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Trying to pick a kindergarten curriculum


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  #1  
March 20th, 2012, 06:53 AM
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Hey ladies. So the time is finally almost here. My son will be in kindergarten this coming fall which means I'm searching high and low for the curriculum that's best for us. I know that some choose to do free printables or whatnot, but we enjoy curriculums in our house.

So I'd love any advice and input you ladies might have for me. A little about my son to maybe help: he enjoys worksheets, he loves to read (well, be read to), he enjoys crafts and experiments. I know that there are several different types of curriculum (classical, traditional, unschool, Charlotte Mason, scope and sequence, etc), but I.m not sure what is best for us yet. I looked into Classical Conversations which is a classical approach, but I think it's way too much for a 5 year old to do between all of the facts he has to memorize each week and then doing his regular school work apart from that like phonics and math. It seems like it wouldn't leave much time for doing the fun kindgerten things like crafts and hands-on things. Right now I'm leaning toward Sonlight. I love how it's literature based since we read a lot here. Plus you can buy the package that includes the books you need to go along with your theme. Any opinions on this curriculum? Is there anything you don't like about it such as what they use for math, phonics, etc.? Any ore recommendations for curriculum for him? Thanks so much!

ETA: I just did a search on this board for Sonlight and wasn't all that impressed by people's opinions so maybe Sonlight isn't right for us? My son is pretty advanced particularly in regards to math so I don't want him getting behind. I read a couple of people felt after they switched to something else after having used Sonlight they realized how far behind their kid(s) was.
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Last edited by Motsy2006; March 20th, 2012 at 07:09 AM.
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  #2  
March 20th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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I have some friends who did Sonlight with their kids (but that was years ago) and really liked it.
I'm not much help because I'm choosing not to do a curriculum for Kindergarten with my daughter. I have looked into classical and like some of the things about that approach but I also really like some of things about the Charlotte Mason approach.
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  #3  
March 20th, 2012, 01:09 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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You could do a little Sonlight and a little of something else. Being advanced in math, I'd choose something like Abeka or Horizons. They're workbook styles with spiraling topics. You might also consider Miquon or RightStart, which use manipulatives and workbooks together to encourage kids to problem solve and think outside the box. I personally like Miquon because it doesn't have "grade levels" (6 books covering appx grades 1-3, but good for an advanced K'er, too), and it's a mastery system. (Mastery means working on one type of topic at a time, where spiral means any given page might have a combination of skills... arithmetic, measurement, etc.). Life of Fred recently came out with an elementary series, too. I got a good look at it a couple of weeks ago and really like it. For a kid who's good with math, needing less repetition than other kids, it's a good pick. It's not a workbook, though. It's a storybook series of sorts with pencil & paper problems at the end of each chapter to make sure you learned what was in the chapter. It's also not "graded" (the books are labeled A-Apple, B-Butterflies, etc. for 10 books, appx grades k/1 throuh 4/5).

If you think you like the style of Sonlight, go for it. You might also like Abeka or My Father's World (Abeka is very workbooky, where MFW is more hands on).
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  #4  
March 20th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BensMom View Post
You could do a little Sonlight and a little of something else. Being advanced in math, I'd choose something like Abeka or Horizons. They're workbook styles with spiraling topics. You might also consider Miquon or RightStart, which use manipulatives and workbooks together to encourage kids to problem solve and think outside the box. I personally like Miquon because it doesn't have "grade levels" (6 books covering appx grades 1-3, but good for an advanced K'er, too), and it's a mastery system. (Mastery means working on one type of topic at a time, where spiral means any given page might have a combination of skills... arithmetic, measurement, etc.). Life of Fred recently came out with an elementary series, too. I got a good look at it a couple of weeks ago and really like it. For a kid who's good with math, needing less repetition than other kids, it's a good pick. It's not a workbook, though. It's a storybook series of sorts with pencil & paper problems at the end of each chapter to make sure you learned what was in the chapter. It's also not "graded" (the books are labeled A-Apple, B-Butterflies, etc. for 10 books, appx grades k/1 throuh 4/5).

