the year, borrowing and carrying, more money

3rd review of multiple digit addition and subtraction, multiplication of single digits, maybe of a double digit by a single digit

4th multiple digit multiplication, division

5th fractions

6th decimals

 

History is usually holiday based, some explorers, some states and capitals and presidents (4th grade?), some cultural appreciation.

 

A little art, a little science (no one gets real exciting or technical, though.), a little music appreciation, and that's elementary school.

 

Homeschoolers?  That's different. 

 

We can fit all that stuff in a pretty small period of time.  We have time for cool stuff.

 

My 6 and almost 9 year olds are doing the basic stuff, plus studying chemistry and physics, birds, Japanese, bridges (and other STEM topics), piano, etc.  It doesn't take all their time, and they are also voracious readers.  They frequently surprise me with what they know, but it is from all they read.  They don't spend much time reading the fluffy books written for kids their age.  They much prefer meatier titles on topics like volcanoes, or history, or the like.  I was cleaning off ds' bed and found Bedtime Math from the library.  I guess he's been sleeping with it.  The kids also spend hours every day roaming our woods.  We just have time because we aren't standing in lines and waiting for everyone to be taught whatever it is. 

 

Take courage, homeschooling at this age isn't that big of a deal.  Relax, if you are doing *something*, she probably won't be behind. 

 

That said...

Make sure she is physically writing quite a bit.  Public school kids do worksheets galore, and homeschool kids (from what I hear) often struggle with the amount of writing expected. 

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