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Our first four weeks of grade 1

We have been very busy since our last “reset”. Our curriculum choices have evolved, and some things have worked really well so far, others not so much.

We seem to be finally on track for learning to read, writing, and math. There have been some surprises here too.

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Reading A-Z has been awesome, and I consider it our “spine” aka backbone of our language arts learning to read curriculum. We are just over halfway through the high frequency books and lessons, and Peanut is reading at about a grade 1.4 level now! So in 6 weeks he’s shot up by 1 year in his reading abilities. How can a mama not be excited by that! He also is about to graduate from level A to level B books on their guided reading books. I have a feeling he’ll be reading at a grade 2 or 3 level by the end of our school year if this keeps up.

Another sight word program we’re using is Easy Peasy Getting Ready part 1 – McGuffey Primer. I have a love hate relationship with it. Peanut loves it (a plus) but it uses outdated words and is sometimes heavy with christian religious content. To be fair, McGuffey readers were originally printed in 1836, so it is what it is. For now, we’ll continue to use it, slowly and steadily. Peanut actually giggles and laughs from the flashcards, so that’s a plus in my book!

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Complete Curriculum Kindergarten Language Arts is our other language arts spine. Peanut loves the stories, and the worksheets aren’t overwhelming, so he actually enjoys doing them. To be honest, I was skeptical of this curriculum since it was so inexpensive, but it’s proven to be a pretty solid program. The drawback is the printing. There is almost 1500 student pages! I don’t print them all, plus I print the stories as booklets so there really is about 500 – 700 pages to print. I’m grateful we have an eco-tank printer! I don’t print the Teacher’s manuals since I can just put the pdf on my tablet follow it that way.

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Once we’re done with the Reading A-Z high frequency words, I’ll be using McGraw Hill Treasures grade 1. We should get to the 4th or 5th unit before the end of our year.

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For spelling we’ve begun to use Spelling You See level A. We got this 2 years ago from Timberdoodle, but Peanut wasn’t ready for it yet. So far he’s doing well with it. The best part is that he’s also learning phonics without knowing it, since he has to sound out the word to spell it.

Getty Dubay handwiting A is our learning to write curriculum. I thought it would be easier since most letters involve only 1 or 2 strokes, plus it sets the child up for cursive handwriting later. Peanut even seems to like it, so that’s a good thing.

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Phonics is very difficult for Peanut. I’ve set aside teaching him how to read phonetically for a while. I’ll be introducing Explode the Code 1 in a few weeks though, since it’s a gentle introduction to phonics.

Math has been our trouble spot. I now use several resources, so I can’t say one is our actual spine. Complete Curriculum Math grade 1 is amazing. 180 lessons and well scripted. We’ve been doing this daily. We added A Beka Arithmetic grade 1, and Peanut loves this worktext! It’s colourful, and not overwhelming. He does 2 pages a day. We’ve also taken McRuffey math off the shelf, dusted it off, and have started using it too. Peanut loves all the games and puzzles. We did shelve Harcourt math grade 1 since it offered no instruction, it kind of felt like busy work. Math U See Alpha will be coming out of the background soon, since we’ll be learning how to solve for an unknown, and Math U See visually explains it better. We also suppliment with Easy Peasy All In One Homeschool math grade 1, since the majority of it is online games which reinforce what we’ve learned. So for now, math seems to be going well (knock on wood!).

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Science has been a pain in the patootie. I love how the topics are arranged in Complete Curriculum Science Grade 1, but I hate how much ‘stuff’ I need to gather beforehand. Still, we’re going to use it, but we’ll have to skip a few lessons that call for things I can’t easily find here. I also LOVE Easy Peasy Zoology (year 2 level L). We are doing this too, and Peanut really enjoys it. It is heavy on lapbooks, but I’m turning them into a year long interactive notebook instead.

