Curriculum plans are one thing. We all make great plans, right?
But halfway through the year, what plans stick, and what plans fall by the wayside?
I’ve been posting my homeschool curriculum plans each year on the blog, but if you’ve been a follower for a little while, maybe you noticed I didn’t post our Kindergarten curriculum yet.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it actually looked almost exactly like our preschool curriculum plan. I learned during our preschool year that I was trying to do too much, too soon, especially with a two kids still in diapers, and one still nursing.
So how’s that curriculum plan working this year?
Reading! It’s the highest priority for many Kindergartens, and it was for ours, at least at first. We finished book 6 in the Jolly Phonics Activity Books, and that was a couple months ago. Aamina started to shy away from reading the more we talked about it, so I’ve left reading alone for a while.
The funny thing is, she hasn’t stopped learning to read or write. She picks up books on her own and decodes the words, along with asking about words on packaging and signs. She finds phrases on Star Fall or Reading Eggs and writes notes to family and friends. She’s kind of teaching herself how to read because she wants to know what’s going on in the world.
I do still plan to bring out the 7th, and last, activity book of Jolly Phonics because it introduces the most challenging blends, and we’ll see if she gobbles it up or pushes it aside.
For now, I’m not really worried because she’s clearly seeking it out.
I may officially be a Right Start Math fan girl at this point, but given we are only half way through Level A, I’m leaving some room open to not be fully committed to that.
So why do I love Right Start Math so much?
The introduction to number sense in Right Start Math is incredible. Some of the lessons seem to really drill in that kids are able to see numbers in various different ways, which can seem redundant, or pointless.
But I have to tell you, as someone who has always loved math, and always been very good at it, it’s this ability to manipulate numbers in different ways that is the key to being able to easily see 23 + 85 as the same equation as 27 + 80, and therefore being able to solve the problem without strenuous effort.
When Kira was using K12 as a virtual school, they started using a book that taught common core. It appears to me that common core is trying to teach these little tricks to kids, but without the number sense to back it up, and it’s just more rules and processes to follow, instead of really seeing the numbers on an abacus or another concrete way.
I could go on and on, and maybe I’ll write a separate post about it, but Right Start Math is here to stay for the foreseeable future, in sha Allah.
We are still using Ad-Duha for our Islamic studies, and honestly we struggled with it for a little bit as it’s written. Now we are using it a bit more loosely and here’s how we have adapted it:
- As we are learning the names of Allah, instead of using review questions I’ve printed out the coloring book, two pages per sheet of paper (see picture), and we use them more like notebooking pages. On the bottom portion either she draws a picture or she dictates to me what she wants to say about the story and what she learned.
- I’m not militant about the vocabulary words. If she doesn’t remember some, I don’t stress about it, but I do sprinkle in reminders when she’s reciting her suwar for practice.
- Additionally, we are going to start using notebooking pages for the tafseer lessons rather than the coloring pages and review questions
- We skip a lot of the activities in the Arabic workbook and I don’t make her fill in all the practice pages for writing new numbers and letters.
- I’ve found since we’re immersed in the Arabic language through Qur’an memorization, tafseer, coloring sheets for names of Allah, Arabic YouTube videos, and the kids sometimes listening in to my Studio Arabiya class, she picks up on the new letters quite quickly, mashaAllah. The repetition in the workbooks then becomes unnecessary.
- We go at our own pace in the various sections (du’a, Qur’an memorization, tafseer, names of Allah/tawheed books) rather than keeping them all at the same pace as is outlined in the teacher guides.
Earlier this year we used copywork for handwriting, which I loved, but after a couple months, Aamina did not. One of our main goals of homeschooling is to foster a love for learning, and to have frustrations in Kindergarten is not working toward that goal.
So we dropped copywork, and instead, like I said earlier, she writes lists, notes, party invitations, and anything else. Her handwriting seems on par for her age, so we’re just letting that be.
For writing itself, we have been using Jot It Down from Bravewriter and having a good time, alhamdulilah. I can see myself using it for each of my littles, in sha Allah.
You may notice that we are taking quite a relaxed approach to even the most core items in our Kindergarten curriculum. Social studies and science are two subjects that can be done in a million different ways at a million different times.
So, for social studies I am simply focusing on stories of the prophets to introduce the idea of ancient times, timelines, and historical figures. But even more important than all of that is the morality and values you can learn from the men and women who were pillars of faith in their communities.
Following a Charlotte Mason approach, we focused on nature studies while the weather was nice. During the winter I picked up Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding and we’ve slowly been working through that.
Do I recommend BFSU? I’m not sure yet.
I absolutely love the linear approach to learning and the core foundational knowledge it presents, but it is definitely not a book you can pick up and just get started. To be ready for a lesson, there’s a short chapter for me to read, materials to pick up, and then deciding how to implement the activities.
There’s a lot of leeway with how you complete the lessons, and even in what order you complete them. I’m left wondering if I’m doing things in a logical enough order, trying to follow the lesson flowchart in the book.
The way I feel about Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding right now is the way I felt about Ad-Duha last year: I want to stick with it because the scope and sequence cover all that I want to cover, and I haven’t found anything else that is as thorough and linear.
What are your favorite Kindergarten curriculum resources? Are we missing a gem?
Also, want to see how other people are doing mid year? Find out what’s working and what’s not with the iHomeschool Network link up!
The rest of the series to check out!
- 8th Grade Curriculum 2012-13 (September 18, 2012)
- 2013-14 9th Grade Homeschool Curriculum (August 22, 2013)
- 2014-15 10th Grade Homeschool High School Curriculum (August 4, 2014)
- 2014-15 Preschool Homeschool Curriculum (August 4, 2014)
- Toddler and Preschool Curriculum and Book Lists (August 13, 2015)
- Mid-Year Kindergarten Curriculum Review (February 13, 2017)