Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our Country School: 2010-2011 Curriculum

Earlier this year I participated in a blog hop hosted by Our Worldwide Classroom. One week, we were to write what our style was. I answered that we were 'Internet eclectic' and I think that will shine through as I line out our 'curriculum' for the year. It is a true Hodge podge of what we already own, what I could find free on the web, what I could find cheaply at garage sales and the Dollar Tree, and what I could make myself.

I have 3 children, one 'Kindergartner,' one 'Pre-K,' and one 'Tot School.' I added the quotes around the labels because they are labels that come from a school system that needs them to assign classrooms. I dont need the labels, but they do help in finding age appropriate ideas. Sometimes, all three can enjoy and learn from the same activity and sometimes they cant. We do most subjects together, and a few individually.

Group Learning {just Mustang and Charger}

Using "The Beginner's Bible" as our guide, we will be reading a story each week and doing various activities to supplement each story. There will also be a memory verse each week and a new song to learn.

Read Together:
*One nursery rhyme each day using first, My Nursery Rhyme Pop-Up Book {the kids love this!}, followed by Childcraft Volume 1.
*Various fun rhymes that we learned at our library story hour.
*Picture books relating to our other subjects, the season, holiday, or just a great classic.
*A chapter of a short novel each day-this has changed to about 1/2 a chapter, the attention spans are too short. They may increase in the future. Our current novel is 'A Bear Called Paddington' and next up is 'Pippi Longstocking.'

*Bob Jones K5. I picked up the teacher's manual at a yard sale for 25 cents last summer. I didnt get any of the workbooks or manipulatives that would normally go with it, so we are using this as our guide for what order to teach the various math concepts. I dont really know if it's really Kindergarten level, as the first 60 lessons or so are review for Mustang. I think it will be good for Mustang to have the review and these will be new concepts for Charger.
*MacMillian Early Skills Manipulatives
*Worksheets from all over the web.

*After a couple of lessons out of our Science Through Literature Exploring Series, we will be starting our nature studies usingNature Stories for Children as our guide.

Language Arts
*A few pages from a vocabulary building book each week {on Thursdays for us}. The current book is 'Cars and Trucks and Things that Go,' by Richard Scarry. Next will be 'What People Do,' also by Richard Scarry.

Practical Life
Using Shu-Chen Jenny Yen's Montessori Practical Life album as our guide, I will be presenting various Practical life activities. I plan to leave these out on our shelves as long as they are being used by the kids. When I work individually with Mustang or Charger, I allow the other one to work on activities on the shelves.

Cutting & Gluing
*Every 2 weeks or so, we will work on a new Tot Book or Tot Pack from Carisa at 1+1+1=1. Charger will be helping me glue his Tot Packs, and Mustang will be doing 90% of the work herself-cutting, gluing & arranging.

We will be dong various group Art projects. I plan to stalk, er I um mean read, the stART threads for ideas. I also have a sensory tub planned for every week or two.

In addition to the group activities, there will be a few grade specific


*One pre-reading activity each day. Go-together games, syllable counting {My Montessori Journey} and Nomenclature Cards are some of the activities we will be doing.
*Following the language drawers explained on My Montessori Journey, we will be starting with the red drawer and moving forward at one letter per day at first, taking some days for review. This will progress at Mustang's pace. The letter sounds are review, its making the leap from sounds to words that will determine where we go.
*Using phonics objects, we will play I Spy games to work on sound recognition.
*I am using sound mats and letter recognition worksheets from
*And we will be adding Explore the Code series in a few weeks.

*Mustang will be starting with a workbook I found at the Dollar Tree called Phonics. Its a great combo of letter writing practice and phonics. The book mixes long and short vowels, so we will be supplementing with Starfall printables for the vowels.

Mustang loves art, so in addition to our crafty types of 'art,' I wanted to introduce her to some more difficult art projects. We will be using ideas from Deep Space Sparkle Art . I heard about this site from Jen at Wildflowers and Marbles and boy is it a GOLD MINE of art lessons!!


*One Pre-reading activity each day. Mostly Go-Together games, but also some classification cards.
*Using the order suggested on My Montessori Journey, I will be presenting one letter a week to Charger. We will be using the Phonics boxes to play I Spy, printables from various places around the web for our Sound Boxes, and a letter of the week craft.

*We will be using a few of the prewriting tracers from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

For my Tot, we will just be doing little things, no real planning at this point.

I know this seems like a lot, but we do not do everything everyday. I need direction and plans to keep me from feeling overwhelmed, because when I feel overwhelmed I give up. Having a lot of plans also allows us the freedom of working at our own pace with a goal in mind rather then throwing something together at the last minute.

I am really looking forward to this year! If the last few days are a taste of what's to come, it's going to be good! I am looking forward to sharing it here with you.

Not Back to School Blog Hop

This post is linked up at The Not Back to School week at The Heart of the Matter. Come link up at join the fun!! God Bless!


L2L said...

i greatly enjoy totally tots blog. have a wonderful year, these are some of the funnest as it is so neat to see the excitement and confidence build up in their little hearts!!!!

Yunia said...

Sounds like you have everything well planned :)
I am currently collecting Paddington books, so far I have "Paddington", Paddington bear and the busy bee carnival and Paddington bear at the circus. Here's my homeschool library catalog (if you want to have a look)

May you and your children have a splendid new school year.

Our Family said...

What a great plan!! Your kids are about the ages of some of my kids... starting Kindergarten this year too! :)
Have a great day!

The Empress said...

Beautiful photo.. and your oldest girl looks just like you!!! When will you start back up again, after Labor Day?

Stephanie aka The Stark Raving Bibliophile said...

I love the way you've blended Montessori into your curriculum!

Kim said...

Wow, thanks for the wonderful links. I can't wait to dig through them! I like the way you've pulled your curriculum together. I like the idea of going through vocabulary building books (LOVE Richard Scarry). We are trying to start some chapter books too, but attention span is minimal... Good luck this year!

Becky C said...

Love your blog! Your children are gorgeous and the barn is great, too! Just started homeschooling and found you through Heart of the Matter. Your curriculum sounds like mine, a hodgepodge of the good stuff. Thanks for all the inspiration!
Becky C
A Country Classroom