I often wonder how public school teachers can stand in a class and teach the same lecture over 6 times in one day and year after year. I’m thankful that this is the talent of some, but it’s not mine. I like to change things up.
With homeschooling I’ve found that all my kiddos have definitely had different learning styles. That doesn’t mean I haven’t recycled some of the same materials through different kids, but for the most part we’ve found new, different, and/or better materials as the years have rolled along, sometimes several times within one year, LOL. 🙂 Of course the TOS Homeschool Crew has certainly been a lifeline in this regard- offering just what we needed, right when we needed it at times.
Taylor learned to read using “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” and was a blazing success. So I started out with it for Levi last year just to see where he was at, and we just piddled along through it a little bit last year waiting on his attention span to develop a bit more. We have picked up the pace and I do believe it will be a great fit for him as well this year, as he is certainly showing interest in wanting to know what everything says.
Taylor loved workbooks. She would fly through as many as I would allow her to, and ate up Alpha Omega’s Lifepacs. Pretty much refused any help, just beamed with pride as I was amazed she had completed and fully understood her workbook exercises without my much of my help.
Not to leave my oldest child out- but that would take a novel to try and include her learning styles, and her journey of learning as she was quite advanced from the beginning.
So the third time around we are doing Kindergarten. I really want to be as excited and gung ho as the first time around, but I find I’m not at all worried or nervous at this point that my child might not learn all he needs to know in Kindergarten. I’m fully confident he will know his ABC’s and be able to count to 100 before he goes to college. 🙂
I find us beginning this year with my main goal being to teach him to love books, to love his family, and to love learning.
After reviewing Before Five in a Row a couple of years back, I had planned to thoroughly enjoy Five in a Row this year with Levi. I just received an “experienced” copy in the mail I found on a used curriculum forum, and am anxiously tracking down some of the books to use. My dilema is that he and Taylor have been devouring Magic Treehouse books together (her reading to him- she adored them and has kept the whole collection in her room) and I really want to use a Five in a Row Approach with Magic Treehouse books using the website for extra materials. I do, however, love the classic storybooks used in FIAR. So I will begin with classic FIAR, and then we might switch things up a bit since he is extremely excited to spend some time traveling through history and the world with Jack and Annie. 🙂
He LOVES playing on the Magic Treehouse website, and it is really a wonderfully educational tool. It really is geared more for a bit older kids, however that have actually read the books. But since he loves going through them so much with his sister, this is also a great bonding experience for the both of them, so I’m encouraging their time together reading and working on the website.
We are currently reviewing Time 4 Learning which he absolutely is loving.( Review to follow on this.)
I did purchase Explode the Code Online but haven’t received my subscription yet to begin it. This is something I found on sale through Homeschool Buyers Coop and decided would be of great benefit while I am working with my others school lessons. He does enjoy working on the computer, and still works on some websites we reviewed in previous years like GogoKabongo.
I had planned to start Math U See with him, as the first couple of levels are pretty great at explaining numbers with manipulatives. I have decided to sell all the rest of the levels for various reasons and move to other programs, but I do plan to use the first couple of levels with Levi. We do, however, still love using Critical Thinking Company’s Math Reasoning, Building Thinking Skills, Visual Perception books, and a couple of others as well as some maze books, so we’ll see if we get in the groove with MUS this year. I’m not real concerned about nailing down a scheduled math program in Kindergarten ,truth be told.
Actually, I’m not nailing down any schedules. I want wiggle room and room to make learning fun for him. After all, he would definitely rather build forts all day! (taken from Andrew Pudewa’s “How to Teach Boys and Others Who Would Rather Build Forts All Day. See Institute For Excellence in Writing’s website to get a cheap download- it’s awesome.)
I had also planned to really get consistant with the Kinderbach. It’s such an all around fun learning program that really teaches much more than music, although he has definitely picked up some great music concepts from it. Music is definitley one of his loves, so I’m going to try and get in the groove with Kinderbach as well. We’ve done it in spurts for two years since I was able to buy the whole program, but I’d really like to get in the groove and really get rolling with it this year for him.
I do want to incorporate Nature Journaling for Science. He loves being outdoors on our ranch, and hands-on learning is happening all the time out here, so I figure I’ll take advantage of what God has blessed us with! He has picked out a special notebook, binder and pouch to keep his treasures in, and we will just make it up as God puts it in our path- who could be a better science teacher than the creator of it all Himself? 🙂
So our Kindergarten year is looking like a big fun plate of options at this point. Lots of reading, music, and nature walks sounds like a great learning adventure for Levi and for Momma! Love homeschooling! What a privilege and a pleasure!