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Curriculum advice for kindergarten


Guest Lissybee369

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Guest Lissybee369

Hi, we are new to homeschooling and my son will be starting kindergarten soon, so I need to purchase his curriculum. I have some ideas based on my own preferences and research, but just wanted to know what experienced parents think. Here it is:

 

Sonlight core p4/5 or Sonlight core A

Sonlight science

Llatl blue book

Getty-Dubai italic k

Singapore earlybird math

Artistic pursuits book 1

Rosetta stone Spanish level 1

 

Do you think this is too much for kindergarten? Am I tweaking too much? How well do you think this flows? What is your experience with these programs? Lastly, I'm torn between core p4/5 and core a. Any advice?

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As far as which Core to use, most SL people would say to use Core P4/5. I am doing a mix of P3/4 and P4/5 this year with DS5 and DD3 and it has been working really well. I am not using the IG's (even though I have them) and I am not doing every book. There were a couple of books that didn't look interesting or were too evangelical for my Catholic taste. :D I love the books we have already read from Core A (K), but I have heard that some of them are better to read when the children are more emotionally mature.

 

As for everything else, it seems like you have a really good plan. I am just starting off as well. I would hold off on some things (like Spanish...and I am not sure if a K'er could really handle Rosetta Stone and art) until you really get going with everything else. I have found it works best for our family if we do the workbook type stuff first (we do math, religion, phonics, spelling, handwriting before snack). We have snack and playtime. Then we do our unit studies and read alouds as well as music or art or whatever else we have planned.

 

We are learning German this year (I am just starting to add that in...we started school in June). I am just doing informal German lessons during lunch right now. We are just learning basic greetings and vocab right now.

 

If you speak Spanish at all (or can at least pronounce it), I highly suggest Sube, Sonrisas or SingNSpeak Spanish. They are similarly priced as Rosetta Stone and more appropriate for really young kids. Some people might disagree with that, but I use Rosetta Stone myself and can't see my K'er doing it.

 

Best of luck! This is the start of a really fun and exciting journey!!!!!!!

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I don't know anything about LLATL, though looking at it, it's a first grade program. Is your child ready for a first grade language arts program? (he may be - I just want to make sure). It looks like more than I'd want to do for a typical K'er.

 

I would recommend Singapore Essential Math K instead of Earlybird.

 

I don't think I'd bother with RS or AP at the start. Maybe do those in 1st?

 

No advice on the Sonlight cores. I was thinking about using SL P4/5 for my own K'er next year, but I'm probably just going to use some of the book selections and merge it with Memoria Press selections and FIAR selections (still debating whether to actually try FIAR). I know a lot of people use P4/5 instead of A for K. I think P4/5 was more picture books, which I prefer for K.

 

Don't know if that helps any.

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We love P4/5. It is excellent.

 

We just started Singapore and G-D Italic, so I don't have enough experience with them yet to offer advice. I will say that we're drifting away from Singapore and towards Miquon more each day because my son seems to enjoy the Miquon more. (I think the Miquon seems more like playing.)

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I wouldn't do Rosetta Stone. It's not much fun. I'd go with La Clase Divertida or maybe R.E.A.L. Spanish instead.

 

I preferred the selections in core P4/5 to A, but that's just me. We've never officially "done Sonlight", just read the books. The early levels of SL science are good, though. We did SL 1 (now B) for science when Ariel was kindergarten age, but she was doing mostly first grade work at that point. She also loved the science books from P4/5.

 

I have no experience with Singapore, but from what I've read, Essentials is much better than Earlybird.

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Honestly, there are so many variables--the dc's personality and learning style, your teaching style, your organization abilities, etc., etc. But the general rule of thumb is that most people over-schedule their first year homeschooling, especially when the first year is K.