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History is also a problem area. We tried Easy Peasy history year 1, but it’s pretty dry and boring. We are using Story of the World Volume 1, but even that has it’s issues. Peanut is bored by the stories, and there aren’t enough pictures to grab his attention. He loves the activities and crafts though, so we’ll soldier on and maybe eventually Peanut will like the stories. We’ll probably use this again in 3-4 years when Peanut can understand more of it, but for now we’ll keep trying. If it doesn’t work, and we seem to be dreading it, we’ll shelve it for a while.

I know I’m forgetting about a lot of things we’re using, but this is pretty much our main curricula for this year. Lots of reading, math, science, and a side dish of history, and a whole lot of arts and crafts mixed in.

Wish us luck! now please pass the coffee and chocolate donuts.

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Curriculum Review: Complete Curriculum Language Arts Kindergarten

I have some definite issues with Complete Curriculum, but overall the Kindergarten language arts is pretty good. Good enough to be our “spine” for language arts this year. At least so far.

I’ll start with the things that bring this curriculum down. The major issue I have is the student pages for learning to write letters. Here is an example of the same page in the teacher’s manual (left) and the Student manual (right), side by side:

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The teacher’s manual has the dotted lines to trace, and the arrows to show which way to go. The student manual has thick, inconsistent letters without the ability to trace them. OOPS! Not a huge issue, I just have to print these from the teacher’s manual. Annoying, but nothing that would make me stop using it.

The next issue is the lack of a “materials needed” list. As I went through the lessons, I noticed many had activities that needed art and craft supplies. It would be nice to have a heads-up beforehand!

So what do I like about it so far?

It is almost totally open and go. Here is a sample lesson:

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I love how each lesson builds on the previous one, and it includes phonics, reading, writing, and even throws in fine motor skills, thinking skills, conversation starters, and extra ideas to reinforce each lesson.

There are 180 lessons, but we do 2 lessons on Thursdays so we can have Fridays off. It is easy enough to double up since every 5th lesson is usually a shorter lesson that involves a nursery rhyme.

The readers are also included, there are about 100 all together. The only issue I have with them is the print is a bit small for little children beginning to read. I’d have liked to see them in a bigger font, similar to what they use on the cover of each book. Here’s an example:

Again, not a deal breaker, but annoying! When I print them out as a booklet, the writing is so small that even I struggle to see it. But the books themselves are cute, colorful, and holds Peanut’s attention.

This kindergarten language arts teaches:

  • reading
  • phonological awareness
  • phonics
  • reading fluency
  • writing
  • speaking and listening
  • language and vocabulary
  • grammar

It also is somewhat aligned to Common Core, so if that’s important to you, it has it!

There are games, arts and crafts, and computer games mixed into many lessons, so it is pretty interactive.

All in all, it’s a pretty solid curriculum at a low price. It comes as 2 PDF files, one for the teacher’s manual and one for the student’s manual. You do have to print out at least the student writing pages, but if the cost of printer ink is an issue, you can use the rest of the curriculum on your computer or tablet.

So for the price, I would recommend this curriculum, but just be aware of the issues with the writing pages for the student manual. It wasn’t my first choice for a language arts curriculum, but it fit our budget this year, and actually surprised me. I was intending to use it as a supplement, but instead it became our spine!

Curriculum review: Reading A-Z

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We have been using Reading A-Z for almost 3 months now. Thanks to this website and curriculum, Peanut has gone from reading at a Kindergarten level (0.8) to a mid grade 1 level (1.5) in just under 9 weeks of school! So do I like this curriculum? Heck ya!

It is a bit expensive – $109.95 per year. You can get a discount through Homeschool Buyers Co-op for $69.95, that’s a 36% savings! Or if you’re really in love with all that they offer, you can get the super bundle for $719.66 per year through Learning A-Z, or $319 through the co-op. The complete collection super bundle includes:

We’re only using Reading A-Z right now, so that’s what I’m going to review.

