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  1. I'm considering using Winter Promise's Hideaway in History this coming winter/spring. I've read mixed reviews about WP, but many of them are quite old. Any recent experiences with them? I'm looking for a curriculum for my newly 6yo that incorporates (1) living books and (2) activities. She is an only child, so can handle a bit extra prep, etc. Thanks so much!
  2. Hi there! There are already threads that list free curriculum, but they focus more on the older kids, so I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread with free curriculum for preschoolers and kindergartners. These are some of the resources I used as a teacher and now as a mom. Please add on and list any free curriculum or resources you are using or that you know of. I taught 4 year old Kindergarten before homeschooling, and I worked closely with the 5K teacher to mesh our programs. For my son, we just have fun doing phonics, handwriting together, math games, and take lots of field trips around your area! Also, read, read, read! At least 3 read alouds a day, more if you can. Kids at this age really need hands on play with materials like blocks, play dough, ect. to develop their cognitive and motor skills. We also do monthly themes based on the seasons, holidays, etc. I don’t use a boxed curriculum, just tons of good books and free printables and ideas from the internet. www.starfall.com Starfall is wonderful and free online, it has an ABC section for early phonics and reading going all the way up to 4th or 5th grade. They also sell a complete Kindergarten curriculum, but you can just use the ree activities and alphabet printables on the website for phonics and handwriting. Here is a program with lesson plans for presenting Nursery rhymes to work on phonics and literacy skills, it is called Rhyme a Week: http://www.teach.virginia.edu/go/wil...and_rhymes.htm Just to let you know, it is a program that was developed for Head Start. Some homeschool families might not approve of the source, but I used it in the Catholic school I worked in and I didn't find anything objectionable about it. The also have a program called "Book a Week" that has lesson plans for activities to go along with a children's book. It is also used to increase literacy and reading skills, and expose kids to picture books. http://www.teach.virginia.edu/go/wil...#A_Book_A_Week I don't use these faithfully, but if you wanted to it could constitute a complete language arts curriculum, I would just add in a bit more formal handwriting and/or phonics. Don Potter’s website has a phonics program called Blend Phonics that I think would work well at this age, as long as the child knows the alphabet. http://www.donpotter.net/Blend%20Phonics.htm www.littlegiraffes.com This is a website that was maintained by a Kindergarten teacher until she retired, it has great ideas for hands on activities and projects in language arts, math, science, reading, etc. The monthly themes section has great ideas units you could use as an integrated curriculum, also it has great ideas for hands on projects and centers that relate to science, social studies, as well as math and reading. Lots of fun crafts too! Again, you could use the themes to plan your activities for the whole year. www.jmeacham.com This is another public school teacher who still maintains her site. Although she teaches older kids now, she started out in Kindergarten. I really like her “roll a games” for math, which you can find here:http://www.jmeacham.com/roll.a.games.htm http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/abc_centers.html This website is from a former teacher who is now a homeschooling mom. She has tons of resources for preschool and Kindergarten. These are her ABC centers, which have some great games. She also has printable reading books that coordinate with great Children's lit: http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/printable_booklets.html This site also includes a link on the left for Christian resources and printables, and there are plenty of ideas for math games and language arts games if you follow the links. http://www.first-school.ws/ This is a preschool site with tons of free printables, but they are also great for the Kindergarten level. They have handwriting worksheets in either Zaner-Bloser or D'Nelian. They also have some great flashcards, coloring pages, and they have lesson plans for various children's books and themes. Their site can be a little hard to navigate, but their free printables really are great. Their alphabet handwriting sheets also include pages with Christian and biblical themes if you wanted to incorporate religion, though most of their resources are secular. Here is the link to their handwriting printable section: http://www.first-school.ws/theme/handwriting.htm This site has a handwriting worksheet generator you can use to print out your child’s name in dot letters for them to practice. You can use Zaner-Bloser or D’Nelian, or cursive. www.handwritingworksheets.com Here is a page with free learning activity sheets for math, writing, reading, etc. You need to register at www.learningpage.com, but it is free. They also have lesson plans and printables to go with themes units, such as ocean animals, that integrate all the different subjects around a science topic with resources for grades prek-4. Here is a lin k for the activity sheets they have by month in an archive: http://www.learningpage.com/member/p...thly-sets.html Here is a link for their themes units: http://www.learningpage.com/pages/me...ct_oceans.html And here are the basic sheets that have great math and letter practice: http://www.learningpage.com/pages/me..._dnealian.html Here is a site with fun ideas for theme units, they also have songs and fingerplays listed by theme that you can incorporate into whatever you are studying. This is the section with recipes for things like playdough, paint, etc. http://www.preschooleducation.com/recipe.shtml They also have great ideas for games and activities to go along with phonics and math. These are all hands on activities and games, not worksheets. If you wanted a more traditional math program, I know that MEP math has a kindergarten program. I haven't used it, but it is free online and a lot of families on this board really like it. It is a British site so the Kindergarten year is called "Reception." Here is a link: http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/proje...ry/default.htm If you are looking for a CM approach, Ambleside Online has free Kindergarten suggestions and reading lists as does Tanglewood Academy, and Mater Amabilis (Catholic CM approach). You could also look at the booklists on the Living Books curriculum website or Memoria press for more literature ideas, and then just use your library card to check out the books. I know there are a lot more out there, let's keep em coming!
