Announcing Next Year’s Curriculum

I just know you all have been on the edge of your seats waiting to hear what curriculum I’ve chosen for the Creekside Kids for next school year. So, without further ado, here it is.  Keep in mind, this is a work in progress:

Firefly, 2nd Grade

Math: Singapore 1A review, followed by 1B (Standards Edition).  While we probably covered much of what is in Singapore 1A with our RightStart curriculum in our first grade year, I’ve heard from several other families who’ve made the same switch that there are a few essential skills unique to Singapore that are taught in 1A that you will need for 1B. So we’ll start there.

Language Arts:  Growing with Grammar, All About Spelling, Explode the Code 3,  tons of read alouds, and Spelling City.

History:  Story of the World, Ancients (continued from summer study and then on to SOTW 2).  We plan to use the Activity Guide as well as lots of other supplemental books, activities, websites, museum exhibits and more.

Geography:  Complete Book of Maps and Geography.

Extras:  BrainPop Jr., CNN Student News, and Youngzine.

Art-Private art class.

Music-Piano Lessons.

Extra Curriculars-We are thinking of giving Fencing a try.  Our local community center has a kids’ class. And, if Firefly would like to continue with basketball for late fall and winter, we’ll do that again. He’ll also continue with his Lego Club. This year, they will introduce robotics.

The Queen Bee, Kindergarden

Math:  We’re not going to start with any formal curriculum.  We’ll continue practicing counting to 100, simple addition with manipulatives and everyday math like measurements with cooking, that type of thing.  After we get into a groove, I may add Singapore Earlybird.

Reading:  Again, we won’t start with formal curriculum. I really want to wait until she is ready, otherwise I know I will encounter resistance, and I want her to see that Kindergarden at home is fun. We will continue doing tons of read-alouds, Five in a Row, and when she shows interest, we’ll do Progressive Phonics  books, Bob Books, or any of the other many beginning reading resources we already own.  We might try  Ordinary Parents’ Guide to Teaching Reading and I also have Peggy Kaye’s Games for Reading.  I’m seriously considering doing reading lessons with her at bedtime. She’s a total night owl and would welcome some extra time with Mom at the end of the day. Even though that’s my low energy time, it may be an experiment I’m willing to try, reminiscent of Jessie Wise’s technique with her four year old:  “Bob, would you rather take a nap, or would you like to learn how to read?” [from The Well Trained Mind, 2009.]

Extras:  Starfall, PBS Kids websites.

If she wants more, we’ll do it, but I think we’re gonna do some old school style kindergarden with lots of crafts and lots of playing, playing, playing.


Science-This is one thing I have to really look into more, but I have it narrowed down to continuing with R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey-Life and then on to R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey-Earth and Space. Or Intelligo Astronomy.  Firefly also tremendously enjoyed Science in the Kitchen this year and is hungry for more experiments, so I purchased Janice VanCleave’s 200 Gooey, Slippery, Slimy, Weird and Fun Experiments, which includes activities for biology, astronomy, earth science, chemistry and physics.

Spanish-Firefly has requested to learn Spanish. We love Muzzy Spanish Time, BBC but I don’t think our library is going to let us have it checked out indefinitely and used copies start at $100!  Too pricey. For now, we are enjoying our library copy for as long as they’ll let us. All three kids adore this program. Even my 2 year old is toddling around saying, “Buenos tardes.  Soy Love Bug.”  We’re currently looking into other options for Spanish. I’m considering the one that comes with Discovery Streaming. While pricey ($200 on Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op), there  appears to be a lot of valuable content on Discovery Streaming and I’ve read nothing but wonderful reviews on various homeschooling message boards.  Another Spanish program we’ll be looking into is  Speakee.

Occasional Five in a Row for Firefly, more often for The Queen Bee.  We may do some of our book selections and treat them like Five in a Row.  I’m keeping my eyes open for what books really appeal to the kids and will build around those.

Love Bug, age 2.5

Continuing on his destructive yet adorable path through toddlerhood, Love Bug will play, play, play. Maybe we’ll begin to introduce the Letter Factory videos. We’ll definitely read to him frequently and make available to him a variety of toys to play with and engage his imagination.  And if we’re lucky, he’ll play for longer periods of time in a somewhat quiet way.

Other thoughts…

As I read what I’ve written, it seems like too much.  I wonder how in the world we will get to all of that. We probably won’t. Although I’ve chosen some of our curriculum to increase Firefly’s independent work, it is still a lot to accomplish.  I did the same thing last year and thus, history sat on our shelf all year.

