This year for homeschooling my cousin and I decided to change up how we’re homeschooling. Last year we co-taught by splitting the subjects and switching off one day a week with the three kids. This year, we’re doing our things but still consulting each other and hopefully planning some joint field trips and activities. We’re also both doing the Five in a Row curriculum. She bought volume 1 and I bought volume 2. That way we can switch after we finish our own books.
Last week we started the new Five in a Row curriculum. It’s one of the cheapest homeschool curriculum as you only have to buy the teacher’s manual and then can borrow the required books (and additional resources) from the library. The basic idea of FIve in a Row is that you “row” (aka read) the same book 5 days in a row and each day you focus on a different subject (social studies, math, science, language arts and art) each day. The lessons you teach for each subject comes from themes in the book. So far I have liked the flexibility of this method. If I know we’re going to be pretty busy on a certain day, I can plan to do one of the lighter lessons/subjects. Also, you can use the curriculum for multiple ages (4-8). They also have a Before FIAR and After FIAR for younger and older students. I like that you can make the subjects as easy or hard as you want. You can be creative and add a lot of extra projects or just do a basic overview. And there are tons of extra resources available free online. There are a number of blogs devoted to FIAR homeschool and lots of projects searchable via google or pinterest. I’m excited about all the possibilities!
On top of the FIAR curriculum, I am going to try using Hooked on Phonics for reading. I found 3 sets (K, 1 & 2 grades) at my favorite thrift store and was able to talk them down to $5 a set since they were missing some pieces. I was given an older set of Hooked on Phonics previously (think cassette tapes), and for the most part it looks like I’ll be able to use parts from each to get a pretty much complete set. Haddie has completed the first lesson set and can now read “at, sat, fat, bat, cat, hat, mat.” I’ve been working on pointing them out in stories as we’re reading and stopping to let her read those words, plus “I, a, the.”
We are also going to be doing various workbooks that we have and adding in languages as I feel like it. I may teach her some Spanish words that correspond with the story we’re reading. And we’ll be watching her Signing Time DVDs for the Sign language portion.
Technically she’s still in preschool, but I have a feeling a lot of the material we will cover is Kindergarten. We don’t have to officially declare with the school system until next year when she’s 5, but I’m going to try to get more organized and practice keeping better track of our lessons and materials.