Preschool and Kindergarten Curriculum?


#1

I am looking for suggestions for preschool and kindergarten curriculum. This will be our first year homeschooling and I know no other homeschoolers to get advice from. My trouble is my daughter (kindergarten) is at different levels in different subjects, so I feel a boxed set is out of the question even though I would love the fact that it would be all planned out for me. She has been reading since age 2 and I’m guessing she is now reading at a 3rd grade level. We have never done any language arts so she would be at grade level I guess as far as knowing what is a noun, verb, etc. Her handwriting is also at age/grade level, which frustrates her to no end. I think a 1st grade level for math. She can count to 100, knows shapes, place value to hundreds, and adding by 0 and 1. My preschool age son (3 1/2) can do everything she can do except the addition so not sure what to do with him either. I want something that will be fun for them as a beginning to school, but that is not just busy work repeating what they already know. Also to add to the challenge is the fact that they both have zero interest in coloring and so much of what I find has a lot of coloring pages.

Any ideas for curriculum for them? I should also mention that although she’s never been evaluated, I am almost certain my daughter has ADHD and maybe oppositional defiance. I’m thinking a lot of hands-on work might help with this. Thanks for any and all suggestions!


#2

I am a fan of of Math U See, Spelling U See, All About Reading, and All About Spelling. Erica has videos reviewing each product. You can decide what level your kiddos are at on their website. One of the spelling options listed above has a lot of copy work to help with writing (I can’t remember which one). Since they are reading all ready choosing geography curriculum (like Roadtrip USA) will also reinforce their reading and writing.


#3

I haven’t looked into other boxed curriculums, but I have used Sonlight and Book Shark. There is still a good amount of customizing with each level. You can pick and choose what level you want for Language Arts and Science in addition to the main Core which is History and Read Alouds. There is readers for the student, but you can choose the level you want. You can order Math, Reading, Spelling through them or on your own.


#4

For handwriting, have you taught using Ball and Stick font or something closer to Handwriting Without Tears/Logic of English? If you use ball and stick there are so many printables out there. if you would like a Handwriting Without Tears style printing, Progressive Phonics has printable practice pages for free with cute shapes to help learn printing. I like printable stuff for handwriting when they’ve already started because you can just print out what you need for letters they have trouble with. I also like PrintPath on teachers pay teachers for supplementals (their primary work is great too, but since you can get something similar at Progressive Phonics free, hey…that’s great). But they have things like a traceable calendar, number traceable, short sentence books which I used for practicing parts of a sentence, practice for blends

For math, I really like Addition Facts that Stick and Subtraction Facts that Stick. It’s short very visual/tactile lessons followed by games you play for about a week before moving on to the next stage. But before working on that I would practice recognizing groups of objects (like get M&Ms or beads or something and scatter a few out and see how fast she can see how many is there. Encourage her to take a guess and then count to make sure. That builds visual grouping. She may have that already but good to make sure. You can make it a game with her and her little brother to see who can guess the most right.


#5

I also suggest All About Spelling. It was great for my child who struggles, but also for the child in our co-op who does everything way ahead of her grade. It’s just excellently organized and well thought out and so easy to use.


#6

Well, Memoria Press is an advanced enough of a box so might be worth looking into.

I have had advanced learners here, too. My husband and I took the approach that just because they CAN doesn’t mean they SHOULD. Gifted kids (and it sounds like that is what you have) are asychronistic in their development. They need to be able to fly but slow down, too. We tried to remember that they were still just young. Don’t push. You have LOTS of time.

For the 3 yr old, my daughter LOVED Rod and Staff ABC and CLE Kinder II wkbks at that age. She also liked the EPS Books (now School Speciality) Get Ready, Get Set, Go For the Code books too, but I was ready to claw my eyes out! www.starfall.com is also a wonderful free resource.

R&S math Grade 1 is gentle enough for early learners, too. We really like BJU Math using the distance learning videos, too. Worth every penny. (This after more than 20 math programs. My oldest had math learning issues.) Just because a child can work the problems does not mean they grasp the why behind it. You want a good, solid foundation here or it will come back and bite you later. Once again, don’t push, you have lots of time.

Other resources we loved was Five in a Row (minus the reading 5 times). You can make loads of fun things from that or create your own. I would not agree it is complete at all, though, like the FIAR folks would have you believe. It doesn’t build in skills at all. Or simply pick your own favorite picture book and make your own activities. Another similar resource is Memoria Press’s Enrichment guides.You can add LOTS of hands-on things there- clay, blocks, etc…

All you need for handwriting is UNLINED paper and a wall chart. Use a highlighter to form the UPPERCASE letters first, then the child traces. Mine all learned this way and by practicing on their own. If you must have a wkbk, Handwriting Without Tears (minus all the “stuff” and TMs) is excellent. My other absolute favorite resource for handwriting/phonics is a free tracing page from a UK site called Promenthean Trust. I used the first sheet over and over. The kids learned letter sounds, letter names, trace the sound/letter you hear in ___ word, etc. all from that one page. It is gold and free! I probably have a corner of the rainforest gone with the amount of copies I have made of that page over the years! Do yourself a favor: print and laminate it. Use Extra Fine wipeable pens.

Hope this helps you as you begin your journey.