Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Less Giant Curriculum Post

I wrote earlier this week about our first grade plans, but I have another little guy included in our homeschool so today is his post.

Ezra turns four this summer and desperately wants to be in kindergarten. I think I told him "Three-year-olds have the important job to play a lot" about 50 gazillion times last year. We've always supplied art materials and had a few little workbook type things on hand for when he wanted to have something to do at the table with us, but mostly he worked with our Montessori materials or played while Ender and I worked with math manipulatives or on phonics.

Ender's K4 year was full of Montessori materials and projects inspired by random reads we picked up at the library. There was very little "worksheet" type work involved, but that's one of the things Ezra has asked for- "a writing book for me!" he says. So, after a loooooooot of talk with my husband we've decided to have a few K4 workbook type materials available for him but not required of him. Ezra really likes to write and draw so a workbook or two for him may be something he really enjoys. I wonder too if it makes a difference that he is a second child and sees his older brother working in a book for some of his schooling.

The books we've selected include:

:: Handwriting Without Tears Pre-K. If we're going to learn to write he's going to learn to do it correctly. If he isn't interested we'll easily put it aside.

:: A few preschool workbooks that have pages including mazes, dot-to-dot, tracing, shapes, same and different, matching rhyming words, etc. I like School Zone and Kumon for this type of casual work because it's easy to stay away from the more formal workbooks for letters and numbers.

Otherwise, K4 looks like this:

:: Lots and lots of art supplies: Our favorite place to order from is Dick Blick. I put in a big order 2-3 times a year and stock us with crayons, paints, paper and a new thing or two each time to try.

:: Montessori work for math. He already uses several of these materials, but I'll keep him progressing forward through the 3-6 albums.

::Phonics. My goal by the end of the year is that he knows all of the basic letter sounds. If we go beyond that that will be fabulous, and if not he'll be perfectly ready to start kindergarten the next year. He knows many of the sounds already, but I want to be continue what he has already started to learn on his own. We play a lot of games, read a lot, and use some montessori work.

Everything else grows out of our everyday things- working on our garden, canning food, baking together, reading whatever library books catch our interests, painting, drawing and playing games... some of it will turn into a big project at Ezra's request and some will just be "the thing we did that day."

How does preschool look at your house?

Do you think it makes a difference if your preschooler is a second (or third, fourth, etc.) child?

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