My Top Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Now of course I haven’t tried all the curriculum out there but these are the ones that have had great reviews and I too am enjoying using.

Handwriting Without Tears

Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten Kit (with  Standard Letter Cards)  -

Pumpkin 1 really needs help with her handwriting.  We started with cursive and she knows her cursive lowercase letters to read but not to write and she wants to write in print so I’m going with that.  The HWT program works very well with montessori other than being print and starting with capitals but those are easier for a child to form.  Also it doesn’t mean you can’t be teaching them lowercase letters for your moveable alphbet and sandpaper letters.  The HWT program at first can be purely a fine motor exercise.

RightStart Math

Image result for rightstart math

This program is great and really helps a child to visualize numbers.  I really like the use of the abacus.  We combine it with Montessori Math as there’s nothing like the golden beads and stamp game.  They’re just amazing.  But I think the ability to visual the abacus in the mind makes a huge difference in doing sums in the head.  I also plan to introduce the Japanese abacus when Pumpkin 1 is 6.

Building the Foundations of Scientific Understanding

This book is excellent and fits in perfectly with Montessori.  It’s very hands on and lists a number of books for kids on each topic.  It helps build a great foundation of understanding the world around us.  It covers several grades.  Many of the books recommend in it are from the series “Let’s Read and Find Out” which are wonderful books I keep adding to our small collection of them as we learn a new topic.

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading

I’ve found this to be an excellent reference to all the letter combinations and phonograms a child needs to learn.  It also gives examples of words for each combination and sentences and paragraphs to read.  I use it more as a reference than an actual curriculum.

Explode the Code

Explode the Code, Book 1 (2nd Edition)  -

 

Pumpkin 1 for some reason doesn’t like using the moveable alphabet but likes workbooks.  I was finding she just wasn’t getting enough practise with new word combinations or sounding out.  When she reads she prefers to memorize words rather than sound them out.  These workbooks get her doing more phonetic reading Though they seem to repeat the same type of activity over and over with just new sounds.  We started with book 1 just for review and filling in any gaps.  She likes to colour the pictures after she’s done her work in the book for the day.

Keys of the World

Image result for earth moon photo

These are excellent Montessori Albums for a very reasonable price.  I couldn’t get by without them.  The theory album is a must read.  If you’re planning to homeschool in the Montessori method I highly recommend these.

 

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Reading, Reading, Reading

So, Pumpkin 1 is 2 and half now and I’ve been feeling that I need to get more serious about homeschooling for the fall.  Therefore I’ve been reading and reading.  There is still so much about Montessori I don’t know, especially when it comes to the pedagogy.  I’ve ordered these two books to better understand the theory behind Montessori.

The Absorbent Mind

Secret of Childhood

 

I’ve also decided that I needed a curriculum.  Something to be a guide on what materials to present when, how to present them, extensions for them and the progression between them.  I looked at several different Montessori curriculum.  One was NAMC.  It also offers an online training course and is accepted by most Montessori schools.  However, the materials alone are way out of my price range.  Next I looked at KHT.  It’s a year long course and many people have given it good reviews.  However, at this point in my life, I just don’t have the time to do a course.  I’d hate to start and have to drop out.  It is something I’m considering down the road.  However, KHT is very affordable.  The third option I looked at was Keys of the World (their page is currently under construction).  It was the most affordable.  Also Keys is AMI which is the traditional Montessori (as opposed to AMS which has been adapted to modern times).  I decided to go with Keys and downloaded the Curriculum from here.  I printed two books of the curriculum off but as my printer was acting up (when printing front to back, it just takes one skipped page to throw everything off) and I needed to get it bound at Staples anyway, I had the rest printed off there and everything spiral bound.  Printing is 10 cents per page and binding was about $5 per book (with a plastic cover and back).  So it’d cost around $60 to print and bind everything there.  Probably the same as printing it off at home when you consider ink and paper.

So now I’m reading through the theory book of Keys of the World and it’s fascinating.  The more I read the more I agree with Montessori and find it makes sense.  I wish I had done Montessori from the start with Pumpkin 1 and 2.  I think understanding Montessori theory is important in implementing it.  Without the understanding you risk missing sensitive periods, the importance of self discovery, of choice, repetition, of each material, of not rushing children and it’s so easy to make small mistakes that actually make a big difference.  So it’s lots and lots of reading ahead of me.  I’m holding back on doing Montessori materials as much until I understand the theory better and get a plan in order for the fall.  I’m so glad I’ve discovered the Montessori Method.  I think it is the Key of the World.