  3. Hello everyone, My name is Christina and I have a 4 and 2 year old. I recently purchased "The Well Trained Mind" and am looking for some resources and encouragement. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with how/where to start. My 4 year old went to 3 year pre-school last year but I always felt the pull to home-school my kids. After ordering the book I really think this is the avenue I need to persue with our home-schooling. Do any of you here have any good places to start?? Thank you!!
  4. I hope this post is appropriate here but I don't know where else to ask since homeschooling is our life. My kids and I (along with several other moms and homeschoolers) are volunteering, once a week, at an Indian school to help teach first graders how to read English. It's an English speaking school so I'm not sure I would really classify it as ESL, although many of their students' parents do not speak English. We have been using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons with groups of 1-4 students per volunteer. It's a phonics based program and fully scripted so the student volunteers can easily administer. But there is a disconnect between what the school is teaching and our phonics approach. It seems that many of the kids have just memorized words. So after speaking to the school, they received approval from the Indian education board to change their curriculum. Now we have a meeting with the head of English and the K-1 teachers on Dec 13 to discuss what curriculum to use and how we can work together. Somehow I was elected to lead this! My kids went to public school until after they were reading. Aside from me reading to and with them, I don't know how to teach reading. I don't know what curriculum works for a classroom setting (and for unlicensed teachers who English is a second language). This school is at risk for being closed if they cannot raise the reading level of these students. I'm not aware of another option for these kids if the school is closed. They are too cute and lovely to ignore. I have been researching all over the Internet. I know some of you are certified classroom teachers. I'm hoping you can help: what recommendations would you make for curriculum to teach children to read in a classroom setting? Something not too difficult. Do you recommend a phonics approach or something else? Thank you, thank you!
  5. I was looking for examples of how much writing your kindergarteners do (did?) in day? I am trying to figure out if we should incorporate more writing into our day or if we are doing enough. We have been through handwriting without teas and are working toward more independent writing. My boy is very reluctant to write so getting an idea of what he should be doing is very helpful. Thanks!
  6. I love this woman's blog. She has incredible resources and useful advice! Here's a great list of Back to School Read Alouds - http://www.simplykinder.com/back-to-school-read-alouds/ Enjoy!
  7. Ok, I may have just hit the jackpot here, or at least this is how I'm feeling! Check out this MEGA bundle of printables that are all FREE! http://www.educents.com/educents-k-2-freebie.html Worth $78 but for free for a limited time only (and counting!) so claim it quick! So far so good, my kiddos are loving it! I hope you do too!!
  8. First of all my kids hate math but these CUTE Minion themed Math Centers are totally LOVED by them! Plus, this freebie is only FREE until Sunday, August 9th! Check it out here - http://www.educents.com/minion-math-centers.html Here's the description - Add some fun to your math practice with these cute little Minions! Use these hands-on math centers to practice and reinforce key math skills. I hope you enjoy and benefit from this freebie as much as my family and me have :-)
  9. My DD will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. I used MFW K with my DS and thought I would use it with her too. However, she begged me to teacher her to read, so we are currently working through AAR1. Is it worth doing MFW K with her next year, or should I just skip it and let her do science/history/Bible with DS and Math/Language on her level?