Maybe we will do more this summer than I’d planned, like adding a little Spanish and starting piano lessons.  We already plan to continue daily reading and start weekly history. But, I really can’t say for certain at this point.

Our priority this summer is to go to the pool, take weekly trips to the farm where we have a share of produce to pick and animals to visit, go on trips to museums in the city and hang out with our friends.

So we will have our break and relax and then see what the summer brings. And come fall, we’ll see what works in our schedule. If it’s too much, we’ll shelve something again.  I get really excited about all of the curriculum I’ve chosen. Somewhat carried away, really.  Note to self: remain flexible and very much in tune with how it is all working for the children.


This entry was posted in Early Elementary Years, homeschooling, kindergarten, secular homeschooling. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Announcing Next Year’s Curriculum

  1. Mom says:

    Yeah …. piano lessons!!!

  2. I always enjoy reading about others’ curriculum choices! I am still busy researching some of my choices for this coming year. I think the planning stage is one of the most exciting things for me:)

  3. Theresa says:

    When I read posts like this I SO wish I homeschooled from the beginning, if only for Five in a Row! I so often feel like we are playing catch-up now.

    Even though my girls went to school, we did do Muzzy Spanish and LOVED it!!

    Sounds like a great year! We LOVE Story of the World.

    I have to check that CNN site. Thanks.

  4. Eddie says:

    Wow, you’re organized! I’m most impressed – I myself have a stack of curriculum bought; now I have to figure out what we’re going to continue/use through the summer, what is for fall, what we want to drop….. oh wait, I haven’t ordered math yet. Blast! (See – I do not have your skills!)

  5. I’m so impressed with moms like you that can do such a great job with homeschooling. It’s made my head spin just deciding what to supplement with for summer.

  6. Lori says:

    I loved reading about your curriculum choices. It looks like you have lots of fun ahead. 🙂

  7. Siggi says:

    I love that you are keeping it streamlined and playful. Hurray for play!

  8. Rachell says:

    I found your blog when I googled RightStart math reviews — how come you switched math programs for 2nd grade? (I”m buying for a first grader). Thanks!

    • Hi Rachell, Thanks for your comment. While we loved RightStart, it was a bit time consuming for our household. I have a very active toddler who does not nap and found that I needed a good chunk of quiet time to do RightStart math with my first grader: time to prepare as well as uninterrupted time to do the lessons with him. Well, that just didn’t happen in our house, so I am going to try Singapore, which looks like he will be able to work on some of that independently. I am also adding a kindergardener to the mix in the fall. I’ll let you all know how Singapore works out. And we will likely continue to do the games from RightStart as they have been a big hit with my son.

  9. Rachell says:

    Thanks so much for replying, Julie. Good to know about RS being time-consuming — I’m switching from MathUSee, myself. Hoping to engage my 6-yr-old son more. I have a 4-year-old too, who is on his heels. Good luck with Singapore, have read great things. I’m enjoying your blog!

  10. Julie says:

    I have a 2nd grader this year and we love our All About Spelling lessons! We are starting SOTW Ancients too and really looking forward to it {well, at least I am}. 😉 Looks like a great year you have planned!


  11. We love All About Spelling! I almost got Right Start and opted for Singapore. I find it easy in terms of little prep for teaching. Usually, Bear just needs a little intro with manipulatives and then can get started on the workbook. I also bought Miquon as a supplement, but may not continue with that for second grade math, My unique situation is that my daughter is only almost 4. While I felt like she had to move to first grade math, I’m not quite ready for her to move to second grade math until she’s closer to 6. I needed more than just Singapore to last almost 2 years! I also have a toddler (23 months) who is currently on a steady diet of Leapfrog Letter Factory. I enjoy your blog.

  12. Stopping by from Educating Layton Link up! We have some similiar things lined up, and you are also doing somethings I have planned for the future. as well, looking fwd to seeing how they work our for you! Hope you’ll stop by as well!

  13. Robin says:

    We love our Singapore math!! I curated this post and your post from today (7/21) on my Homeschool Resources page at too.

  14. Mary says:

    Just putting in a plug for The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading – LOVE IT! Very methodical and thorough. We love explode the code too.

    I am a new email subscriber to your blog!

  15. Jessy says:

    Stopping by to wish you and your family a GREAT school year from Weekly Wrap-up!

  16. Jackie says:

    Looks good! Have a great year!

  17. Jen says:

    I so enjoy reading what others are doing in their homeschool, I too love looking at curriculum. Looks like a very well thought out year and you’re right, you can always ditch what isn’t working for this season! Many blessings on your year.

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