Curriculum Choices 2018

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curriculum choices 2018

curriculum choices 2018
I’m often asked what our Curriculum Choices are for this year. In short, we follow the Cambridge International Primary Curriculum for our core subjects. We then added a few other programs that suit us and the kidlets’ learning styles. We are currently in our 3rd year of using this curriculum and are very happy with it.
curriculum choices 2018
In addition to the Core Cambridge Primary curriculum, I also purchased the Keys to Learning Boxes for each child. I use them as reinforcement as the kidlets are all visual learners and this has helped us quite a bit to get the concepts ingrained.

Keys to Learning focuses on basic literacy, numeracy and mathematics skills, and can be used for the consolidation of skills in the mainstream classroom – as well as for remedial work at earlier levels.
Click on the image below to find out more about the Keys to Learning program.
curriculum choices 2018

Koko is currently doing the Stage 5 curriculum. These are the books he is currently working on. We use a combination of Cambridge for the core subjects and the CAPS (the South African curriculum):

English
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Phonics in a Box Workbook. We use this book for dictionary work.

 

 

 

 

Mathematics
Teachers Manual

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Games book

 

 

 

 

Science
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Life Skills
CAPS Workbook

Afrikaans
CAPS Workbook

Fifi is currently doing the Stage 3 curriculum. These are the books she is currently working on. We use a combination of Cambridge for the core subjects and the CAPS (the South African curriculum):

English
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Phonics in a Box Workbook. We use this book for dictionary work.

 

 

 

 

Mathematics
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Games book

 

 

 

 
Science
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Life Skills
CAPS Workbook

Afrikaans
CAPS Workbook

Pixie is currently doing the Stage 1 curriculum. These are the books she is currently working on. We use a combination of Cambridge for the core subjects and the CAPS (the South African curriculum):

English
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 
Activity book

 

 

 

 

Phonics Workbook B. She completed Workbook A last year.

 

 

 

 
Phonics in a Box Workbook.

 

 

 

 
Mathematics
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 
Learners Book

 

 

 

 
Games book

 

 

 

 
Science
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 
Learners Book

 

 

 

 
Activity book

 

 

 

 
Life Skills
CAPS Workbook

Afrikaans
CAPS Workbook

The girls are currently using the Rainbow Reading Curriculum.

Rainbow Reading is a graded reading series for primary schools. It provides a wealth of original stories and factual texts, which will help learners to develop the reading skills and vocabulary they need to meet the requirements of the curriculum in all learning areas. All 350 titles in the series are written by South African authors. Rainbow Reading motivates young readers to become fluent readers, because it allows them to choose stories that they want to read and to read at their own level.

Fifi is currently using Rainbow Reading Level 3.

The books in Level 3 can be used in any grade in the Foundation Phase, but they are best suited to seven- to nine-year-old learners in Grade 2 or Grade 3. Many of the learners will be learning English as a First Additional Language. Most children at this level have started to read and some may be reading quite well already. They should be able to recognise sight words and decode unfamiliar words.

Level 3 Rainbow Reading books are 16 pages long. The stories are based on familiar objects and actions and the characters include children typical of those in the target age group. The artwork is a very important part of each text at this level, as it supports reading and helps the emerging readers to make sense of the stories. The artwork provides cludes, which help the readers to decode and recognise words. Text is consistently placed to help learners to become confident about reading books.

There are three types of texts at this level:

Read Aloud stories (fiction) 250-400 total words
Read Alone stories (fiction) 250-400 total words
Factual (non-fiction) texts 250-400 total words
Each boxed set in Level 3 contains a comprehensive teacher’s guide, which provides valuable support for teaching reading and book skills, and includes specific support for each title, including phonics, oral skills, high-frequency words and key oral vocabulary, as well as suggested activities.”

Pixie is currently using Rainbow Reading Level 1/.

The books in Rainbow Reading Level 1 can be used in any grade in the Foundation Phase, but they are best suited to five- and six-year-old learners in Grade R or Grade 1. Many of the learners will be learning English as a First Additional Language. Most children at this level will not be able to read by themselves in any language, and some of the children will be handling books for the first time.

Level 1 Rainbow Reading books are eight pages long. The stories are based on familiar objects and actions and the characters include children typical of those in the target age group. The artwork is very important part of each text at this level, as it supports reading and helps the emerging readers to make sense of the stories. The pictures tell the story. Text is consistently placed to help learners become confident about reading books.

