It is hard for me to believe that my oldest child will be a fourth grader this year. My girls are growing up on me too: 2nd grade, official Kindergarten, and Preschool.
I know every mama says, “I can’t believe they’re this old…” but it’s true!
It’s so bittersweet for this mama.
We are currently in our 3rd week of school and have already had to tweak just a bit. Each year, it is proven to me over and over that what looks great on paper may not actually work in real life.
So after making a few adjustments, here is our plan for the 2014-2015 school year.
I’m going to list our plans by age and then share what we’re working on together at the bottom of the post.
Fourth Grade Curriculum Plans
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It has been nothing but fabulous so far!
While we’ve used Easy Grammar in the past, this is my son’s first real English instruction. He loves it!
—> All About Spelling Level 4 – My son is a good speller, however we are going to press on with All About Spelling for one more year.
I’ve written quite a bit about why All About Spelling is a great fit for us if you’d like a detailed look at the program.
—> Handwriting Without Tears: Cursive Success – This is Davis’ last Handwriting Without Tears book. It brings tears to my eyes knowing how far he’s come with his handwriting. We started out on a rocky road, and Handwriting Without Tears totally turned the boat around!
After he finishes this book (he will by Christmas), I’m going to take copywork from his Bible or literature assignments.
—> Singapore Math 4A and 4B – We’ve used Singapore Math since the beginning – almost. The Home Instructor’s Guide makes teaching math easy with reinforcement ideas and hands-on games. I love that Singapore Math teaches my children the right approach in thinking about the problem posed – not just rote memorization or answers.
Second Grade Curriculum Plans
—> Rod & Staff Grade 2 English – We’re also using Rod & Staff for my 2nd grader. I was concerned that this would be too much for her, but Rod & Staff is such a gentle program. Despite the fact that my 2nd grader still needs quite a bit of reading help, she absolutely loves her English work. It’s a favorite part of her day!
—> Handwriting Without Tears: Printing Power – We are still working through occasional letter reversals, so we press on with Handwriting Without Tears. The repetition in this program is just what she needs.
—> All About Reading Level 2 – All About Reading has been such a blessing to us! Its methodical way of learning sounds while providing hands-on practice is a great fit for my daughter. And we both just love the readers in this program!
—> All About Spelling Level 1 – We started Level 1 last year, but it was just too early for her. Because she has such a good foundation with All About Reading Level 1, she is thriving in All About Spelling!
—> Singapore Math 2A and 2B – We have just a few lessons from Singapore Math 1A to finish up and then we’re heading straight into 2A.
Kindergarten Curriculum Plans
My 5 year-old is an eager beaver when it comes to learning. I just love it! We did quite a bit of Kindergarten-type activities last school year, but this year we’re going full steam ahead.
She’s ready and so am I!
Since I want to do all of the books at the same time (they’re all SO good!), I pick and choose from Five In a Row Volumes 1-3. I skip around and try to match the season and what my girls are currently interested in.
I mostly use FIAR, but throw in a few of our classic favorites as well.
You can visit all of my literature-based printables and see if there’s any you’d like to use as well. There are many more literature printable packs as soon as I can find time to write the posts. 😉
—> Singapore Math K Levels A and B – The Kindergarten level of Singapore Math books do not have a Home Instructor’s Guide as the other levels do. However, they have great on-the-spot teaching tips at the bottom of each page. I usually do a couple of those activities and we complete several pages a day since the beginning of Book A is review for her.
We’ll move onto Singapore Math 1A if she finishes these before the end of the year. The beginning of 1A is very similar in content to the end of Singapore Math Kindergarten Book B.
—> All About Reading Level 1 – Oh my love of All About Reading continues! We’re only a few weeks in to using Level 1 for my 5 year-old and she loves it! It’s a gentle, yet thorough phonics program where we can move at her pace.
We also use BOB Books in addition to the readers with All About Reading.
—> Handwriting Without Tears: My First School Book – I have the Teacher’s Guide which makes the activities in this book come alive! We also use the oh so loved chalk board slate for Wet-Dry-Try, as well as the Wood Pieces.
This combination of materials has been a total win in our household.
Preschool Curriculum Plans
My 3 1/2 year old always tags along with our literature-based units. She adores those books and can almost recite many of them by heart!
She and I do lots and lots of manipulatives for math practice and use many of the preschool printables here at Mama’s.
I never push handwriting at this age, but I do help her with a correct crayon/pencil grip when we’re working in her Handwriting Without Tears book.
With 4 kiddos, I try to do as much as I can with everyone together. It helps to eliminate (a little tiny-teensy bit) of the usual chaos.
—> Bible – The first half of this year, the kids and I reading through the book of Genesis. We don’t have a particular curriculum to use, but reading chapter by chapter, verse by verse.
I occasionally make little study guides for my older two that reinforce the verses that we discussed and they complete those during their independent school time.
Since the beginning of Genesis is so rich and dense, we’re only reading between 5 and 8 verses a day. That’s all we have the ability to comprehend and ponder in one sitting. 🙂
During my planning time each week, I read through the Scripture I have scheduled and read commentaries, do word studies, and research so I can understand to the best of my human ability. It helps all of us to understand more if I can interject neat facts and “Did you know…?”
I also have a list of questions that I created, which we answer aloud. The list is similar in style to the Studying the Birth of Jesus Devotional I published last Christmas.
When I have time (Ha! See – it’s a common theme with me! 😉 ) I will post those questions for you to use with your own kiddos.
—> Tapestry of Grace Year 4 – This year, mostly my oldest son will be doing History with me. Occasionally the girls join us, but I can’t seem to find the time to coordinate literature-based activities AND history activities.
So if the girls join us for our Tapestry of Grace reading and activities, great. If not, I’m not going to feel guilty. (Actually, I do feel guilty. I’m working to get over it. Ha.)
—> The Human Body Unit Study – This first half of the year, we are studying the Human Body together! I can’t wait! I’m almost finished creating the unit study and there will be something for each age group of my kiddos. We’ll read the books together, make a paper human body, learn all about the major organ systems, and do some really neat hands-on projects.
I was a registered nurse in my pre-homeschool life, so I can hardly wait to get started with this!
—> The Orchestra Unit Study and Composers – We’re also studying the orchestra and famous composers this year. I’m creating a neat interactive-type notebook for my older two to work on as we learn. They love it so far! It’s a neat way to fuse several learning methods.
So what types of things are your kiddos learning this year? Do we use anything that is similar? Do tell! I’d love to hear how other homeschools run and what curricula they use. 🙂