Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013 - 2014 Curriculum Plans Part 2

Well, if Part 1 of Curriculum Plans didn't get you almost giddy with excitement, Part Deux will definitely push you over the edge. 

Now...feast your eyes on the subjects that we do separately!  Remember, I'm teaching a 1st grader, twin 4 1/2 (almost 5) year olds doing PreK and my little almost 3 year old preschooler. 

The logistical considerations alone are an obsessive planners dream (like myself, for example) come true.

Language Arts:
I honestly didn't know what to do with language arts for Asia.  I just couldn't find a complete program that had all the elements I considered necessary. So, instead of simple and neat but incomplete...I have a bunch of stuff that I've thrown together. Since she has completed both the Kindergarten and Level 1 of Sing, Spell, Read & Write...I decided to continue on with Level 2. When I have a spare 30 minutes--I want to write a review of Level 2. Back when I ordered it...I couldn't really find any reviews of it...and it is VERY different from Kindergarten and Level 1.  I haven't decided how I feel about it, it's just a lot different than the first two levels(which we liked a lot).
The workbooks teach grammar, spelling, handwriting and review all of the phonic rules taught in Level 1.
The other reason that I decided to use Level 2 of Sing, Spell, Read & Write is because we also are trying to learn about the United States this year...since Lord-willing we're actually going to LIVE there for all of 2014....and the readers cover all of the 50 States.
This way, my little Southeast-Asian-Raised foursome will hopefully be able to engage in semi-informed conversation about their passport country.
The Level 2 Readers give a tour starting in California and progressing along the Southern Border of the USA...and then, Up the East Coast.  So far, they're learning a lot and enjoying the journey!
The Level 3 Readers cover the rest of the USA & Canada & Mexico.
There are two CD's with Level 2.  The first CD is a short history of the United States and the second CD has songs for each of the states covered in the Level 2 books.
I also created a 50 States coloring book using free printables from various places online...which I had printed & bound (it's very cheap to do here)...  Leif & Slater also have one each...so, they can learn about the United States while Asia reads to them for her Reading Class.
I use Explode the Code to reiterate what Asia is learning in Sing, Spell, Read & Write....and to really reinforce those phonic rules. We'll just slowly work our way through books 4 to 6 this year...doing 2 to 3 pages a day. 
A major goal I have for Asia this year is working on penmanship...her writing tends to be quite messy.  I have really like Handwriting without Tears...  It is easy for me to remember the cues for teaching the forming of letters properly.
And, a bit of grammar! (Told you this post would be exciting) We're loving First Language Lessons. These are scripted lessons.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about them...but actually, I really like them (of course, I'm only a week in)....They are short grammar lessons that only take about 5 minutes. So far Asia has learned that a NOUN is a person, place, thing or idea.  She also knows the difference between a common noun and a proper noun.
The lessons also teach how to Narrate, which is something we believe is very important.

And, I like that the lessons include a variety of poems to memorize.
Asia memorized the following poem in less than a day.
By: Christina Rossetti (1830 - 1894)
Brown and furry
Caterpillar in a hurry,
Take your walk
To the shady leaf, or stalk,
Or what not,
Which may be the chosen spot.
No toad spy you,
Hovering bird of prey pass by you;
Spin and die,
To live again a butterfly.
Writing With Ease teaches copy work and also narration...and only take 5 to 10 minutes a day.  
This has been super helpful for me as I begin serious narration with Asia. I wasn't really sure how to go about this and what should be expected at this level. So, these lessons work really well for that.  
The copywork is fantastic because we are working on penmanship extra hard this year.  Plus, the copywork comes from great literature that we have either read or plan to read. As I said previously...it has really helped me know what should be expected at this level.  
Asia also reads aloud from a "chapter book" of her choice every night.
Something fun that we are doing to keep track of her chapter book reading and to keep her motivated is... a bookworm chart! Every time that she finishes reading a chapter book we write down the name of it and add it to our chart.  She'll get a prize after a reading a certain number of books.  
She reads a LOT every day...but I only keep track of the chapter books...and just let her read for fun all through the day.

Leif & Slater:
We are continuing with the Letter of the Week for the twins. You can see more about that here.  Depending on how they are doing later this year, we may begin using Before the Code books A, B & C.  

Skye is just getting an introduction to the alphabet and to the sounds the letters make.  She is working hard at learning the ABC sounds song from Sing, Spell, Read & Write.

She spends time using the Handwriting without Tears manipulatives...but mostly makes a whole bunch of Os. haha  

She also loves the LeapFrog Letter Factory that we have on the fridge.    
I would like to see if we can get her writing S or even her whole name...But, she is only just turning 3 on Thursday...  So, I am not really pushing anything with her. 

The biggest thing: she is learning how to behave in a classroom setting, listen to her teacher, and follow instructions. When she started ballet last week, it was obvious that she KNEW what to do in a classroom situation, and she really listened and tried to do what the teacher was telling her. So, in our book, that's success for an almost 3-year old.

We still love Math-U-See...which uses the mastery approach...not the spiral approach.  We love the manipulatives and the fact that it is definitely multisensory.
We will continue working on Time & Money...We could use more of both of those!  Asia loves to play "store"...where I have her buy things from me...and she has to count out the correct change.  

Leif & Slater:
The twins love playing with the pattern blocks and they have recently decided to learn to count to 100. So, this year, we'll keep working on counting.  But, we'll focus on numbers 1 to 20.  I will be using some things that I got for free from Confessions of a Homeschooler...to work on learning how to write those numbers and improve number recognition.

Skye will be learning the rest of her shapes and continue practicing counting from 1 to 20. 
She'll also work on the rest of her colors...because right now...the only one she really knows is PINK.  haha

So, in a nutshell, that is our Curriculum. So far, I'm pretty happy with the choices we made. It will be interesting to see if I still feel the same way about a month from now...If I feel differently...I guess I'll have to blog about that too! Until then, that's our school. We are definitely NOT too cool for school.

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