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science/social studies/etc for Kindergarten


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I am gearing up to start K in the summer with my oldest, who will be 5 in the spring. We are already working on OPGTTR (gently, just doing the first few lessons and making sure he really gets them for now). We will also be doing MUS primer and ARFH K. I'm looking for something...I don't know what. Something gentle, literature based for science/social studies/geography/intro to the world around us...but I don't know what.


I've looked at FIAR and Sonlight Core. Kind of wishy-washy about both. Other ideas? I'm not an experienced HS'er, so I'm not comfortable just getting lots of library books without some guidance.

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I have both. I love the activities in FIAR, but it just seems to scattered. Organizing by country seems to make me more comfortable with it.


If you get Sonlight, don't get the language arts, and do get the arts supplement. I can't remember who sells that - it is somebody separate - but it is great!

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I thought the same thing about FIAR when I first looked into it. I had kind of written it off until I came across it on sale for $2 at a local bookstore. I picked it up and I am so glad I did. It is fun and easy to pick and choose from. Plus there are so many great blog posts and ideas out there to expand on it.

Here are some photo blogs posts from some of our Fiar activities. It might help to see it in action... so to speak.

Maybe some others can post links to theirs as well so you can see the diversity of it.

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A lot of people use Sonlight P4/5 for K. It is picture books. That was on my short list for DS2 (as was FIAR). He's doing MFW K, sort of. I'm mostly using it as a book list at this point, as I've decided that I just can't go by anyone else's schedule. :lol: He's learned a lot of science so far, and I've been relatively pleased with it. Honestly, I'm not worried too much about what he learns in those subjects in K.


Keep in mind that the science and social studies taught in school is VERY little, and your child has probably learned all of it just by talking with you about the world around him. :) The type of social studies they do in school is things like "community helpers" (policemen, firemen, etc.) and "what is a neighborhood". In science, they do the water cycle and talk a tiny bit about hibernation. It's very high level and basic. Really, picking random books from the library on topics that interest your child would be teaching him more than what he'd learn in school on those topics. They focus most of their time on reading and writing in K (my son went to private school for K and half of 1st, so I'm talking about what his school did, which was inline with what public schools typically do around here).


You could spend the K year just doing the 3Rs and random library books and be just fine. If you're wanting to do a WTM-style education, history and science instruction really start in 1st grade.

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For K, used the book What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know from the Core Knowledge series. We covered all the poems, stories, and fables for lit. We memorized poems and added more fables for fun. For the geography, history, and science sections I just added library books on his reading level. We sat and read them together until he could read silently, then he would read and come tell me about the book. We did separate math from that book. It was a cheap and easy way to do kindergarten. I had to use the library, bit I would stock up on books for a few weeks worth of topics.

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If you go with Sonlight, definitely do P4/5 for kindergarten and Core A for 1st grade. I used those with my kids in kindergarten & 1st grade and they were wonderful. I had a couple of friends who used Core A (which used to be called K, very confusing) for kindergarten and they hated it. Way too much for a 5 year old.


The Developing the Early Learner workbooks that come with SL P4/5 are excellent. Definitely show you your child's strengths and weaknesses, and they gradually increase in difficulty over the year. Great for teaching the concept of "following directions," which is a key kindergarten-level skill.

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I keep K pretty simple. For my current K'er, our plans are:


Literature: Simply Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Book Lists

Phonics/Reading: Explode the Code 1 and 2, BOB Books, Starfall

Handwriting: D'Nealian Handwriting Book K (changed from Getty Dubay)

Math: Finish MEP Reception 1/4 way in and then Horizons K

Science: Nature Study

Art/Art Study: Learning to Draw, the 'Katie' series, and ColorMe Masterpieces


I am pretty sure I am going to add in Expedition Earth halfway through (so I can combined kids) for social studies.


I really looked at Sonlight P4/5 but in the end, the bad reviews outweighed the good for us. The idea of the "choppiness" scared me. With FIAR, the monotony of the same book for 5 days would not have flown in this house and two of my three kids were far above the LA and Math so I would have had to add it in anyhow.

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For K, used the book What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know from the Core Knowledge series.


We just started using this too and we are really liking it. We haven't been getting many library books because the information in the book seems to satisfy him right now. I really like that we can just cover everything in this one book and know that we are pretty good for the year.

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First of all, I love the SL P3/4 and P4/5 for K. I have a DS5 and DD4 and they have loved all of the books. I didn't buy the cores. I just bought most of the books used from sellers on here. They are great books.


We started out taking a year to take a trip around the world spending 1-2 months on each continent. This quickly turned into a unit study approach.


Here are my core books I am using for all 7 continents:


National Geographic Kid's World Atlas (along with a globe and some large laminated maps from Geomatters)

Around the World Art and Activities

Encyclopedia of Animals

Children Around the World

Around the World in 80 Tales

Wee Sing Around the World

Stories from Around the World


We have done North America. We are just finishing up a second unit study on the solar system. I have decided to do unit studies for early elementary because my kids have learned so much from them. While they aren't hard to do on your own (we mostly have a few spines and then get library books on the different topics), you can buy them already mostly done for you. I have the first two volumes of KONOS that I got very cheap. While I like them, they aren't literature based like I like. I will have to do a lot of supplementing there, but I plan to use some of them. There are tons of great unit studies on CurrClick. They are having a huge sale right now. Also, Amanda Bennett Unit Studies are great. I also recommend Galloping the Globe if you don't want to do it yourself. It is very good.


Honestly, I have come to believe that K is a time to learn basics and have a lot of fun learning about things that interest your DC. My daughter LOVES princesses so I am sure I will work something out around that when she is in K. Just enjoy it! This time really does fly by!

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  • 1 month later...

Not sure whether you're still looking, but I discovered this for my DD, who is 4.5 years old. I'm usually not a fan of Scholastic resources, but I think this one will be perfect for her. I'm eager to start it in a week or so. (Gotta collect some books.)


0439567211.jpg Nonfiction Literacy-Building Booklets & Activities


Grades K–1 $21.99


You can view the entire contents at the link above. I plan on skipping pretty much the first half of the table of contents, but there is still plenty left within the second half. Each lesson comes with a book recommendation or two (hope you have a good library), age-appropriate activity and more.


I plan on doing a lesson or two per week, including lessons for specific holidays. :001_smile:

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