K5 and PreK3 Curriculum for Fall 2014 (Verbose Post)

AppleBlossom’s K5 and OrangeBlossom’s PreK 3
Fall 2014 Curriculum (with a newborn Almond Blossom in the mix):


The LONG Post

The Short Post, and Picture Post to come…

*Before I get started. This is a conversational post. There are no affiliate links in the text, however I do have accounts and would gladly share them if you’re interested. And/or if there is something I mention and you want to know where to find it or more information, I’d gladly talk your internet ear off about any of this, here below.* *grin*

Continuing for AppleBlossom (as mentioned in the Previous Curriculum page) Memoria Press Curriculum with Enrichment (substituting EPS Primary Phonics Readers Sets with Bob Books).

We have finished from our K4 previous plans: Memoria Press Kindergarten Lesson Plans, Memoria Press Kindergarten Enrichment Guide, Memoria Press First Start Reading, Bob Books Beginning Readers, American Language Society Fun in the Sun, Scamp and Tramp, Soft and White, Christian Liberty Nature Reader (Book K), Memoria Press Copybook 1, Handwriting Without Tears K Letters and Numbers for Me, Rod & Staff Beginning Arithmetic 1 (Part 1), Memoria Press Numbers Book, Memoria Press Kindergarten Art Cards, and now Bob Books Advancing Beginners Readers.

Things I plan to continue include: Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, Adventures in Phonics A, McGuffey Readers, Explode the Code 1, Violin, Getty-Dubay Handwriting A, First Language Lessons 1, Math Mammoth Light Blue 1A, Moffatt Girls Kindergarten Math & Literacy Packs, Magic School Bus Complete Series DVDs, LeapFrog DVDs, Preschool Yoga

Read Alouds to continue:
Fancy Nancy #3, #4, #5
Amelia Bedelia #3, #4, #5
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Uncle Wiggily’s Story Book
The Boxcar Children
A Bear Called Paddington

We have a lot of things to choose from and most of them are really wonderful indeed and the other bit is that we’re in no hurry to advance grades. I’m behind the mindset of readily wanting to make sure my girls love learning and right now that’s in books which WE cannot get enough of and that makes me smile. But at the same time, they love workbooks. So everyday is different and we seem to go with it. Sometimes I really wish there were more of a schedule, but we’re getting there. Hopefully my trial with HomeschoolMinder.com will help with that area.

New things this fall:
English Lessons Through Literature 1, Reading Lessons Through Literature 1, Handwriting Lessons Through Literature Primer and 1 (maybe). Moffatt Girls First Grade Math & Literacy Packs, Memoria Press First Grade Curriculum (using Bob Books still, and might get EPS Readers if needed), Memoria Press First Grade Enrichment (Literature, Poetry, Art, Music, Science & Social Studies), Memoria Press StoryTime and More StoryTime Treasures, New American Cursive 1, Memoria Press Copybook 2, Rod & Staff Beginning Arithmetic 1 (Part 2), Memoria Press First Grade Art Cards, Seton 1 (Religion, American History, English, Math and touching other subjects), Reading Lists: Memoria Press First Grade, Sonlight P3/4, P4/5, Core A; Seton 1, AOY0, AOY1, Wayfarers – Ancients: Pathways and ELTL 1, Liberty Kids Complete Series DVD, maybe Schoolhouse Rock Complete Series DVDs, and Frontier Girls Club

Basically, we’re going to continue along with OPGTR and Bob Books from the stash we own. We have the ones mentioned in the photo from the physical Costco Collection sets and then the newest Rhyming Words on Kindle. Next will be Word Families followed by Complex Words and Sight Words. In the past week AppleBlossom has started in on some My First I Can Read! Leveled Readers and she’s very enthusiastic about that. She has also started co-reading with me the first Magic Tree House book in Dinosaurs Before Dark and while she’s not completely ready for it, she seems to be enjoying the challenge especially in our Full Color edition. Through Memoria Press’ StoryTime Treasures we started in on Little Bear and she is doing well with it and is quite excited; however, we just got updated lesson plans and I’m thinking about postponing the rest of Little Bear until we get a little better handle on phonics.