  10. I have a 4 almost 5 year old and I am trying to figure out her math curriculum for next year. I have pretty much settled on using MCP Math K and Singapore Essentials so I can space them out and create a semi spiral. I was also looking at Mathematical Reasoning A so my question is would doing all 3 be a math overload? This will be my first time homeschooling a kindergartener and I don't want to push to hard but she needs a challenge. She has been reading fluently for a year and is reading at a 4th grade level right now so I don't have to worry about that. I am using SOTW Vol 1 as our history spine and Mr Q Life Science, I just can't nail down this math.
  11. Ok, I have heard so many GREAT things about All About Spelling. It kind of seems expensive to me. Spelling Power always appealed to me since I only had to buy 1 spelling book for K-12. Can you tell me more about All About Spelling? 1.) Is it a phonics program as well as a spelling program? 2.) IF I decide to get AAS, what should I get? 3.) Would this be a good program after finishing TYCTR100EZ lessons (and reading the suggested books)? 4.) Any other suggestions for a good spelling/phonetic program? :confused:
  12. I have a 4 almost 5 year old and I am trying to figure out her math curriculum for next year. I have pretty much settled on using MCP Math K and Singapore Essentials so I can space them out and create a semi spiral. I was also looking at Mathematical Reasoning A so my question is would doing all 3 be a math overload? This will be my first time homeschooling a kindergartener and I don't want to push to hard but she needs a challenge. She has been reading fluently for a year and is reading at a 4th grade level right now so I don't have to worry about that. I am using SOTW Vol 1 as our history spine and Mr Q Life Science, I just can't nail down this math.
  13. I am wondering what y'all would suggest, that is open-and-go and non-denominational/secular, to prepare a child for basic copywork in 1st grade? The goal would be to be able to copy very simple sentences in WWE-style, with me there to help with letter formation and mechanics as necessary. We're working through Zaner-Bloser K at the moment, and will start ZB1 for handwriting after that. I own IEW PAL but the child really doesn't like the letter scripts of that program so we haven't used it much at all. TIA!!!
  14. What are the benefits of slowing down or I think the term is going deeper compared to letting a young child advance, specifically in math? Or is it better to just let a child move at their own pace?
  15. I'm wondering if my daughter should be making up her own handwriting assignments, or doing copy work. This past year we did homeschool preK for E. She did the kindergarten Handwriting Without Tears. We had planned to wait til Jan to start since we weren't sure her fine motor skills were up to it, but when she saw the book and cute little slate that came in the mail, she wanted to start right away. She usually wanted to do more pages than I would let her, and we still finished the book very quickly. However, E still reverses some letters and numbers, and forgets how to form letters if it's been a while since she's written it. After we finished HWOT, she started writing one sentence in a primary notebook, with a picture to go with it. E likes writing her own stories, but is not really reading yet. An example sentence she could read is: He said, "I am going fishing." So she needs a lot of help to write a sentence a day. Should I get 1st grade HWOT? Or I saw a handwriting joke book on amazon? Or keep doing this? Start a new book now, or in the fall? Am I setting her back by not having an example to copy, or no consistent rotation through the alphabet? E is 5, turning 6 in Nov. Should she be copying something rather than trying to figure out how to spell whatever she wants to write that day?