Reading A-Z offers a wide range of resources for reading, and here are the main resources (some explanations come directly from their website):

Simple alphabet books that helps kids learn to recognize the uppercase and lowercase letters, which is the most important first steps in learning how to read. There are accompanying resources help children learn to identify, name, and write the letters of the alphabet. Along with printable books, there are also flashcards, Chants, and Letter Formation Worksheets.Untitled

36 High frequency word books which includes the most commonly used sight words in printed text. Each set targets high-frequency words, and each book builds on the previous ones. It includes flashcards and games to make learning fun. We are actually just over halfway done these, and this is what has made the most improvement in Peanut’s reading skills!8

Phonological Awareness lessons have 30 lessons to teach the basics of phonics. Phonological awareness should come before actually doing phonics. We have been struggling with learning to read through phonics, but after we’re done learning all the sight words from #2, we’ll begin this with Peanut. The Phonological Awareness Lessons are organized from the simplest skills to the most difficult. Each lesson might include picture cards, a game, or a workmat, and always suggests a supplemental Read-Aloud Book for extra practice

Phonics. Each of the 68 lessons introduce, teach, and practice a sound (phoneme) and its related symbol or symbols (grapheme or graphemes).  Lessons include activities using manipulatives, such as letter cards, phonogram cards, workmats, decodable and high-frequency word cards, games, and worksheets that support instruction and practice.1

Leveled books! This is the heart of this curriculum. There are 29 reading levels that are labelled aa, A to Z, and Z1 & Z2. This is equivalent of kindergarten (level aa- C) to grade 5+ (level X-Z2).  All totaled, there are almost 2400 books in this section.Image result for reading a-z

These books are from all types of genres. Biographies, comedies, classics, fairy tales, fiction, it’s all there! From The Mitten to The Call of the Wild!  Each book is printable in colour or black and white, and can be done as a single sided book, double sided book, or even a pocketbook! Many include worksheets for phonics, comprehension, and also guided reading lessons. This is a total gold mine!

While I’m on the topic of books, all the reading a-z books can be printed out, so if you want your child to have their own personal library, you will need a few things:

  • a subscription to Reading A-Z
  • an internet connection to download the books and resources
  • a printer with ink!
  • printer paper
  • a good stapler
  • washi tape to hide the staples (and make the book look cuter than it already is!)

There are also nursery rhymes, poetry books, song books, read aloud books, comic books, and many more.Resources are included too! There are assessments, tips, forms and tools, tutoring and mentoring packs, worksheets, and so much more.

So why did I choose Reading A-Z as our reading curriculum? We have tried many other “learn to read” programs with little or no success – Hooked on phonics, Teach Your Child to Read in 100  Easy Lessons, The Reading Lesson, Progressive Phonics, Phonics Pathways, Read the Alphabet, and a few others. None have made a significant impact with Peanut’s reading abilities. Then for some reason I realized that they all had one thing in common – learning to read phonetically. Peanut just wasn’t grasping the concept of rhyming, blending letters together, sounding them out.

So I looked into teaching him to read using sight words. Since sight words make up between 70-95% of what we read, it made sense. And maybe it would make sense for him to start there. So I did an online search, and Reading A-Z was one of the first things that came up. I took a free 14 day trial, and I was hooked! Peanut read his first book all by himself within 2 days of starting the high frequency word books! I was overjoyed, and Peanut was excited to be able to read on his own. He couldn’t get enough!

I honestly feel that Reading A-Z is a valuable asset to any homeschooler who is teaching children aged 4-12. I plan to use this until we finish the Z2 level! Peanut loves the books, and he’s enjoying his new found reading confidence thanks to this resource.  He even enjoys the accompanying worksheets for each book.

So if you have a struggling reader, do yourself a favour and check out Reading A-Z. Take a free 14 day trial. See if it is a good fit for you. It sure was for us!