There are three types of texts at this level:

Read Aloud stories (fiction) Maximum 50 words
Read Alone stories (fiction) Maximum 20 words
Factual (non-fiction) texts Maximum 20 words
Each boxed set in Level 1 contains a comprehensive teacher’s guide, which provides valuable support for teaching reading skills, and includes specific support for each title, including phonics, oral skills, high-frequency words and key oral vocabulary, as well as suggested activities.”

History is a group lesson here. We use the Story of the World curriculum and love it. We work through each chapter thoroughly and have sometimes spent a month on a chapter that may only be 2 pages long. I let the children drive this part of our lessons as they generally ask a ton of more indepth questions than I expect.

Each Friday, the kidlets do a research project, these often take up to 3 weeks to complete (depending on the work). They choose the topic and we work together to get all the information for them. They then create a poster of all they have learned. So far we have learned about the food pyramid, the importance of vitamins and kangaroos. Our next project is Fifi’s choice.

One of the first questions we get asked is, “Do your children do exams and assessments?” The easy answer is yes. I download the Annual National Assessments from the Department of Basic Education’s website. The kidlets do them and I mark them. I have these on hand should we ever need them for some reason.

The Annual National Assessments (ANA) are standardised national assessments for languages and mathematics in the senior phase (grades 7 – 9), intermediate phase (grades 4 – 6) and in literacy and numeracy for the foundation phase (grades 1 – 3). The question papers and marking memoranda (exemplars) are supplied by the national Department of Basic Education and the schools manage the conduct of the tests as well as the marking and internal moderation.

With regards to exams, we don’t do official exams. The kidlets are assessed as to their knowledge during each lesson, if they don’t understand the concept of the lesson, we don’t move on. That is one HUGE benefit of homeschooling. Once all the work for the year has been completed, we move onto the next grade.

I also often get asked about the legalities of homeschooling in South Africa. I am not a lawyer and don’t pretend to have the answers. My suggestion is that you visit the Pestalozzi Trust website. They have all the information available to the public.

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Lets Get real ~ Homeschooling FAQ

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Homeschooling FAQ

I am often questioned at length by non homeschoolers about our homeschooling decision and journey. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Why did you decide to homeschool?
When we first started homeschooling, Noo was in grade 1. My initial reason for homeschooling was 2 fold.

1. I had been told by his Grade R (South Africa’s version of Kindregarten) teacher that he works faster than his peers, becomes a disruption when he was done and we will be told that he needs to be medicated when he goes to school to keep him “focussed” and easier to control by the teacher. This horrified me, instead of giving him more work, or work that was more difficult for him, his teacher was telling me that he would need to be medicated to, essentially, dumb him down to the level of his peers. This was a major red flag to me.

2. Noo has Hirschprungs Disease and for a long time, he wasn’t coping well with it. Keeping him home till he had it under control was a huge contributing factor for me. He started going to public school in 2012 and transitioned well.

We have since decided that homeschooling works for our family and will continue doing so for the foreseen future. We have no plans on sending the younger three children to school at the moment. I am not anti-school, I am pro what is best for my family and we firmly believe that homeschooling is best for us right now.

2. You must have the patience of a saint?
Uh, no. I, quite honestly, don’t have that much patience. What homeschooling has taught me, is how to work through my frustrations and to teach each of my children in the way they respond best. Routine keeps me sane.

3. Don’t you ever get tired of your children?
I don’t think “getting tired of my children” is the correct phrase. Yes, I do take a break, yes I do need some me-time. I am fortunate enough to have an amazing husband who stands by my side and gives me breaks over weekends. Though, I’ll be honest, the first time I went out by myself, I had no idea what to do. I am slowly learning to go out by myself and enjoy my own time. Its hard, I’ve always had a child with me over the last 8 years, so I’ve never been 100 % alone (my own choice, not hubby’s).

