Posted by: Amy | April 28, 2008

Planning For Next Year

     First of all, I have to say I feel kind of weird saying I am planning for next year.  I would very much like to do an all year type of school.  I am sure, however, we will slow down in the summer months.  I just think that doing it all year will help keep the loss of learned subjects from happening.  If I am lucky, maybe I will stay ahead of the game this way.

     I have already written about some of what we have done since January of this year.  We started out using the Veritas Phonics Museum.  I really liked it at first.  It is a very detailed type of learning.  The kindergarten level focuses on teaching the letter sounds and eventually adding in the rules of phonics and sounding out words.  It is a very long drawn out process.  I have discovered that once we got a few weeks into the program, my children (both the 3 and 5 year old) caught on and sort of seemed to skip ahead of the game.  I also do not like the style of writing that it teaches.  I know it is all right to work around different curricula to make it work for our individual needs, but I feel like we all of a sudden wasted a ton of what the Veritas Phonics Museum has to offer.  Our kit came with kindergarten and first grade.  So, I think I will try and use what I can going forward.  In addition to the Veritas Phonics Museum, I am planning on using more of EPS’s Explode the Code for Little R.  Little C knows all of the letters in the alphabet along with their individual sounds, but he is having trouble writing the letters because his fine motor skills are not yet up to par (he is only 3!)  I think EPS’s Get Ready For the Code will not only prove to work well in training him to write his letters, but it should also reinforce what he has learned so far.

     For math, I need to put more effort into planning.  I started out with Saxon K, and it has always felt too easy and monotonous.  I have heard nothing but great things about Saxon, though, so I think I will continue.  Maybe we need to skip ahead a little or even start with the 1st grade level. 

     What I wish I could find is some kind of list to follow in regards to what my children should (or are required by our state) have learned by the end of each year.  Since we reside in Ohio, I did look on the Ohio Department of Education website, but I couldn’t find anything.  If anyone could give me some insight in this area I would greatly appreciate.  I am assuming that for kindergarten the focus should be on learning to read well and gaining a better understanding of numbers and simple addition and subtraction.  Is it too early for the other subjects such as science and history?

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Responses

  1. Have you looked at World Book’s typical course of study for each grade level? http://www.worldbook.com/wb/Students?curriculum I have found it useful.

    We started out with Saxon math (K) and made it about halfway through Saxon math 2 before my oldest started protesting heavily. Math is one of his favorite subjects so I knew I had to make a change. I took a leap of faith and we dove into Bob Jones math. He loves it so far (we’re just finishing up our second year using it).

  2. Being eager, I started using Tapestry of Grace when my oldest twins were in kindergarten. I couldn’t wait to start homeschooling! Now that the oldest are second grade, I’ve never been sorry. Have you heard of Tapestry? It is a classical/unit study sort of curriculum that provides history, geography, literature, Bible, and writing/grammar. Tapestry is very flexible and–here’s the great part–all your kids can study the same subject and time in history at their own level. Although, it sounds like your boys are pretty close in age.

    Of course, history is the icing on the cake in the early years. The primary focus should be reading, writing, and math, as you say. But who likes cake without icing?

    It sounds like you’re on the right track. I don’t know about Ohio’s rules, but in general I would say not to stress too much about milestones in the lower elementary years. The key is to get them reading fluently and knowing their math facts effortlessly.

    We tinkered with some Evan-Moor science units when the kids were in the early years, but didn’t worry too much about it. Now that my oldest are reading-to-learn, as they say, we started Apologia’s Zoology I (Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day).

    Here’s a link to the Exploring Tapestry website:
    (http://www.lampstandbookshelf.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=RD03&AFFIL=TOGAMY)

    And here’s a link to my blog postings about Tapestry: http://sixedwards.blogspot.com/search/label/tapestry%20of%20grace

    I can’t remember how I stumbled onto your blog, but I’ve bookmarked you now. :) We use Phonics Museum, too, and have a very similar experience with it. I will say that the song about Percival (especially fun after we studied medieval times) really got my son reading.

  3. Thank you both for your comments and input. It feels good to get feedback. By the way, I enjoy both of your blogs.


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