Saturday, July 7, 2012

What curriculum are you using for PreK4?

Whew. I think this is probably one of the most overwhelming decisions I’ve ever made. Lots of prayer went into this, for sure. There are SO many choices, and most of them are really good choices.

Our main curriculum for the next year is Classical Conversations. I may have to do a totally separate post on “What is Classical Conversations?” For now, I’ll just explain it as LOTS of memory work!

In addition to Classical Conversations, we are following Sonlight’s reading plan for 4/5 year olds. There are LOTS of really great books included in this program and I’m so ready to start reading them to Cohen. To find the full list, please visit their website, but a few of my favorites so far are People by Peter Spier, Things People Do by Anne Civardi, Stories from Africa by SIM Missionaries, and Stories from Around the World by Heather Amery.
 
The handwriting program we selected is Explode the Code books A, B, and C. These are designed for 4/5 year olds. We are also doing some workbooks suggested by Sonlight called Developing the Early Learner. Cohen and I are not fans of workbooks. We are more hands on learners, but there is a place for these things. It would be difficult for me to teach him to write if he’s not actually writing the letters.
 
This is a picture of EVERYTHING!
 
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This is just a close-up of a few of the books, the Sonlight IG, and Developing the Early Learner workbooks.

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In this picture you can see our Classical Conversations materials. Doesn’t look like much, but they cram a bunch of stuff into those books and CD’s. You can also see our little blue tin whistle. Cohen will learn to play that this year!!

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Another (fuzzy) pic of some of the books.

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And finally…our Get Ready for the Code workbooks.

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Ok. So that’s a LOT of stuff to cover in one year. I’m well aware. I’ve designed this PreK4 program to work for both PreK4 and Kindergarten. Not sure if we will homeschool for kindergarten yet, but all the materials are designed for a 4/5 year old. We will go as fast or slow as Cohen wants to go, with the exception of the Classical Conversations memory work. Since he will meet with his CC tutor once a week to review that information, it’s very important he’s prepared and on track.
 
Goals for the next year:
* Learn to read
* Memorize the basics of Latin (starting with noun endings)
* Learn how to read some music and how to play the tin whistle
* Memorize all of Exodus 20 (the 10 Commandments)
* Skip count 1’s, 2’s, 3’s…all the way through 15’s (learning only the first 12…for example: 2= 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22,24).
* Memorize all the US Presidents
* Memorize 24 sentences relating to history
* Take part in at least 1 science experiment/project per week
* Learn a LOT about Africa
* Learn how to give a presentation to your peers
* Memorize classifications of living things. List the 5 kingdoms of living things, parts of an animal and plant cell, groups of vertebrates and invertebrates, parts of a plant and flower, and types of leaves and leaf parts.
 
And if that’s not enough, he will also participate in our AWANA Cubbies program again this year.
 
Are you overwhelmed? Good. Me too. I know it looks like a lot of information, and most of it is really just memory work (meaning he’s not going to be required to understand it, only memorize it). This is all part of a Classical Approach to education, which we have decided to adopt as our approach to homeschooling. If you want to know more about what a Classical education looks like, please feel free to visit the Classical Conversations website. They do a much better job of explaining it than I do. Also, I read The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Third Edition) by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. It was enlightening and this book is the reason we are using the Classical method. There are LOTS of other books out there on the subject. I’m sure your local library has a few. Do your research!!
 
I look at this list, and that stack of books, and I feel totally inept. I’m so not qualified to teach my child! (I know you are thinking the same thing… “that girl is nuts”). I get it. I agree. I just look at this and I know that in order to get through each day of our homeschooling journey, I’m going to have to fully rely on God to get us through it. Only He can give me that kind of wisdom, patience, and strength to teach my child these things. It was never my intention to homeschool, but I know it is God’s intention that I do it, so I have to trust that He will take care of us along the way. In the end, if this child learns anything at all, only God can get the glory! It will have nothing to do with my abilities, only His.
 
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge it’s rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. – Proverbs 24:3-4

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to encourage you as you prepare for another year of homeschooling. It can be EXTREMELY overwhelming when you look at the material you need to cover. Stop-breathe-and tell yourself "Hey, with God's help, I can do this. One day at a time." Remember that - One Day At A Time. You will get through it and just when you are feeling like you can't go on, God shows you how much your child IS actually learning! Oh, and by all means, take a day off if you need it, got outside and enjoy God's creation as well as your child.

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