Monday, February 25, 2013

.homeschooling - curriculum and set up.

loving the math manipulatives

.homeschooling - curriculum and set up.  Oh, we are so excited about school here.  Ever since our boxes of school stuff came the kids have been asking if we can start.  So although it is not September (or even August) we are starting to work on our school things.  

But first things first - what are we working with:

the letter chart my mother got the kids

When I looked at curriculum I knew that I needed something to tell me exactly what to do.  I wanted a curriculum that was laid out and easy to follow - that was my number one priority in choosing.  I asked friends who homeschool and I looked online at a number of different choices.  After browsing for hours online I narrowed it down to two different curriculum's,  My Fathers World and Heart of Dakota.  After searching for reviews on both they both looked great.  Many people choose between the two and there didn't seem to be a loosing option.  I asked one of my friends which one she preferred (she uses both) and she told me she liked both.  She also said that Heart of Dakota had everything planned not leaving to much room for you to choose anything yourself (something she didn't enjoy), it sounded like a win to me (remember I didn't want to have to plan much)!  So that was the curriculum we chose to go with.  I ended up getting both Little Hands to Heaven which is recommended for ages 2-5 and Little Hearts for His Glory which is recommended for ages 5-7.  

nice and organized - keeps me sane

Included in the core package of Little Hearts (which we will focus on for Kindergarten) are History Lessons, Fine Motor Lessons by Rod and Staff, and all the Reading lessons for the year.  In addition we went with the Science that Heart of Dakota recommended (called The World God Made) and the daily devotions that corresponded (Devotions for Children's Hour).  For Math we are using Saxon Math because it came with a bunch of fun goodies and sometimes you just need the manipulatives because they make learning easier.  Handwriting will be covered in A Reason for Handwriting K and A Reason for Handwriting A.  That leaves Phonics which we will learn with Hooked on Phonics for no other reason then I found a complete set at a garage sale a few years ago for $20.00 (the whole set, levels 1-5 - I might have walked away with a huge smile on my face).  

just a few of our Bibles...... they have a lot

For Little Hands to Heaven (which is preK material) I got A Child's First Bible,  Big Thoughts for Little People, and My ABC Bible Verses. I am planning on using the devotional Big Thoughts for Little people the first time through the curriculum and then the devotional My ABC Bible Verses on the second round.  

So now onto what we are doing now:

the first day we got the curriculum..... before our shelves were set up

Today we officially started.  The kids have been begging since their books came a few weeks ago.  For a warm up, for both myself and the children we are all going through Little Hands to Heaven using the Big Thoughts for Little People Devotional.  For Asher's Bible time I am using A Child's First Bible, because it is super simple.  For the older two I have enough other Bibles around to correspond at their appropriate level - The Jesus Storybook Bible being one of them.  

looking at all the books after they arrived

The older two have started on their Handwriting, because they are already writing letters and trying to form words.  And Lydia is starting Hooked on Phonics because she knows all her letter sounds and wants to read.  

So far so good - One day down. 

And a little extra, our set-up:

When all the books and worksheets first came I had a table set up in the living room (see picture above).  It made for a better fort then anything else and I realized it was unnecessary.  I want our learning to be fun, not just at a desk or a table.  I took the tables down and we put up two shelves to hold our goodies.  I love how everything can be placed up high and organized, all in one spot!!! My mom gave us a huge ABC chart with removable lower case letters and removable pictures - that is hanging below and the kids already love playing with that.  

So that is it!  Our homeschool set up, curriculum, and start to the year or mid-year or whatever we are going to call it. .homeschooling - curriculum and set up.

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