I’ve been asked lately to post what I do with ALuv (age 6) in each subject area. Since I didn’t purchase a homeschooling curriculum, I thought I’d highlight what we do in each subject area. If we continue to homeschool in the upper elementary grades, I will probably buy a curriculum. But since I taught in the lower grades, I have plenty of stuff already from which to pull.
WORD STUDY (2 parts)
1. Sight Words: We’re working through Fry’s list of 100 words & words we need as they arise (like thank). We started with 2 sight words a week back in the summer and beginning this week, he’ll do 3 new words a week.
2. Phonics Instruction: I “cheat” with my phonics instruction. I primarily use Words Their Way and this WTW supplement book. He does one word sort a week that focuses on a particular phonics pattern. I do add other activities such as Making Words or printables from fcrr.org.
1. Independent Readers: I have a set of Scott Foresman independent Kindergarten readers and other leveled books on the K level (like the BOB books) that we work through. Before I became a reading tutor, I leveled all my classroom books, so I’ve got a lot from which to choose! He reads and re-reads 3 new books a week with me that correlate with his new sight words.
2. Shared Reading via Mama’s Poems: I also incorporate my own poetry into his science or social studies units for him to read with me,
like this poem I wrote last year during our snow unit. I will probably use it again this year in combination with a comprehension strategy, as he can read almost all of the words independently (unlike last year).
3. Read Alouds: I read aloud to him everyday. Sometimes the books are theme-related, library books, books he picks out from the bookshelf in his bedroom, or big books from the attic.
There are several different ways that I ask ALuv to write. Writing happens every day in some capacity. Writing is absolutely essential, but can be glanced over all too easily. We mainly use the type of paper with the space to draw at the top and the lines below, but he will use other paper when needed.
Free Writing: Some days, ALuv is told he can write and draw about anything he likes. He’s actually free to do this any day, in addition to what I have planned.
Writing Prompts: I might start him out with a prompt that contains a new sight word such as, “I like to…” or a prompt that is related to a subject we’re learning such as, “What is your favorite animal? Why?” Prompts are also a good way to integrate reading.
Responding to Text: Who was your favorite character? What was your favorite part? Why do you think…?
Here’s his response to The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza-a VERY funny book, by the way! He wrote, “My favrit paj (page) is the pizza paj because it is big.”
Child-Written Books: I’ll be honest, we haven’t done this one in a while. But when he was first learning sight words, we’d incorporate writing a predictable book together at least once a week. Hopefully, I’ll pull it together soon to write a post about this one. These books are placed in his independent reading bin so he can re-read these as well.
Authentic Writing: writing a thank you note, a birthday card, etc.
Dictated Sentences: Sometimes, I’ll give him a sentence to write that incorporates sight words and/or phonics skills such as, “My cat sat on the mat.” I will use these as a mini-writing assessment, in which I can see which sight words, phonics patterns, and conventions he understands.
Shared/Interactive Writing: Writing text together is a great way to model writing and spelling strategies. I’ll post more about this one later.
I also “cheat” with math. I LOVE this awesome math resource from NC (click here for the K-2 resource and here for the 3-5 resource). I’m SO glad I found it. It is absolutely AMAZING! It lists math objectives, hands-on activities, printables, and assessments you can do with each strand in each grade level…simply genius! We stick to the 1st grade curriculum in math.
I also integrate worksheets and other hands-on activities as I find them on the internet, like education.com, or in my files in the attic.
Much of this work is seasonal. For example, we studied Johnny Appleseed & farms in September, Autumn, fire safety, & pumpkins in October, Thanksgiving/Pilgrims in November, etc. Most of our Science and SS activities come from the 1st grade files in my attic or from blogs. I integrate read alouds and writing as much as I can. Our homeschool group also integrates these subjects into the activities we choose.
Memorizing Scripture- ALuv is in AWANA, so we memorize verses each week. I post his new verse(s) each week to integrate reading.
Bible Readings- We also use this Bible to read a story each day.
I make it my goal to integrate at least one craft a week. The art projects we do are either seasonal in nature or related to NJoy’s letter of the week. I like to look on others’ blogs for inspiration or my favorite go-to site: DTLK Crafts. I prefer crafts that the boys can do themselves, not something too complicated.
PLANNING IT ALL OUT
Semester Planning: I map out one semester at a time. Back in August, I mapped out September through December. It took me about 2 1/2 hours of uninteruppted time to map it all out. (Click Homeschool Lesson Plans-Fall 2011 to view). Notice that I don’t have every block filled in. As I went along, I filled in holes and I didn’t always stick exactly to what I’d mapped out (for example, I changed up NJoy’s letters of the week). But I REALLY like mapping out the big picture so I can see where I’m going with a unit. I like my lessons to build upon one another and getting the big picture helps me to do just that when it comes time for the nitty gritty lesson planning.
If you’re interested, here is a blank template in Word Format (Lesson Plans Blank) that you can use/adapt to map out your 9 weeks/semester. The one page template works beautifully for mapping out 9 weeks at a time…if you’re at a school that separates grade periods by 9 weeks.
I have just started mapping out my lessons for the next semester, so I’ve only planned up to the end of February. Baby #4 will come around that time and I haven’t quite gotten it all figured out beyond that point. I will take some time in the next couple of weeks to get it mapped out, though! I’ll share it when I do.
Every Day Lesson Planning: When it comes to the every day lesson plans, I use this lesson plan book. I know I’m old-fashioned for using pencil and paper to map it out, but I’ve tried keeping plans on the computer and much prefer being able to write it out.
So, there you have it-my “curriculum” and how I plan out our homeschool studies. Fancy, huh?? 🙂
Thank you for joining This Reading Mama on a homeschooling journey! Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
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