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Our homeschool plan for Kindergarten/First Grade – Hf#150

on August 14, 2018 by Jami Balmet 6 comments

We are officially (for the second time) entering into Kindergarten this year with a strong likelihood of moving on to first grade in the new year. We are excited for the resources and curriculum that we are using! Here’s what we are planning for 2018-2019 school year for K and 1st:

Listen to the Podcast:

We also recorded this blog post as an audio podcast. If you want to listen in instead of reading, click play below or do a combination of both :)

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes

My review of Sonlight: 

For last year, we used the full Sonlight curriculum which was perfect because I had no idea how to piece together a Charlotte Mason style literature based approach to homeschooling. I was overwhelmed and getting one big box of stuff in the mail was exactly what I needed. 

What we loved about Sonlight:

  • A literature based curriculum that you don’t have to piece together yourself!! 
  • Everything out of the box and ready for you
  • The schedule is completely done! You just use it you are good! 
  • We absolutely adore the books from Sonlight

Here’s what didn’t work for us: 

  • We did not care for the Bible curriculum. The Bible itself was fine. But it was extremely dry and the allotted time they had for K-2nd grade was far too long. Especially with all the other reading. 
  • It was hard for us to stick to the schedule. It became hard for us, even when we were trying to be flexible. 
  • We found that we never used the discussion guides and leaders guide. This is supposed to be a huge benefit of Sonlight. but for these grades, we found it entirely unnecessary to look up discussion questions. It was far more trouble than it was worth. We just naturally discuss the books with the kids. (this would be a lot more helpful I think as they get older)

So while we won’t be doing the full sonlight curriculum, we WILL be using their books each year but then doing our own thing. Overall, we still highly recommend Sonlight! And I have a few friends who are looking for more structure in their homeschool day. For them especially, I think it’s 100% worth it!  

Our Approach to Kindergarten: 

As I shared in our podcast last year at the beginning of the year, our educational style is very Charlotte Mason inspired, especially for these young ages. So that includes a TON of outdoor and unstructured play. Our actual homeschooling doesn’t take very long. 

Typically it looks like 15-30 minutes of sit down at the table doing their math and hand writing. The rest of our subjects are done through books at the couch, outside, on the boys bed, etc. 

What we are using: 

  • 100 Easy Lessons to Teach Your Child to Read (we LOVE this handbook! And you can use it again and again!)
  • New handwriting books we are trying for $4.99
  • Math U See Kindergarten
  • Then our science, history, and everything else will be mainly through reading. 
  • Masterbooks: Their living education math, writing, and more. They have a full preschool and kindergarten curriculum, creation science materials and more! 

Usborn Books: 

Amazon Things We Ordered: 

Bible and devotional books: 

How we will do school this year: 

In the last 6 months, we’ve fallen in love with doing morning basket time. This means that we have a basket with about 10 different books in (alternating subjects) and we pick 4-5 each day to read. This is how we get through the majority of our subjects. We do it on a loop schedule. So we read a few books each morning and whatever we didn’t get to, we pick up the next day! 

My #1 goal with this is to sing a hymn or two with the kids (and get them to memorize more songs) and do our Bible reading together. And then we go into our school work. We also have a poetry book, a book about how things work, some fun chapter books, and more in it. 

The goal is to cycle through a couple different books each day (but not all of them each morning)! We are implementing this right after breakfast and it’s been a fabulous habit to start cultivating. 

You can check out a great podcast on the topic: Your Morning Basket episode #1. And my friend Victoria does this for herself with a Bible basket

Simplify Your Meal Planning! 

I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to the sponsor for this week’s podcast: Prep Dish! A fantastic meal planning solution that makes it EASY to plan out and execute an entire week’s worth of meals. 

Here’s how to works each and every week: 

  1. PrepDish sends out the COMPLETED meal plan
  2. Print it out (or view on your phone)
  3. Head to the grocery store with the grocery list already done
  4. Spend 2-3 hours one day a week to do all the prep work
  5. Then with just 5-20 minutes each day you put the meals together! 

They’ve made it was easy as possible! So if you are going crazy in your kitchen, or you just need a little extra help, then PrepDish makes it extremely easy. And PrepDish is offering a super special TWO week free trail when you sign up through this link (how awesome!!)

Try out PrepDish free for TWO weeks!

Get instant free access to my Finding Joy in Your Home video course.

  • Do you want to discover more joy, peace, & tranquility within your home?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed and like your house is out of control?
  • Join my free course and learn the essential habits for Christian homemakers
  1. LOVE that you are using Master Books! We just started homeschool preschool yesterday, and are using Master Books’ full preschool curriculum. Which is super hands-on and simple. I am really liking it so far! If all goes well this year, we will stick with it for Kindergarten next year. I really think I’ll like the Living Education subjects!

  2. I had been struggling so much to decide on a math curriculum for this year. Thanks you for this podcast, I enjoyed it. I ordered Math Lessons for a Living Education. I’m excited to have a decision made finally and to get started!

  3. Hi Jami, it was nice to hear different curriculum options for those in California. I live in Northern California and tried to kind of see what my options are for homeschooling. I was wondering why you have chosen curriculum that you have to pay for and not go with the homeschools or charter online school like Inspire charter school or Valiant homechool program? Thank you! Maybe you can give me more information what the difference would be between buying a curriculum or going with one that pays for you. Thank you!

  4. I have an almost 4 year old who I am planning to homeschool with the Charlotte Mason Method. What would you recommend as a good place to start for preschool level books/curriculum? I don’t personally know anyone who has done the CMM so I have no point of reference for any of this and any advice would be appreciated!

  5. Hi Jami, thank you so much for sharing what you are doing and for being honest about what you like and don’t like so much with those curriculums. I heard you mention in a podcast that you used the Usborne science encyclopedia last year. I was considering using that as our science once or twice a week for kindergarten. What were your thoughts on it? My concern with science encyclopedias now is that it wouldn’t be bible based. So figured you would be the gal to ask.

    • It is NOT Bible based but for the most part it’s not problematic for us. It does have a few spots where it will mention the earth being “millions of years old”. I either skip those parts or it opens up a good discussion point. Because it’s just Kindergarten, we just use this book as a fun way to introduce different topics (weather, whales, etc). We just read a page or two in a sitting so it’s not super in depth or anything. It’s not like a full curriculum so it works well. There are other great Bible based ones though! Masterbooks.com is a terrific resource to look into! We have some amazing picture style books on things like dinosaurs that we’ve also been reading through!! 😀