Monday, June 27, 2011

Curriculum is Here!

I am so excited I could cry.  All of our curriculum for Merrick's kindergarten year (or at least the first semester) has finally arrived.  I feel like I have been planning and researching and dreaming about homeschooling Merrick for three and a half years, and now all that hard work and dreaming is finally coming into fruition.

Here are all our books laid out on the new table made just for Merrick's schoolroom:

We had our first reading lesson on the table two nights ago.  Merrick was thrilled to learning at his table instead of on his bed, as we normally do.  After our reading lesson, I showed him all the curriculum books.  He wanted to go over every page of every book.  I loved seeing his curiosity which, ultimately, translates into a very natural love of learning.

So here is our curriculum line up for kindergarten:

1.  Singapore Math - we got the workbook and activity book.  They both look a bit too easy for Merrick even though we've never formally done any mathematics.  My guess is that we'll go through these books for 2 - 3 months and then move onto the the 1B books.  After this year, I anticipate switching to Math Mammoth.

2. Explode the Code (Phonics) - I'm very excited about these books (we got books 1 and 1 1/2).  I was concerned this would also be too easy for Merrick since he is already reading, but they are right on course.

3.  Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons - We bought this book at a HalfPrice Bookstore a couple of years ago for around $10.  Best 10 bucks I've ever spent.  Merrick is reading well (I think on about a 1st or 2nd grade level).  He's on lesson 65 now and may even be finished with the book by the time we officially start our school year.  He's pretty motivated since I told him I'd get him a Hot Wheels Trick Track once he finished the book.

4.  Evan-Moore Geography - I'm pretty excited about this workbook.  We'll probably go over 1 -2 lessons a week.  In addition to this book, I plan on ordering a couple of elementary maps from National Geographic (hmmm...note to self: order those stinkin' maps!)

5. Artistic Pursuits - This is what I am most excited about by far.  This book looks a-ma-zing.  The lessons are very well planned.  Part of each lesson (from what I can tell thus far) is examining a piece of artwork.  The book asks questions which will help the student (and parent!) to learn about art and life during the time period in which the art was painted/created.  Then, you get to create your own art using the methods that artist used.  I'll do a more thorough review of the book once we've had a chance to get into it.

6. Bible - In addition to these books, we will have a bible lesson each morning based on this free online curriculum here.  

Other things I'm considering adding to our curriculum once we get established in our schedule is Elementary Spanish, Meet the Masters (more art!), and a simple science project here and there (perhaps using Magnets to Mudpies).  We'll also be enjoying read-a-loud books and making lapbooks and having fun with some unit studies.  Merrick will also be learning piano from his Daddy and possibly taking karate lessons.  

Several people have asked me how I decided on which curriculum to use.  Honestly, I've been researching all this for a few years (!), but the two most helpful resources for me are the Well Trained Mind Forums and the Satori Smiles blog.  

Can't wait to get started (but, actually, I can wait since I have a bit more planning to do not to mention finishing out the schoolroom)!!!


  1. Looks great. I really enjoyed my Kinder year with my youngest last year. Have fun. Oh and Meet the Masters is excellent. We only did the first lesson last spring before we ended school for the year (kind of a trial run) and my kids can't wait to really get into it this year.

  2. Fantastic line up! Have fun on the journey...

  3. It looks like it will be a great year!! :)

  4. Looks great! I love it when our books start coming in to. :-)

  5. Looks like a great year! Have fun and document your year so you can look back at the memories.

  6. Thanks, all, for your comments and advice!