Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Not Back To School Blog Hop" - Curriculum 2014-2015

Last year I had all of these wonderful ideas and curriculum for preschool for my boys, especially my oldest. Then I read more and more about and on and by Charlotte Mason. And my educational philosophy evolved. I don't want to say changed because a) I think I already embraced many of her ideas and b) there are still a few of her ideas I am not completely sold on.  That being said, I backed off Bubby's curriculum, and we spent much of our last year reading, playing, and learning just in real-life.  This spring and summer we've hit some road bumps with Bugaboo which also caused me to just go with the flow and enjoy preschool-hood.

But kindergarten is here for Bubby, and I will be homeschooling him.  The Charlotte Mason method says no formal academics until age six, but like I said, I don't 100% agree with everything Charlotte Mason... at least not yet. We will be doing some formal academics (including phonics!), but with a gentle approach and with short lessons. And there will still be a lot of time each day for Bubby to be outside, to play, to create, to imagine.   Here is a look at the curriculum I have pieced together for our year.. because I absolutely love piecing together curriculum maps, lesson plans, etc.  It's one of my favorite parts of getting to homeschool!

We have switched from Ordinary Parents Guide to Reading (which was fine and working okay but very dry for Bubby and for me) to All About Reading Level One.  So far we have done about a dozen lessons which have mainly been review for Bubby, but good review.  I like that I can make the lessons short and that there is a hands-on component similar to the "making words" lesson I was used to from my public school teaching days. We will most likely finish Level One mid-year, and if all goes well, we will continue to Level Two.  I am a believer in a strong phonics foundation.

We will do Math U See Primer this year. I had purchased it for last year, and Bubby was doing fine with it, but I don't want to rush him in math and then have him feel frustrated in later years. (This was a decision based upon some research on the brain, development and learning math.) We are also going to do calendar time (ugh! sorry I hate calendar stuff), but not too much fluff with it.

We loved Before Five in A Row, so we are going to use many selections (one per week) from Five in a Row Volumes One and Two. We will also read poetry, rhymes, Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh, other living books and some age appropriate chapter books throughout the week.

I am most excited about this! We are going to slowly begin Speaking Spanish with Miss Mason and Francois. It is a different approach to language learning, and I'm hoping I will re-learn Spanish as I teach Bubby.

Nature walks, living books on science topics, and even the Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science.  Lots of outside time will also be part of our days. (This has been one of the biggest stretches for me in exploring the Charlotte Mason Method -- I am NOT an outdoor/nature girl.  But I know it is is good for my kids --and me!)

Social Studies:
Bubby loves maps, so I am doing a postcard/map project with him this year based on the U.S. map.

Handwriting Without Tears - Bubby is not a fan of writing, so I did not push it last year.  We are going to the preschool book we started last year and then ease into the kindergarten level.

Bubby will be in Sparks for the Awana program at church, so we will use that for some Bible study along with slowly making our way through the New City Catechism each week at calendar time and hymn study. We do Bible reading as a family before bedtime, so that will continue. 

We will be doing field trips, hopefully swim lessons and piano lessons at some point, and other real-life learning.

Preschool Curriculum for Bugaboo:

Bug is going to be attending preschool two sessions a week where he will be receiving his PT/OT/Speech and Language services.  This was a very, very hard decision for us, but we are trusting God with this decision.  The rest of the week he will be listening to what Bubby is learning (if he wants to sit with us), learning his Awana Cubby verses, and participating in field trips and art projects and outdoor time. I also need to modify this checklist a bit, too, with some of his new goals/skills.


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