When I first drafted this post I thought it’d be running before we finished our 36 week schedule for Sonlight’s Core P 4/5. Instead, we’ve just finished what was supposed to be the framework for G’s kindergarten year. As you might guess by our finishing it this early in the year, it went VERY well. So well that the last six weeks of it was completed in a much more rapid pace than I originally expected.
So what will we be doing next? We’re definitely not going to take a months-long break to stay lined up with the local school calendar, that’s for sure. *
The main disadvantage of doing it this way is it starts getting confusing to me as to what to say when someone asks what grade G is in. He’s finished what we planned for Kindergarten, and we’ll be moving on to what we planned for 1st grade. But it’s still the school year when he’d be in K. So I while I’ll still call him a Kindergartner, in this post I am writing about curriculum for 1st grade, more or less. Or maybe I’ll think of this as his K5 work. Or maybe it doesn’t matter at all, except for signing up for things like Awana or VBS.
Anyway, I’ve already mentioned that we plan on continuing with Sonlight, moving up to Core A. It’s been lined up on the bookshelf, waiting for us. That’s what G was seeing waiting for him and why he got so excited to finish P 4/5 – he wanted to dive into those new books! And the day after we finished it, I pulled them all out and spread them across the table. He had a fun time looking at them all, and flipping through a handful that he couldn’t resist (the most tempting one? That encyclopedia!)
Along with Core A I’ll be using Language Arts 1. Originally I selected LA 2, and while the readers would be fine, the writing part is too much, so I moved down to LA 1. The reading portions will be easy, but that’s ok. If nothing else, that helps him be super confident with that, and I can get him additional readers from the library that might challenge him a bit more.
We’ll continue on with All About Reading, and will move on to level 4 once he finished level 3. No real guesses yet as to when that will be, but his recent pace has been to complete 2 – 3 lessons a week.
All About Spelling Level 1 is all but finished, and Level 2 is waiting for us. I assume he’ll finish it this year, and that we’ll begin level 3 at that point. I’ll probably order 3 when he gets about 2/3 of the way through 2.
Because I’m a bit ridiculous and am also looking for more as a way to stretch Core A as well as fill up our hours (remember, it’s all little kids here; I don’t expect that to be a need once they get older), I’ve got Language Smarts B. It looks like a fun workbook, and that it’ll work with LA 1 well as reinforcement and a more explicit way of teaching some grammar and language details. We can do one page a day and easily finish it up along with this core. And if he hates it? I’ll put it aside, in case maybe one of his sisters likes it.
For Handwriting I’m planning on switching from Handwriting without Tears. G hates it (no tears, but it is the most despised subject for him). While I don’t think it’s *just* the writing program, he does hate HWT’s smaller lines, and always switches to the “other” side of the LA worksheets instead of the HWT-aligned side. I’ve got Getty-Dubay’s Book A for him, and he’s already looked through it. He really liked what he saw, and is anxious to start it. We’ll see how it goes.
For math, I have Mathematical Reasoning B, and as I recently mentioned, last month I got the downloadable version of Math Mammoth. So I can use both of them as seems best, and move along at his pace. He’s also very excited about that, and was super anxious to finish up the other book and get started with the new ones. We’ve already begun that, and he’s liking them both.
I’m also considering making another effort with Miquon. I got a very nice email after my post bemoaning how confusing Miquon is, with some suggestions on how to use it. We’ll see.
For science, we’ll be using Sonlight’s Science A, as well as probably finishing up the Apologia Astronomy book. We’re about halfway through astronomy – we took a long break from it because I couldn’t deal with the experiments and a new baby – so I’m assuming we’ll finish it up this year. Depending on his interest, we might move into the Apologia Botany book, or possibly try Science in the Beginning, which looks interesting. Or we may not add anything extra beyond nonfiction books from the library. Or maybe we won’t even add that, and Science A will be it – it’ll all depend on how things are going, and what it seems like G wants to do.
We have lots of maze and dot to dot books – G ADORES them, and can’t get enough of them. I figure those are good fine motor skills practice.
Physical education is still taken care of with Taekwondo. G is a new orange belt, and working towards his senior orange belt. He’s now in the regular classes, which are 45 minutes long. I’m not sure that we’ll get there for all 6 classes they offer in a week, but I’m aiming for at least 4 of them, and possibly 5. We’ll also do swimming again this summer – they’re all signed up again with the same teachers as last year.
I’m considering some options for a foreign language. I’d assumed I’d start with Song School Latin, but G has requested Spanish (his cousin is learning it). Any advice on a little-kid friendly and effective Spanish curriculum? I’m all ears. I’d thought about just getting Rosetta Stone, but reviews seem to be very mixed-to-negative about how effective it really is, and I don’t want to waste time and money on it if it won’t do any good. I also just missed a big sale on it, so I don’t want to buy it until I spot another sale. It seems like they do run sales fairly regularly, so next time around I want to be prepared if it’s one we should use.
I’m also still mulling over what exactly I want to do for art (appreciation and application) and music (appreciation / awareness, not so much application right now), so if you’ve got something you adore for either of those, let me know please!
Follow Along on Pinterest
I’ve set up a Pinterest board with all of these things, and am planning on adding the books I use to supplement. Sonlight does have a lot of books, but it’s still not enough for me. Especially since I want to stretch Core A!
I also set up a second board with other ideas and possibilities. These are things I’m considering, and if I end up using them I’ll move them to the other board. Don’t worry that I’m going to overload my son by trying all of the things on this board – I’m won’t; these are just for ideas. I’m likely going to try *one* thing for art, but I may have three or four pinned as I consider the options. The same for all the rest of the ideas pinned there.
* And a point of clarification: In Indiana, Kindergarten isn’t required, so I don’t have any state regulations to worry about satisfying. No minimum-number of days of instruction, no topics of instruction, etc. So if I’d wanted to I could have taken off between now and next year, at least as far as the state is concerned.