Saturday, August 30, 2014

Curriculum Choices 2014-2015

Since Little Man is officially in "preschool" now, I figured I'd better figure out what we are doing. Since we are still "unofficially" homeschooling, as there are no regulations on preschool (yet), I figured I'd better assess Little Man FIRST and see what he can do. I found a GREAT kindergarten assessment (link will be at the bottom). We've pretty much gone through it and there are a few things that we haven't touched on in the Language Arts part and he can pretty much do just about ALL of the math. So technically, "preschool" is more like "fill in the kindergarten gaps"! (Gotta love an intellectually gifted child!)

So the plan this year is to do "playschool" about 3 to 4 times a week. We will ALWAYS have at least one day off, if not two or on occasion three. I don't want to overwhelm him, as I have no clue as to what is going to happen when he finally enters school in the fall of 2015. I don't know if the school will keep him in kindergarten or contemplate moving him up. We will just have to wait and see.

So what are we doing this year? Well, I plan to do "Interactive Notebooks" with him instead of a bunch of worksheets for everything. Not to mention, all the "Pre-K/K" packs are too easy for him. We have 4 Notebooks: Math, Spelling, Science, and Writing.

Math: I'm going to be using some of Easy Peasy's Math 1, but otherwise, I'm just going to fill in gaps. We'll do addition and subtraction, skip counting, even and odd, time, money, shapes, graphing. I'm going to be using Pinterest a lot to find pages for us to do.

Spelling: We are using K12 Reader's first grade spelling words. We more than likely won't get through all the lists. The intent isn't so much that Little Man learns to spell them, as they are primarily word family based, but that he works on his handwriting.

Science: We've been doing science for a while now, but I decided since we're not really focusing on a specific "grade" so-to-speak, that we would come back and do some science. So this allows us to finish some things we didn't get to last year and also allows me to do some fun things with him. I'll be looking primarily at kindergarten based "units" of science.

Handwriting: I managed to snag a free handwriting download from The Moffatt Girls. So we are using that for letters. And I am going back to the way the letters are formed and not going in alphabetical order. So essentially, they start easy and get more difficult for him. Little Man also still has reversals with his numbers, so we are using a few different sites for those pages. We'll do one number a week and then come back if he still has problems after 9 weeks.

Writing: We started a journal not too long ago. But we're going to be focusing on some prompt based writing, some interactive (shared pen) writing, and some free writing. I'm trying to get him to write FIRST then draw, but sometimes we may go the other way. We are going to be working on sentences.

Reading: We're not really going to have a reading curriculum, as he can already read at about a 2nd grade level. Instead, we'll read some classic literature. Maybe do some kindergarten literature units. We'll also work on comprehension with K12 Reader's comprehension pages. They tie into the spelling of the week, so that will work well together.We will also be hopefully attending the library's story time every Friday.

Bible: We'll be using Easy Peasy's Old Testament curriculum. We're only going to be doing it maybe twice a week and will be reading the stories out of the NIrV. It starts with New Testament, but we will get to Old Testament once we get through the Gospel of Matthew.

Review: Right now, we are still working through the K-1 Summer Bridge book. We are into "month three." We will do one side of a page each day or two, it just depends. This is just to keep Little Man fresh on things that we may not cover every day.

Socialization: This is our MAIN focus. One of the reasons I haven't put Little Man into an official preschool is because of his intellectual/verbal gifts. I KNOW he would be bored with the curriculum of learning shapes and colors and letter ID and sounds. The biggest thing he needs is socialization. So, instead, I have opted to put him into "Tot Time" through the recreation department in town every couple of months. It is for 3-5 year olds. There's some structure similar to preschool. It's twice a week for 2.5 hours. So essentially the same amount of time a kid would be in preschool. It's about half the cost of a traditional preschool, as well. Little Man will also be trying "Tot-nastics." I figured this might be a good way for him to do all that "climbing/falling" off the couch he's been doing lately in a safe environment. There was a 3 week program, so I signed him up for that one, in case he hates it. He's also got Rainbows on Wednesday nights, plus every other week, he'll be doing Sunday School at church. And when he's not in "Tot Time," I've got a playgroup that he'll be attending. (It just happens to be the same time as "Tot Time," so when Little Man is there, it will just be Princess and I.)

So that is what we are planning to do this year. I was going to post this earlier, but I just now got around to doing it! I'll be posting about our first week in the next day or so.

Specific Links:
Mrs Ricca's Kindergarten (blog)
Kindergarten Assessment

Everyday Snapshots
Learn to Write Numbers (She's up to 7)

Confessions of a Homeschooler
Kindergarten Printables (We're using the 1-20 Writing Practice vol. 2)

The Moffatt Girls
A-Z Handwriting Pages (You have to like their Facebook Page to get to it)

The Measured Mom
Numbers of All Sizes (They're at the bottom underneath all the letters)
Teaching Journal Writing in Preschool (This is how we started our "Writing" Notebook.)

Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits (blog)
Journal and Folder Labels (I got the cute labels for our journals from this teacher's TPT store for free!)

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