Our phonics handle consists of a couple things. We did fairly well with Memoria Press First Start Reading, however we didn’t finish all the dictation exercises in Book C, and all of bits of things in Book D. It’s more the physical writing in those than the lessons themselves though. We had a blessed opportunity to review Logic of English Foundations A in the last year and it was a huge hit. We didn’t finish it, but she has the knowledge base of most of it, so we decided to continue into B and it’s an amazing enthusiastic tool. (OrangeBlossom is already starting in on A, and she loves to /a/ /ah/ /ahhh/ to every letter a she sees – so I think it will be a great big hit!) Then I discovered the amazing Kathy Jo and her Barefoot Ragamuffin’s Curricula and specifically her Reading Lessons Through Literature. RLTL tags on perfectly with a continuation of our LOE Foundations lessons, although one could just do RLTL – we just are doing well with the exuberance written into the scripted Foundations lessons that I wouldn’t have come up with on my own. The last mention on phonics is that we’re still working on the Adventures in Phonics A workbook, which I started mid-year last year to replace SRA Phonics, and Explode the Code 1. Truly we just have no excitement for ETC and I cannot stand the illustrations so we definitely won’t continue it, but we’ll finish it eventually – we just never think nor have the desire to do it (and apparently with other choices now, no need). Oooh, Barefoot Ragamuffin’s Curricula has a workbook to go with RLTL that covers the same general things as ETC and is sooo much better in my opinion, just need to get the printer paper and ink for it… (although I believe she’ll soon offer physical format as well as digital on those).

Hmm.. where to go to next, penmanship or grammar? 

We got what we needed for AppleBlossom in HWOT PreK and then last year K (and OrangeBlossom is working on PreK), but I don’t feel a need to continue with the 1st grade book (although AppleBlossom has requested it…). I bought the Getty-Dubay Book A after seeing experience on other blogs and she loves it, but it’s so simple and I think nearly pointless for her, maybe if I could make copy work sheets in the font, but I don’t know. I’m uncertain if I’ll buy it for OrangeBlossom or buy book B for AppleBlossom. I’m not interested in Italic Cursive. We are starting New American Cursive as recommended in the Memoria Press First Grade Curriculum and so far love it. There is cursive also in the LOE Foundations program, but we are using that more for reinforcing NAC and not as the stand alone Rhythm of Handwriting Program it is meant to be. There is also Handwriting Lessons Through Literature that we use currently through the hand-me-down iPad (when it wants to cooperate) and through this I can reiterate the manuscript italic (like Getty-Dubay) and then the traditional cursive on other things as we are getting to it as well. In addition to HLTL, there is also copy work integrated into ELTL as well. We have Copybook 2 from MP, but that’s a once a week thing and not nearly enough in my opinion. And then there is the Seton Handwriting 1, but that is more along the lines of what she did two years ago… so it’s just reinforcement at this point and not truly necessary outside of practice.

Now grammar. From the beginning of the homeschool journey I was excited about Susan Wise Bauer, Jessie Wise, and all The Well Trained Mind suggestions and Peace Hill Press curricula. I have a good copy of First Language Lessons 1 and the only problem is that I never think to use it. Frankly when we do use it, it is more than one lesson at a time, but that works for us. Now being able to compare it to ELTL, I think that ELTL starts before it and goes beyond it in lessons and practice. Although I’m not opposed to completing FLL1, I doubt we’ll need FLL2, though it’s not cancelled on my list yet. ELTL covers grammar points, a read aloud literature selection, narration, dictation, picture study, poetry and more. Something that is new this year is Seton’s English 1 and this we’re both enjoying. We actually just go the new 2014 edition of the book and it is very colorful with short lessons – right now we’re working on rhymes. Something else I’ve discovered in a review product this past year is Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Literature & Composition. The things this covers that we didn’t find elsewhere amuses me and intrigues me. The full color workbooks are definitely a thrill to AppleBlossom and the book selection is great as most are familiar and other new titles are worthy to purchase (so far anyway) as well. I’m looking forward to learning more about their program in the future, so far my only complaint other than generic clip art is the overwhelming price.

