Hammonton Home Educators - Curriculum For Ages 3-5

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Preschool Curriculum

A three or four year old's attention span is not very long. Please follow my recommendations for the number of pages to complete in one sitting. Children enjoy their "schoolwork" very much and will often beg to do the next page. If you give in, you will notice the quality of their work quickly declining. Time spent doing schoolwork will slowly increase. Complete the work in each section before starting on the next.

You will need the following supplies:
Textbooks - All textbook suppliers may be found on the LINKS page.
Pencils - Regular #2, not the fat ones.
Crayola Watercolor Pencils - These are excellent for use in workbooks. They make dark colored lines that are easy to see and they do not bleed through like markers. I use these instead of regular pencils until Section 5.
Crayons - One large box is good, but several 16 count packs is better.
Scissors - They need to cut well, the children's blunt tipped metal scissors work best. Children can not learn to cut well with dull scissors.
Glue Sticks - You will regret handing your preschooler a bottle of glue instead of glue sticks.
Primary Writing Tablet

13 weeks

Richard Scarry's Getting Ready For School Workbook
128 pages
available at Amazon.com

2 pages daily.

1. Have your child use a watercolor pencil for any writing and crayons for coloring.
2. At this age, you can not read the directions to the child once and leave them to complete the page. You will need to repeat the directions for each item on the page and point them out for the child. They don't know to start at the top of the page and work their way down yet. It is through your constant supervision that they learn workbook skills. If it is a page on circling the biggest object, then go to each set of items and point to them and say, "Which flower is the biggest? Good. Now draw a circle around it." You need to repeat it for each set. As your child's concentration and skills improve, they will be able to work through the entire page by themselves, but don't expect it to happen while they are only in Section 1.
3. Many children get bored at the tediousness of coloring and begin to get sloppy. If I notice a child getting sloppy, I have found it helpful to ask them what parts they want me to color, and do the coloring with them. This keeps them working at their best.
4. If your child can not draw an X, have them follow your finger. Say, "Put your pencil here and draw down to here, now put your pencil here and draw down to here." Sometimes they look more like 'T's when they attempt to draw an X on their own, but that is okay. I have found the "following my finger" method for writing new letters to be very successful at this age.
5. Whenever there are letters or numbers in an exercise, have your child name them.
6. If your child is just learning to count, point to each object and have your child count along with you.

Sesame Street Magazine
available from Sesame Street

1-2 pages daily.

Though I am not an avid supporter of Sesame Street, I do like their magazine. The variety of activities and games is very fun and educational for preschoolers, and gives children practice with many skills.

1. There are always two pages in the magazine with the upper and lower case alphabets running across the top. Have your child sing the alphabet as they point to each letter to help with letter recognition. Slow down the song at L-M-N-O-P whenever you sing it.
2. When teaching a child to cut with scissors, it helps if you hold the piece of paper to be cut in both your hands with the line to be cut centered between your thumbs. Then have your child cut between your thumbs along the line.
3. The calendar in each issue is great to practice saying the days of the week and counting. Point to each number on the calendar and count through the days together.
4. You may on a rare occasion, depending on your convictions, need to tear out a page or two in October, December, etc. that contain objectionable holiday related materials.

4 - 8 weeks

Scarry's Fun With Numbers: Preschool
Scarry's Fun With Letters: Preschool
32 pages
available at Amazon.com

1-2 pages daily in each.

1. Continue using watercolor pencils for writing and crayons for coloring.
2. If your child is still attentive and wants to do more after completing one page, try two. Remember quality, not quantity is what matters.
3. When counting objects on a page, have your child mark them with a pencil as they say each number to keep them from skipping objects or counting them twice. Practice counting objects such as blocks your child is stacking or candy, etc.

Sesame Street Magazine
available from Sesame Street

1-2 pages daily.

7 weeks

Preschool Workbook Set
32 pages
available from Timberdoodle

4 pages daily.

1. Do 2 pages daily out of books One and Two. When they are completed, do 2 pages daily out of books Three and Four.
2. Continue using the watercolor pencils for writing.
3. A few boxes of the sixteen count crayons is better than a big box. Your child will be needing the primary and secondary colors and they wear out quickly.

Sesame Street Magazine
available from Sesame Street

1-2 pages daily.

