March 20, 2014

OUR HOMESCHOOL LIFE: CURRICULUM

A few weeks back someone asked me on instagram what curriculum do I use for homeschool.  Which got me thinking, that I haven't really shared what curriculum we use? 
When you are homeschooling you have a lot of freedom when choosing your curriculum, as long as it meets standards. Now, I am not sure about when you homeschool through a private school or online school. We homeschool through a charter school and so far in our two years, I love it! Bryce attends a "Friday-Class" that is an onsite program that is conducted just like a regular school day for kids that are homeschooled Mon.-Thurs. and it has been working out great.
Every child is different when it comes to their learning, so what may work great with Bryce may not work for Madison and you can change it up and tailor it to their learning. That's one beauty of homeschooling!
One thing that we can't live with out is our ipad. We have the regular size one and the mini, we use them from watching education videos, learning apps, or games. Madison also uses a Leap Pad for learning too.
When you are in kinder and first, all subjects are important, but language arts and math are the main focus. With our charter school, in the beginning of the year they give us a list of things that the kids need to know by the end of the school year for their grade. We check in with our educational facilitator once a month, turn in samples of our work and she may give him a test here and there to make sure he knows what we are turning in.
Language Arts-
For language arts we use a few different things...
The Moffatt girls "Ready to Read" program and their various themed "Packets". I love everything she puts out and totally recommend it to anyone that has pre-k through first grader. 
We also us an online program that is provided by the school that is called "The Learning Odyssey", as a supplemental program.
For reading all the above helps, but for actual books we like the Leap Frog-Learn to Read Sets. They work with the Leap-Reader pen too. 
We also own just about every Leap Frog DVD and those I highly recommend!!! Both Madison and Bryce love them! 
We also read chapter books together at night before bed, at least 3-4 night a week.
Math- 
For math we us the Houghton-Mifflin California Math, we used that book for kindergarten too. I love it, very colorful and keeps them interested.
I also supplement through the "packets" by the Moffatt girls too.
Luckily math comes easy for him and he has a good grasp on that subject that we don't have to do a lot of practice.
Science/Social Studies-

For these two particular subjects, we don't have an actual book for. I go off of what the school tells us he needs to know; they even break it down into the months for you to make it easier. 
The resources I usually go to for worksheets and ideas are: Education.com, Pinterest, other homeschool blogs and Discovery Education online that is provided by the school.
You have a lot of freedom in these two subjects, as long as they understand and have a good knowledge for what they're supposed to learn.
P.E.-

In kindergarten they are not required to have physical education. In first you are required to do at least 20 minutes of p.e., that could be jumping on a trampoline, riding your bike etc.
He is currently taking horse back riding lessons provided by the school and he loves it.
Arts-

That is another subject that we have a lot of freedom, no book, but they give us examples of what he should be learning. Our greatest resource for ideas is online!
All the curriculum that I talked about above is what I use for Bryce, Madison is still in the preschool-Pre kinder level. 
She does watch all the Leap Frog learning DVDs, has a lot of educational apps on the ipad, gets involved in our art projects etc. My main focus with her is her letter recognition (upper/lowercase and sounds) and number recognition and counting. Madison is one smart cookie!
It's also important to keep it fun!!!

One very big important thing that is not taught in textbooks or school is teaching your kids to think for themselves, ask questions, figure out how things work! Talk, talk and talk to them, you will be surprised what they understand at a young age.  
Their is a ton of information out their and it is hard to navigate through all of it. BUT go with what feels right for YOU, if it's not working then change it. If it still is not working then change it again! We constantly have to be willing to learn and stay malleable at the same time. Parents do not have all the answers, we are learning as we go too. In the end, you know your child best and what's best for him or her. 
Don't compare yourself to what everyone else is doing. Do what feels right for you and your child.

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