Homeschool Curriculum for Kindergarten…Our Choices!

After fretting over it for a few days, going back and forth, and praying that we would make the right decisions, here are our top choices for a kindergarten curriculum (for our daughter. Everyone will be different, and that’s ok 🙂 )

In our state, the following subjects are mandatory: English, math, science, social studies, art, music, health, and physical education. That’s a lot to pack into a day (although I know that we don’t have to do *every* subject *every* day.) I also want to make Bible studies, character building, and foreign language a part of our learning. The next step will be to figure out how to do that! For now, here are our choices and what we will be working with this school year:

http://www.timberdoodle.com/Complete_Homeschool_Core_Curriculum_Kindergarten_p/999-0050.htm Yes, we chose Timberdoodle over Sonlight. The fun, hands-on learning is something that I know my daughter is going to absolutely love, and we had to let that weigh heaviest in our decision. What is going to make her *want* to learn and *do school* every day? This curriculum seems to be one that she’ll be learning while she thinks she’s playing and having fun. Really, it would’ve been a no-brainer had my heart not been so committed to the Sonlight readers…

http://www.sonlight.com/AA5.html So I got the readers, too! I want my daughter to be hearing wonderful literature! I want her to enjoy reading good books! So I shopped around and pieced together all of the books in this read-aloud package from Sonlight. The downside is that I don’t have the instructor’s guide to go with the books so we’ll be on our own for a reading schedule and comprehension questions. But I couldn’t see spending the almost $80 dollars just for that. I did purchase a few of the read-alouds from them, as well as other items from Sonlight:
-Least of All (read-aloud)
-The Usborne book of Living Long Ago
-The Usborne Book of Wild Places: Mountains, Jungles, & Deserts
-Sing the Word from A to Z (CD)
-How Flowers Grow
-Weather
-No Children, No Pets (read-aloud)
-Five True Dog Stories (read-aloud)
-Johnny Appleseed (read-aloud)
-The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose (read-aloud)

-Art. Along with the art provided in the Timberdoodle curriculum, I purchased the Sonlight suggested book Enjoying Art With Children by Gladys S. Blizzard. I shopped it and found it cheaper elsewhere.

-Music. https://www.mfwbooks.com/L0A7F4F0686178501E152061+M50+ENG Say Hello to Classical Music from My Father’s World. This looks fun and simple. The instructor’s guide is included on the cd. I think this will be enough music to take us through the year. If not, I will also purchase the kindergarten program from lessonplansformusic.net

-Health. Are we the only state that requires a health course to be taught in kindergarten? I think I found only two major K level health programs in all of my searching. I will be using the Horizons Health set (by necessity, not choice), and adding a book I found through Sonlight: The Story of Me by Brenna and Stan Jones.

-Physical Education. My daughter participates in activities outside the home that fulfill this requirement. But if I were to *need* curriculum, we would definitely be doing the program at Familytimefitness.com http://www.familytimefitness.com/

-Bible. The most important part of the day. We will be using the Bible Study Guide for All Ages Beginner Starter Pack. http://biblestudyguide.com/shop/index.php?cPath=16_56 . I’ve let my daughter look through this and she seemed very interested. I’m so thankful that she has such an interest in the word of God and loves our time spent together reading His word. We’ll begin our days with this, and end them with the book Leading Little Ones to God: A Child’s Book of Bible Teachings by Marian M. Schoolland. We’ll also have the Sonlight sing-along CD that I posted above to help us with our memory verses.

-Character building. https://www.abeka.com/ABekaOnline/BookDescription.aspx?sbn=202061 Homeschool Character Development Visuals from A Beka. Simple and sweet.

-Foreign Language. My daughter has a desire-just like her momma-to learn foreign languages. She has expressed a desire to learn how to speak Spanish, so we will be watching Salsa on the Georgia Public Broadcasting website, as well as going through the La Clase Divertida http://www.funclase.com/Level-1-Spanish-s/1817.htm program.

Whew! Think that’s enough! As soon as we get our package from Timberdoodle I can sit down and figure out how we will schedule our days. (Which reminds me, I chose to purchase a homeschool planner from Mardel.com rather than having the headache of trying to figure out what to include in my own–at least this first time around, lol) I’m wondering how quickly (or slowly) we’ll get through things, as my daughter is already reading and doing a great deal of the things that I’ve read are taught in kindergarten. It will be a challenge, but I’m excited and ready for it!

***I’ve tried to include links to all of the websites, but they don’t seem to be showing up. It’s late, and I’m not techno-savvy, so I’ll try to edit this and fix it later.

Homeschool Curriculum…Choices, Choices….

It has been like Christmas in July around our house this week! Packages have been arriving nearly every day containing loads of goodies for our homeschool!

I’m not a momma who has been looking into homeschool curriculum from the time I was knee-high to a jelly bean, but when someone told me about the Sonlight curriculum, I was sold. That was a year ago–maybe two–, and that was the plan should the possibility ever arise. I, like many, love the idea of a literature based curriculum. Love it. But when the time came for me to actually purchase curriculum, I wanted to see what else was out there so that I could be sure I was making the best choices for our little princess.

Wow, there are A LOT of homeschool curriculum choices out there!

Here’s what I knew:
-Because I’m new to all of this, I wanted something comprehensive. I didn’t want to have to create my own curriculum. What if I miss something important???!!! :S :S :S
-I wanted a curriculum that will help us to best schedule our days. I wanted instructor guides to tell me what to do and when to do it!
-I wanted something that would be fun! It’s really important to my husband and I that this first year of schooling for our princess is fun, engaging, and a time that is going to help foster a love of learning in our daughter.

I was nearly ready to order the Core A Kindergarten Curriculum from Sonlight when I came across a post on facebook. A mom was asking about a curriculum for her daughter that was pretty much everything I was looking for. That’s when I heard the name Timberdoodle. As soon as I saw all that it had to offer I was torn. It looked like so much FUN! I knew my daughter would love it. But my heart also longed for the read-aloud time that Sonlight offered. What to do?

I talked it over with the hubby. And what we did…I’ll tell you in the next post 😉

New Beginnings!

So……..our family is about to set off upon a new journey that I am very excited about! We’re homeschooling!

This blog is going to help serve as a record of our journey. I hope that I’m able to keep up with it.

My hubby and I have been blessed with one thoughtful, caring, beautiful, amazing, talented, spunky, full of laughter and life daughter. It wasn’t our plan to only have one child, but (try as we might), that’s just the way it is. Homeschooling my children has always been my dream. Not so much with my hubby. (You know, socialization and all…)

So how did we find ourselves here on the brink of such an undertaking???

Basically, our schools are over-crowded. Because of funding cuts, schools have recently been closed which has resulted in doubling the student population and putting a great stress on both teachers and students. There’s not enough room! Some teachers don’t have classrooms. Students are crammed in like sardines. It’s just not a good situation, so hubby agreed to let me homeschool our princess for her first year of *real* school. (“It’s only kindergarten, what could it hurt?”) He said that we’d re-evaluate next year if steps are taken to fix these problems. So here we are.

I’m excited and thankful for this opportunity! Optimistic, even 🙂 I’m praying that God will be with us and lead us every step of the way, and that He’ll help us to make the very best decisions for this precious gift that He has given us.

I have more to write, but other obligations are calling my name at the moment so I’d better scoot. Hope to write again soon!