2014 – 2015 Curriculum

I have taken an extended break from posting, wrapping up an especially tiring pregnancy and adjusting to life as a mother of four (yes, four!) children. 

We have maintained a light school schedule through all of the new baby chaos, focusing on Math and Spelling, and a little Science for good measure. But I have been in full planning mode, getting ready for the Fall term, and I figured our curriculum plan for the new school year would be the perfect first post after my hiatus.

Though we do school year round, I typically “promote” at the end of Spring. We spend our summer keeping up with Math and Language Arts, and then move into our full schedule in the Fall. 

I’m excited for this new school year! Kyri is becoming more independent in her school work, which frees up time to work on early preschool material with Ender.  We’ve changed our Science and History curriculum for this year, and I’ll be posting more details on both as we get into them in the coming weeks. 

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Kyriandra – 3rd grade (age 7)

Math

**we switched to Saxon 5/4 middle of this past year, and will continue.
 
 
 
Language Arts
 
 
 
Science
 ** we switched to a new curriculum late Spring. This year’s focus will be on Chemistry!
 
 
Supplemental Texts:
 
 
History – U.S History
 **we have opted to take a break from the Story of the World sequence, and this year we will be focusing on American History.
 
 
Geography
 
 
Hebrew
 **we will be continuing our study of Hebrew this year, with mastery of the alef bet (recognition and writing) as well as some basic vocabulary and phrases.
 
 
Health and Wellness
 ** we will continue focusing on maintaining our health and wellness through preparing wholesome foods as well natural products for health and home. We will incorporate running and hiking, as well as healthy cooking, into our weekly schedule.
 
 
Bible
 ** we are continuing to read and discuss Old and New Testament scripture and history with Bible Road Trip, as well as work on scripture memorization and building character through participation with AWANA. 
 
 
Art
 ** we are taking a more relaxed approach to Art Appreciation, exploring well-known works of art and having some fun with art projects inspired by these pieces.
 
 
 

Ender – Early Preschool (age 3)

 
**Ender enjoys practicing his ABCs and 123s, and so we will be using content from LotW to work on letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Excellent reading selections, including those listed in Before Five in a Row, will be a large part of our weekly schedule.
 
 
 

 

Gearing Up for Early Preschool

My big guy turns 3 this summer – I can’t believe it!

In the past several months, E’s vocabulary has just exploded. We’ve come a LONG way since struggling to get more than a handful of words out of him.

He has really started showing an interest in reading books together, and in the past month, he has even learned to recognize several letters. I was honestly a little surprised when he started pointing at letters on my shirts and trying to name them.

In addition, just in the past week or so, he has started counting objects. He can distinguish between one and two items.

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Our plan has been to start some early preschool content this summer after the new baby arrives. I want to spend the next couple of months getting materials prepared ahead of time so that I don’t have anything to prepare or plan while tending to a newborn and an 18-month-old.

I love the Letter of the Week concept. Our local library branch does an ABC club each week, and plans stories, crafts and activities that focus on one particular letter. I have also seen a ton of ideas, as well as curriculum variations, online. If you follow me on Pinterest, I’ve been pinning ideas to incorporate into our preschool.

I have been putting together a list of materials to prepare and hope to have a full year of Letter of the Week prepared. I will also be introducing more computer and app time, and of course lots of reading!

Confessions of a Homeschooler: Letter of the Week This is a wonderful resource with many printables available. All are free on the website, or can be purchased as a bundle.

Brightly Beaming: Letter of the Week Wonderful book and activity suggestions for each letter.

ABC Jesus Loves Me: Preschool Curriculum Wonderful activities, printables and ideas. Can be purchased as a bound curriculum or available free from the website.

No Time For Flashcards Lots of printables, theme and craft ideas, book suggestions.

Starfall  Lots of online content. Songs, stories, letters, and numbers. And they are transitioning to being ipad friendly!

Before Five in a Row Not a letter of the week program, but great activities to go along with wonderful reading selections.

Preparing for our second homeschooler has really solidified our identity as a homeschool family. This is a lifestyle we have chosen to embrace and I am loving it! I am so excited to start preschool with Ender!

10 Little Caterpillars: September Virtual Book Club

We have been reading A LOT of books to Ender as part of his early preschool. At 2 1/2  years old,  lots of colorful, engaging books, along with plenty of messy crafts, make for an excellent early preschool curriculum.

I have really been looking forward to participating in the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month we have focused on several wonderful selections by Bill Martin Jr., the September book club author.
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? Board Book
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? Board Book (World of Eric Carle)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Ten Little Caterpillars

I decided to plan a craft day for just one of our reading selections (and it was a tough choice!). I cut out 10 caterpillar shapes from white card stock. I free hand drew one and then used it as a template for the remaining caterpillars. This wasn’t really a work of art, I just kind of sketched something that resembled a mix between a jellybean and an oval, approximately 6 – 7 inches long.

I then cut thin strips from various colored paper. I also used a hole punch to make a pile of little dots to be used to decorate the caterpillars. Then I let the kids have at it, saving only one caterpillar for myself. Ender is still getting the hang of the whole “glue stick” thing, so we did end up with paper glued to the table as well as his hands, but he had a blast! I finished each caterpillar with a small eye drawn in with a black marker.

After our caterpillars were finished, I attached small craft sticks to each one to turn them into puppets. We then read through 10 Little Caterpillars several times, using our caterpillar puppets to interact with the gorgeous scenes in the book.

We have read this book quite often since getting it from the library, and it is one of Ender’s favorites – he loves pointing out the caterpillars and other small creatures on each page. Letting him interact with the book using the caterpillar puppets totally made his day!

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Starting Out Wild

Ender is almost two years old, and since it appears we are going to be a homeschooling family for the foreseeable future, I have been giving a lot of thought to early preschool activities. Ender is our sidekick, so its not that he isn’t getting exposed to learning, but I wanted to find activities specifically geared to his age for a change. I’m starting to pull together resources for him, and will share this in a later post.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that we have participated in Growing Up Wild with several fellow homeschoolers. Growing Up Wild is a nature studies curriculum that is targeted to kids ages 3 – 7. Well, Growing Up Wild is also offered monthly through the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, and just this past month they started offering Starting Out Wild.

Starting Up Wild uses the Growing Up Wild curriculum, but targets kids ages 1 – 3. Activities are kept simple and age appropriate. This week we had the chance to take part (we missed last month because the response was overwhelming and there weren’t enough spots) and we had a really fun time! This month’s topic was Spiders. There were stories, crafts and a short nature walk to find spiders and spider webs.

Ender was a little shy, but he really seemed to enjoy the nature walk. Even though Kyri was a bit older than the other participants, she was able to take part too. I think this will be a wonderful program for Ender – it is nice planning activities that are geared toward his age group for a change.

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