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This is our first year homeschooling. Our daughters are (almost) four and five years old and are taught and learn on the same level, which is why we decided to only purchase kindergarten homeschool curriculum. I’ve received many questions about our curriculum choices and flow of our day. I’m all for helping both current and potential homeschoolers, so here is what’s up with our first year homeschool curriculum.
A Typical Homeschool Day
We Work as a Team
It’s such a blessing to have my husband at home most days. His remote and freelance schedule allows him to teach math while I handle the other subjects. Our daughters love their time with their dad and it gives me a nice break during the day.
Our learning time lasts anywhere between one and a half to two hours max and normally starts sometime before Noon. Anything longer, besides a craft or outing, exhausts the girls. We want them to be fully engaged and attentive so we don’t force them to learn for longer periods of time.
Creating structure has been our priority this year, especially since our newborn will most likely mix up our days and mornings. Even if the start time changes or we skip a weekday and decide to have learning time during the weekend, we can still rely on the following structured learning time:
- Prayer & Devotional/Memory Verse
- Reading & Writing
On Wednesdays we attend a homeschool co-op that we’ve been a apart of for the past two years. Each meeting is three and a half hours long. It gives the girls a chance to socialize with other students and teachers who are also homeschooled. Class offerings change each session, but this session the girls have classes that focus on dramatic play, movement and dance. I love the opportunity to take part of these electives and supplemental learning.
Reading, writing and math are our focuses for our kindergartners. We only wanted to purchase curriculum for these subjects and did not want to go broke doing so. After a month of previewing homeschool curriculum online we decided that we would use Hooked on Phonics for reading and language and Masterbooks’s Math Lessons for a Living Education for math.
Our First Year Homeschool Curriculum
Hooked on Phonics
I like this curriculum because each unit and lesson flows perfectly together and takes students and parents through a step-by-step lesson. Each lesson is interactive and engaging, especially since the intro to each lesson is on a DVD. Along with a DVD for each level, it includes a workbook, and small easy-t0-read books that correlate with each unit. Our kids have quickly learned how to read and grow their phonics knowledge in a short amount of time. They enjoy each lesson, know what to expect each day because of the structure it provides, and they look forward to completing exercises and being rewarded with a star sticker, which is included in the set. It will last more than one school year too, making it worth the investment.
Math Lessons for a Living Education: Math 1
I like this curriculum because it relates math to real life, kid-friendly stories and scenarios. It’s perfect for those who want a little structure but who also desire to add their own flavor to the subject. There’s only one book, opposed to the students having one and the teacher another. The book is organized into lessons that allow learning five days a week for up to 180 days. Although the publisher considers this book to be first grade level, our girls aren’t struggling to keep up with the curriculum. It moves at a great pace.
Other Resources We Are Using
50 Great States book I found for $1 at Target
Free online worksheets found on Pinterest
Human Anatomy Wall Sticker Set
Usborne’s Look Inside Your Body
Usborne’s 365 Science Activities
Incredible Sea Creatures book I found for $1 at Target
If you’re still looking for homeschool resources, check out Educents.com where you will find everything from curriculum to activities to educational toys and more.