10 - 20 weeks

Richard Scarry's Biggest Workbook Ever
192 pages
available at Amazon.com

2-4 pages daily.

1. Let your child determine the number of pages to do each day. Some pages are completed very quickly, so four pages won't seem like much. On days with more involved pages, only complete two.
2. Repetition is very important for young children. Never think that doing pages that repeat skills they have already learned is a waste of time.
3. Continue using the watercolor pencils for writing and crayons for coloring.
4. Introduce your child to writing on lined paper using a primary writing tablet and a regular #2 pencil. Begin with the letters in their name. You will be surprised how quickly your child will be writing their entire name. Don't buy your child those fat pencils that we had when we were children, they have been proven to be bad for a child's small hand.

16 levels
available from Timberdoodle or Providence Project

1 page daily.

1. Make 10 copies of each ReadyWriter. The first few times doing each new page will be instructional. Don't expect your child to understand how to complete each page right away. By the sixth time, your child should be doing it on their own with little reminders from you about neatness, straight lines, staying in the lines, etc.
2. If your child gets bored or tired before completing a ReadyWriter, take turns with them doing parts of it. This is much more fun for them, and seeing your example should be a help to them. It isn't important that they complete a whole ReadyWriter page by themselves, but that they learn the writing skill being taught on each page.
3. Children are usually excited when they get to start a new ReadyWriter, so make a big deal about the tenth time. Remind them it is the last time they have to do that ReadyWriter and to do their very best, and be sure to give them their certificate to hang on the wall for doing such a nice job. It would be good if they can complete the tenth ReadyWriter all by themselves.
4. All the ReadyWriter pages do not need to be completed before starting the work in Section 5.

Your child has graduated from preschool and has already learned more than most children who have completed Kindergarten.

Kindergarten Curriculum

12 -24 weeks

Preschool A-B-C Series
(6 workbooks and a Bible story book)
60-64 pages
available from Rod and Staff Publishers
(606) 522-4348
ask for item #10020

3 -6 pages daily.

1. Even though it is called "Preschool", the purpose of this series is to prepare children for first grade and it exceeds most Kindergarten curriculums.
2. There are three schedules I recommend for completing these books:
1) 6 pages daily - Do 1 page out of each of the six workbooks daily.
2) 6 pages daily - Do 1 page out of half the workbooks in the morning, then do 1 page out of the other half of the workbooks in the afternoon.
3) 3 pages daily - Do 1 page out of half the workbooks daily. Do the other half the next day and continue to alternate.
Again, your child's attentiveness will determining the schedule you choose. You may have time to do all six one day and only three another day. Flexibility is one of the advantages of homeschooling.
3. It works out well to read the story to your child from the Bible story book while your child colors the corresponding picture in the coloring book.
4. Have your child use a regular #2 pencil for writing activities and crayons for coloring.
5. When your child is learning how to cut along curved lines, it is helpful to separate each item with straight cuts. Then have your child barely open their scissors and have them take little teeny cuts along the line. Most children at this age do not have the fine motor skills necessary to hold the scissors wide open as we do and take small cuts. Wide open scissors means big chunk of circle cut off.
6. When teaching your child to write their name, draw them their entire name using dashes. Then they can trace the letters just like in a workbook. Then on the next line, just put dots where each letter should start and finish so they can use it as a guide. Then on the last line, let them try to write their name by themselves.

Visual Perceptual Skill Building
200 pages
available from Timberdoodle or Critical Thinking Books & Software

1. Give your child the Pretest for each chapter before starting the program. If your child scores a 3 on any section, your child does not need to do any work in the corresponding chapter for no remedial work is necessary. If your child scores a 1 or 2 on a section, complete all the exercises in that chapter and administer the Posttest upon completion.
2. Read and follow all directions in the text carefully.
3. If you would like to reuse the text with other children, make copies of the mazes to use. Then have your child just point or name the letter of the correct answer instead of marking in the text.
3. Complete this book before you begin Section 6.

