Friday, July 4, 2008

Creating Your Own Curriculum 101, Part 3

So far in this series on How to create your own home school curriculum we have covered praying for directions and coming up with a goal. Once we know what our goal for the year is our next task is to develop a plan on how to best reach our goals. You've pretty much seen how and what we have set up as our character training, now I will go on and set up for you what the rest of our plan will look like.
Penmanship (Handwriting)
Last year both Little Man and Little Mama used the Handwriting Without Tears books for penmanship. This was our second year using this program and we really did well with them. However we will not be using them this year.

  • Little Man's handwriting has improved so much, and he has tried so hard. I am very proud of him. This year he will be doing mostly copy works and dictations. He is really good at this and he enjoys being able to write what someone is saying. Most of his copy work will come from our daily devotions and memory verses. We will be keeping a Christian Character Traits notebook and making our own Haitian Creole/English dictionary.
  • Little Mama on the other hand still needs a lot of practice with her handwriting, but that doesn't mean that she won't be doing what her brother is doing. She will get a chance to do some dictations, but not as much as her brother. I think she will really enjoy learning how to create her own little stories and some copy work as well. She too will help in creating and keeping our Christian Character Traits notebook and our Haitian Creole/English dictionary.
  • As for Baby girl she as usual will continue to take part in doing activities that will help strengthen her gross and fine motor skills so that when she is ready to start writing her coordination and muscles will be ready too.

Reading
Last year for reading we advanced in huge leaps. The program that we used for reading is a free program that I was able to download a couple of years ago call Progressive Phonics.

  • Little Mama loves the stories and absolutely enjoys being able to read along with me. I really enjoy the stories too. They are silly and funny and perfect for Little Mama. Last year she completed books 1-5. This year she will start of with a complete review of last year's "short vowel words", and continue on to hopefully cover books 6-10.
  • Little man will also continue with the progressive phonics reading program this year. He uses it very differently then his sister. For him it's not about being able to follow the stories with me but about being able to read both the red and black words (his words are red and mine are black). He is so much more advance in reading then what this program offers but, like I said earlier we really love the stories. They are so meaningless and silly.(who doesn't love a story that can make adults as well as kids crack up).
  • Baby Girl will continue working on her pre-reading skills. She will start of the school year with a slow review of all the upper case letters as well as their sounds. We hope to be able to also tackle lower case letters this year.
  • All of the kids will continue to take part in playing various reading and computer games on Internet sites such as Starfall and others listed below. We will continue to check out books from the library twice a week and read out loud to each other daily.


Math
Last year was our fist year using the Math U See program. I like the Math U See methods for approaching math at this age but my kids hated how slow the process took. So this year we are going to change it up a little. We are still gonna go with Math U see but I will supplement it with Building projects, lapbooks, games and lots of hands-on, in the kitchen fun.

  • Little man will be starting the Beta book this year. To go with his studies we will add a money lapbook and maybe even a Telling time lapbook too.
  • Little Mama will start on the Alpha Book this year and as an addition to her studies she will be working on an Addition and Subtraction lapbook.
  • Baby girl will work on numbers, shapes and color recognition.

I have a lot planed to enhance their math skills and I will share some of these with you at another time.
Other than reading, writing, and math we also do a lot of science and this year is no exception. Science is one of those topic that I cannot plan for. The kids will tell me what they want to learn more of and I will usually put it together as we go. I do have a number of topics in mind and I even have a good collection of unit studies and lapbooks stored for when they ask. I have everything from Ant study to whales and other sea creatures.
If you are interested in putting together some or all of your own curriculum this year I have a whole lot of web sites that can help you in your research such as:

For Math
http://www.livingmath.net/
http://www.xpmath.com/ebooks/math_ebooks.php#mathebook1 (free math textbook for every grade)
http://www.mathusee.com/index.html (great worksheet generator)

For Reading
http://www.mainlesson.com/author.php?author=treadwell (great collection of classic stories)
http://storynory.com/ (audio stories)
http://www.starfall.com/
http://www.progressivephonics.com/index.htm

And More
http://www.abcteach.com/ (free worksheets and so much more)
http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

http://www.donnayoung.org/penmanship/k_1.htm great handwriting printouts

http://www.handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/manuscript.htm another great site for worksheets

What are you planning on doing this school year? I would love to visit your blog and read all about it. Just leave me a comment with a link to you blog. I really like getting to meet so many new people.

until later, bye



1 comment:

Ann@His Grace To Me said...

Fabulous resources! As bugdets get tighter for homeschooling families, these sites will be a real blessing! Thanks for posting them, there are a few that I'm going to bookmark and spend some time checking out.