In some ways the decision to homeschool is the easy part. Then come the plethora of decisions about how to homeschool your child, your child with special needs. Over the last few months I’ve had one thing on the front burner of my brain- Kate’s curriculum.
While Kate is going to the fourth grade, her reading is well below grade level, so we’re hopeful that we’re going to (finally) see some progress this school year. Thank God for my friend Celeste, a homeschooling mom I’ve known for years, whose child is also a brain tumor survivor. She recommended our reading program, All About Reading. It was developed by a mom whose child is dyslexic. Once Celeste shared her experience of seeing her child finally make progress with reading with this program after trying various programs I was psyched. So far the program has not disappointed.
We started implementing the program this spring after school; introducing the activities slowly. She thinks the program is fun and the lessons take us about 30-45 minutes, which she could handle even after school. The program is multi-sensory, focused on phonics with many activities and tons of review. Level 1 teaches reading to a (solid) first grade level. Our plan is to be able to complete Level 1 and start and complete Level 2 (second grade) before the end of the school year. This would be a huge achievement for us. I will give a full review in the future but if you want more information you can check out Celeste’s review of the program at her blog Joyful Home Learning.
To bring some fun into reading this year we will be doing literary units from Five in a Row. This curriculum has two levels, one for ages 4-8 and one for 8-12. I decided to go with the 4-8 curriculum because it can because the books used in the curriculum will be interesting to Kate. So how this will work for us is it will give us a weekly theme from the books included in the guide. You can teach the books in any order and you can use the activities, adapt them or supplement with other activities. What the curriculum does give you is a way to go deeper with these books and explore them. We are going to do a world geography focus this fall by doing the books with stories based in Japan, Italy, Netherlands, etc. Then we’ll do some stories with US geography focus starting in January. I hope this curriculum will help us bring some fun, invite curiosity and creativity to balance out the more challenging aspects of our homeschool program. Our first book will be How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman.
Next few posts will be focused on handwriting, math and extras that will make this year very exciting.