I am so excited! Tomorrow we are starting our first day of Kindergarten for Amelia and first day of Tot School for Joshua! After my friend introduced me to Heart of Dakota almost 1 year ago I fell in love with it and decided shortly after that it was the route for us. I am not sure that we will stick with it for the remainder of our years as I really like My Father’s World in the older years but for Kindergarten it is exactly what I was looking for!
Now I also have to add in that we have been so blessed to receive all of our curriculum for free this year. How? Through our Credit Card : ) I know everyone has their own financial system but ours is to put all of our charges on our credit card while following our budget and paying the balance at the end of each month. This accrues fabulous points (about $20-25/month) and our credit card merged with Amazon so we are able to buy anything we want off Amazon with our credit card points. I started buying back in April or so and have got a few books at a time and now have everything set and ready… for free!
We will be doing Little Hearts for His Glory and I will be following a rough 2 year plan. We will be schooling 4 days a week + 1 co-op day. LHFHG is set up as a 5 day per unit curriculum so our unit weeks will just flow along merrily but not be week to week. I also like to do something different for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the season changes so once you count all of those in we will complete a little more than half the manual in 1 year. Here are the books included in LHFHG that we will be using this year:
- History: History for Little Pilgrims and History Stories for Children
- Handwriting: A Reason for Handwriting Manuscript A
- Basic Skills: Going on Eagerly and Just Thinking and Choosing
- Calendar: I picked and chose from these various websites for her calendar notebook this year. We did a notebook last year so I didn’t want it to be exactly the same which is why I searched so many different options: Mama’s Learning Corner , Our Aussie Homeschool , Mama Jenn , Motherhood on a Dime and 1 + 1 + 1 = 1
- Science: The World God Made
- Geography: I am adding this in after seeing my kiddos interest in the States & Capitals songs and always asking where a state is. This will be a quick and easy add on. So I will have them listen to the songs from this cd and then color one state each day from this website and color in on the US map where that state is. While they’re doing all the coloring I will read to them a little about that state from our Children’s Atlas of the United States.
- Math: Singapore Math Essential Math – Kindergarten A & B (I’m not sure that we will stick with this. I may switch her to 1st grade Singapore Math or we may just move through these books quickly for reinforcement first. The concepts in Kindergarten A are ones she already knows but they are presented a little more challenging which may be enough to stump her up a little. We’ll just see how it goes!)
- Phonics: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (We will try this for a second go around. We tried a bit last year and she just wasn’t quite ready. I’m not sure if it was age or the presentation of the content so we’ll try again this year and if she likes it we’ll go with it but if not then I’ll continue researching other options.)
- We will either read through The Jesus Storybook Bible or The Children’s Illustrated Bible (I prefer the later but it’s a little more advanced and is not Amelia’s favorite at this point. I want her to enjoy her bible reading so we may stick with the former until she’s ready to move on.)
- Devotions for the Children’s Hour
- Hide ‘Em in Your Heart CD
- Memory Verses – LHFHG has a memory verse for each week and I found some great printables here to cut out and post on our wall display as well as to cut out and put in a 4 x 6 photo album so we have a memory verse book to refer to throughout the year
- RightNow Media – Our church has a membership to the website RightNow Media where I can access some great bible shows. Since LHFHG teaches hard the stories from the bible I am going to reinforce them probably while preparing lunch or during their snack time and have them watch a 20 min. video every few days from one of the great options on this website
- Read Alouds: Thornton Burgess Animal Stories and Peter Rabbit
As you can see if you are familiar with LHFHG that we have a mixture of Kindergarten and 1st grade books. We’ll see what needs to be adjusted this year and next. HOD is so wonderful because they have the lesson plans for each day planned out for you so you just go to that day and they tell you what to read from each book. They have a memory verse and bible story and devotional reading that all match a specific theme for each unit. It is so wonderful to not have to plan all of this together.
But, if you’re a planner like I am then you still do a little more planning : ) So here is my planning sheet since I also like to check things off and to see things in a list format. I made it simply in Microsoft Word. As I review each unit before we start I write down the basic activities we’re doing so I can review quick and know if there’s anything I need to plan out. I also put here the RightNow Media video we will watch. We are going to do school from 9:30-11:30 in the morning (is my rough plan) and the Bible/Devotional reading I plan to do after we eat breakfast and the finishing Storytime I plan to do after we eat lunch. There is quite a bit of this curriculum that I can involve Josh in which I’m very excited for and there are a few possible independent sections I’m hoping Amelia can do so I can teach Josh his Tot School.
For Josh’s Tot School I am following my basic structure we did with Amelia that you can read all about here. It is a letter, animal that starts with that letter, color, # and shape each week with a craft relating to the animal.
Here is our Calendar and Display area. We have a very small homeschool/playroom that also houses a small closet for our cat’s litter box. We have that door permanently open with a curtain covering the door entrance so we can’t see the litter box so I used the door as our display board. At the top are our all about me sheets I created and will fill out and put their picture on. There is a small section to display their hard work each day on clothespins and then our calendar section with Amelia’s princess calendar where she puts a sticker on each day that passes and we review the day of the week and the month.
And here is a picture of the blue and white display that I will put up our bible verse for each week and our new laminated map so we can look at it and learn about the world!
I have this file folder box divided into months, seasons and holidays. Within each month I have started copying off the consumable pages from her handwriting, math and basic skills books and put them in a folder for each unit and placed it in the tentative month we will be completing that unit. I also reviewed each unit and put in any craft materials we may need for that week.