(disclaimer- this review is my own opinion. I was not contacted by anyone to write this review. I also was not offered any discount, free subcription, or compensation from anyone including those at Reading A-Z for this review. In fact, they have no idea I wrote this, hahaha!)

Curriculum review: A Beka Arithmetic 1 Work-text

Out of the blue, I stumbled across what I thought looked like a very interesting and fun book being sold at a local book fair. A Beka Mathematics 1. 197327

I thought for the extra low price (about $6 US), even if this was a stinker, I could probably still use parts of the book to reinforce our math curriculum.

I had just come home, and Peanut was curious what was in the bag. I showed him all the books I bought, and he immediately grabbed the math book and said “This is mine!”. The smile on my face probably could have been seen for miles around!

He opened the book, and went right to the first lesson. As he looked at the page, he answered all the questions right without any prompts from me. At this point my skepticism turned into optimism. Maybe I stumbled upon gold here…

So we did the first lesson. And the second. And by the third, Peanut was insisting that HE write the answers down by himself. He basically fired me as his math scribe! hahaha!

Here’s the table of contents:

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We began using this book as just a suppliment to our other math curriculum, but within a few days I realized just how much Peanut loves this book. The switch was a no-brainer. A Beka Arithmetic has now become our primary math curriculum. We now suppliment it using our other math curricula to better explain whatever concept we are working on, but only if needed.

Peanut loves the bright and fun pages, and the fact that there is not too many exercises on each page, so he’s not overwhelmed (unlike Math Mammoth). Here are some examples:

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It has 170 lessons, easy enough to add a lesson here and there to keep within our 144 days of school.

So is there any “cons” about this curriculum? Only one, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me: For anyone who wants a strictly non-religious curriculum, you may take offence at the christian references in this book. I don’t mind them because they have nothing to do with the actual math. They are only on the introduction pages to the 4 units. We don’t even read them!

Overall, I am really happy I picked up this book. I highly recommend it. Peanut is enthusiastic about math now, and that’s what counts! (no pun intended.) (okay, maybe a bit, hahaha)

Complete Curriculum Math kindergarten and grade 1 review

I was really looking forward to using this math curriculum this year. The samples were colorful, and it seemed that the teacher and student manuals would be fun.

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Well, to be honest, this one is really a hit or miss.

Here is the topics for Kindergarten math:

  • lessons 1-30: numbers to 20
  • lessons 31- 50:shapes, patterns, position words
  • lessons 51-60: counting to 30
  • lessons 61- 70: shapes and symmetry
  • lessons 71-80: days of the week, months of the year, calendars, fist, next, last, morning, afternoon, evening
  • lessons 81- 90: telling time
  • lessons 91- 100: money
  • lessons 101-110: graphs
  • lessons 111-120: measuring
  • lessons 121-130: addition up to 10
  • lesson 131-140: subtraction from 10 to 0
  • lesson 141-150: addition stories
  • lesson 151-160: subtraction stories
  • 161-170: counting to 100, skip counting
  • 171-180: writing in expanded form, number line, ordering numbers

In Grade 1 these are the topics:

  • lesson 1-3: review the numbers 0-10
  • lesson 4-10: adding to 10
  • lesson 11-20: subtraction within 10
  • lesson 21-30: addition
  • lesson 30-35: subtraction
  • lesson 36-40: fact families
  • lesson 41-50: skip counting to 100
  • lesson 51-60: greater than, less than
  • lesson 61-70: telling time
  • lesson 71-80: money
  • lesson 81-90: shapes
  • lesson 91-100: patterns
  • lesson 101-120: measurement
  • lesson 121-130: graphs, tally marks, grids, preditions
  • lesson 131-140: hundreds
  • lesson 141-160: adding and subtracting within 20
  • lesson 161-180: adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers

The lessons themselves are easy to do, and the student pages are fun and colorful. The teacher’s manual is easy to follow, and lists what you need, and how to teach the lesson:

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The student pages are simple, clutter free, colorful (sorry I chose a bad example!) and not intimidating since they have only a few questions on each page.

