Saturday, April 23, 2011

Year K - Updated!

Year K

Year K is designed for 5 year olds, and is provided as a very gentle introduction to schooling. As some areas require a Kindergarten year, this will provide some ideas. I mainly focus on learning to read, write, simple math concepts, and writing... plus working towards listening to chapter books.

Most of the time should be spent outside exploring.

Learn to Read

I like the looks of the Simply Charlotte Mason's "Delightful Reading" but have not bought it as of yet.

In general I suggest doing a combined method. Phonics by itself gets difficult and boring for the student because of the hard work decoding every word. Some students don't learn that you don't HAVE to decode words that you already know. Yet a straight "sight words / whole words / see and say" approach can leave the child with no clue how to read a word they haven't been "taught".

For the phonics side of things, we have used "Teach your child to read in Just 10 minutes a day" by Sidney Ledson. I like some things about this book, but not others. I have also looked at the free "progressive phonics" website and did a bit of it... I like the way they alternate parents and children reading... but the stories are twaddle and although the kids love it, I couldn't stand it after a bit. For my next children, I suspect I will find something else.

For the other side of things, We used the "Dick and Jane" readers
  • (Dick and Jane) - We Look and See (these 3 are reprinted in a Treasury book)
  • (Dick and Jane) - We Work and Play
  • (Dick and Jane) - We Come and Go
  • (Dick and Jane) - Guess Who (Reprinted in a different Treasury book) - ONLY if more practice needed.

Extra if time left in year and child can read the above (also recommended in Year 1)

  • Fun with Dick and Jane (if you can get an old copy. a couple of the stories have been reprinted in a book of the same name)
  • (Dick and Jane) - Our New Neighbours (only old copies available...)


The McGuffy Readers might be fine at this stage.
Note that we don't want to keep using readers for a long time! We want living books. Using the actual Charlotte Mason method to teach reading, you could skip the readers entirely.

  • practice counting, up to 20
  • matching, sorting. (playing cards, socks, toys, etc)
  • MEP Reception Year

Literature (Read Outloud)
These are just some suggestions, and ones we have used. There are wonderful suggestions out there at various sights like Simply Charlotte Mason, Milestones, etc. Find ones that work for your child!
  • Peter Pan (or Peter Pan and Wendy) - James M. Barrie
  • Peter Rabbit, and other Stories from the Compete Works - Beatrix Potter books (more available if you do a search for Beatrix Potter)
  • A House at Pooh Corner - A. A. Milne
  • Thirty-Three Multicultural Tales to Tell - Pleasant DeSpain
  • The Hockey Sweater - Roch Carrier - hear the author read it!
  • Raggedy Ann Stories, or Raggedy Andy Stories (or both)
Canadian Literature:
See Canadian Literature Plan

Peterson Directed Handwriting. We used the Cursive First option within this program, but that is up to you. They have a free 6 week preparation "preschool" program to work on hand strength, directions, working to a rhythm, etc. Then continue with the program.

  • suzuki violin (or other music instruction - read post)
Phys Ed
  • swimming lessons at the Y (or Red Cross)
  • The Children's Book of Virtues - Bennett (Skip the Aesop fables, and "St. George and the Dragon" as they are used later. Also skip "The Little Red Hen if using the Treadwell/Free Primer)
  • The 7 habits of Happy Kids
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Little Bear at Work and Play


Choose based on availability

  • 1-2-3 Draw books by Freddie Levin - pick 3 or 4, (especially "Wild Animals", "Pets and Farm Animals")


  • Draw Write Now (books 1-4)

Kindergarten children can join with older students for things like Music Study, Scripture Study, Picture Study, etc. Take care that you don't overburden them!

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