Monday, April 24, 2017

Our Weekly Checklist (Kindergarten MA Prep with modifications)

We use a weekly checklist for each week which I fill in before the week starts.  I hand write the specific assignments for the week in the spots on the checklist and I keep the whole year's worth in a binder.  Here is the Google Docs link to the Prep checklist.  I go through and tentatively plan what items will go on what days at the beginning of the week based on what is going on that week with appointments and other activities.  I have next year's checklist mostly complete, but I'll share it once I am pretty firm on what I am using.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Planning for next year (2017-2018)

I have started planning for next year.  We'll continue to use MA and my oldest K who is 6 will be doing 1st grade, which is Level 1B in MA.  For religion, we'll be covering the new testament both using the New Catholic Picture Bible by Rev. Laurence G..Lovasik  as well as A Life of Our Lord for Children which is a narrative that also explains a lot of helpful background information on the gospels. We started reading it this year and should hopefully finish next year. We will also read saint stories from  Lives of the Saints an Illustrated History for Children by Bart Tesoriero  or Saints for Young Readers for Every Day Volumes One and Twoby Pauline Kids. We'll be doing Faith and Life 1: Our Heavenly Father for catechism. A friend told me about Tiny Thomists which is emailed every two weeks and we'll split each one over those two weeks. They also send out an explanation of the Sunday Gospel and we'll include that as well. Religion will be done daily with Bible reading twice a week and A Life of Our Lord for Children, catechism, saints and Tiny Thomists will each be done once a week. During Advent, we'll read some Tomie DePaola books and watch Holy Heroes Advent Adventure. During Lent, we'll cover the Stations of the Cross using the book and CD from Holy Heroes and watching Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure. My 4 year old E and I will be reading Chats with God's Little Ones.

K will continue to use Logic of English for phonics and reading. She is currently working on Level C and she'll finish Level C and start Level D next year. Logic of English covers phonics, reading, spelling and some aspects of English mechanics as well as copywork for handwriting (Levels A and B taught the letters in lowercase and uppercase). However, I plan to use Spelling U See Jack and Jill as well for spelling. We started English Lessons through Literature Level 1 this year doing a lesson broken up over a week and we'll continue this next year. ELTL covers literature, poetry, fables and picture study. I will add at least one additional poem each week, probably either from A Child's Garden of Verses or Now We Are Six. We will read fairy tales and American tall tales. We'll probably read Winnie the Pooh although I haven't decided what other literature we'll read next year. Lighted Lanterns looks like a interesting copywork, etc. resource but they are temporarily unavailable and I don't know when they'll be available again. We would use Pre-Level if it becomes available. MA has a picture book list for a Prep PK that I plan to use with E once a week. E isn't ready yet for LOE lessons yet, but I'll continue to introduce her to phonogram sounds and also read LOE's A-Z sounds book Doodling Dragons more frequently. E is left handed so I want to make sure I teach her properly.

We will continue to use MEP for math. K is currently doing Year 1 and we'll finish that and start Year 2. We will also continue with Life of Fred Apples and do Butterflies if we finish Apples. We may use something for additional addition and subtraction practice. E will do games and activities to practice counting, one to one correspondence and number recognition. I have found quite a few activities at Measured Mom to use for her.

We use Connecting with History for our history studies. We will continue with both American history with Volume 4A and world history with Volume 1 which covers ancient history. In American history, we will be starting with Unit 5 covering the beginning of the nation and the writing of the Constitution. For ancient history, we'll start with Unit 7 covering the divided kingdom (of Israel). When we finish Volume 1, we'll start Volume 2 which begins with the birth of Christ. We are incorporating The Story of Civilization Volume 1 and hopefully they will release Volume 2 before we need it.

Geography and earth studies focuses on family geography and rivers and oceans. Family geography will cover genealogy with My Family Tree Workbook. My mother in law is a genealogist so we'll get her help. We'll also read about areas our ancestors came from such as Ireland and Germany. I also plan to have her do a Child's Own History chart. We'll work from our town to the whole planet doing Expanding Horizons. The Rivers and Oceans study includes water cycle and we'll also read about pond environments and animals using Among the Pond People and One Small Square: Pond.

For nature study/science reading, we'll read Burgess Animal book and Pagoo. We will try to do a nature walk at least once a week.