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So, realistically this curriculum covers exactly what we need to learn, but I have a few reservations about it. For starters there are a few errors. Most I can live with, (take a look at the teacher’s manual above, line 3 – “by usingob-jects”) but when the STUDENT pages are teaching the WRONG thing, I get annoyed! Here’s an example:

The child is supposed to be learning to add boxcars to make the number 7. The student text has the answers pre-written as 6! ARGH!!!!

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The teacher’s manual for this lesson has the correct version, BUT also includes the anwers!

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Yes, I could just print the teacher’s copy out and either black out the answers or cover them with white-out, but it’s still very annoying!

I haven’t gone too far into this math curriculum, we’re only on lesson 12 of grade 1. I had hoped to add the Kindergarten material to ‘beef up’ the workload, but I think the errors in the Kindergarten version kind of turned me off. I may still do it, but I lucked out at a local book sale – they had an A Beka grade 1 worktext on SALE so I was able to get it at a great deal!!! yay me!

Still, Complete Curriculum Math is a really well done math program, and I am using it, but not every day anymore. We are using this in conjunction with A Beka grade 1 worktext. I find they really work well together.

Am I sorry I bought Complete Curriculum Math? No. It is a great math curriculum, but I have to actually read through each lesson, especially the student pages, to check for errors. Thankfully there hasn’t been any in the grade 1 editions so far. What I like most about it is the teacher’s guide. It really tells you how to teach the lesson, and it uses a very “hands on” approach. Great for Peanut since he’s a kinesthetic learner.

 

Complete Curriculum Science grade 1 review

We are using Complete Curriculum Science grade 1 right now.  It is a secular curriculum that also is aligned with national standards (I’m guessing USA standards?). This curriculum really stresses using your brain instead of just memorizing facts. I like that! It comes as a PDF with a teacher’s edition and student edition:

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At first I was skeptical since I bought the whole Complete Curriculum kindergarten – grade 12 bundle for under $100, and they cover math, science, social studies, and language arts for each grade! I figured even if I couldn’t use most of it, it would at least give me a “roadmap” to create my own curriculum. I didn’t have to worry though, this curriculum is wonderful!

Science grade 1 has 180 days of lessons, but since we only do 144 days, it was easy enough to combine 1 lesson a week to reduce it to my preferred schedule.

In grade 1 we will cover:

  • Lessons 1-19 : What scientists do
  • Lessons 20-26: The 5 senses
  • Lesson 27-37: Plants
  • Lesson 38-50: Animals (including insects, amphibians, etc)
  • Lesson 51-53: Animals and plants together
  • Lesson 56-60: Habitats
  • Lesson 64-92: Natural resources, soil, minerals, rocks, erosion, water cycle, recycling, landfills, composting, forest fires
  • Lesson 94-112 : satellites, space station, weather, seasons
  • Lesson 114-125 : Dinosaurs, fossils
  • Lesson 127-147 : Matter, force, gravity, vibrations (sound), magnets
  • Lesson 149-166 : Energy, light and shadow, electricity, day and night, planets, stars, space
  • Lesson 168-176 : vertebrates, invertebrates, adaptation, food webs
  • Lesson 178: Animals helping others
  • Lesson 179 What does a farmer do?

Any gaps between the lessons are reviews and tests for that chapter.

The teacher’s manual is easy to follow, and I printed mine out in black and white to save on ink. It is 806 pages, but it includes the answer key for the student pages. The actual teacher’s guide if you remove the student pages and answer key is only 242 pages.

The student pages are where this curriculum shines. I didn’t print out the table of contents for it (it is exactly the same as what’s in the teacher’s manual) so that means there is 564 pages to print, mostly in colour, for the student worktext. Not a huge issue for us since we have an Epson Eco-Tank printer, but if you rely on an inkjet with cartridges, to save money you may have to print it at a local printers instead, or use the suggestion below.

