Since I’m Graduating….

Avery is officially done with her year of Pre-K and they hosted a cute graduation ceremony, complete with caps!  All day before the ceremony, Avery kept saying “Since I’m graduating….” and then followed it up with all sorts of super grown up ideas and propositions.  Basically, she graduated Pre-K and is now about ready to leave for college!

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Her teachers made really nice scrapbooks for each student.  Pictures that we had never seen from all of their different events throughout the year.  Projects that highlighted their growth (physical and development).  Avery had a good year here and really came to love her teachers.  I am glad that we decided to put her in a Pre-K program this past year but I am also very happy and very confident in our decision to homeschool next year.

On the way home from the graduation ceremony, Avery said “Since I graduated, can we start on kindergarten tomorrow?”  I laughed and said “Of course!!”  And her dad laughed at both of us and said “You guys are such nerds!”  All true.

 

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Curriculum Love!

Timberdoodle recently had a warehouse sale and we were able to pick up quite a few things that we will use in our curriculum!! One of things that I love about TD is the focus on STEM and critical thinking skills.  So many of their recommended materials are FUN and engaging!

Here is what we picked up during the sale:

*Logik Street (board game, brain teasers, critical thinking)

*ThinkPlay STEM Junior

*Imagination Patterns

*Brainfood Doodle Mats (USA, geography, states)

*Our Blue Planet (puzzle, geography)

*Grow to Know Mazes

*My First Maze Book

*Usborne Illustrated Science Dictionary

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I think the best part is that the girls are both over the moon with everything!!  They have not stopped playing with this new stuff since it arrived.  We get our mail pretty late in the day (6 pm) so when we opened it up and went through everything, of course we needed to stay up a little late to play!  And then the next morning….they went straight to the imagination patterns and thinkplay building blocks.  Normally in the mornings, they are allowed tv or tablets (because, let’s be real–mom needs 2 cups of coffee before she functions).

But they SKIPPED ELECTRONICS in favor of LEARNING MATERIALS!!!  Of course, they don’t know that this is “curriculum”, they just think they got new toys for no reason but we’ve got a good thing going so I’m not going to ruin that by labeling things unnecessarily 😉

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Ridiculous!

Kaylee recently got very frustrated while trying to write her name and declared “I’m ridiculous at making Ks!” Of course, I had to chuckle a little bit because it was hilarious and adorable.  But I assured her that she was not ridiculous at making Ks and we just needed to practice more.

So I made her a tracing worksheet for her name and she was happy as a clam to practice!  Within a week and only a few times using her worksheet, she is now a pro at making Ks.
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Choosing a Curriculum

I am planning on buying a boxed curriculum for our Kindergarten/First Grade year.  Since this will be our first ‘serious’ year homeschooling, I just want to have that guide and that assurance that I am doing it right.  I think it will help me to be confident that I am not leaving anything out, that I am keeping on course for the year, and that I CAN DO THIS!

I am leaning towards using Timberdoodle.  I have researched the included materials, read the reviews, etc.  It seems like a great mix of academics while remembering that its for a 5-6 year old and making it fun for her too!  I have found so many great boxed curriculums but many of them are very heavy on the religious aspect.  Because our family is not very religious, I feel like I would have to omit or alter too much of those curriculums to fit our family.  Timberdoodle has both a secular curriculum AND a build-your-own curriculum that I feel is going to work out great for us.  I am able to make a Kindergarten-First Grade hybrid set to meet Avery exactly where she is in each subject.

Do you used a boxed curriculum? Do you piece together your own?  What are some of your favorites?  Bonus points if they are in the kindergarten/1st grade range!!