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Help me choose Kindergarten curriculum


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#1 Fir

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 12:40 PM

My kid has already been doing work this year, but he will be officially starting kindergarten next year. 

We have been using MobyMax and I just let him do it whenever and it's very low pressure. 

I have just noticed that it places him in about half of first grade in both math and language, so I'm thinking that doing kindergarten level work for next year is not going to work.

Do you have any recommendation for engaging curriculum that would be on his level?

I am almost certain that we will use RightStart Math B, but I'm not sure about language arts. I have the Well Trained Mind First Language Lessons Level 1 in my shopping cart right now. I have also added Explode the Code books 1 through 3. 

Do you have any other suggestions or comments?

Thank you for the help. 



#2 Dealea86

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:28 PM

Oh, I want to hear what others say. My middle child is reading and doing math at around a 1st grade level now, but he's got more than a year before he would even be in K in public school. When my oldest was in the same position, we did a very casual K "year" that spanned about a year and a half. We did a BFSU lesson every once in a while, we read a lot of stories, we did Singapore's K level math course (math wasn't a strong subject with her then), and the rest was just letting her play and be a kid. I'm planning to do something similar this time, but I'm open to suggestions. :)

 

My opinion is that you have to let them be kids still, but at the same time you have to feed their minds. So a lot of no-pressure learning, trying to keep it as fun as possible.


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#3 Runningmom80

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:35 PM

I wouldn't worry about doing more than reading and math in K.  My first graders are accelerated and we mainly did the 3 R's this year.  They tagged along with their brother at times, but we mostly just did lots of art and read a lot. 


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#4 Fir

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:59 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming.

If anyone has books to recommend I would appreciate it.



#5 La Condessa

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:29 AM

My older son will turn five this summer. He is academically ahead but socially and emotionally young for his age. My plan is to continue on as we are for preschool, but I'm transitioning from doing it two or three times a week to five days a week. That is all optional, but I make the time and offer every day, and he takes me up on the offer most of the time. This includes cuddling up in my bed in the morning to do phonics and math, then violin practice. We're using OPG and Singapore Primary Mathematics (the textbook, intensive practice, and challenging word problems) and we do as little or as much as he wants to at a time. He goes through major spurts and stops with math. In the Fall he went through all of our preschool and pre-K math, skipped K and did the first half of Singapore 1a all within a few months, then stopped and did very little math for the next several months. He's near the end of 1a now; I have no idea what he'll be doing by September, but I'll add in Beast Academy whenever we reach that point.

Violin is very challenging for him, as are all fine motor skills, but he is making slow but steady progress. We "play the gummy bear game" (aka bribery) every day he asks to practice. I set out six gummy bears to stand and watch him play, but I eat one each time he fails to follow instructions or pay attention. After he puts his violin away, he gets the remaining gummy bears. This has made a huge difference in his focus, and consequently in his progress. Before, his little five-minute practices were mostly spent in constant interruptions. Now he asks to practice usually 5-6 days a week, and we get about 8-10 minutes of focused attention. I can see his work with violin having big payouts in his fine motor development, his ability to focus, and especially in working on his perfectionism and perseverance.

That's all for his individual subjects. I will add in a handwriting workbook for next year, though I'm not sure which one, yet. However, he almost always chooses to participate in the subjects his big sisters do together--read-alouds, SOTW (we'll be doing 3 next year), scripture memorization, poetry tea parties, Shakespeare (he is playing an officer in our production of Twelfth Night), BFSU (He may lose interest as we move into volume two next year, which is fine. I will wait another year and then go through BFSU I with him and little brother again when he's in first grade.), Excelerate Spanish, Child-sized Masterpieces, etc. All of that would be way too much to require of a five-year-old and worry about mastery and retention. But as fun, take what he wants and then go play Legos, it is great for him.
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#6 Sarah0000

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:29 PM

My five year old will be doing Kindergarten next year too. He'll be doing Spelling You See and The Sentence Family for LA. He's already a fluent reader otherwise he wouldn't be doing that stuff yet. 


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#7 Fir

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:05 PM

La Condessa, thanks for offering such a detailed plan. I love the gummy bear game idea. We are already doing handwriting and I have been using this free program: http://www.progressi...com/handwriting

I think many people use Handwriting Without Tears. 

 

Thanks Sarah0000 for letting me know about those programs, I will look into them. 



#8 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:31 PM

My son will be in "Kindergarten" this year but will be doing 1st grade work or higher also...

This is what I have planned:

-Classical Conversations once a week, 

-Continue with piano lessons that he just started

-Math: Complete Rod & Staff 1 and start Level 2 (base program), with Singapore/Mammoth Math as supplement

-start All About Spelling Level 1 (we are almost finished with getting through Alpha-phonics)

-Writing with Ease and First Language Lessons Level 1

-Handwriting...maybe and not every day

-Phonics: Core Skills Phonics worksheets 

-Geography/Science/History - just a little time reviewing CC memory work once each week, read relevant history "living" book

-Reading/Literature - he's already reading well so we might not do anything formal aside from read more books, unless I can figure something out but we will have a new baby in the house...so I'm mainly going to focus on the basics this year.  