  16. Hi! If there are any of you who use TOG with your younger kids, I have a question for you: I am behind…..really behind. (finishing week 10) I love the curriculum and have just found a groove. I want to cover the remaining year's material even if it's just a light skimming, but I really don't want to do school past the end of May. I don't even know if this is realistic. Is there a way I can hit the highlights, so that there isn't too big of a gap in learning when we start year 2 in the fall? I got really bogged down in the first several weeks with all the bible reading plus trying to get used to the curriculum and figuring out how much or little to do. Now I am at a quicker pace, but I rely on library books and have hit some waiting periods with that process. Here is what I found works for us: First: Vocabulary (the most concrete ones) (my Ker copies the words, cuts out pictures and pastes above correct word) Second: Map (he colors, then glues on the correct labels that I have precut from the answer map) Third: we read the main book that goes with that week (or the alternate if the main one isn't available) I also hang up the vocab and map work during the week which reinforces learning. I have done some of the activities, but often do not, because I keep running out of time. This year with our schedule, what I finally figured out works for us is to do history 3 days/wk. (We take my daughter to/from preschool 2x/wk, are in a Monday co-op, and do afternoon sports most days. Next year our mornings are clear and our school schedule will have much more flexibility. Thank goodness!) Id prefer not to drop the vocab or map work, but I'm guessing I might have to consider that if I want to zoom through the remainder of the time. My main concern is that I don't want a big time gap in the content when we start year 2 in the fall. I am firm about starting a new year in the fall (I plan to take a break between cycles in 4th grade for our state history, and I know this year's material will be covered again in 5th grade- which will be so fun and more in-depth and engaging because of the age). Any thoughts, comments, tips from some veteran TOG users who might be reading this? (BTW- my k'er loves history and will often ask to read history, and enjoys the map and vocab activities.) Thank you so much, in advance!!
  17. Hi everyone. I'm posting this because I'm getting stressed out with the AZVA the charter school out state has for k12. I feel ALL we do is classwork. My son is also special needs and this is not tailored to him. I talked to his teacher and she said she'd get back to me in two weeks, and she also wanted me to document whatever problems I see. I want to do home-school as I fear my son will be bullied in a regular school, and I can't afford to do anything else right now. Any suggestions from other experienced parents about what to do to destress? Today was the first day in 3 that I changed my clothes. I'm that stressed. Any help is appreciated. I just feel I was lied to about the amount of work he'd do when I called the enrollment number.:glare:
  18. I am trying to set a pattern for my dds in kindergarten and Grade2, I want to know What are the popular english, maths and science programs to put in their after school routine? Is conventional worksheet method works with young kids or online programs do wonders for that age? We do take trips to library once in 2 weeks, they are in doing couple of sports activities (after school) and 1 hour of TV time almost everyday. I want to be involved with their teacher in class, but need direction into that as how to be involved? All ideas appreciated. And we are in Canada, hence following Canadian curriculam. Appreciate response from all. Thanks!!
  19. I've wrestled with posting here (and in which forum), but I really would like to receive advice. :) My son is 4y2mo. I believe he is gifted (but not profoundly gifted). The plan is to send him to public school for K in Fall 2014. We can't afford private and husband is opposed to HS'ing. I am weighing options (essentially local school, montessori charter, K in a nearby school that offers foreign language immersion starting in 1st). Our local school district doesn't have a gifted program until 3rd. But to come to the point, I'm trying to figure out what to try and teach him in the year before he goes, and that's what I want advice on. I don't think of myself as a tiger mom, but I do want him to do the best he can, and also give him the best foundation I can. My MIL seems to feel he will already be bored to tears in K with the implication, stop teaching him now. I think because I was terrified of the school teaching him to read, I began that process maybe 2 months before his fourth birthday. He is through the first 3 sets of regular BoB books and the K and 1st grade sight word sets; he is now reading Elephant & Piggie and Little Bear, for example, though not independently (he reads aloud to me and might need help with 2-5 words per story). My plan for the upcoming year is to advance his reading as much as I can through read alouds, independent reading, some phonics; introduce critical thinking with logic books and such; and introduce science, mainly as a way to introduce critical thinking / scientific method as opposed to background knowledge. I also feel like I should do math mainly for the reason that he not pick up an attitude of "I'm not good at it" from PS. I think he already is close to achieving K math standards already. When he turns 5, I also hope to get him piano lessons. Everything else will be playing, play dates, active gross motor extracurriculars (we have done swimming, gymnastics, dance this past year, signed up for soccer next), unstructured art & music. As might be expected, he is fairly awful at sitting still and handwriting. What I really want is to give him confidence and (inner) motivation to achieve heading into PS...and something to prevent PS from killing the joy of learning, without killing it myself. I also wonder to myself whether I can train him to be more "well behaved" (sitting still, listening, attention span, executive function) from a teacher's perspective without killing his amazing little spirit. Will my choices help or hurt? Any suggestions? And what can I do to help prevent complete boredom and hating school once he goes? Anybody's thoughts on any aspect of this are welcome. Debi
  20. My dear friend lives in a developing country, and just learned this week that she will need to homeschool her Kindergartner this year. The cost of shipping books there is exorbitant, so she is looking for as many online resources as possible. She is brand new to homeschooling. What would you use for Kindergarten if you had to rely entirely on online resources (not streaming, as their internet connection is slow/spotty)? Thank you SO MUCH for any and all resources & information!!
