Curriculum Choices for 2013-2014

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This year we are going to spend a lot of time soaking in good books, exploring nature, and applying our learning to real life (cooking, budgeting money, etc).  As far as traditional school time goes, I feel that my boys need to focus heavily on getting the basics down.  Most of Sam's academic focus will be on becoming a fluent reader and Max's main focus will be on handwriting and strengthening fine motor skills.  

For the most part, I am trying to teach the kids together this year.

Sam (2nd Grade)
Max (Kindergarten)
Corinne (Preschool)  


All About Learning Press suggests completing a given level All About Reading before moving on to the Spelling curriculum of the same level (for instance, complete AAReading level 1 before you begin AASpelling level 1).  But they compliment each other so well, I have decided to use them together this year for the boys.

Corinne will work on a little bit of Level Pre-1 (to expose her to the concept of rhyming and help in teaching her the letter sounds);  Max is working through Level 1;   Sam is working through Level 2 this year.

For Spelling, Max is working through Level 1 and Sam is working through Level 2.

Ready to Read (sight words and word families).
This is a fantastic hands-on {printable} supplemental program that has very much improved Sam's fluency and confidence!  I held off purchasing this for so long because of the cost, but I have to say it was worth every penny so far.  I have started using it with Max (age 5) and he absolutely loves it.  He needs to go very slow through each unit, but he's doing very well.
Max is working through level 1 and Sam is finishing up the second half of Level 2 and will then begin Level 3.



Delightful Handwriting 
I wanted a handwriting curriculum for Max (Kindergarten), but Sam needs practice with proper formation and pencil hold so he's doing a bit of it too.  I ask Corinne to try, but I don't push her if she's not interested.  I am making time in our school days to focus on fine motor skills (in a fun way) with all three kiddos.

Write Shop Primary (just Sam)

RightStart Level A (second edition)
Sam struggled with math last year, so I searched high and low for a math curriculum that might "click" with him. Level A is a little below grade level for him, but it is so much easier (and more cost effective) to teach the boys together and I really think it will benefit Sam to start at the beginning. (Please note that  it's not necessary to start at Level A if you are new to the program).  Corinne sits in on our lessons too.  I don't expect her to "get it," but I think it's wonderful exposure for her and she loves it!

Unit Studies

Five in a Row (several selections from Volumes 1, 2 , and 3)
I am so excited about using Five in a Row this year!  It will cover our Social Studies/Geography, Science, and Art this year as well as supplement our Reading and Math.  We will probably only row one book a month and try to use selections that compliment the season when possible.  I made a big list of potential unit study topics and included a list of seasonal FIAR selections from Volumes 1-3.  

(Mom-made) Seasonal and Interest-Led Thematic Units
We use the library, field trips, crafts, pretend play, and/or whatever resources I find online to explore seasonal themes and interest-led topics. I try to find a way to incorporate science and/or social studies and use supplemental activities to compliment what the kids are learning in reading, writing and math.  As I mentioned, I made a big list of themes to choose from, but will probably only explore a dozen or so of them. 

I would like to try to get in one field trip each month this year.  Here's a list of the field trips I have planned:

September:  Apple Orchard
October: "Peter and the Wolf" performance 
November:  Bakery
December: (none)
January:  ?
February:  Either Post Office or Chocolate factory
March:  Hospital 
April: Bank
May: Pond
June: Zoo

Our curriculum choices are a bit different than what I had planned around the end of last school year.  If you read What Does My Child Need to Learn?, you may notice a change in Sam's line-up.  I chose not to teach him cursive or grammar this year.  I've decided to simplify as much as possible this year and so far things are going ten times better than they were at the beginning of last year! :)  

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  1. We are starting All About Reading Level 1 soon and Writeshop. I'm pretty excited...probably start mid November.

    1. I know, starting new curriculum is exciting! Have fun!



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