 

The LLATL concerns me a bit for a couple of reasons. First, it is listed as a 1st grade program, rather than a K program. Even if your child is advanced, he may not be able to complete the volume of work that would be given in a 1st grade program. He may also have difficulty with the type of work required, specifically the writing. There is a big jump in fine motor skills between K and 1, and even an academically accellerated child would ordinarily struggle with the writing.

 

My second concern about LLATL is that it encompasses so many different subjects. As a first time homeschooler, it is very tempting to go with that type of program, because researching individual subjects can be so overwhelming. But the blue book seems overkill for a K'er. Even if he "can" do it, you have to ask yourself if he ought to do it at that age.

 

I do not have any experience with SL or LLATL, but both appear to be heavily literature-based. You can only read so much to your child. SL has an especially heavy reading list, and if you are going to add to that, you may find yourself and your child rather overwhelmed.

 

My advice: Start with math, handwriting and a solid phonics-based reading program. Do that for at least 2-4 weeks and then decide whether to add in something else. (Take it from a mom that ditched 2 entire curricula totaling $150 within 4 months of starting K.)

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My advice: Start with math, handwriting and a solid phonics-based reading program. Do that for at least 2-4 weeks and then decide whether to add in something else. (Take it from a mom that ditched 2 entire curricula totaling $150 within 4 months of starting K.)

 

This would be my advice too except I'd also add something engaging/fun. Sonlight Science might fit that bill or Five in a Row perhaps. I've never used either but heard good things. So you have your three R's and then something that makes school yay! as well. Add in others as you see fit. If you do Sonlight I would go with the younger core.

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We're using P4/5. I don't find the reading to be a lot at all. The reading takes us 10 minutes right now. I'm hoping it takes more time as the year progresses because DD loves listening to stories. We're using Horizons K math and Singapore Essentials. We're also using OPGTR for reading and Abeka for handwriting. Science is included in P4/5 but it's basically just reading the book so you could add Science 1 or not. We'll be adding in Spanish later and will be using R.E.A.L homeschool Spanish.

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Guest Lissybee369

Thank you all so much for the advice! I was unsure about the RS so early, maybe now I'll wait a little while on that. I thought the art program would be fun for a kindergartener, but have been plagued with the idea that 'Art instruction' this early might turn a child off to art in general.

I actually haven't even heard of Singapore Essentials. I'll have to take a look :)

 

As for llatl,... First of all i love the idea of the program and its natural approach. I've read a lot of reviews, and most people who dislike it said that it was too redundant to kindergarten year and their child was too advanced for the program. This is the reason I thought it may be more appropriate for k, even with it being listed for 1st grade. (apparently it starts at phonics from the basics?) I've seen people using it for k also, hopefully someone has tried it and will have some advice on which way to go. I was also considering sonlight LA.

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We are using Artistic Pursuits for K. I have found that my son would prefer to just do art projects and to paint more. However, we do try to do Artistic Pursuits a couple of times a month. The first few lessons aren't very exciting, but they get much better! I think it is fine to do for K, especially if your child is artistically inclined!

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This would be my advice too except I'd also add something engaging/fun. Sonlight Science might fit that bill or Five in a Row perhaps. I've never used either but heard good things. So you have your three R's and then something that makes school yay! as well. Add in others as you see fit. If you do Sonlight I would go with the younger core.

 

FIAR is awesome--it is the only thing that I did with my first that I will do with my second, as well. It has a little bit of everything, and is very gentle. I wouldn't combine FIAR with SL, because there is just too much overlap there. When ds3 is ready for K, we will do FIAR with reading and handwriting. There is enough fun in FIAR, so I don't need to purposefully look for something more.

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As for llatl,... First of all i love the idea of the program and its natural approach. I've read a lot of reviews, and most people who dislike it said that it was too redundant to kindergarten year and their child was too advanced for the program. This is the reason I thought it may be more appropriate for k, even with it being listed for 1st grade. (apparently it starts at phonics from the basics?) I've seen people using it for k also, hopefully someone has tried it and will have some advice on which way to go. I was also considering sonlight LA.

