Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013-2014 Curriculum- Kindergarten- Jack

It may seem surprising, but I am more nervous about Jack's kindergarten curriculum than Alexander's third grade curriculum. Specifically, I am nervous about teaching him how to read. It's more than an important skill. It's the skill. The one we use every single day, and the one we use to learn other things. If he can't read well, he won't be able to read the instructions in his math books, or street signs, or the directions on his nose-hair trimmer (and wouldn't that be catastrophic), or a love note from an admirer, or a description of the Big Bang. It will impede not only his education, but his entire life. And that's a big deal. Someone else taught Alexander to read, so Jack and Kai are my first attempt. I've been teaching them to read, but they've got a long way to go from reading "Dot has a cat" to breezing through the Declaration of Independence.

So, all that being said, I feel a bit frozen in indecision about Jack's reading program. I know that I want to focus on phonics, with just a side of sight reading. I've decided to stay the course we're on, without purchasing too far ahead of ourselves, and with frequent gut checks to make sure it's still working out for us. So, we will continue to use Explode The Code workbooks, BOB easy readers, and plenty of games.

Like Alexander, Jack will be using Singapore Math. I perused the kindergarten workbooks and decided they were really too easy for Jack, who's been doing very well in math concepts this past year. So I purchased Levels 1A and 1B, normally used in first grade, with the expectation that we may need to slow the pace as the difficulty increases.

As far as the state of Pennsylvania goes, Jack would be entering kindergarten this year. Since he is being homeschooled, though, they actually don't have any requirements for what I teach him until the year that he turns eight. Because I believe that kindergarten should be a gentle introduction to "formal schooling" (whatever that might mean), reading and math are the two subjects that I am going to be the most organized with. However, that definitely does not mean that is all we will be doing!

I've been spending time going through Alexander's entire book list for his curriculum this year, for language arts, science, and social studies. For every book that Alexander reads, I've searched the library's website and found a similar book on Jack's level. So, while Alexander reads The Little House in the Big Woods, I will be reading to Jack from the My First Little House Books series. When Alexander is reading an advanced book about magnetism, I will read to Jack from a more basic book. Jack will be able to participate in many of the hands-on activities that Alexander is assigned through his Moving Beyond the Page curriculum. That will involve him in a wide variety of language arts, science, and social studies activities that I will keep very relaxed and age-appropriate for him. I believe it will be a nice way to have cohesiveness in our homeschool and not feel like we're jumping from theme to theme. I think doing things this way will allow us the flexibility to keep things really fun at the kindergarten level without sacrificing exposure to a great variety of rich topics. Art, Music, and Physical Education will be the most organic this year. Jack is an eager, focused little learner, and I know he will grow in leaps and bounds this year.

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