Friday, February 10, 2017

New Year, New Curriculum!

Hi everyone!  Took a break from posting so I could focus on spending the holidays with family, it was very nice and relaxing.  Now, I am ready to get back in the swing of things.  I want to start off this new curriculum with an introductory blog post about what we plan on doing for this upcoming year.  So lets get started!

I have searched high and low for a curriculum that would work for E this year.  The first idea I looked into was Before Five in a Row, which I am sure many of you have heard of.  If not, a basic quick  outline is this:  read one of the books on the list for five days in a row and discuss/do activities to go along with each book.  I LOVED that this was literature based, as E loves being read to.  It also fits her age (she will be two when we begin) and BFIAR is intended for ages 2-4.  My main issue with the program was that I didn't think E would be very interested in some of the books.  

So I took some of the BFIAR ideas and tailored it to suit ours needs, and ta-da!  Our curriculum came together!

So what will we be doing?  We are going to do literature based units that last for two weeks.  I chose books that E already loves, and found inspiration from popular children's book lists online (Google search top 100 children's books of all time).  I tried my best to match books to holidays and seasons, so that we would have more applicable activities to do with each unit.  Then, I took to Pinterest to find inspiration for ideas.

These are the areas of concentration we will be focusing on during our units:

Language (major focus):

  • Building vocabulary words through reading.  We will be utilizing 3-part cards in each unit. Also working on our letter sounds while using sandpaper letters.
  • Comprehension - Answering simple questions about the story.
  • Sequencing - Similar to comprehension, but using our memory (or common sense) to sequence events.
  • Pre-writing - Working on our fine motor skills, using tracing pages and working on properly holding writing utensils.
Practical Life (major focus):
  • Helping with simple chores (E loves to help anyway, so basically just giving her more things to help with)
  • Food preparation - snacks, and helping with meals
  • Learning grace and courtesy
Art (major focus):
  • Using different mediums (paint, chalk, markers)
  • Finding art in nature 
  • Working on our primary and secondary colors
Math (minor focus):
  • Working with manipulatives to count
  • Patterns
  • Shapes
Science (minor focus):
  • Simple science experiments (mostly for the wow factor rather than the actual understanding of chemical concepts)
  • Botany - Very simple, we will be growing a garden and focusing on the needs plants have to survive (sun and water).  We will also plant a few flowers this year for pressing and arranging.
  • Zoology - Again, very basic but E loves animals, which will be a focus in almost all of our units.  Talking about different animals, noises they make, where they live, etc.
Geography (not a focus, but more of a point I hope to teach):
  • This is definitely not a focus for us this year.  However, I hope to get started with the basic 'me on the map' concepts.  We live in a house on x street, in x city, in x state.  I plan on showing her on a map where that state is, as we border two states and frequently visit that state as well.  We also have family in another state, which I plan to point out.  We won't be going farther than that.

I hope you all will enjoy this journey with me.  I plan on doing a few more introductory posts before we get started at the end of February.  Then, I will be posting a few days a week the activities we are doing for each unit, and the resources I use.  I hope to also use Pinterest and Instagram, and will link to those when I get them set up.  

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