So, after I was sick for months we took things easy with a more Waldorf approach. I rearranged our playroom with natural wood shelves, baskets and more natural toys. The kids loved the wooden toys (they play with their wood farm animals more than the Schleich animals). In January I got back to serious homeschooling with Pumpkin 1. However I felt like Montessori was very demanding of me – making new materials, buying new materials and Pumpkin 1 was getting bored of them all. I felt like I was floundering. I wanted, needed, something to tell me what to do every day. Also with a new baby coming I needed something where I can sit back more and homeschool from the couch. So I’ve moved to Charlotte Mason. I still mix Montessori materials in and am using it with Pumpkin 2, especially the approach to language and the sound game. But my kids love being read to and so the literature approach of Charlotte Mason is great for them.
Here’s the curriculum we are currently using and it’s working great!
All About Reading 1 – This program is great and multi-sensory. The readers are excellent. No prep work for me.
Explode the Code 1,2,3 – (I use them for extra practice reading. We skip lots of pages. Pumpkin 1 doesn’t like reading the lists of words in AAR and prefers the activities in these books. I found book 2 really filled in what seems to be a gap in AAR with consonant blend practice).
Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten – We worked through this book pretty quickly. It’s wonderful. I like the way it taught to form the letters and the chalkboard wet and dry tracing.
Simply Charlotte Mason Copybook 1 – When we finished the HWT we moved to this. Pumpkin 1 really enjoys it. I was surprised but she likes that it’s not twaddle writing. I only ask her to write a page a day and to do her very best.
RightStart Math A 2nd Ed – Love, love, love this program. Short lessons. Great manipulatives. Teaches mental math. Lots of games.
Thinking Skills and Key Concepts Kindergarten – Teaching critical thinking is often overlooked but I feel it’s very important.
Mind Benders 1 – These are fun puzzles to figure out. Pumpkin 1 likes doing them however both programs together add up so I’m not sure I will continue with this series next year.
Story of the World Vol 1 – We’re using this as a spine and adding in Living books. There’s 4 books in the series and you cycle through them so that you can teach multiple ages at once.
106 Days of Creation from Simply Charlotte Mason – A great, simple, science program that can be used with multiple ages. I really like Building the Foundations of Scientific Understanding but will use that next year.
Canada, My Country – I’m stretching this out over 2 years. It’s a simple introduction to Canada with reproducible pages.
Living Books – I’ve gather together several stories about life in 3 continents – South America, Asia and Africa.
French – I hope to eventually get the Cherrydale Press curriculum. Right now we focus on vocabulary, watching Little Pim or French stories read on YouTube or shows and I try to improve my French.
German – I found this great free German program which the kids love. There are songs and videos and there is a whole curriculum though I just stick to the online stuff.
Ambleside Online Year 1
I’m using this great Charlotte Mason outline as a guide. I’m not doing An Island Story or Trial and Triumph or the Biographies and I’ve added in the above Geography/Social Studies, Science and History curriculum.
With the baby coming, and because I’ve started Ambleside Year 1 early, it may take us longer than the 3 terms to get through it. Since I started early we can take a break as needed and not have to worry about getting behind.
This is our “kind-of” daily schedule. I say “kind-of” as it’s just a guide. We don’t really follow the times given and I often switch the order of things depending on how things are going or what we feel like doing and we also skip things. This just gives me a reference point so I can make sure we cover everything I’d like to cover.