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June 24th, 2009, 07:44 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
What did everyone use for kindergarten? We're planning on homeschooling our four year old Beth, at least for the first year, and I'm trying to research some different options for her. I guess the big decision is whether I even want to buy a program or if I should just piece some things together for her myself. I have a little time to decide, but I'm going to be swamped with my final semester of college this fall, so I'd rather get started now while I have the time.

My dh and I had pretty much decided on Sonlight K for her, but when I posted on the Sonlight forum I was told by pretty much everyone that it was too advanced for a five year old. If it was just Beth I might get it anyway, since she can already read a little and has a long attention span. My second child is just fourteen months younger though (and very active) and I'd like to do something where they can do at least part of the lessons together. I know Sonlight has a Pre-K program too, but I wasn't as crazy about it.

Any kindergarten recommendations? If we decide not to go with a full curriculum I'm thinking of just doing some unit studies with the kids.
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June 24th, 2009, 07:56 AM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,933
With my middle son I used My Father's World and Math-U-See. He really enjoyed it. My youngest didn't groove with it so well, so we used Explode the Code for phonics, Bob books for reading, & Math-U-See for math. He also joined the older two for science & history.
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June 24th, 2009, 08:03 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
Ani did Calvert K. It was okay, we enjoyed it, but she was already ahead of it at 4. Cameron did Sonlight K along with Ani when they were 5 and 7. It was not over his head at all. I know people generally say don't do Sonlight K with a 5 year old, but I think it's fine provided they can pay attention to full chapters in books like The Wizard of Oz. If you are wanting to combine Beth and Matt, though, I'd hold off a year for Sonlight K and put together my own thing for Beth for her kindergarten year. Kindergarten really should be so much about play (I'm opposed to the sift to concentrated academics that seems to be all the rage around here in kindergarten now). They learn so much naturally at that age. Brightly Beaming Resources has some great ideas you could use for her.

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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June 24th, 2009, 08:08 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
She can read the beginning level Bob books now...I ordered her a set earlier this year. She also knows all her letters and the sounds they make (short and long vowels,) but forgets combinations like "ch" or "ea." Its hard to know what level to get for her, because I see that a lot of the kindergarten programs include alphabet flashcards and things that would be too easy. I've thought about biting the bullet and getting a first grade reading program, but I'm afraid that would be too advanced.

Thanks for the suggestions. The math-u-see looks really interesting, I'll put that on my list to look into further! I think my second child would really like the manipulatives too.
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June 24th, 2009, 08:15 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Andrews AFB, MD
Posts: 15,496
Thanks Heather. I think Matt is pretty smart, but boy does he bounce off the walls! I've been reading the "Great Illustrated Classics" to Beth (books like Treasure Island) and they have really held her attention. But not Matt's! A lot could change in a year though. I really loved the look of Core K...I think I wanted to do it for myself since I am huge history buff, lol. The other option is to just do it with Beth, and let Matt join is as he wants. Then I'd have to teach the whole thing the next year too though, since we're really leaning towards homeschooling him for kindergarten as well.

I agree with you Heather about the direction kindergarten has taken. I did a student teaching placement in a kindergarten when I was pregnant with Carrie, and I loved the teacher I worked with. Overall I think it was a great program, but I hated how they were expected to do like two hours of worksheets every morning. The little boys especially struggled with this, and I know Matt would too. That really planted the seed for dh and I to consider homeschooling....we'd like to keep the kids home for at least kindergarten, and then when they're a bit older we can decide if we want to put them in school and for me to look for a teaching job.

On another note...my dh thinks that Sonlight is a good deal. I about fainted when I saw how much it would be to get everything I wanted, and he said "That's it? For both of them?" I guess he had visions of the $200 textbooks we've both been buying for college in his head. So basically he's fine with me getting whatever I think they need, and that makes things a lot easier on me.

Last edited by clouise; June 24th, 2009 at 08:20 AM.
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June 24th, 2009, 10:00 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,231
I say, if your husband thinks its a great deal, buy it quick! LOL! My dh just about faints everytime I suggest it!

We pieced everything together for k- except we used Bob books, ABeka math, and I did have Alpha Omega's 123 Read and Early Reader series. We also did Bob Jones bible which we are continuing this year. Basically, I used a little of everything plus free resources online.
Sorry, guess that wasn't much help!!

I have heard Alpha Omega's Weaver curriculum is similar to Winter Promise or my father's world, but I haven't looked at it myself.

ETA: What about Five in a Row? Those books aren't hugely long and they have tons of activities that you can tailor to multiple ages. You might have to do ETC and something more for math though. MUS is great for that. I just wish my son would do it! He's so regimented! LOL!

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June 24th, 2009, 10:17 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,160
For Kdg, I used WinterPromise for Language Art/Reading. From what you said about your daughter's reading level, WP's Advanced Kdg or even their accelerated K program might be a good fit for her. (We used Adv K)

For Math, we used McRuffy and really liked it! So colorful and so many cool manipulatives! It's a gentle program, but with enough real math for kindergarten age.

For everything else, she picked up on what the older kids were doing and supplemented with some great homeschool co-op classes.
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June 24th, 2009, 11:24 AM
grunig's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We used Math U See, The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading, and Handwriting without Tears.

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June 24th, 2009, 11:35 AM
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I've always liked the look of Sonlight and though I don't use their packaged curriculum, I do use a lot of their book suggestions.

When Bailey was in K, I had him doing Handwriting without Tears, Explode the Code and math sheets out of a Basic Skills K book (the kind you can find at Walmart). Now that Toby is in K, he is doing the first two along with Horizons math (only one book per year though, he did the first K book for preschool and now he'll do book 2 for K just because there are way too many lessons to get through in one year with such a young child).

In addition, we read lots of books on every topic (this is where Sonlight's suggestions come in handy) and did art/craft projects every Friday morning, plus we read through Leading Little Ones to God (another Sonlight book!) for Bible.

We had a great year and now I'm doing pretty much the same things with Toby.
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June 24th, 2009, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 420
We used My Father's World (and still are:).


Shannon (32 years old) ~ Married to dh (for 12 years) ~ Mom to dd (10 years old)
Visit my blog at: http://aroundthehomestead.blogspot.com/
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June 24th, 2009, 12:20 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
I'm really no help. Everyone at church loves Abeka, so that's what I'm doing for Ben this year. I'm not buying the extras (like flashcards), but I'm getting the kit, the art/music stuff, etc. He'll be 4 in December, but he's also already reading and doing simple math. He's always had a long attention span. Daniel's only 7 months, but I can already tell how different their personalities are. If I had to take a guess on the future, I'd say Daniel won't be ready for K5 work until he's 5-6 years old. I really don't know. Time will tell!
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June 24th, 2009, 12:29 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, VA, USA
Posts: 3,739
I used (and am again using) a mix of stuff for my 5 year old nephew. For math we're doing ABeka's K5 numbers skills... I'm wondering if I should switch to Saxon's math program in the coming year if he's here though, because I think he would enjoy the total hands on stuff, but he's so quick to learn things, and I find Saxon goes so slowly, that I think we'll just keep adding into his ABeka stuff... makes it easier anyway, because we already have the Gr. 1 stuff from his sister last year. For phonics/reading, we're using Christian Liberty Press' Adventures in Phonics and their four reader series. For handwriting, we're using A Reason for Handwriting (and he LOVES it). And, to help with his cutting, writing, tracing, etc. skills, we're using Hearts and Hands from Christian Liberty Press. We also have been making use of AmblesideOnline.com's Year 0 and Year 1 reading lists, and such... and I let him play, a LOT! He spends 5+ hours playing outside, normally. :-)
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