4. What about socialization?
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This is, by far, the most asked (and hated) question. I have yet to have a conversation with a non homeschooler without this question being asked. What amuses me the most is that this question is always asked while we are at an extra mural. Fifi and Pixie dance 3 days a week (between the two of them), Fifi’s best friend does acro with her, so she sees her friend at least twice a week. Koko is a Cub Scout and avid soccer player, so sees his friends at least twice a week (this is not counting the friends he has at dancing and swimming). Their friends are not all their age, they have friends who are both younger and older than them. As a matter of fact, because of Koko’s interests, his friends are mostly older than him.
3532535cba7c7083081aa8e57f58e07d

5. Aren’t you worried that your children will be ostracised by society?
Absolutely not. I have yet to have a negative response to the knowledge that we homeschool. People often comment that we don’t “look like homeschoolers.” I have yet to figure out exactly what that means.

6. Do you homeschool for religious reasons?
No. Though we are Christians, we believe that there should be a separation of church and state. Our views are not generally accepted by our peers.

7. Is homeschooling legal in South Africa?
Yes, you can read more on the laws regarding homeschool registration HERE.

8. When will your children be going to school?
At this point in time, the children will not be going to school. We plan on homeschooling through to high school. Should our situation change, then we’ll revisit our decision.

9. Is homeschooling cheaper than sending your child to school?
It depends on the school. Homeschooling is not cheaper than public schooling. All Noo’s extra murals and classes are included in the monthly school fees. Homeschooling is, however, cheaper than private school. My children participate in many extra murals and we regularly go on outings which are not free. You can homeschool frugally, there are so many free resources available online.

10. How do you decide what to teach your children?
When we first started homeschooling, we used the boxed curriculum that came with all the books and subjects we needed for the year. We have since changed what we use because the curriculum was lacking and we now use a combination of different curricula to make up our own curriculum. You can read more about our curriculum choices HERE.

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Back to School

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We are officially back to school. We started last Wednesday and the kids are L.O.V.I.N.G. their new curriculum. I was very apprehensive in the weeks before we started back, but I don’t regret our decision to change from Clonard Distance Education to what we will be using now.

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KOKO


Language Arts: English: Learning Language Arts Through Literature Red Book
Afrikaans: Afrikaans – Geniet Dit! – Werkboek 1
Mathematics: Math U See Alpha
Handwriting: Italic Handwriting Series Book B
Science (Group work): Hands-on-Science Foundation Phase
Geography (Group work): Enchanted homeschooling Mom’s Pack Your Bags lapbook series
History (Group work): Story of the World Volume 1
Life Skills: Life Skills 2
Art (Group work): Kidazzle

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FIFI


Language Arts: English: Learning Language Arts Through Literature Blue Book
Afrikaans (Group Work): Afrikaans – Geniet Dit! – Werkboek 1
Mathematics: Math U See Primer
Handwriting: Italic Handwriting Series Book A
Science (Group work): Hands-on-Science Foundation Phase
Geography (Group work): Enchanted homeschooling Mom’s Pack Your Bags lapbook series
History (Group work): Story of the World Volume 1
Life Skills: Life Skills 1
Art (Group work): Kidazzle

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PIXIE


Pixie will be using a variety of online resource themes and the Kumon Cutting, Colouring, Pasting, etc, books. We will continue to follow the Montessori Method with her.

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2014/2015 Curriculum ~ Our final decision

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We have finally come to a decision on what curriculum we’ll be using in the next school year for Koko, Fifi and Pixie.

Pixie will continue with Totschool.

Language Arts

English

Fifi will continue with the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons program by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, Elaine Bruner. This program has worked well for both Noo and Koko, who are both avid readers.
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About the Author
Siegfried Engelmann is a professor of education at the University of Oregon, and has written many books on teaching, including Give Your Child a Superior Mind. He is the originator of Direct Instruction, the most successful approach to teaching, and he has developed more than fifty Direct Instruction programs.
www.zigsite.com

As soon as Fifi has finished the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, she’ll start on the Learning Language Arts through Literature Blue Set (Grade 1 Level). The curriculum consists of the LLATL Blue Set (Incl. Student Book), Who Took the Farmer’s Hat, Goodnight Moon, The Story of Ferdinand, Caps for Sale, The Snowy Day, Bedtime for Frances, The Little House, Old Hat New Hat, Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, The Runaway Bunny and Tale of Peter Rabbit.
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Koko will be working on the Learning Language Arts through Literature Red Set. The curriculum consists of the LLATL Red Set (Incl. Student Book), A Tree is Nice, Little Bear, Balto, The Fire Cat, Ox-Cart Man, Corduroy, The Little Island, Billy and Blaze, Harry the Dirty Dog and Abraham Lincoln.
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Afrikaans

Koko and Fifi will both be starting Afrikaans as a subject next year. We will start off with Afrikaans – Geniet Dit! – Werkboek 1 and work our way up to Afrikaans Sonder Grense 2nd language (Teachers Manual available here). Neither child can speak or understand the language, so we are going to start off with teaching the basics.
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Mathematics

Fifi will be using the Math-U-See Primer (Grades 0-1 Skill Level) next year. I’ve head great things about this curriculum. The curriculum consists of the Primer – Instruction Manual & DVD and the Primer – Student Workbook.

