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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sammie's Kindergarten Curriculum

Since we decided to homeschool, I've talked to many friends who said of Kindergarten, "It's just Kindergarten.  You can't mess it up!" I will absolutely remind myself of that throughout the year!  I did however have tons of fun looking at all the different options and even thought of creating my own plan.  Click on any of the (blue or purple) links to find out more detail if you'd like.

Here's what we came up with:

Sing, Spell, Read & Write uses phonics songs, interactive charts, and games to teach the alphabetic principle, phonetic awareness, sound/letter correspondence, short vowel sounds, and blending - in a fun and meaningful way. By the end of Kindergarten, Sammie will be reading fully-decodable story books with single-, short- vowel words. (I'm going to know what all that means by then, too!)

The incorporation of songs is really what convinced us to choose this program for her.  We've already been playing the pre-school CD at night for Chase to hear while he falls asleep.

I've never felt very confident about math, but Brian is a whiz.  I still can't believe I'm in charge of the bills and daily finances in our household.  So, finding the right math curriculum was very important to me.  I want my kids to learn it AND love it.  (Or at least, not hate it.)  We chose Math U See. (Because, I've learned, you can actually SEE how it works with the blocks that come with the program.)

"Math·U·See's goal is to help produce confident problem solvers who enjoy the study of math. The reason we study math is so we can apply what we learn in everyday situations. The students learn their math facts, rules, and formulas, and are able to use this knowledge in real life applications. The study of math is much more than committing a list of facts to memory. It includes memorization, but it also encompasses learning the concepts that are critical to problem solving."

This year, we'll introduce her to place value, skip counting and she'll be able to tell time by the end of the school year!

You may have seen the commercials or read their ads in an airplane magazine.  I referenced it a couple of months ago in another post.  Sammie has loved what she's learned already.  She's sort of at a stand still with the program until she can learn to read.  She's done well already with matching vocabulary and speaking correctly in the microphone.  Until she can read well, we'll supplement with Spanish CDs and kids videos.

"Rosetta Stone® is built on a series of common, easily recognizable images found in everyday situations, which enables young children immediately to immerse themselves into the program and progress quickly. New innovative technology features include advanced speech recognition technology that gets students speaking from the start and an intuitive user interface that captivate students and keeps them engaged in learning. With Rosetta Stone, students can work independently and teachers can concentrate on the personal instruction and interactive classroom activities that promote fluency."

Art/Literacy Co-Op
I've talked about the art co-op that Sam was in last year.  This year, the same family is adding a literacy component to it.  So in addition to art every other Thursday, Sammie will stay on for different lessons revolving around specific books.  The teacher (a retired first grade teacher) will choose a theme, then read an appropriate piece of literature, then conduct an activity in science, math, health or social studies related to the theme.

Read Alouds
This is not a revolutionary concept: reading aloud to your children.  Grandaddy has agreed to read to Sammie every day from a special list.  We're going to get them from the library, but for all you grandparents and aunts and uncles, any of these books are great gifts to give the kids!  Click here to see the entire list. We're starting with The Boxcar Children and will move onto Johnny Appleseed in honor of the coming apple season.  The reading time is primarily for Sammie, but anyone who wants to hear, can listen too!

If anyone is interested, I may post our family schedule for the Fall, so you can see how it's all "supposed" to work.  Besides the ever important reading and math time, I believe there's so much more to her learning that just doesn't come from a workbooks.  You'll be able to see how our day is made up of music and exercise and gardening and reading for fun and Bible time and cooking. Well...I'll save that for another day.

Sammie had fun making a list of her school supplies and we even got some for Chase.  Chase's consisted of boy-related water coloring books, an octopus play-doh set, building doo dads, some used educational videos and farm equipment sticker books.  

I am so excited about it already, I can hardly wait until the 13th.  



  1. It's going to be a GREAT year! :)
    I always considered Math U See but never went that route; can't wait to hear about it!

    I LOVE that Grandaddy is going to read to her!! What a blessing!

  2. You've got a great plan! I echo Cindy, how awesome it is that Grandaddy will be participating too! :)