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My curriculum, tests? opinions....(LONG)
January 18, 2013 at 11:01 PM

Ok, so after all the encouraging posts in my other post I made about deciding on homeschooling or not, I decided to get things going on paperwork and planning the curriculum so that it is ready if I do decide to homeschool, even if I don't this is a good base on things I can start working with her on now anyway. Now in my state anyway you have to teach 5 basic subjects regardless of grade. These subjects would be Language Arts, Science, Health, Math and Social Studies. I did some research on what a kindergartener should know at the end of the year, some activities to go along with the subjects (though for the most part came up with my own) and typed everything into an outline. The outline is required by the state if you aren't using an actual acredited curriculum, if you use and actual curriculum you can just tell them which ones and the textbooks you use. I came up with my own and don't plan on spending money on one, especially for kindergarten. I think I came up with a lot of stuff that is good and made a 3 page outline. I will not post it on here since it is so long, but can give you the gist of it.

Basically for each subject I think there are sub topics like Science you have the topics of plants, animals, living vs. non living, weather, The solar system, individual planets, the sun, the moon, stars etc. So under each sub topic I wrote basically how I'd teach it, such as photos of these things, observing weather, collecting rain, looking under the microscope at various things, outdoor field trips, bird watching (plan to get a bird feeder and go to the park) and identifying birds from a book. Anyway, this is how I did each subject. Now when you homeschool I know you can just be done for the year when you can completed all the course work, in my state it requires 1,032 hours for an elementary student to be "in class" and I know with everything combined I can do this. I have to send in how many hours my daughter would be "in class" each month so basically they would know how long it takes to complete.

I'm wondering though since they don't check in or anything here, how will they know? I plan to keep records of length of class and I consider trips to the park, zoo, and grocery store even as class time when I am teaching her different things. I just don't know why they require me to say how many hours a month she'll be being taught when it depends on how quickly she grasps everything...maybe it doesn't really matter because we'll be done when we are done, but just wondering.

Also here it is not required that the "students" take any kind of state tests or anything like that, if your state doesn't require them, do you still write out a type of test or maybe have kind of an oral exam? I mean obviously you have to do something to see that your child has learned everything they need to, but I'm curious what type of tests you use. I think especially for my daughter only going to be starting kindergarten the only written test will be when she has to write numbers, letters and a bit of addition and subraction too. Otherwise I will just ask her questions and let her ask questions.

I'm giving myself a month to get a sort of schedule set with her preschool work so i know I can handle kindergarten and if i can do that and my boyfriend agrees (this was discussed in my other post) then we will go ahead with it in the fall. I may work part time and then do her lessons when i get home, with my boyfriends work hours he can likely be home for the part of the day I would work so we can keep away daycare as much as possible (daycare is why i started staying home in the first place).

I'm really starting to get excited now that I'm getting things typed up. Other than the lessons outline and a few things to fill out about who will teach (me), our "school" name, and mine and my ex husbands signature (if I end up having to get that since he is her dad) this seems pretty simple to get homeschooling going!!

I plan to use my own curriculum, use many sources on the internet, get some books for some of it, a child's microscope and telescope, and things like this to go along with my teaching. We have been planning to get a zoo pass, which I believe also gives free or discounted admission to the wildlife "safari" park outside of town (wolves, bears, elk, large birds etc) and a childrens museum pass again in order to have some trips. Also we have a couple nice parks near by, one of which has a lake (water specimen for science!) and then a bird feeder for observation, a plant for her to grow and then I also have many crafts and games planned to go along with this. I have the Hooked On Phonics program with a game cd for letter sounds, my mom found this years ago at Goodwill brand new for just a few dollars and now it can be put to use! I am also going to be getting her in dance lessons (my boyfriends mom wants to pay for them) and this will be a great activity for her for exercise, learning something she enjoys and socializing. I also plan to bring art into almost every subject because she enjoys that and I do too.

I have so much goin on in my head right now and am so excited to get this going. I think if my boyfriend sees how I'm teaching her and how much she can learn at home then he will be fine with it. We are still looking to see if I should go back to work or not (or maybe just part time) and that does matter too, but I can't deny the fact that since I've been staying home with the girls, motivation has gone down for things, I just didn't feel like I had a purpose anymore and got bored and everything, but with this all getting put together I'm finding motivation again and really look forward to hopefully homeschooling. I am kind of excited that I get to learn along with her on some subjects or relearn things. I plan to bring a little Spanish into her teaching and do full on Spanish as she gets older because I took it in highschool but haven't retained a lot, I think in today's world especially in the US it is good to be bilingual and helps with the job situation too, I also would like to learn it again myself.

Anyway, I think thats all, and I'm curious what you guys think of all this, does it sound right on target? Thank you!!!! You ladies are awesome!!!



  • energygirl
    January 19, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    you mentioned "How will they know" what all you do etc......Most of the time no one checks in on homeschoolers....but there is always that chance and you need to be prepared.  I would look into HSLD (homeschool legal defense) if you are worried about it.....but I would also make sure you keep clear records on what you are doing (and yes we count field trips etc as school time as well.)  What state are you in? It would be good to connect with others in your state.......since you are putting your own materials together....

  • KickButtMama
    January 19, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Sounds like you've been able to put together an awesome plan! 

  • sepedaboyz
    January 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I keep a sample of some of the work from each unit we did. Just in case. In our state, K is not required so even though I kept things, I didn't have to. I put almost everything we did in a HUGE 3 ring binder. It is busting out but I like to keep things. This would be 'proof' if you were ever audited.

    My state, Ga, only requires testing every 3rd year starting in 3rd grade but I have choosen to give a test at the end of every year just for my own purposes to see if there were any areas we need to work on. I've used the standardized Spectrum Tests.

  • kirbymom
    January 19, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Seems to me that you have things well under control and have a fantastic plan all set up.  The reason you woiould keep a record even when the system isn't looking over your shoulder every waking second is because they "might" do it and you would rather be totally prepared than not or half prepared.  The system would just love to catch us homeschoolers slacking even if it were just a slight slacking. The old motto....Better to be safe than a good motto to abide by.  :)  

  • hipmomto3
    January 19, 2013 at 4:54 PM
    K is not required here either, unless for some reason your child is turning 7 while in K.
  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    January 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

     wow all that for kindergarten!!! be sure to consider how she learns, what shes interested in, and its ok if you dont get all you want to do in a day done! theres always tomorrow!

    sounds like your both gona have fun in kindergarten!!!

  • stargazerwolf
    January 21, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Thanks everyone! I based my "lesson plan" off of a list of what a kindergartener should know by the end of the year. I plan to only teach two "subjects" each day so she doesn't get overwhelmed. The most frustrating already is writing letters and phonics. She does know how to write her name, sister's name and Mom, but I'm trying to get her to know every letter, we are doing one letter a day, trying to teach it different days. Today we start letter A, which she knows well anyway because it is the last letter in her name, but I want her to see other words its in and she is having trouble writting the little a, she always wants to use the big letters for her whole name.

    I'm trying to have fun activities to do after she learns for the day so she doesn't get frustrated. We already did some writing today of A and little a and I told her how A sounds and went over some other words that start with A so she could hear how it sounds the same in all the words and she had to repeat the sound back. Taking a break now, she's playing with her sis, then we will do some painting! I'm going to show her how to paint a flower and see if painting the big and little A might be easier than writing because it flows, maybe it will help.

    Anyway, Thanks all for the input! I'm not pushing her too hard because she doesn't sit for very long :) Plus she doesn't have to learn all of this right now, she's not even 5 just yet.

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