 

This is why I shy away from programs that combine reading instruction with other subjects. How are you going to know that your child will be on the same level in all of those subjects? I don't mind tweaking, but I wouldn't recommend doing that your first year while you are still trying get your footing with everything else.

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We started out with Sonlight Core K/A, and I really didn't like it. There didn't seem to be any continuity to it or the Sonlight science. So I sent it back. I then debated between Sonlight 4/5 which I heard better things about or Five in a Row. We are going to go with Five in a Row just because it adds in a little bit from many different subject areas and some fun. We are using the literature from Sonlight also as basic read alouds.

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I also agree with getting your 3 Rs nailed down before adding more in to avoid overwhelm.

 

SO, after that, I'd say go with SL 4/5 Core A is a bit much for K in my opinion - you can easily use it in 1st, and even up to 2nd and there is still alot there.

 

Maybe you want to look at LLATL red book? That seems more of a K choice to me because it teaches phonics. I wouldn't do Rosetta Stone at this age either because it is computer-based and I don't think K children should really be tackling a formal subject on the computer at this age, but that's my preference :).

 

Artistic Pursuits is fun - but I don't have experience with the other programs :).

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Honestly, there are so many variables--the dc's personality and learning style, your teaching style, your organization abilities, etc., etc. But the general rule of thumb is that most people over-schedule their first year homeschooling, especially when the first year is K.

 

The LLATL concerns me a bit for a couple of reasons. First, it is listed as a 1st grade program, rather than a K program. Even if your child is advanced, he may not be able to complete the volume of work that would be given in a 1st grade program. He may also have difficulty with the type of work required, specifically the writing. There is a big jump in fine motor skills between K and 1, and even an academically accellerated child would ordinarily struggle with the writing.

 

My second concern about LLATL is that it encompasses so many different subjects. As a first time homeschooler, it is very tempting to go with that type of program, because researching individual subjects can be so overwhelming. But the blue book seems overkill for a K'er. Even if he "can" do it, you have to ask yourself if he ought to do it at that age.

 

I do not have any experience with SL or LLATL, but both appear to be heavily literature-based. You can only read so much to your child. SL has an especially heavy reading list, and if you are going to add to that, you may find yourself and your child rather overwhelmed.

 

My advice: Start with math, handwriting and a solid phonics-based reading program. Do that for at least 2-4 weeks and then decide whether to add in something else. (Take it from a mom that ditched 2 entire curricula totaling $150 within 4 months of starting K.)

:iagree: I don't know anything about LLATL, but a lot of first grade language programs start off so easy that a Kindergartener usually could do it, but the program usually starts getting too hard too quickly for a Ker. I know... I've done it.

And we LOVE Essential Math for K.

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I'm a "keep it simple" person. My main focus for Kindergarten is reading. We read a lot of books out loud and work on phonics. We use Essential Math, and the kids like it and have picked up on basic math concepts very easily. But I try to only do math a few days a week. Reading we do daily. They did Zoology last year for fun. (We read about animals & went to the zoo weekly. At the zoo, the kids asked the zookeepers questions. It wasn't anything planned out.) This year, they're doing botany for fun. Reading about plants. Visiting the botanical gardens. Asking gardeners questions about gardening. Nothing planned.

Personally, I don't want to do a foreign language just yet. I want them to get a very good grasp of the English language and have a very large vocabulary before we begin Latin and Greek. I guess that is a personal preference, but I'd like for them to know their parts of speech in English before we delve into a foreign language.

Kindergarteners don't have the longest attention spans. I find that mine can do maybe 2 hours of book work a day before they go crazy. (My son can only do about an hour and a half most days.) I don't like to push them at this early age to do more because they are still at the age that school is fun. I don't want to ruin that by over-scheduling them.