 

Hope that helps...If my son hadn't read most of the books already, I'd want to do the Memoria Press literature program with their literature guide...


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#9 Fir

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Posted 25 May 2017 - 05:52 PM

My son will be in "Kindergarten" this year but will be doing 1st grade work or higher also...

This is what I have planned:

-Classical Conversations once a week, 

-Continue with piano lessons that he just started

-Math: Complete Rod & Staff 1 and start Level 2 (base program), with Singapore/Mammoth Math as supplement

-start All About Spelling Level 1 (we are almost finished with getting through Alpha-phonics)

-Writing with Ease and First Language Lessons Level 1

-Handwriting...maybe and not every day

-Phonics: Core Skills Phonics worksheets 

-Geography/Science/History - just a little time reviewing CC memory work once each week, read relevant history "living" book

-Reading/Literature - he's already reading well so we might not do anything formal aside from read more books, unless I can figure something out but we will have a new baby in the house...so I'm mainly going to focus on the basics this year.  

 

Hope that helps...If my son hadn't read most of the books already, I'd want to do the Memoria Press literature program with their literature guide...

 

Thanks for the suggestions, it is very much appreciated. I was thinking of doing the same thing (first grade level work). 



#10 strawberryjam

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:14 AM

I would add handwriting to what you've already got, and that's about all you need for actual curriculum. I also really like "All About Reading" level 1 together with Explode the Code (if a child needs extra practice). I'd also add in plenty of reading out loud... there are so many good book lists out there, I think one of my favourites for that age is the Mensa Kids Reading Excellence book list.


Edited by strawberryjam, 23 June 2017 - 12:15 AM.

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#11 Irene Lynn

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 08:54 AM

What is your child interested in studying/learning?  For my daughter we used Right Start math back before it was on graded levels, readers, plenty of read-alouds, which included stories of all sorts, history, and science topics.  Her favorite subject was history, so I actually purchased some guides for that and did them casually, so she didn't know it was "school."  We actually did everything in The Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Egypt guide plus a few extra things before she was ready to move on to Greece.  We took a break to cover Native Americans with a unit study approach.  I took some ideas from Konos.  We covered the few basics as sit-down work, but the real fun and the part that engaged her brain and introduced vocabulary and broader thinking was all from following her own interests.  That approach always added on to her knowledge that impacted her basic subjects, too.   My son likes science better than history, so we read more science things and did more experiments.  Both approaches increased vocabulary and deepened their thinking, primarily because they were fully engaged and curious and I was proactive in supplying lots of variety in their favorite subject.  It was more about making life a stage for learning all sorts of wonderful things, and the "schoolwork" was the stuff that didn't motivate them as much, but needed to be done. 


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#12 Alice

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:13 AM

Can he read? For me the biggest focus in K was to learn to read. I'm not advocating pushing a kid to learn, but my kids were ready at that age. I focused primarily on that as our formal schoolwork. We used Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. It is dry and not very flashy. At the beginning, I often typed out the lessons on the computer using fancy fonts or used a white board. Explode the Code is a nice option if you have a kid who likes workbooks. My boys did not so we stopped them fairly quickly. There are lots of great readers that you can use very early when you only know a few sounds...Bob Books, Nora Gaydos readers. 

 

We used Handwriting without Tears for my boys, it worked fine. I use Zaner-Bloser for my daughter. She has much prettier handwriting but I think that has more to do with the child than the curriculum. 

 

We use Singapore Math. I just started with the 1st grade book but we went slowly and added in lots of games. 

 

I really like Peggy Kaye's Games for Math. She also has a Games for Reading. I made a bunch of those; they are very simple to make. It's a fun way to learn. Right Start Games are also great. 

 

My favorite thing we did for Preschool and K was Five in a Row. I never really used it like recommended but it was a way to help me plan/organize. I'm a planner and even though I knew we didn't "have" to do formal schoolwork, I wanted to, especially with my oldest. Five in a Row was a nice way for me to plan themes and then I would get lots of library books around that theme. We added in art, some simple science experiments, fun field trips and it was a K year. 


Edited by Alice, 23 June 2017 - 09:14 AM.

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#13 Fir

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:30 PM

I would add handwriting to what you've already got, and that's about all you need for actual curriculum. I also really like "All About Reading" level 1 together with Explode the Code (if a child needs extra practice). I'd also add in plenty of reading out loud... there are so many good book lists out there, I think one of my favourites for that age is the Mensa Kids Reading Excellence book list.

 

We are using Hooked on Phonics right now and it seems to be working well. I'm not sure if I should get Explode the Code on top of it. I may give it a try next Fall. 

We have found so many books that have now become favorites on the Mensa reading list. I even got my older kids to do it! 



