As you know, school’s back in session at Home With My Kings. I wanted to share with you all the curriculum we’ve chosen to use this year. You may find something you’d like to use with your kiddos.
But First…A Brief Note on Paradigm Shift
Before I share the curriculum with you, I should let you in on a paradigm shift I recently discovered. Over the summer, as I was praying about this school year, I happened across Diane Lockman’s website Mom’s Course. This was such a God send for me; I will explain in more detail in a future post, however, simply put, this is how the mom’s course helped to change some of the ways I look at curriculum. Typically, we use the curriculum to determine what to teach, thereby feeling bound to follow it step by step. Paradigm shift: Think of curriculum as a means to an end. Instead, establish what areas (skills) you want your child to master and use the curriculum (sometimes any curriculum – library books count too) as a guide to achieve that mastery. She lays out a 15-18 week plan for each child, and assessments to check for mastery. Her approach, in her words, is “an authentic classical education”, in which skills are taught before formal subjects. If you’re currently looking into the classical approach or are heavily engaged in it and may be looking for another way, maybe with less rigor, you can try her mini-course for FREE. I thoroughly enjoy her blog, online community and workshops. She’s even helped me personally with my blog as well. She’s just the sweetest, most generous lady I’ve (n)ever met, at least not in person. 🙂 She wrote a book called Trivium Mastery, it’s worth the read. (Disclaimer: I’m not being compensated to share this info, just a little tip from my home to yours). Paradigm shift covered...now, back to the curriculum stuff.
No curriculum needed here…
Who needs curriculum in preschool! Not my little guy. I just try to focus on the skills he needs to be learning and utilize whatever games, songs, books and sometimes apps that help to reinforce it. His big bro’ is my assistant preschool teacher! Here’s the run down of skill sets we’re working on for the next 15-18 weeks. I tell you, he’s doing so well already. He’s an eager beaver preschooler, trying to keep up with his bigger brothers. How cute is that?
- Identifying colors, shapes, patterns
- Phonetic skills – sounds for each letter, identifying number of syllables, 1st and last letter sounds, rhyming words
- Math – identifying and counting to 20, counting by 10s, simple and concrete addition, classifying, puzzles, sorting
- Talking about the weather – what kind of day is it today?
- Memorizing a new prayer
- Calendar – memorizing days of the week, months of the year
- Concrete thinking skills – “if you did that, what might happen next?”, open-ended questions
- Paying attention to his natural developmental milestones – making note of any delays…(so far so good)!
- Pre-writing skills – using water, play dough, clay, wood letter pieces, dot to dot activities, tracing, writing in flour, or shaving cream
- Speech – speaking in full sentences, using proper manners
- Sensory bins
- Lots of cuddle-up reading time
We use several different resources not necessarily at the same time. We’ve been doing the two-year Bible reading plan. We use the additional resources when we’re delving in a little deeper, usually to answer any questions the kids may have or just to provide visuals, for e.g. maps, the Tabernacle, Solomon’s Temple.
- Day by Day Kids Bible (buy it here)
- The Amazing Expedition Bible (buy it here)
- Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines (buy it here)
- How the Bible Came to Us (buy it here)
- Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (buy it here)
- Math-U-See Alpha (buy it here)
Singapore Math (we’re spending the next few weeks on review and mastery) (buy it here)
See It, Say It, Show It (this is my own DIY curriculum). My multi-sensory learner ensures that my creative juices get a constant work out! Gotta love him, right? Therefore, a good portion of his Language Arts curriculum is created by me. This (See, Say, Show) is a new thing God gave me as I prayed over the summer. I let him see the letter or word by placing it on our velcro alphabet board, then he says the sound of the letter(s) or use the word in a sentence, next he shows it, either in clay, on the stamp and see screen or writes it on paper.
Phonics Road to Reading and Spelling (buy it here)
I just love this Language Arts curriculum!! It covers reading, writing and spelling all at once! So no need for separate curriculum. What a time and money saver! If you’ve ever heard about the Orton-Gillingham Method, then you’ll understand how this curriculum is structured (learn more). The bonus…while I’ve been teaching my sons, I’ve learnt so much about the English Language and the rules of spelling. After the Bible, this is my favorite resource for our homeschool.
Story Starters (buy it here)
I use this treasure for my aspiring writer because it helps to kick-start his storytelling. This one’s a keeper in our homeschool. It may even help me write better blog posts!
Try The World (DIY Unit Study) (buy it here)
Backstory: We were so BLESSED to receive a one-year gourmet food subscription as a gift from the boys’ uncle (he gives the most thoughtful gifts!). Every two months we get a new box with food from a specific country and an enclosed culture guide with recipes. I use this to create my own Unit Study approach to learning Geography using this Try The World Gourmet Food Box. I really want my kids to not just regurgitate geography facts (although facts are necessary such as knowing the 7 continents, bodies of water and so on). Additionally, I want them to experience it and since we don’t have a private jet to trapeze from country to country, then this food box helps to do just that! I have much more to share on how we did our Geography Unit Study using our food box. Stay tuned.
Book of Centuries (buy it here)
Right now for history, we’re simply working on seeing how events in history are connected. Therefore as we read our Bible or science books, or do geography we try to fill in our timelines so we can make the connections between different events in history.
Apologia Exploring Creation with Chemistry & Physics (buy it here)
I had an extensive review on this on my previous blog. I will repost it at some point, bear with me. For now, just know that I love Apologia! We’ve been working through Exploring Creation with Chemistry & Physics. It has tons of experiments in each lesson which the boys love.
Let me see, I think that covers it. Am I forgetting anything? Oh yes…
We’ll also be doing…
- Jr. FLL Lego League (STEM)
- Piano (tutor at our homeschool co-op)
- Art (drop-in classes with art tutor)
What’s your favorite curriculum thus far this school year?
**Feel free to email me if you have any questions about curriculum or leave a comment below**