14 - 20 weeks

Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons
395 pages
available from Timberdoodle or Amazon.com

1. Yes, this is the book that will have your child reading at a solid 2nd grade level after only 100 lessons using the proven SRA Distar reading method. It is phonics based with some sight words due to the inconsistencies in the English language.
2. This is the only text that I recommend doing more than five days a week. You need to go with this one once you get started and not miss more than one day in a row.
3. If your child has trouble with "Say it Fast" or "Rhyming", don't go any further until your child has learned that skill. Five year olds have no trouble with these, but some four year olds will take a little time and you will need to make up your own Say It Fasts and rhymes to practice with your child.
4. Always practice writing on lined paper using a #2 pencil. Let your child pick out the best letters they
wrote and put a sticker on them.
5. Fold a piece of paper in half and keep it in the book. You will need to cover up the pictures with it until your child has answered the questions.

Modern Curriculum Press Math Level K
168 pages
available from Christian Liberty Press

2-4 pages daily.

1. Four pages may sound like a lot, but this is strictly review for your child at this point. If four is too much for your child, just do two.
2. Practice counting by tens and fives. The snap together Cubes available from Timberdoodle are great for this.
3. Play store. Give your child a certain amount of money. Have them "shop" in your house and count out the amount they need to pay for each item. If you don't have a play cash register and realistic play money, it is a good time to get one. Once your child can count by tens and fives, encourage them to count their dimes and nickels when paying for their purchases.

Modern Curriculum Press Math Level A
303 pages
available from Christian Liberty Press

2 pages daily.

1. Begin this first grade math book when the Kindergarten text is completed.
2. Use the snap together cubes and flash cards to practice adding and subtracting problems. For example: the flash card says "9 + 3". Your child should read the card aloud. Then they always count out the first number while taking the correct number of cubes out of the tub. Then, because it has a "+" sign, they will know to take three more cubes from the tub and count all the cubes together. If the card says "9-3" then they will again start by reading the card and counting out the corresponding number of cubes from the tub. Then, because the card has a "-" sign, they will count out three blocks and place them back in the tub, and count the remaining blocks for their answer.
3. There is a way of counting on fingers that is very necessary for children to learn in order to do adding well. With subtraction, at this stage, they are dealing with numbers of 10 and less so it isn't a problem. But it is not uncommon for addition problems to go above the number of fingers your child possesses. At this point, your child should be able to easily recognize which of the two numbers in an addition problem is the smallest. Again, using "9+3" as an example, you would ask your child whether 9 or 3 is the smallest. When they answer 3, tell them to hold up that many fingers. Then they are to say the larger number, which is nine in this case, and then continue counting as they point to each finger. So, they would say, "Nine", and then point to each of their fingers in succession and count, "Ten, eleven, twelve", and write down twelve as their answer. This method takes time for a child to learn, but it is extremely successful in helping them master not only addition, but primes their brains for more difficult math problems in the future.
4. After your child has completed Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, you may want to pick out a first grade level review workbook at a local bookstore or educational store for your child to work through while they are finishing up Modern Curriculum Press Level A. Also, continue to practice printing skills on the Primary lined paper and continue reading books with your child.

96 levels
available from Timberdoodle or Providence Project

1 page daily.

1. Begin Calculadders along with the first grade math, after the Kindergarten math is completed.
2. I highly recommend buying the MasterPaks and making your own copies if you have a copier readily available. We make ten copies of each level, because it takes an average of two weeks to complete a level.
3. Let your child complete the Calculadder without being timed for four days. Have them correct any mistakes.
4. Test your child each Friday. If they complete it in the allotted time without any mistakes, give them the next level Calculadder the following week. There is a nice chart to hang on the wall to keep track of your child's progress.
5. If your child does not finish in time, circle the last problem completed, then have them finish the Calculadder. This way, even if they don't pass the second week, they will be able to see that they have
6. Let a child take as many weeks as is necessary to complete a Calculadder level. When they finally pass, they will learn that they have succeeded through their own hard work.

Building Thinking Skills - Primary
246 Pages
available from Timberdoodle or Critical Thinking Books & Software

1. In addition to the text, you will need to purchase the manipulative materials that are used. These include: Pattern Blocks, Interlocking Cubes, and Attribute Blocks which can be purchases along with the text at the above suppliers.
2. If you would like to reuse the text with other children, get a clear piece of plastic and dry erase markers. I like to use the clear plastic that can be found on cheap folders kids use for reports. It opens up and covers both pages and we just wipe it clean with a kleenex.