Math. We’re pretty set on math. It is still one of those things that I’m so surprised about (and will write more in a full review soon…) but I’m totally on board with Memoria Press’ integrated Curriculum Lesson Plans with Rod & Staff Beginning Arithmetic. We love it. We have Math Mammoth and have used a little of it and plan to do more on off days, but we are happy with Beginning Arithmetic. This year I also have the Seton Mathematics 1, but we’re enjoying adding it in as things are shown in a different way with different words so it’s a neat challenge and she doesn’t complain. 🙂 We have Life of Fred: Apples, but just haven’t gotten to it yet – I don’t think we’re quite there yet. We have a lingering membership to CTC Math and Matheletics and while we’ve enjoyed them, without an opportunity for them, they just won’t fit into budget – however they’re wonderful programs. (Computer school is just a difficult thing to manage on limitations!)

I can talk all day about the wonders of Memoria Press Enrichment subjects and we’re enjoying the addition of history, specifically American history through Seton. And then there are read alouds that cover a vast array, need I say more?

Maybe plans for the Winter/Spring 2015:
Pictures in Cursive Primer
A Child’s First Book of American History
Adventures in Phonics B

Choices that just aren’t for us:
SRA Phonics, Explode the Code

Something I’d love to add if we had the budget (or review opportunity!):
GrapeVine Studies – traceable
Mystery of History I
Who is God? I
Class​ical Acts and Fact​s Hist​ory Card​s
Class​ical Acts and Fact​s Science Card​s
Pictures in Cursive Primer
A Child’s First Book of American History
Beautiful Feet Books Early American History Primary
All American History Jr.
Tapestry Primer

Hmm… it seems I’ve mentioned a thing or two about OrangeBlossom, but not as much. I’ve got a lot more to say on the new Memoria Press Levels (programs designed for Special Needs, but also appropriate for those who need an organized “school” before Junior Kindergarten or age 4). We still have a handful of the Kumon books, but they don’t entice her as they did her sister. These two are very different already in their learning methods and that is an interesting thing to see. Where AppleBlossom needed “school” from before the age of three, OrangeBlossom now a few months into three is only beginning to show interest in school, but more so in name than in actual assignment – following directions is not her thing so far. Pretty much she follows along with whatever her sister is doing. We’re continuing along in P3/4 and now in Foundations A. The Kumon books are basically at free will as is the HWOT PreK book. Mostly for her benefit we now have the Scout and Violet LeapFrog DVDs and they both learn and reinforce material from those. She has started the beginnings of OPGTR with me and likes to play learning with the McGuffey Primer, but otherwise, she is much more into play and sing song learning. She can recite her alphabet, and knows pretty much all her letters. She can count fairly well, but doesn’t identify numbers yet. But at the same time, right now she’s much more into imaginative play and learning to be a big sister. And the best part is, that’s totally okay. 🙂

AppleBlossom has days of full school, cannot get enough. And then she has days of nada but her own thing. And the best part is, that’s totally okay. 🙂 Some days a lesson consists of a week or more’s “work” in a sitting and that works for her and is the right amount of challenge. Some days a lesson takes three weeks… but my girls love to learn. They love books and love talking about books. They love showing daddy their school work as soon as he gets home. And they absolutely delight when they discover “in life” activities they are using math or their phonics skills. All in all, they’re little and they’re learning and it’s the best environment for them and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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About CherryBlossomMJ

The Creative Madness Mama also known as Margaret is a Christian Stay-at-home Mama, married to the Enginerd, Quilter, avid reader and book-a-holic. A book blogger for bunches of different publicists. She loves to share the latest and greatest about books coming out as well as her quilt and other crafty projects with some pictures of her eight-year-old AppleBlossom, three-year-old Almond Blossom (the Rascal boy!), six-year-old OrangeBlossom (the Princess), and newborn Mermaid Warrior in between. Plotting to be a homeschooler, she's a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, list making mama full of a little creative and a lot of madness.