We have been using Song School Latin 1 and we'll continue that and start Song School Latin 2 when we finish. We might start a modern foreign language but I don't know if we'll do Spanish or French or what resources we'll use.

For music appreciation, we'll start with The Story of the Orchestra. I need to decide the two hymns and folk songs we'll learn for each term after I look at the Latin selections for Classically Catholic Memory for our co-op next year. 

In addition to the picture study in ELTL, we'll probably use the art cards from Memoria Press either the Kindergarten or 1st grade set.  I'm probably going to use ARTistic Pursuits, Early Elementary K-3 Book One with both K and E.

We do our Classically Catholic Memory co-op twice a month and will continue next year. K will be doing CCM while E will be doing Catholic Icing Preschool curriculum in the older preschool class. S who is my youngest and will turn 2 in the fall will be starting in the younger preschool class which will do some aspects of Catholic Icing.

For E, I am considering using Little Saints curriculum. I need to research more to see what I think of it. It would be nice to have something prepared for E, although I generally am pretty eclectic in my curriculum choices and I modify curriculum to better fit our needs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What we use in our homeschool (2016-2017)

We are really only doing specific things for Kindergarten this year since the younger two are only 3 years old and 1 year old and they don't need anything other than listening to their sister's schoolwork readings, and learning life skills type things.

Our main curriculum is Mater Amabilis (MA), although I am modifying it.  My kindergartener is doing Prep level.

For religion, we are combining the MA Prep level and Level 1A Year 1 (2nd grade) because I was teaching a 2nd grader for a little while (not my child). MA Prep religion is a mystery of the Rosary weekly, although we use the Holy Heroes Rosary CDs instead of the Speak, Lord I am Listening book recommended. We are also doing saints a few days a week using the book from Level 1A Year 1. We are also using the St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism 1 although we don't do the questions at the end of the lessons.

We use Logic of English Foundations for phonics and handwriting. We have completed Level A and we are about halfway through Level B and she is reading simple words well. Level A teaches all the sounds of the single letter phonograms and they start reading and spelling simple words around lesson 20 as handwriting of all the lowercase letters. We use cursive although you can do manuscript. Level B starts teaching multi letter phonograms, long vowels and rules for silent e as well as other spelling rules. For handwriting, Level B covers uppercase letters. There are 2 additional levels, C and D, and they include vocabulary, comprehension and writing in addition to more phonograms and spelling rules. We split each lesson over 2 days.

For literature, poetry, fables and some gentle introduction to mechanics, we use English Lessons through Literature Level 1. It uses Beatrix Potter stories, Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, etc. We split a single lesson over a week. One day we do the literature selection, the next we do the poetry selection, then we do the fable or picture study (every few lessons there is a picture study) and there are picture narrations of fables every few lessons meaning that the child draws a picture to illustrate the fable.

For math, we use Mathematics Enchancement Programme (MEP), which is a free program from the UK. She has completed the introductory level reception and is working on Year 1. I like MEP's focus on mental math. They practice adding and subtracting mentally with manipulatives. In reception, they don't write numbers, but writing of numbers is introduced gently in Year 1. We are only on Lesson 11 but greater than and less than as well as filling in a missing number has already been introduced.

Science focuses on nature study. We are focusing on insects right now, birds in the spring and we'll cover plants if there is time. We are reading the Tarantula Scientist right now (although spiders are arachnids not insects). When we study birds, we'll read the Burguess Bird for Children as well as a Peterson field guide coloring book on birds and a local field guide.  We also use One Small Square for nature study reading.   We are currently using One Small Square: Woods as we live in a very wooded area.

We are using Connecting with History Volumes 1 and Volume 4A. Volume 1 covers Ancient history starting with creation. It follows the time periods of the Great Adventure bible study.  Volume 4A covers American history beginning with the European exploration of the new world.  We don't do all the extra work suggested because she's in kindergarten.  We just read from their notes and read the books from the booklists.

We are still working out our music and art appreciation.  We are trying Come Look with Me: Enjoying Art with Children from our local library.  We are going to try some Classical Kids CDs starting with Mr. Bach Comes to Call.

We also do a Classically Catholic Memory co-op twice a month at a local parish.   It covers religion, Latin, history, science, math, geography, timeline and great words (poetry or important documents). We are doing Beta year.  We listen to the memory work in the car most days.  My 3 year old has most of the memory work memorizes as does my 5 year old.