Koko will be using the Math-U-See Alpha Grade 2 Skill Level next year. The curriculum consists of the Alpha – Instruction Manual & DVD’s and the Alpha – Student Workbook & Test Book.

I’ve purchased the Math-U-See Skip Counting – CD and Songbook and Manipulative Blocks separately. I need to order another Manipulative Block for when the kids work at the same time
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Writing

We will be using the Italic Handwriting Series for writing. This curriculum comes with a Teachers Manual that helps a ton, Fifi will be using the Italic A and Koko will be using Italic B books and Italic C books.
Screenshot from 2014-10-14 21:44:27

Life Skills

Fifi will be working on the Life Skills 1 workbook and Koko will be working on the Life Skills 2 workbook.
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Science

Koko and Fifi will be working on science together. I have decided on the Hands-on Science Foundation Phase (Grades 0-3) book. It comes complete with worksheets and experiment suggestions for each lesson.
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In addition to Hands-on Science, Koko will be working on different space worksheets (available here, here and, coming soon, here) to foster his love for all this astronomy related.

History

Koko and Fifi will be working on Story of the World together. The curriculum consists of Test Book Vol. 1: The Ancient Times, Activity Book, Vol 1: The Ancient Times, 7 CD Audio Set Vol. 1: The Ancient Times and Hardcover Text, Vol. 1: The Ancient Times. The curriculum has been ordered, now we play the waiting game till it arrives.
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Geography

Koko and Fifi will be working on the Pack Your Bags! Monthly Lapbook Series and Children of the World Pack, both from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, together.
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Arts and Crafts

The children receive a monthly arts and crafts kit from Kidazzle Kids Club. These kits are awesome. Pixie will start getting a kit every month from January.
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Additional Activities

In addition to the above curricula, Fifi will also be working on the Kindergarten Literature Based Unit Studies from 1+1+1=1. I’m slowly purchasing all these books.
Kindergarten-Literature-Unit-Printables

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Montessori Madness ~ Astronomy Resources

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Koko wants to be an ASTROPHYSICIST when he grows up and has shown tremendous interest in Astronomy. At first I didn’t know what resources to provide him since he is only 7, but he has read his Space Fact book from cover to cover numerous times. His favourite TV series to watch at the moment is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and continuously checks to see if his book is correct or if he needs to research a particular fact. Neil deGrasse Tyson is his hero and will watch anything he appears in. However, I digress…

Since we have been following the Montessori for the entire duration of his schooling, I have decided that we’ll be adding an astronomy subject to his schooling next year. I thought that I would struggle to find Montessori material to go with this, but have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of resources (both free and $$$) that area available to us.

Astronomy Resources for the Montessori Classroom on Montessori Nature
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Space, Planets, Stars, Constellations, Spacecrafts and Astronauts you can download for free. These perfectly suit the Montessori Classroom purposes.

Montessori-Inspired Astronomy Units on Living Montessori Now
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The Planet Hue by Primary Grafiti on Teacher Pay Teachers
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This adorable adventure called The Planet Hue will take students on a magical journey through a world that transforms from a dull and drab planet to a colorful vibrant place to live!

Corkey Hay DeSimone, author of Cherry Blossom Friends, has a unique perspective in celebrating diversity while using three primary colors to help teach the message.

Included in the unit:
Book Introduction
Vocabulary
Think Maps
Solar System
Planet Classification
Planet Flashcards/Basic Facts
Solar System Craft/Model
Celebrating Diversity
Color Wheel
Complimentary Color Art
Ordering Hues Center(ABC order)
Rhyming Center (using book vocabulary)
Out of this World Center (Time)
(Time to the Hour-K/1 Time to Quarter Hour-1/2)
Planet 8 Center (Number Stings)
(Match to Correct Sum-K/1)
(Match to Related Multiplication Fact- 2nd)
Planet Hue’s Candy Castle (Fractions)
Acknowledgments

Solar System Trading Cards, Jr. Edition by Amazing Space
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This collection of cards depicts solar system objects such as planets, comets, asteroids, the Moon, and the Sun. Also included are cards with common misconceptions, Hubble trivia, online resources, and instructions for a game.

