We are in the middle our second year of homeschooling with our oldest son, Caleb and looking forward to beginning Kindergarten with our second son, Hanan next year. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting now and then about our curriculums we are using this 2013-2014 year for homeschooling. For the Language Arts portion of our schooling, we have been using a wonderful curriculum called “Sing Spell Read and Write” Homeschool Version for Kindergarten and now Level 1 for First Grade. There is a classroom version of the same curriculum and you can find a lot of information about it by searching it out on YouTube. Caleb is already halfway through the year and really enjoying it as he takes on every level of learning. Here are a few things I have found to enjoy about this curriculum:
It is not boring and reinforced with music. Both my boys sing all the songs we listen to on the CD. We love music in our family and I love how these songs are catchy and enjoyable to the little guys. We started listening to the entire CD just for background music during my oldest son’s Kindergarten year and now that we are getting to some of the concepts that go with the Level 1 songs, the lightbulb is coming on pretty quickly as he reads what he has been singing for a while now and everything comes together. The songs are short and catchy and not too wordy, which makes learning the lyrics easy (with repetition).
The curriculum is colorful for the student and all planned out for the teacher. My guys love the colorful, engaging worksheets and bonus books. The books progress with the lessons, and the stories are engaging on their reading level. There is quite a bit of writing in Level 1 compared to the K Curriculum. I like that because it keeps my son practicing on his penmanship and I see improvements over time. Planning for me is super easy. I can sit down and pull out the worksheets and read over the Instructor’s Manual and I’m ready. Nothing has been left out at Level 1 as far as figuring out games or worksheets – everything has detailed instructions and also guidance on worksheets to do and lessons for chalkboard/whiteboard for each step. We purchased the Kindergarten/Level 1 Combo Kit and everything is included for K-1st Grade, including the bonus books, games, CD/tapes, posters, and even a nice little treasure chest for prizes. I think it’s a great deal, especially since I have another child who is about to start the K level this year and all I have to do is purchase the student books and I already have everything else I need!
The challenge of the games and completion charts add a whole new level of motivation for my son. This curriculum comes with some great games and a nice little treasure chest with prizes. The games reinforce concepts being taught in the curriculum. Phonics are reinforced with a Sound-O (just like Bingo but with phonics) and a Pick a Sound Game (much like Go Fish). Then later on, the same games are played with letter combinations. Everyone likes a challenge and likes to win! By the time you have played the game a couple of times, they have learned the concepts. Even my preschooler has enjoyed playing the phonics games with my 1st grader, so the good thing is that this can be something you use if your kids are at different levels.
Last but not least, this curriculum comes with a great raceway chart that shows the student their progress for the year. Every time my son completes a step, he gets to move his car to the next level on the “race track.” Even this morning he was counting down to the finished line to see how many steps he had left and said, “Wow, I’m more than half-way to the finished line!” It is great motivation for him and I like seeing our progress visually on the wall.
If you choose this curriculum for your child, I recommend getting the kindergarten/Level 1 Combo box. It comes with everything you will need for Kindergarten and 1st Grade, including all the readers, games, charts, CDs/tapes and nice little treasure chest for prizes. The great thing about this is that when my next child starts Kindergarten this year, I can just buy the workbooks and reuse all the other readers and bonus materials.
Next time … a review on Horizons Math. Have a great homeschool week!