  21. hi all, i am, or will be, new to homeschooling this fall. my dd will be 5 1/2, and starting her K year. i also have a son in jr high in ps and a 3 1/2 year old. anyway....i purchased, second hand, AAR 1. at the time my daughter could just read basic CVC words. in the past several months, she has begun full on reading, pretty much everything. i pulled out the AAR to familiarize myself with how we might pace it, knowing much of it would be review. turns out, it is looking like none of it will be useful to us any longer. i'm weary of moving to AAR 2. i'm figuring, if she taught herself to read without costing me a dime, surely we find a cheaper option to move forward with reading. i just have no clue what our next step should be. any advice? *pardon my lack of using capital letters*
  22. I've been reevaluating what I want to work on with my son for the upcoming year, which I'm considering like a K4. One of the things I want to do is read books to him (of course) and I want to use that experience to develop his reading comprehension and critical thinking, which I feel like I haven't done enough of. So I looked at the FIAR sample, and it is definitely not what I want - I'm not interested in tangential subjects, crafty things, etc. - although I will make use of the read five times thing, because I think that's brilliant. I also looked at the Peak with Books sample pages. This does have exactly what I want - the "A Closer Look" section of questions, but I really don't feel like that is enough to warrant purchasing the whole book. My question, then, is whether anyone knows of any other resources that have critical thinking/reading comprehension questions that relate to preschool and kindergarten age books. If anyone is interested, the google sample of Peak with Books is at I feel like I should be able to come up with these questions on my own, but in practice it doesn't seem like I am very good at it. Thanks, Debi
  23. Hi! Does anyone understand the ins and outs of the compulsory school attendance laws? My son turned 5 in June. Wisconsin law requires kids to start school by 6. Does that mean I can hold him out of school for another year (until he's 6 next June)? Pardon my ignorance... As for my motives, I (and my husband) are really wrestling with putting DS in school this fall. It would be wonderful if we could have him home one more year. He's very bright, and we've done quite a bit of 'unofficial' schooling already. Homeschooling is not an option for us this year, but it might be possible next year... I'm wondering if I can (legally) hold him out of 'official' kindergarten this fall, and then begin homeschooling full force next year. Thanks for your help!
  24. Hi there! I asked this over on the Pre-K and K board, but wanted to get the input of the larger hive as well. My DD5 has been doing K4 this year and is writing like crazy - making up spellings for everything. She's quite adamant that her spellings are correct. ;) I wasn't planning to start spelling until 1st grade, but I feel like she's forcing my hand here, and I've started looking into spelling for K, but I feel completely indecisive about what to use. My initial plan was just to use Spelling Workout as recommended in TWTM, but looking at it, I don't think it will be the right fit for her, for K. All About Spelling might be good, but it's expensive and it takes up instruction time, and I was hoping to have spelling be a mostly independent subject. I'd love your recommendations of programs you think would be appropriate for K, and why you like them. Low-prep and -cost preferred, but I'll take anything, because I want to know what's out there. :) Thank you!
  25. Okay, here's a tall order for the hive. I'm trying to help a friend who is starting homeschooling next year with her K'er. Their ultimate goal is to get him into a Christian private school when their financial circumstances change, but in the mean time, they are homeschooling. She is not very confident in herself as a homeschooler and is also expecting baby #2 in August. I'm trying to help her find a curriculum that includes all of these characteristics (or as many as possible): * Christian perspective * preferably classically-oriented * very easy to implement, well laid out, low prep - holds her hand a lot * flexible schedules, but definitely the schedule figured out for her * includes hands-on activities for her squirrelly kinesthetic learner * lends itself well to an easy transition back into private school at a later date She did the quiz about different curriculum approaches in Cathy Duffy's 101 Picks and ended up with preferences as follows: #1 Classical, #2 Umbrella, #3 Charlotte Mason, and #4 Traditional (2, 3, and 4 all very close). Any ideas of something that would be a good fit for her?
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