Some Of my thoughts and suggestions for Curriculum and Resources

Early Language Skills and Easy Ways to Help Your Child Achieve Them by Ellen Dana of the Moore Foundation - for Kindergarten through Grade 3 there are many word games and oral activities to help prepare your child for writing. Objectives are also listed. Available from the Moore Foundation.

First Book of Nature from Usborne - colorful and filled with information. A definite pleaser for both parents and children. Also available as separate titles it includes "Birds", "Trees", "Flowers", "Butterflies and Moths", "Wild Animals", "Fishes", and "Creepy Crawlies". Available from the Moore Foundation as well as Usborne dealers and other vendors.

Game Way to Phonics and Reading and Shared Reader Psalms by Ellen Dana of the Moore Foundation - Game Way has great game ideas for teaching your child letters and their sounds. Some children don't need any more than this. I have not used all the games (because my oldest moved so fast in reading, my next two didn't enjoy all of the games, and my youngest is just starting out), most of the ones we used were great fun! Shared Reader Psalms is a book with Psalms that are read by the parent and words that are bolded and large read by the child. A great way to read together. Based on phonics. Both available from the Moore Foundation.

Genesis for Kids is a wonderful book with lots of experiments and explanations about Creation. It is unfortunate that it is now out of print. There are some vendors that may still have a few copies for sale, and I'm sure some may be sold by families who have used it and are now finished with it. We have used many things in this book during our study of Creation.

Keyboard Capers by Rebecca Doyle Stout is a beginning music theory curriculum for children. You don't have to know anything about music to teach your child. It uses many games and hands-on activities to learn various things about music. You can move at your child's pace and learn right along with them. There are reproducible pages for making the manipulatives, however, you can purchase a kit with them already made up and laminated. This is what we used. This study really helped my oldest as she already had a good understanding of basic music theory and reading notes before she started the piano. This allowed her to concentrate on learning to play rather than learn everything else at the same time. This curriculum is available from various homeschool vendors.

Math-It and Pre-Math-It - Math-It is a great game/drill choice. Little "tricks" are taught to learn the addition and multiplication facts. It can be great fun, but not every child enjoys it. Pre-Math-It teaches number recognition and early adding skills with dominoes. We use the dominoes to play all sorts of number games. You wouldn't necessarily need to purchase Pre-Math-It if you had enough imagination to use domino games and everyday life to teach early math skills. Available from the Moore Foundation and other vendors.

Math-U-See is a complete math program starting with Kindergarten. The Kindergarten level (Introduction) is not really necessary if you allow your child to work with you in the kitchen or you count with them and allow them to experiment with numbers. We've found this program to be a great help in our children understanding the why of math. Anyone can memorize the addition and multiplication tables, but do they really know why those are the answers? "MUS" shows the why. That will help them later with more complex math functions. Currently they have curriculum through Trig. Available from the Moore Foundation and other MUS representatives.

Lessons from History - Creation to 100 BC by Gail Schultz is a study based on different people throughout history. It is a spiral bound book that is only about 100 pages. One thing I like about this study is that it is Biblically based. History is studied in light of the history of God and His chosen people. Another thing I like is that it helps me know an order of history and gives suggested resources. It is not all-inclusive, you choose from the resources, or even resources not listed. Suggestions for science study for that time period are also listed. You go at your own pace and spend as much or as little time for each of the people listed. The author has other history guides for other time periods, but I have not used them. Available from various homeschool vendors.

Prairie Primer by Margie Gray - a unit study based on the use of the "Little House" series books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It includes Bible, science, history, language arts, etc. Just add math, grammar and spelling (if not part of your writing). It is based on a four-day week with the fifth day being for "catch-up" if you need it. You read/study one book a month (9 months) or you could take it at a more leisurely pace to complete one book every two months. This gives you more time to explore and do activities that interest you. Available from the Moore Foundation as well as other vendors.

Reading Handbook for Parents by Ellen Dana - a great book that helps you know when to start reading instruction as well as how. Great encouragement for those with children who are "late readers" as well as parents with "early readers" and those who are average. Available from the Moore Foundation.

Science Activities - Volumes 1 - 3 have many experiments for things from air to water to weather to plants, etc. These are real hands-on activities, especially for younger children (elementary age), however some would be interesting for older children as well. We have made use of many of the activities during our study of Creation. These are Usborne books and are available from the Moore Foundation, Usborne representatives, and other homeschool vendors.

Understanding Writing by Susan Bradrick - Yes, you can teach grammar, but how on earth do you teach how to write, with meaning? Well I am amazed at how simple the author makes writing. It all stems from a reason for writing - to glorify God and for people. Writing a letter to a friend or relative is really a ministry. Once a child can choose a topic narrow enough to write a short letter, the writing part seems to be so easy. Yes, there is still grammar and there is still refining of the style, but once there is a reason for writing, well, watch out! Beginning grammar is taught in Levels 1 - 6 (could be seen as Grade 1 - 6) and a good grammar program is recommended to be used for levels 7 and 8. Help through grade 12 is included. In addition to this program, one or two good grammar handbooks are recommended along with a grammar program for levels 7 & 8. Other resources are suggested, but optional. Available from the Moore Foundation as well as other vendors.

Weaver Curriculum by Becky Avery - a unit study curriculum based on the Bible. When you study a section of the Bible, your Social Studies, Science, and Language Arts subjects follow right along. For example, when studying about the plagues of Egypt, frogs, for example, you study frogs and their biology, their uses, effect, etc. I started out using the Weaver and we enjoyed it very much, especially the Interlock (Preschool and Kindergarten). It was a lot of fun. The volumes (each include K-6 with supplements available for 7-12) weren't as fun. Not all activities and studies in the Weaver will fit your or your children's styles, so don't become a slave to the curriculum, let it be a guide. You can also add to it if your family has an interest in a particular topic. Using this curriculum has help me understand unit studies better, well enough that I feel I could create my own. Weaver is not for everyone, and it may fit you at one time, but not later. I do, however, recommend highly the Interlock which teaches from Genesis 1 - 10, so there's a lot of science there with creation. My three older children enjoyed the Interlock and my youngest is now enjoying it. Available from the Moore Foundation, Weaver Curriculum and other vendors.

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