Here is the first lesson. The teacher’s manual:

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And the student pages:

s1a  s1bs1c  s1ds1e

If printing is an issue, you could easily just view the lesson on the computer since it’s a pdf, then just have your child use a notebook to record the answers. Also, they know that not all children can write at this age, so they encourage a lot of drawing, then the child can dictate the words to a parent.

Looking through the lessons, I see there are a lot of experiments, but none call for anything crazy. Even on this little island we will be able to find everything we need.

Another nice thing about this curriculum is that it also sometimes lists recommended reading! For instance, while learning about the senses, they list My Five Senses by Aliki and What Happens When You Touch and Feel by Joy Richardson as resource books. If they aren’t available at our local library, most of the time there is a YouTube video of the book being read aloud.

Most lessons also starts with an engaging question to ask your child.  Things like “Where do crystals come from?”, “What do you need to live?”, “How are a butterfly, a cricket, and a walking stick alike?” and “Where does all of the trash go?” This gets your child thinking, and sets the tone for the lesson.

The lessons are easy to follow, take very little preparation, and take maybe 10 to 15 minutes to do on most days. If there is an experiment, it may take about 20-30 minutes at most. I like that. Short and sweet, and no busy work, fluff, or filler. Just get to the point, do the work (and have fun while doing it!) and that’s it! There are maybe 5 or 6 of longer lessons, but they involve trips to the zoo, botanical garden, or taking a walk. I plan those on weekends when we can take our time and explore.

So is there anything I don’t like about Complete Curriculum Science grade 1? Maybe the amount of printing (I like to have a hard copy since we only have 1 computer). Still, with our printer, it’s not too much trouble.

If you’re like me and print everything, you will need to put the student worktext in a large 2.5 or 3 inch binder. I’m actually considering just spiral binding the teacher’s manual since it may be easier to use that way. These are my Teacher’s Manuals:

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So am I happy I bought this curriculum? To be completely honest, yes, I am. It covers all the science topics I wanted Peanut to learn this year, it was a fantastic price, and it’s pretty fun to do! The only thing I may add is a children’s science encyclopedia, but only because I love books and I want Peanut to love books too!

Note: We purchased this curriculum as a bundle from Educents, and this is my honest opinion. I did not receive any form of compensation for this review, nor was I even asked to write a review. I did this because there just aren’t any reviews of this curriculum except by Cathy Duffy (it is actually one of her top 102 picks!).

 

Our total reset, day 9…

We are still finding our stride, but so far I’m happy with most of our curriculum. We purchased the full k-12 bundle of Educents Complete Curriculum, and it is a wonderful spine for the four basic subjects: Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. This is what we’re now doing:

MathA Beka Mathematics grade 1: it’s a colourful work text with 170 lessons in it. We won’t be using it as “lessons” but we are doing it at the rate of  2 to 3 pages a day. We should comfortably be finished it in about 140 days.

A Beka math is colourful and fun, but doesn’t give too much practice. So I have turned to Harcourt math grade 1 to supplement A Beka. If we do 1 chapter a week, we’ll be done in 30 to 31 weeks.

But since both books lack any kind of teacher’s manual or instructions on how to teach the lessons, I’m turning to MEP Math for that. This math program is very well written, but hard to implement most of it since it’s written for a classroom, not a homeschool setting.

We’re using Complete Curriculum All Aboard for grade 1 Math as well, but we’re finding that the beginning few lessons are just a kindergarten review. It has 180 lessons, and I’m trying to co-ordinate them with the other math we’re doing. This math has an excellent teachers manual, but already I’ve found an error in the student pages. They are supposed to be learning the different ways to add to 7, but they have the the answers written as ___+___=6! So the child would be Learning that 4+3=6, 7+0=6, etc. So a word of warning, although it’s a great curriculum, there may be some errors!

