It's that time of year when my thoughts start to turn to the next school year. I've had about a month off of school and it's been fun - sewing, gardening, visiting with family. I was feeling burned out from school, but the break has started to renew me. I'm starting to look forward to next year and the work we will do.
Today I'm going to talk about what I use to teach my preschoolers and kindergarteners. I'll talk about the other children later.
I was so excited to start teaching my oldest daughter that when she was two I started using a colouring book she was given about numbers and doing a page every day as well as going through a set of alphabet cards. It took us 10-15 minutes and we were both happy.
Most of our curriculum for junior high on down comes from a Mennonite company called Rod and Staff Publishers. They are not on the internet themselves although if you do a search on their name you will find companies that sell their products online. You could also call them at 606-522-4348 and they will send you a catalogue. The quality of their products, I believe, is second to none - very thorough and high quality.
Now I generally wait until our children are 3 or 3 1/2. By then they WANT to do school like their older siblings so I have a set of four books that I use and they all love. It's their schoolwork and they take it very seriously. We do one page every day. They don't quite last a school year, but by then they are ready for the next set that I order. In these books they learn how to draw a straight line, begin learning the concept of left to right eye movement on a page, count to number 5, cutting and pasting (a huge favourite), trace curved lines, etc. It takes us about 15-20 minutes.
The next set of books I use for their K-4 work. It builds on what they've already learned and adds more numbers, the alphabet, sequencing, more cutting and pasting practice, how to print their name, logical thought (Don't all four year olds need help with this?). I don't use the brown book that you see in this set simply because whatever we're doing for Bible study for the big children we make it so the little ones can join in.
This company has now come out with some more books to continue this series. We love this addition. These books continue to build on what they know. Each book is themed on a different climate. All the exercises involve the animals, insects, and plants of that climate. We do a 2-3 pages per day in these books plus continue to learn the alphabet by going through a set of cards once per day. This takes about 30-40 minutes per day.
K-5 gets a little more serious. Our work can take up to an hour to get done, but we don't do that all at once. It usually takes 2-3 sessions with breaks to get through that hour of work. We really get down to the business of learning to read. By now they generally know the names of all their letters and the sounds they make. I have changed my reading curriculum. I now use a reading programme that my mom wrote for learning to read using the King James Bible as the textbook. My children love this because they get their own Bible and we colour words in it as they learn. The textbook can be purchased directly from my mom (416-445-1611) or you can order the CD of the textbook here. My mom has also made a set of alphabet cards to go with the book. These are the cards we now use for learning the alphabet.
We also do more concentrated work in math. By the end of kindergarten they will be able to count to 999 (if you want ☺) add and subtract, count by 2's, 5's and 10's, work with pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters and know a little about cups, pints, quarts, etc. There is also a set of extra practice sheets in case you need more work in a certain area. I have done everything from making them do almost every sheet to just doing it on an "as needed" basis. This is a very good math foundation.
Of course, with all of this we do lots of reading. It's so fun now to watch my older children read to their younger siblings. All of my children love to read and/or be read to. I think being read to is something we never outgrow enjoying - think audio books - adults love it too.
If you have any questions about what to teach your little one, I hope this has helped. Please contact me if you have any further questions.
What do you plan on teaching your little ones this year?