#14 Fir

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:33 PM

What is your child interested in studying/learning?  For my daughter we used Right Start math back before it was on graded levels, readers, plenty of read-alouds, which included stories of all sorts, history, and science topics.  Her favorite subject was history, so I actually purchased some guides for that and did them casually, so she didn't know it was "school."  We actually did everything in The Greenleaf Guide to Ancient Egypt guide plus a few extra things before she was ready to move on to Greece.  We took a break to cover Native Americans with a unit study approach.  I took some ideas from Konos.  We covered the few basics as sit-down work, but the real fun and the part that engaged her brain and introduced vocabulary and broader thinking was all from following her own interests.  That approach always added on to her knowledge that impacted her basic subjects, too.   My son likes science better than history, so we read more science things and did more experiments.  Both approaches increased vocabulary and deepened their thinking, primarily because they were fully engaged and curious and I was proactive in supplying lots of variety in their favorite subject.  It was more about making life a stage for learning all sorts of wonderful things, and the "schoolwork" was the stuff that didn't motivate them as much, but needed to be done. 

We have not started history yet, but will do next year. 

 

He is interested mostly in everything sea life and marine biology. He also seems to love science.

 

We were also thinking about doing RightStart, how is that going for you?



#15 Fir

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:39 PM

Can he read? For me the biggest focus in K was to learn to read. I'm not advocating pushing a kid to learn, but my kids were ready at that age. I focused primarily on that as our formal schoolwork. We used Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. It is dry and not very flashy. At the beginning, I often typed out the lessons on the computer using fancy fonts or used a white board. Explode the Code is a nice option if you have a kid who likes workbooks. My boys did not so we stopped them fairly quickly. There are lots of great readers that you can use very early when you only know a few sounds...Bob Books, Nora Gaydos readers. 

 

We used Handwriting without Tears for my boys, it worked fine. I use Zaner-Bloser for my daughter. She has much prettier handwriting but I think that has more to do with the child than the curriculum. 

 

We use Singapore Math. I just started with the 1st grade book but we went slowly and added in lots of games. 

 

I really like Peggy Kaye's Games for Math. She also has a Games for Reading. I made a bunch of those; they are very simple to make. It's a fun way to learn. Right Start Games are also great. 

 

My favorite thing we did for Preschool and K was Five in a Row. I never really used it like recommended but it was a way to help me plan/organize. I'm a planner and even though I knew we didn't "have" to do formal schoolwork, I wanted to, especially with my oldest. Five in a Row was a nice way for me to plan themes and then I would get lots of library books around that theme. We added in art, some simple science experiments, fun field trips and it was a K year. 

 

He has just started to read. Mostly Bob Books and simple books. I have checked out Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading from the library, but since we had already started Hooked on Phonics I wasn't sure how to integrate it. I think it would be a good thing for me to look into though. The Hooked on Phonics lessons are so short. Thanks for the suggestion about Nora Gaydos, I had not heard of those books. 

 

How do you like Singapore? Is it fairly challenging?

 

Thanks for the recommendations, I will look into them. 



#16 Jen500

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 08:48 PM

We used Hooked on Phonics, Explode the Code, Singapore, Kitchen Table Math book, math games, Bob Books, Zaner-Bloser.

The one thing that I really remember is that I bought WAY TOO much stuff. Almost all of the early reader books, the HOP, ETC were never used, because once ds started learning to read he just picked it up on his own. 

If you have a good library that's a huge plus!



#17 Irene Lynn

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:49 PM

We have not started history yet, but will do next year. 

 

He is interested mostly in everything sea life and marine biology. He also seems to love science.

 

We were also thinking about doing RightStart, how is that going for you?

I used Right Start with my daughter, but just at the beginning.  We switched things up many times with math.  Right Start was a good place to start.  I loved the abacus!  To be honest I liked it more than my kids did, but I have pulled it out through the years for my own kids and for others for illustrations, so it was a good purchase.  I have used the games off and on through the years, too.  They have been a good resource, too.

 

My son started out with a fascination with deep sea creatures, so we watched Planet Earth videos and looked at a some books with great pictures.  For some reason he never was too concerned with sea life that was up higher.  Then he skipped over to fish in rivers, streams, and lakes.  Marine biology covers so many interesting topics and creatures!  Have fun with that one!


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#18 Fir

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 11:32 PM

I used Right Start with my daughter, but just at the beginning.  We switched things up many times with math.  Right Start was a good place to start.  I loved the abacus!  To be honest I liked it more than my kids did, but I have pulled it out through the years for my own kids and for others for illustrations, so it was a good purchase.  I have used the games off and on through the years, too.  They have been a good resource, too.

 

My son started out with a fascination with deep sea creatures, so we watched Planet Earth videos and looked at a some books with great pictures.  For some reason he never was too concerned with sea life that was up higher.  Then he skipped over to fish in rivers, streams, and lakes.  Marine biology covers so many interesting topics and creatures!  Have fun with that one!

 

I don't know if your son is still interested, but mine has been watching Jonathan Bird's Blue World almost everyday. Here's the link if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube....ser/BlueWorldTV

 

There are even lesson plans on his website: http://http://www.bl...m/for-educators

 

I have to check out the Planet Earth videos.