Diving Into Homeschool Head First: Getting Started

So, we decided to homeschool Brooks for Kindergarten. I immediately had to figure out what that was going to do. I had to figure out what I was going to do to deliver English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Art, etc. to my 5 year old son, who is not a typical learner. When I first took a look at homeschool curriculum options for Kindergarten…I was immediately deflated. So much of the curricula dealt with letter and number recognition, phonics, basic counting, etc. Brooks is reading at (at least) a 3rd grade reading level. So, these typical curricula wouldn’t help him to progress.

I also knew that it didn’t make sense to recreate the wheel. Surely there are plenty of homeschooling families out there whose children needed more of a challenge.

After searching I found some amazing resources thanks to Cait at My Little Poppies and Hoagies Giftedin addition to some additional searches.  These sites have some great recommendations for curriculum options for gifted learners. So, here is what we settled on for homeschool curriculum resources:

English/Language Arts

English/Language Arts will be split into three components: handwriting, reading and writing.

  • Handwriting: This is one area where Brooks needs some practice. We will be using Handwriting Without Tears for two important reasons: a) we’ve heard great things about the program, and the approach to building handwriting skills and b) we already have the book, thanks to Brooks’ school!
  • Reading: We will be using Michael Clay Thompson’s Grammar Island homeschool curriculum, at the recommendation of My Little Poppies. The recommended age for this first level is age 8. But, I actually think that it will be a great option for Brooks, based on where he is right now.
  • Writing: For writing, we are going be using the Draw Write Now series. This is going to be an awesome choice for Brooks, who loves to draw. The curriculum involves a drawing lesson, learning about a topic, and then writing about that topic. I hope that this will be fun and engaging for Brooks.
  • We will weave story time and a gratitude journal into our day, as well.

 Math

We will be using two curricula for math and, again, I found these recommendations on My Little Poppies and, after researching further, it seems as though they would be great homeschool options for Brooks.

  • Singapore Math: After reading the reviews of this curriculum, and reading about the methodology, I love the idea of this hands-on math explor
    ation that seeks to solidify basic math concepts for young learners.
  • RightStart Mathematics: This program is more comprehensive than Singapore Math, but it also takes a different approach to each of the key concepts. I also love the emphasis on math games for concept master. In combination with Singapore Math, I think that Brooks will walk away with a strong foundation in Math.

Science

Social Studies

  • Social Studies is my thing. I’ve been teaching social studies since 2004, so I am excited to be creating my own content in this area. It will be interest based, and we will be using story books and short kid-friendly documentaries to learn about each topic. Since it is timely, we will be starting with Thanksgiving, and the roots of the celebration. Then, we will be moving on to Ancient Egypt at Brooks’ request.
  • I am going to be putting together some mini-units, which I will be sharing with you here!

Art

Brooks love art. I mean he just loves it. Give him a pen and paper and he will draw for hours. I want to make sure that we really foster that interest this year, so we will be doing art every day for now. I have found the following free resources which will give us a wide variety of art opportunities:

  • Art for Kids Hub: This website has some awesome, easy to follow art tutorials for kids. They create tutorials for tons of timely topics and characters, like Minecraft!
  • Kinder Art: This is a collection of tons of fun, unique art projects for young learners. I love that they offer different styles of art, which will allow us to branch out, and discover new interests!

 

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Hi! I am Amy, the creator of RunawayTeacher. I am a mom to two boys, and I married to my best friend. I love mom life, crafting, and blogging. Read More.

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