If you think you like the style of Sonlight, go for it. You might also like Abeka or My Father's World (Abeka is very workbooky, where MFW is more hands on).
Actually Sonlight uses the Horizons math in their kindy curriculum which is another reason I was drawn to it. We did Horizons for preschool and liked it, and I've heard Horizons is advanced in math so I've been wanting to make sure he doesn't have a curriculum in math that would have him doing the same stuff he's already done. Thanks for the suggestions! Have you heard anything about Sonlight being behind?
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  #5  
March 20th, 2012, 03:16 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I wouldn't call it behind. I'd call it different. I think it's on target for most states, though. There's a wide range of ahead, average, and behind for curriculum companies vs. state standards, but the main thing you have to do as a parent is to meet your child at his/her own individual level, regardless of what that level is, even if it varies between siblings or between subjects. As long as you plan to continue homeschooling indefinitely, there's no reason to push or pull. Just go with the flow and teach whatever level each child is ready to learn. Encourage, but don't push. Caution, but don't hinder. Children will enjoy learning more if they're given a little freedom to think for themselves, and I think Sonlight does a good job of allowing that, while gently teaching. I'd call it a gentle method, for sure. For a child who's raring to go, Sonlight is probably not a good choice.

Any chance you could look around locally to see if there will be any curriculum sales/exchanges among homeschool groups so you can browse, or go to a library to see if there are any Sonlight resources there? You'll be able to make a better decision once you get your hands on it. The teacher's manual (from what I hear) is overwhelming, but fine once you get the hang of it. Sonlight is expensive, so if you're on the fence about it, don't order an entire kit. Only order what you think you'd like to try out most, and then choose other pieces later if desired.

Last edited by BensMom; March 20th, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
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  #6  
March 20th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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For Kindergarten we use Horizon's math and Hooked on Phonics. For the other subjects they follow their interest and join in on our group activites, as they want to.( For my 1st-5th graders we join History and Science(1st-6th). I also join everyone on bible. )
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  #7  
March 21st, 2012, 05:58 AM
2Corinthians10:4's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Well I haven't jumped into kindy yet (my Dd will be doing it next year as well), but your Ds sounds a lot like my Dd in what he likes. Here is our plan for next year:

Horizon Math-kindergarten

Hooked on Phonics-kindergarten

Drops in the bucket worksheets-math and reading (we have the before they can read ones now but I have a feeling she will be doing those over the summer.

Character building from Focus on the Family.

And each day I plan to do a special activity whether it be gymnastics and ballet (on the days she has those), a weekly science experiment, crafts, cooking, etc.

Like I said that is our plan as of now, the curriculum is set in stone since I already ordered it but we do not have a set in stone start date or anything like that.
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  #8  
March 21st, 2012, 08:30 PM
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Right now we're heading into Horizons PK, and currently plan to do Weaver for K-6th. I love the idea of Weaver right now. I don't plan to use it quite the way they say to, but that's probably where we're heading for everything besides math/language arts. For the math/language stuff.... it's up in the air a bit. Either ABeka or Horizons math, and some CLP, some ABeka, and who knows what else for the language arts.
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  #9  
March 21st, 2012, 08:40 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I also like the look of Weaver and even considered it for a while. I love how a single child working on multiple levels can use just one curriculum.
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  #10  
March 22nd, 2012, 10:52 PM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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We are using Moving Beyond the Page for our 6 year old. It is a unit study and literature based program. We do supplement Math and Spelling because those are areas that she is ahead in but otherwise this is our main curriculum. I love it because it doesn't take much lesson prep time and the lessons are easy to adapt for our younger learners that want to do school with us. It is a secular curriculum which may not be what you are looking for, but I thought it was worth mentioning given what you said your son enjoys.
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  #11  
March 23rd, 2012, 06:19 PM
luv2bemommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I pieced together our curriculum this year and I don't like it. I really would rather have something more structured. I discovered My Father's World which is structured and doesn't break the bank and I've decided to use it next year. I'm thinking I may purchase the kindergarten curriculum and start it with her now. She won't get a summer break but I think she'll really enjoy it. We'll go into the first grade curriculum as soon as she finishes the kindergarten one.
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