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As for llatl,... First of all i love the idea of the program and its natural approach. I've read a lot of reviews, and most people who dislike it said that it was too redundant to kindergarten year and their child was too advanced for the program. This is the reason I thought it may be more appropriate for k, even with it being listed for 1st grade. (apparently it starts at phonics from the basics?) I've seen people using it for k also, hopefully someone has tried it and will have some advice on which way to go. I was also considering sonlight LA.

 

I used LLATL Blue for K last year. DS liked it but we didn't get as far as I would have liked. We had to slow down because he simply wasn't ready to read yet. We had issues with learning the site words. So I also used OPGTR. Personally I wouldn't suggest a friend use LLATL. It was ok. But I did not like the handwriting and I didn't feel that the phonics instruction was clear enough. So I often jumped into OPGTR to teach the phonics and used LLATL for activities around the phonics. It was too much piecing together.

 

I think LLATL moves too slow for 1st so I decided to use CLE LTR this year. It's a better fit for us overall.

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Maybe you want to look at LLATL red book? That seems more of a K choice to me because it teaches phonics. .

 

Blue teaches phonics. Red is supposed to follow Blue level and finishes off phonics instruction. I would say a child can jump into Red if they can read Frog and Toad on their own. We used Red level for the second half of 1st grade.

Edited by jannylynn
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Either 4/5 or A can be great for a Kindergarten year. We used the old Pre-K version which has a lot of the same books, and we read many of those for years to come, just for fun. If your son is used to being read to a lot, and if he enjoys chapter books with few or no pictures already, then you might want to go ahead with A. If not, then try out P4/5.

 

HTH! Merry :-)

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  • 8 months later...
We are using Artistic Pursuits for K. I have found that my son would prefer to just do art projects and to paint more. However, we do try to do Artistic Pursuits a couple of times a month. The first few lessons aren't very exciting, but they get much better! I think it is fine to do for K, especially if your child is artistically inclined!

 

We really like AP, but I'd save book 1 to do with SOTW 1 (if you're planning on that for 1st) as the art, particularly at the end of the book, goes with the History rotation.

 

If you want fun projects and painting and more freedom, you might consider the PreK book instead. It is a lot of fun and has ideas for literature extensions and fingerpainting and clay and uses regular Crayola art supplies.

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We did P4/5 for Sonlight and I was worried about it being too easy, we love loved all the books. We still talk about them 2 years later :) It was not baby books at all. My friend did A with her K daughter and she wasn't mature enough for many of the books and wish she had done P4/5, now she is holding off a year for the core level she's at for next year (D) because she is waiting for her to mature into that level?? We aren't that far, lol. We didn't do core A becuase I've heard mixed reviews on it.

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Also I didn't enjoy SP EB at all, it was confusing, written mroe for a classroom and put us behind. We switched before midyear in K grade to RSA and minus it being hard with a baby, he did much better. For K next year we will do a different math for sure. EB is still on our shelf and every time I look through it I feel the same way about it and my K Saxon book, lol. I think those are my two least favorite math programs. :blushing:

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  • 2 months later...
Guest jeffandjenplus10

We have 10 homeschooled children and the youngest is turning 5 this year (kindergarten). My "plan" for him this year? Read aloud and continue to teach him to love God and others. Yep, that's basically it and I know from experience that he will be just fine!

 

My advice is to keep it very simple and try not to make a huge shift from just living life alongside your child and encouraging them as they interact with the world and learn as they go. In other words, don't get too "schooly" and kill their natural love of learning!

 

We have LOVED they Sonlight books, especially in the early years. I would HIGHLY recommend going with the 3/4 or 4/5 and NOT moving ahead to A yet. You don't want to miss the great books in 3/4 and 4/5 and you also don't want to get to C and D too soon. I know it is tempting to want to be "ahead," but really you just end up missing out on what is more appropriately directed toward their interests and abilities. Even our older children still love it when we pull out the 3/4 and 4/5 books each year to read aloud!