CONGRATULATIONS! Your child has now graduated from Kindergarten, and when they have finished all the work in Section 6, they could walk into a second grade classroom and be at the top of their class.

What Now?

If your child is going to a public or private school and will be entering Kindergarten, I would ask to have your child tested and put in the first or second grade. If you want your child to attend Kindergarten with other children of the same age, just remember that in Kindergarten the children will be learning their colors, shapes, numbers to 10, and their ABC's. Or maybe you should consider homeschooling so your child can continue to learn happily at his or her own pace.

Whether or not you decide to homeschool, continue reading with your child every day. There is a list of suggested books at the end of Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Dr. Seuss books are great, and so are any of the Step Into Reading books. There should be an easy reader section at your local library. When your child begins to read a new book, it is helpful to read the entire book once to your child so they will become familiar with any words that may be new. Then take turns reading pages with your child. Your child can read all the pages on the right, and you can read all the pages on the left. This keeps the story moving quickly and keeps your child from feeling overwhelmed by a challenging book. Then, read it again, but switch which pages you and your child are reading so that your child has read the entire book after reading it with you two times. Now your child can confidently read the entire book to you. This is a fun and painless way to introduce increasingly challenging reading materials to your child. Once your child has progressed to reading chapter books, keep reading aloud with them each day. Only now try reading alternating paragraphs instead of pages. Pay attention to where your child takes breaths, and have them read a sentence over if they breath in the middle of a word or where there is no commas or periods. Proper breathing also reduces tendencies to stutter in young children. Habits are formed early, so teach proper breathing early on.

Now is also the perfect time to introduce your child to a foreign language. The Learnables by the International Linguistics Corporation is the best foreign language program I have found for children. It is also great for adults. On each page is a series of cartoon type drawings. As you play the tape, a native speaker of the language you choose says the words and sentences that go with each picture. Your child quickly learns vocabulary which is built upon with the Basic Skills books where they also learn to write in their new language. The best part is that you get to learn a new language along with your child.

Continue with the Building Thinking Skills Series. There are also many other great titles available from Critical Thinking Books and Software. Some of my other favorites are Mind Benders - Deductive Thinking Skills, A Case of Red Herrings - Solving Mysteries through Critical Questioning, Reading Detective - Developing Thinking Skills for Reading Comprehension, Sciencewise - Discovering Scientific Process through Problem Solving, and there are more. You will just have to get a catalog and look through it. These are very enjoyable texts for children and the thinking and analysis skills they learn will help in all subject areas.

If you decide to homeschool, now is the time to find a First Grade Curriculum for your child. My favorite curriculum is from the Christian Liberty Academy. It is a very sound curriculum that is challenging even for advanced students. If your child has completed Modern Curriculum Press A (first grade math text), you should request the second grade text, Modern Curriculum Press B. One of the great benefits of the Christian Liberty Academy is their willingness to customize your child's curriculum.

My children's curriculum includes the following:
Bible Reading (see suggested sequence below)
Christian Liberty Academy (all subjects)
Book (Reading aloud with your children should continue throughout their school years)
Calculadders (math drills)
Learnables (foreign language)
Chess (see: Chess for more info.)
Thinking Skills (Critical Thinking Books & Software)
Art (many texts available from Timberdoodle and Rod & Staff Publishers)
Music ( private instruction on an instrument, and singing courses from Rod & Staff Publishers)
P.E. (Homeschool and town sports, skating, gymnastics)

Bible Reading

Teaching your child the importance of reading the Word of God should be at the top of your curriculum. As our Lord said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Mark 8:36-37 "For wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." 1 Cor. 3:19 And "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Prov. 1:7 "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt. 6:33

The list of Bible books below begin with an easy series that your child should be able to read after completing Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Each Bible book increases in difficulty until your child is reading the KING JAMES Translation of the English Bible around the age of seven. These Bible books are available from Christian Bible Distributors or Amazon.com.

1. Read-Aloud Bible Stories Vol. 1-4 by Ella K. Lindvall
2. The Beginners Bible by Karyn Henley
3. Bedtime Bible Story Book by Daniel Partner
4. The Child's Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos
5. The Holy Bible - Authorized King James Version (Large Print Edition)

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

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Debra Conover
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