Learning to read: we use Reading A-Z, and it has worked wonders! We use the readers and the high frequency words lessons. So far in 1 month Peanut has learned about 60 sight words! He is reading better each day, and because of this, he’s also learning to spell a few words too!

We are also using Complete Curriculum All Aboard for Language Arts Kindergarten since they have readers for almost every lesson, and Peanut actually is able to read some of the words already! He’s enjoying the stories too.

Writing: Complete Curriculum All Aboard for Language Arts Kindergarten has been wonderful! Peanut is beginning to get more comfortable with drawing since this curriculum has him drawing at least 3 to 4 times a week, then he dictates the story he drew. I’m also supplementing with Confessions of a homeschooler‘s learning to write the alphabet. It’s working fairly well, but Peanut still has trouble forming the letters freehand. It seems like dysgraphia. We may be looking into occupational therapy for this after Christmas. 
Phonics: Complete Curriculum All Aboard for Language Arts does a good job introducing phonics, as well as other concepts like rhyming and syllables. I supplement this with Explode the Code A-C, and they really work well together. Peanut is actually progressing! Reading phonetically isn’t coming easy for him, so we’re focusing on sight words and gradually introducing phonics. Complete Curriculum seems to be a gentle introduction to phonics.

Social Studies: Complete Curriculum All Aboard for Social Studies Kindergarten has been wonderful so far. It has 90 lessons, so we do 3 lessons a week. The only problem with it is the USA unit. We’ll have to substitute our own national flags, anthems, symbols, and heroes. Other than that, it’s a fantastic curriculum done at just Peanut’s ability level.

Science: Complete Curriculum All Aboard for Science grade 1 is 180  days of lessons, and covers the subjects one expects: different branches of science, senses, animals, plants, insects, dinosaurs, geology, space, energy, magnets, and more. Probably half the lessons have some kind of experiment, but most items are easy to find. Also, Peanut is doing well with it, but he’s not as enthusiastic about it as he was two years ago when we did the Kindergarten science.

Now for a few other changes we’ve made:

We are now going back to Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool for some subjects to round out our year. Here’s our Easy Peasy Schedule (taking out as much “new earth” religious bias as possible):

Math grade 1: Peanut actually loves this! I find it’s good reinforcement to what we’re learning, so we’ll be using this as scheduled. It’s full of online math games, and only 33 worksheets for the whole 180 days of lessons!

Science year 2 level L – Zoology: yes, we are doing 2 sciences! I love how hands-on this science is, and Peanut is enjoying it. It has about 12 lapbooks, and that means a lot of cutting and gluing, a plus for his fine motor skills! We also will be skipping the end of the year projects, so this brings it down to about 145-150 days. Just right for our schedule! We may drop Complete Curriculum Science of we find we’re overloaded, but I think Peanut will be fine.

History year 1 level L: This is very well put together, but can be a bit “dry”, so I’ll supplement this with Story of the World Volume 1 and the accompanying activity book/student pages. Between the two of them, Peanut will have a fun year of history. It just means I have to do some coordination between the two of them. Also, like Easy Peasy Science, we’re skipping some days (current events, and of year project) and this brings it down to a comfortable 245-150 days as well!

Health year 1 level L

Art year 1 level L

Music year 1 level L

Funny enough, you would think we do hours and hours of homeschooling a day, but at most we probably take 90 minutes a day to cover it all. We do about 20+ minutes of work, take a long break (at least 30-45 minutes) then do another 20+ minutes work.Wash, rinse, repeat until we’re done. Some days Peanut is really into what we’re doing so we get over half our work Some in one sitting! Some days we’re done by noon, some days we don’t even start till 2 pm! That’s the wonderful flexibility of homeschooling!

I’ll try to do some in depth reviews over the next few weeks, but for now, may your wine be chilled and your chocolate be rich!