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Our Curriculum For Kinder

March 5, 2015

I keep answering this question in private messages on Facebook so I figured if I wrote one blog post it would be easier to link to.

For preschool, my kids learned their alphabet and alphabet sounds from watching The Letter Factory.  I’m not saying every kid can utilize this in place of preschool alphabet learning… but mine certainly did.  Thaddeus watches it daily and after two weeks so can identify about half of his letters and is making the sounds although they are wrong most of the time. Evie learned all her letters and letter sounds in 2 weeks after watching it at 22 months old.

I also did a lot of tot tray activities that you can look up on pinterest. Sensory bins, stamping, painting and coloring.  Add in some block play and good quality puzzle time and you’ve got a pretty good preschool experience.

The spring/summer before I knew we were going to start real kinder learning, I started with the kumon books.  Keep in mind my children had 0 letter writing experience before this. I mean none. Rett was taught to write his name with ABA and Evie just started writing letters herself. I thought this was going to be a sore subject with my kids so I avoided it like the plague.  My plan was that I would get Rett into OT and they would help me make it more pleasant and keep me from screwing up his attitude towards writing.

Rett started OT and they helped teach me how to guide him in correct pencil grip.  Using their techniques, we started with Kumon Mazes. These books work on pencil grip and control.  It teaches them to make straight lines, diagonal lines and circular lines all while completing fun mazes.  They don’t realize they are even practicing for writing.  We also did the Kumon cutting book.  They had had no formal scissor use up to this point. OT taught me the ‘when you cut, your thumb goes up!’ song and using that and showing them how to hold and move the paper around, we got through that book also. By now I was in love with Kumon.  With bright, colorful and fun activities that gradually got harder, the program was absolutely perfect for getting my kids ready for Kindergarten. I also loved that the letter formations were numbered. There were dots to start and stars where you end. I do not for one moment regret holding off on handwriting.  I believe that if I had started at 3 or 4, Rett would have been so burnt out by now when his brain and fine motor is really ready to start forming letters and it would have been a huge battle. I know not every child is like this, but for Rett this was the best choice.

For kindergarten,  we started a few Kumon book series.  You complete one book and then move on to the next step.  So we started with capitals and lowercase letters.  This would lead into their early reading program while the kids practice handwriting skills. I also started the numbers 1-30 which would lead into their math program.  After we finished that we did numbers 1-120

Currently using:

Reading

Saxon Phonics Kindergarten

This is our phonics portion of reading. It is very repetitive and stair step for adding phonemic awareness, sounding out and reading words.  It works on letter identification, letter sounds, rhyming, identify beginning/middle and ending sounds, hearing letters within blends and blending words.

Kumon My Book of Rhyming Words   

This book is less about learning how to rhyme and more about learning to read CVC words.

Spectrum Sight Words

I actually am not very impressed with the activities in this book but I use it as a guide for which sight words to work on each week.  It usually has you introduce 2 or 3 and then it has a review week  I skip the review week. Once I have my sight words for the week, I pull the cards from my sight word level 1  level 2 and level 3  decks.   Along with those I own the first words deck and action words.

I use index cards to write the sight words on along with my action and first words and make up sentences that are repetitive to put in our pocket chart.   Each week I save the index cards in a big bag to reuse them in my new sentences. I try to focus on past words that they are having issues reading along with the new sight words for the week.Here are some examples:

kindergarten14

kindergarten11

kindergarten7

On Monday, I read the sentences and they echo after me. On Tuesday, they take turns reading the sentences. On Wednesday, I take out all the words and the kids rebuild the sentences themselves.  Sometimes I will tell them to go find me a ‘can’, etc.  I found this idea on another homeschooling mom’s blog and I cannot find it again to link to but I am so thankful she shared this because it is a HUGE component to our reading program.

I also pick an easy reader each week. Right now we’re working through the biscuit books. The first two days, I read and they echo.  Then after that they are pretty much ready to take turns reading the story. We read the same new book every day all week long.  Before we do the biscuit book, they each get a turn to pick a book from the past to take turn reading also. So each day we read 3 easy readers.

Math

Saxon Math Kindergarten  This program is also very repetitive and stair step. There are no worksheets, instead it is daily hands on math number sense and graphing activities.  The children are very engaged and they are very quick.  Works on patterning, counting, number identification, graphing, reading a graph, ordinal numbers, calendar skills.

if you don’t have a ton of math manipulatives, you’ll need this kit

DK Math Made Easy Kindergarten We use this workbook everyday and do a couple of pages.

On top of those two main components, I print off a ton of pinterest activities for ten frames, dice games, tally marks, graphing, addition and subtraction.

Kumon My First Book of Telling Time

Kumon My Book of Easy Addition

Writing

As of right now, we are just using this paper and the children draw a picture and then I help them write a sentence or two about what they drew.

Kumon My First Book of Drawing

Science/Geography

DK Science Kindergarten Using this as a guide for introducing topics but you definitely need to pinterest a lot of additional activities on top of gathering library materials or movies to really teach about topics. It will have 1 page on plants, then move on to another topic.

DK Geography  This title hasn’t been released yet but I am planning on purchasing. I’m assuming its going to be a lot like the science book.

So that is it! As we add more things, I’ll update this post!

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