Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Curriculum Choices for 1st grade and Pre-K

I have thrown Rosalie into our crazy homeschooling schedule this year for several reasons. First, she is able to identify all of the letters both capital and lowercase, she is able to write most of them, and she is so enthusiastic about being a student in the Holland School! Secondly, it's easier for me to include her than to hold her off for one more year. Thirdly, by starting her now, I am able to combine her with Jonathan on History, Bible, Science, and other activities making it easier for me to implement our family schedule. So, we are calling it Pre-K and getting this show on the road. If at any point she shows signs of not being able to keep up with the work, we will slow it way down and re-evaluate. She will be doing the orange Handwriting Without Tears workbook, Singapore earlybird Mathematics, and a couple of Rod and Staff workbooks that will help her with her fine motor skills. (tracing, cutting, pasting, etc.)

Jonathan will be doing the yellow Handwriting Without Tears workbook,  Singapore Primary Mathematics Textbooks and Workbooks 1A and 1B, and a couple of Rod and Staff workbooks that will continue to work on his fine motor skills.

I am using the Heart of Dakota's Little Hearts for His Glory curriculum guide this year with both Jonathan and Rosalie. So, they are combined on all the history, science, Bible, and read a-louds. However, as you saw above, they have different levels of handwriting, reading, and math.  
History -
History for Little Pilgrims, 101 Favorite Bible Stories, History Stories for Children
Science - The World God Made
Bible - The children work on a memory verse each week and have Devotions scheduled throughout the week using Devotions for the Children's Hour
Reading - The Reading Lesson pictured above is the reading curriculum that they are both using, however Jonathan is almost finished with the book while Rosalie is just starting. Once Jonathan finishes The Reading Lesson he will begin reading a large set of emerging readers so that he can continue to practice his reading skills. I did not take a picture of those readers. Even though he hasn't finished The Reading Lesson, he has already started reading the first book in the Emerging Readers set. You may have noticed that the Heart of Dakota Beyond Little Hearts For His Glory is also pictured above. I am using that guide to follow the hands on math plans, the light grammar plans, and the spelling plans with Jonathan. As much as he has struggled in learning how to read, I am surprised at how much he LOVES spelling!

My highest priority for Kindergarten and 1st grade is not reading, writing, or math, it is teaching the children how to listen well to read a-louds, and be able to retell/narrate back to me what they heard. This is a pretty difficult skill to learn! Rosalie is not getting the gentle introduction to it that the others got since I have combined her with Jonathan, however, she is getting the idea from listening to Jonathan retell the readings back to me. She is going to learn a lot from him this year. She is already a pretty good listener and probably doesn't need as gentle an introduction to it that Jonathan needed. I started slowly with Jonathan using books that were smaller and had pictures, and eventually ended the year reading chapter books to him ... and he was able to narrate back to me in excellent detail. I love having the two of them together this year. They are already used to doing everything together anyway that it seems perfectly natural for them to do school together too.


  1. Yep, what to do with the little ones.... sounds like you are taking a good approach. She's 3 going on 4 in the winter, right? Girls are ready earlier than boys. I did Teach Your Child to Read with Eliana when she was just 3.

    Now, I've got Wilhelm telling me that he is going to do school with mommy..... so I'm trying to come up with something for him for preschool :)

    1. She's actually going to be 5 in the winter! Crazy to think, isn't it?

  2. Wow, how did I lose a whole year?!! SORRY!!!

    1. I find that it can be hard to keep up with the ages of my own children ... and I'm always surprised that the children of my friends also keep growing!