Most homeschool mom’s like to share their curriculum choices before starting the homeschool year, which I did on YouTube. However I was reluctant to share our final plans here. I guess I was worried that I wouldn’t get it all done. Now that we finished up our homeschooling year and are well into grade one. I thought I should share what we used. What worked and what didn’t.
You can check out the video below showing what we started our Kindergarten Year using.
You will notice we made some changes as the year carried on. We adapted to what my son needed, and that was very empowering. I love that as a homeschooling family we can tailor our lessons to my son’s needs.
What We Did for SOCIAL STUDIES:
This year Zakari studied Geography and Culture(Social Studies) using Bookshark PreK as our main Core from September to April. This program provided him a small glimpse of our large world with the colorful Kids Beginner’s World Atlas. Zakari was also introduced to history and how cities and streets have changed over time. From professions to transportation, this part of the year was a great first step to exploring the world.
After completing this Bookshark PreK Course we switched over to Build Your Library Level 0/Kindergarten. During April to August Zakari was given a gentle introduction to the geography of all 7 continents, and how children live life in each location. Zakari responded well to this literature based approach.
If you want to see exactly what we used with Build Your Library, you can check out the video below where I shared the program.
Throughout the year we also supplements with read aloud chapter books(fiction and nonfiction) on some of the places we were visiting during our lessons.
How We Studied CANADA
Zakari completed ‘The 52 Weekly Stories About Canada’. The stories in this book have been designed to expose children to Canadian symbols, animals, birds, seasons, month of the year, special celebrations, famous places, and famous people.
We also continued blending the IAHP/Doman International Intelligence Program prescribed to Zakari to teach him about geography, cultures and history. We did this by working on vocabulary words on the subject and homemade books(See my post about our homemade books).
Diving into SCIENCE
For the first part of the year we used and completed Bookshark PreK as our Science core. Zakari learn about seasons, weather, plants, animals, the ocean.
The second part of the year we switched to Build Your Library Level 0/Kindergarten and explore the different ecosystems and animals found on each of the seven continents.
Throughout the year we also continued blending the IAHP/Doman International Intelligence Program prescribed to Zakari to teach him about science. We hit topics such a weather, biology, zoology, & why things happen, just to name a few. We did this by working on vocabulary words on the subject and homemade books(See Homemade Books List).
The Art of LANGUAGE ARTS
IAHP/Doman International Program:
In August 2017 Zakari was seen by a group of Child Development Specialist at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia. The prescribed an updated reading program for Zakari. For the good chunk of the year Zakari was introduced to several hundred written words, sentences, and 100 homemade books. This program was able to blend together science, history, geography and more.
Zakari completed half of the Grade 1 Hooked on Phonics. He could have completed the entire Grade 1 level, however time did not allow us to get to it as often as we would have liked. This will be continued in September.
Bookshark & Build Your Library: We used Bookshark & Build Your Library’s read alouds as a building block to Zakari’s reading program. Zakari also went through Bookshark’s program to reinforce letter sounds and build on his vocabulary.
View this post on Instagram
Someone completed his kindergarten phonics program we started a few weeks ago yesterday. Z can read but we wanted to make sure we hadn’t left any gaps in his learning. #kindergartenphonics #littlezman #homeschool #homeschooling #phonics #learningathome #homeschoolersofinstagram
It is described as a program that develops Alphabetic and Phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral language skills youngsters need. Letters and sounds are introduced through a consistent six-page lesson sequence, which includes letter recognition, writing the letter, phonemic awareness, sound-symbol correspondence, and a Picture Dictionary page. An array of multisensory teaching options address different learning styles.
The Big Bad Scary Subject of MATH
Even back to when I was homeschooling Wesley, math stressed me out. Trying to find the perfect curriculum that fit my child seemed to be the search for the lost treasure.
However as time goes on I realized there might not be a perfect curriculum. I’m discovering its OK to mix different methods and attack the subject from a few different angles. Later this year when I share what we are doing for Grade 1 you will see I have even stepped this up more this year.
View this post on Instagram
Someone just completed his 200+ page math book! Even while fighting a little cold. Thank goodness for filters that can mostly cover up red noses. Getting ready to start book 2 next week. I’m loving being the one to help him learn. #criticalthinkingmath #mathematicalreasoning #homeschooling #homeschoolkindergarten #littlezman #homeschoolmath #homeschoolersofinstagram
I found this was a wonderful program to use to start teaching Zakari math. Zakari is intellectually capable of learning math concepts, but sometimes his fine motor skills and impulse control make it difficult to use typical math programs that involve a lot of writing or use of small manipulatives. This program was a great fit for him because it really only required pointing or circling the correct answer. I was able to stabilize his hand and use the program like a choice board like we were taught to use for communication at the IAHP/Doman International.
After completing this book Zakari was able to demonstrate a solid understanding in concepts like big and small, tall and short, more or less, first-second third, etc. He was also able to build confidence learning how to use and learning with a workbook.
View this post on Instagram
This little man spent the last 6 weeks speeding through half the kindergarten math curriculum. We have already started book K.2 and he’s still doing amazing. This little man was barely able to do a worksheet starting in September, now he’s working at grade level with a little help with fine motor skills. 💕💕💕💕 #earlylearningmom #homeschool #jumpmath #homeschoolmilestones #littlezman
Zakari was able to complete this book within a 2 months. He needed some help with the fine motor skill parts of the program. However had a clear understanding of that materials was able to show us in other ways.
We were able to get about 50% of this book finished up. However Zakari became aversive to it after a while. We decided to take a break and put it away. We plan to complete it at the beginning of September.
Random Workbooks Completed:
On top of the programs I have shared with you, we added in some supplement workbooks. My goal with these was to help Zakari become more confident with table work type of learning. While he knew a lot of the materials in these books, I needed him to learn how to demonstrated this.
There was only one thing that made me sad last year. I guess I kind of felt like we missed out. As the end of June hit, my Facebook Newsfeed was flooded with Kindergarten Graduations. For some reason my heart hurt a little.
So I talked to Travis, and we decided that Zakari needed to be celebrated for his achievement, just like all the other kiddos finished kindergarten. So we planned a day when the big kids were with their other parents, and we took Zakari to Flying Squirrel. Just one on one with us.
I encourage all parents to find away to adapt some of the public school milestones for your homeschool kiddos if you ever feel left out. While Kindergarten Graduation might not be important to other mamma’s, apparently it was to me. So we found a way around it.
I had my fears and doubts for our first full year homeschooling. This was a huge leap of faith for me. I’m happy to say I feel like our kindergarten year was a huge success. I left the year feeling confident that we could continue driving down the homeschool route for years to come.
This post contains affiliate links.