Comets and Asteroids on Education.com
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What is the difference between comets and asteroids? Find out with this stellar space science worksheet! Read up on what makes a comet a comet, and then take a quick comprehension quiz on page 2.

Space {Expanded} on a Teaching Mommy
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Here are some of the printables that MAY BE included in this unit:
Patterns (ABAB and AABB)
Planets Graph
Letter Sort
Writing Maze
Beginning Writing/Cutting Practice
Size Sort
Number Order Puzzle (1-10 and 11-20)
Spelling Book and Puzzle
Count & Clip

Tot Pack
Planet Match
Sun Shapes
Count the Stars
Rocket Colors (mini book)
Size Sequencing
Astronaut Picture Puzzle

Space Centers on a Teaching Mommy
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Preschool Lesson: Space on Mrs Home Economist
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Wonderful Do It Yourself Ideas for a Solar System Unit on Montessori Print Shop
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A fantastic idea for a DIY solar system mat that was shared at the “Let It Be Montessori” blog. Learn how to make this brilliant solar system mat as you’re taken step-by-step through the process of making it (with pictures too) – which makes it so much easier to follow along! A fantastic addition to your culture area. Go take a look.

Making Moon Craters on Fumbling Through Parenthood
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Space Lapbook on Fumbling Through Parenthood
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Planet Positions on Jump Start
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Teach kids about the solar system with our ‘Planet Positions’ science worksheet! This science worksheet has a picture of the solar system and a list of instructions given below. Kids need to follow the instructions and color the planets accordingly. This worksheet will not only give the kids more information on the positions of different planets but will also teach them ordinal numbers.

Astronomy Unit Homework by Science from Murf LLC on Teachers Pay Teachers
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This is the 14 Page bundled homework package that chronologically follows my Astronomy Unit that I offer on TpT. This homework bundle includes many short answer questions, draws upon student research, includes fill in the blanks, completes diagrams, games, and more. Also included is the answer key page and generous unit preview.

Mini Unit – Space on Counting Coconuts
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Space 3 part cards on Monkeyin’ Around
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Solar System Work – An Easy Art / Science Project Great for the Montessori Classroom or Homeschool Environment on Sunrise Learning Lab
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Connections Outer Space on Homeschool Share
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The Planets Song by KidsTV123 on YouTube
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It’s a song to help children remember the order of the planets.
This song was written and performed by A.J. Jenkins. Video by KidsTV123
Copyright 2011 A.J. Jenkins/KidsTV123: All rights reserved.

The Solar System Song by KidsTV123 on YouTube
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It’s a song about the Sun and the planets for children of all ages.
This song was written and performed by A.J. Jenkins. Video by KidsTV123
Copyright 2011 A.J. Jenkins/KidsTV123: All rights reserved.

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2014/2015 Curriculum ~ We have a plan!

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The decisions have been made! After many a sleepless night, I have finally come to a decision on what we are going to be using next year. Here is the run down of what we’ll be purchasing over the next few months:

English
Koko: Learning Language Arts Through Literature – Red Book
Fifi: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Clonard Grade R Readers

Mathematics
Koko: Math-U-See Alpha
Fifi: Math-U-See Primer

Handwriting
Koko: Italics B
Italics C
Fifi: Italics A

History
Koko and Fifi will be working together here:
Story of The World Volume 1
Story of The World Volume 1: Ancient Times Book List
I have decided that we are going to do a chapter a term (every 3 months). That way we can put our full attention to each chapter and not feel pressured to finish all the work, activities and books I want to cover for each ancient civilisation.

Geography
Koko and Fifi will be working together here:
Pack Your Bags! Monthly Lapbook Series
Children of the World Pack

Science
Koko and Fifi will be working together here:
We will be covering Anatomy next year and utilising the How Your Body Works that were gifted to us by a good friend.

Art
Koko and Fifi will be working together here:
ARTistic Pursuits Early Elementary K-3 Book One
ARTostoc Pursuits Art Supply Packs

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