 

You could actually just read the SL 4/5 and play simple board games like Monopoly Jr. and Yahtzee and card games and counting games and DO math and skip the workbooks altogether. Same for handwriting unless you have a child who REALLY wants to write and is already doing a lot of writing letters and such. Otherwise, keep it simple and low key and let interest and what comes up in daily life lead the way!

 

As far as the art and Spanish lessons go, RS is definitely geared for a bit older, but if your child likes the computer lessons and you have the time, go for it. Art lessons tend to frustrate the younger children. I'd get some great art supplies and keep them handy to pull out on rainy days: paper, Prismacolor pencils and pens, great playdough, maybe some felting materials, glue, scissors, watercolor paints, and a fun supply of stickers. I'd aim for "electives" that are just interesting for your family and, again, not "schooly."

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My only .02 is to use the Singapore Essentials! So much better IMO for homeschooling than the Earlybird. My daughter loves it.

 

:iagree: Essentials is much better than Earlybird IMHO.

 

I've used P4/5 twice for K now and it made for a great K year. It adds the fun to our lineup.

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We loved both of those Sonlight cores. Consider his attention span. Core 4/5 may seem too easy, but some of the books in A/1 are long and better enjoyed by 1st graders.

 

I haven't seen Singapore Essentials, but we must be the lone family that LOVED Earlybird.

 

 

Have a great year!

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I would keep it simple. Focus on learning to read, learning handwriting, learning a little math and use the library for the rest. It being your and your child's first year, it is better to start slow than to overwhelm.

 

:iagree: K is a LOT about developing the maturity and attention rather than intellect, especially at the start. IMO if you fill your time with play, music, and games you can later start adding in more content (subjects). If you start by expecting too much "seat time" you can set yourself up for months of work just undoing the damage to ds's attitude. Above all, dc should LOVE doing learning in K. That won't always be true -- let's face it, not all learning is fun and even a 1st grader knows they have to suck it up sometimes and Just Do It -- but the K'r won't and shouldn't be expected to. Sure, sometimes a little bribery (we can do X after you finish Y) works, but you shouldn't face many tears or resistance in K. If you do you probably need to back off. ;)

 

Keep in mind, K may be 30 min a day total of lesson time to start to 60-90min by the end. You may only have a 5-10min attention span to work with at the start. Even adults only *really* have a 10min attention span (have to recommit ever 10min). Good luck and have fun!

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Even a year old, I think this thread is fabulous. I'm starting homeschooling this fall with my rising K'er and was considering many of the same curriculum choices. I know I have over bought and over scheduled, so this is really helpful advice to me about backing off and letting kindergarten be fun. Luckily I was Barnes and Noble yesterday and they had art supplies and craft kits on clearance, so we should have lots of fun time. And my sister pre-ordered the Magic School bus DVDs for him, so there's science for a year! :D

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I would hold off on foreign language if it was me, but that is up to you. Keep it simple!!

 

I love, love, loved the p4/5 core and we are doing it with my K son again this year and I still look foreword to it!!

 

Singapore math was a huge flop and was hard to understand IMO. I switched to right start math and we loved it, but it was time consuming. He flew through the workbooks and still didn't understand math so it was a wasted year on our part :(

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As for llatl,... First of all i love the idea of the program and its natural approach. I've read a lot of reviews, and most people who dislike it said that it was too redundant to kindergarten year and their child was too advanced for the program. This is the reason I thought it may be more appropriate for k, even with it being listed for 1st grade. (apparently it starts at phonics from the basics?) I've seen people using it for k also, hopefully someone has tried it and will have some advice on which way to go. I was also considering sonlight LA.

 

I agree - I was looking at the blue book last night and thought my K'er was way past it -she reads at a 1st grade level. The blue book is about learning sounds and learning to blend -it doesn't seem like 1st grade to me at all. I took a look at the second book and that seems more first gradeish -it starts to introduce nouns and such. If I were using it I would use each level a year ealier then they recommend.

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