Friday, August 19, 2011

Curriculum Round-up 2011: Preschool and 3rd Grade Curriculum

I wish I could be as excited all year long about school as I am in the month before it starts. I love the planning and choosing curriculum. I also enjoy the teaching part, but find the mothering while teaching to be difficult. I'm sure you who homeschool can relate.

This year one of my main goals is to encourage our lifestyle to become a homeschooling environment. I'm really good at boxing our schooling into a 8-12 package with a pretty pink bow on top. The problem I found this last year is that homeschooling an elementary age student while mothering three under four messes with my pretty packing skills.

Last year I tried to do school with Abiah for an hour and a half and then let him finish the other parts that he didn't "need" me for on his own. Ideally it should have taken him about another hour and a half to two hours to complete his daily tasks. The girls seemed to be good at occupying themselves for that time but Abiah felt rushed and pushed out of the way. And it showed in his work.

I also just finished reading Five Love Languages of Children (not an affiliated link) and found out that Abiah is loved best through acts of service.Which means I've been doing things wrong. For awhile. Hopefully he'll be gracious when he's older and forgive me.

So, here's the book learnin' curriculum we'll be using this year:

2011-12 Curriculum for Preschool

My girls are still young for much schooling but they are interested in school so I try to work with them for about an hour a day. At this level they don't need much scheduled schooling. And they don't have the patience for it anyways! They also tend to enjoy their play time more when I keep them busy with a little schooling and a few "chores".

About Three Set

These lessons in these books are simple practice for motor skills and gradually introduce numbers, shapes, and colors. The activities are simple and, I've found, provide great opportunity for learning to follow simple instructions. I used these a little last year with my girls, photocopying pages as needed.

Circle Time

I use Circle Time as our Bible time together. We read from the kids' Bible, sing a few songs, recite our memory verse and pray together. The kids LOVE Circle Time. I also try to take a few minutes and have the kids practice being silent. Behind the "school work" aspects of what we do, the girls are learning to follow instructions and to sit still.

2011-12 Curriculum for 3rd Grade

Math-Horizons Math
I really like Horizons Math for the repetition and colorful pages. I use their books from k-3rd grade. After 3rd grade we will switch to Saxon Math.

Grammar- Daily Grams, Easy Grammar & Primary Language Lessons

Spelling- Spell to Write and Read
Hazel and Amelia will join Abiah during a portion of this class as an introduction to the phonograms.

Handwriting- StartWrite5.0
This program has been priceless in our schooling. We use it so much. I love that I can print out my own worksheets for all of my kids. We use these in conjunction with our Scripture memorization.

History, Reading, Science and Bible- My Father's World
We will be finishing the second half of the 2nd/3rd grade Adventures curriculum. Because our last school year involved pregnancy and a baby I decided to draw this portion of our schooling out into two years. We LOVE MFW curriculum and HIGHLY recommend it. The prepared lesson plans are simple and yet very informative. I look forward to learning alongside Abiah. I am going to try to include Hazel and Amelia in some of this but am not sure what that will look like right now.

Reading Comprehension- McCall-Crabbs Standard Test Lessons in Reading
I plan to  use these about once a week to supplement with reading comprehension. Abiah really enjoys reading but I want him to learn to pay attention to what he's reading.

Well, that about sums it up. I would love to hear about any supplemental schooling tools you guys use or have heard of. Leave a comment below!

I'm linking up with the Curriculum Round-up over at!

~All links to Exodus Books are now affiliated links. I have used Exodus for many years (as a homeschooling mom and for previous tutoring) and have recommended them even before becoming an affiliate. Though I may receive some compensation, my opinions are always my own.~


Joanna said...

Sounds like you got it down pretty good. I loved those years.

WendyDarling said...

Sounds like you are doing great. :-) I also read "Five Love Languages of Children", and I came to same conclusion. My nephews love gift is words of affirmation. I had him pegged wrong. Sometimes I wish we could could stop the world and call for a "do over" with the knowledge we have now.

pistolsnprincesses said...

Thanks Ladies! I'm trying to slow down and enjoy this season. They are only little for so long. Then they start high school! Agh! Glad to have the support of family, friends and now other mommy bloggers.

AnnG said...

Great plan for a new school year. Hope you have a great year!

Valerie at Home said...

My kids used to love learning together when they were smaller. Whenever the oldest did school, the youngest used to ask for work and blew through all the Kumon books I could find. I let her progress as far as she wanted (cutting, mazes, and counting) and didn't push when she refused to learn to write. At 7, she writes better cursive than 90% of adults because she was ready to learn. And don't worry about ruining your kid because you missed his love language. As parents, we do the best we can and we all survived and even felt loved long before there were "Five Love Languages".

Fiddledeedee said...

Three under four. Shudder. You sound AMAZINGLY well organized and put together. You are an inspiration! Good job!

A Complete Thought said...

The added gift of homeschooling for me has been getting to know those love languages of my sons in their learning styles. You sound well on your way to some great years.

Rachel said...

What did you use to teach phonics rules? I'm trying to find a good, concise curriculum for that. Thanks!