Planning Stages Pt2: It Comes Together


After I freaked out for about two weeks, frantically surfing the net for that Magic Curriculum that screamed “Buy me! I’m quick, easy, inexpensive and I’ll make your child a genius!” I finally tore myself away from the computer and started organizing my notes, and came up with a plan.

Kindergarten Plan for G5:

  • Core: Five in a Row, Volume 1 (Making lapbooks for each book we row.)
  • Math: RightStart, Level B (CMish math. Going slow since we skipped A. Love it so far!)
  • Spelling: All About Spelling, Level 1 (Using it as a learn-to-read program also. Love it!)
  • Handwriting: Getty-Dubay Italic (easy transitions from print to cursive.)

That’s pretty much my HAVE-TO-DO’s for school. Of course, I throw in a lot of other things. We are using a modified version of Sue Patrick’s Workbox system, averaging about 6-9 boxes a day. (Honestly, her website isn’t very clear and doesn’t do her fabulous idea justice. Trying Googling for some ideas.)

I fill the other workboxes with things like:

  • Dot to Dot books
  • Kumon type tracing, cutting, pasting books
  • Might Mind and Super Mind
  • Wedgits (I want to add the sticks, they look fun!)
  • Building Thinking Skills (mine is an older version)
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Moon Sand (messy but fun.)
  • Playdough
  • Uno (in all it’s many forms. It says 7+ but G5 beats us without help!)
  • Hiss
  • Set
  • Blink
  • Left Right Center Dice game (terrible picture on Amazon but a FUN game for everyone!)
  • HyperDash (great for getting the wiggles out. Inside, outside, all ages fun!)
  • HyperJump (same as above, but G5 doesn’t weigh enough to really get it working)
  • Hullabaloo (more movement, although HyperDash is the best of all)
  • Mini trampoline (no, it’s not IN the box. lol)
  • Board games (quick ones that only take about 15 min to play)

You get the idea. The best thing about workboxes is that you can add in things you ALREADY have, but maybe forgot about. Stuff that is fun but still (shhhhh!) educational (don’t tell the kids!). We do something fun between the HAVE-TO boxes, although at his age “doing school” is still fun and more like a game to him. He really loves the 2 – 3 hours of my undivided attention. 🙂

Charlotte Mason makes a daily appearance through music, art and poetry. I want to add in a regular nature study/outdoor time, and handicraft/lifeskills. But I’m still tweaking our schedule so I’ll add those in as a regular feature later.

For our Art Study I pick one artist to study for 12 weeks. I picked six works of art and post one every two weeks on our learning center. The first day G5 is *very* interested in the piece and we talk about whatever comes into his mind. It’s a very natural discussion, nothing forced or too “educational.” It only takes about five minutes or so. Then on Wednesday, our Art day, I ask him a few more specific questions about the piece. You can find a great list of questions HERE: Looking at a Work of Art. You can find out more about Artist Study the CM way HERE.

Our first artist is N.C. Wyeth. He is best known for his illustrations in several children’s books. Since his illustrations were made to capture the imagination of children, I figured what better way to kick off our artist studies! If you’d like a copy of the files we are using, you may download them HERE: NC WYETH

Our Composer Study is very similar.  I post a picture of the Composer that we will be listening to for the next 12 weeks. Then during the school day I have a CD (or several) playing, just loud enough to hear without being distracting. This works fine for classical music. If I was doing something more contemporary, like folk music or patriotic songs, I would set aside 10 – 15 minutes to listen or sing them. They are a bit too distracting to have playing in the background during formal lessons.

We are studying Mozart for our first composer. You can download the file we are using HERE: MOZART

I haven’t really worked our Poetry Study in yet. Karen Andreola has some tips for introducing poetry the CM way. I have the book Favorite Poems Old and New, and am planning on picking out a poem to study every two weeks, like our artist study. Something sort, but that G5 mind find particularly interesting, goes along with our theme or maybe the season.  I think I’ll read it once a week on Wednesday, our Art day. Again, just a simple 5 – 10 min conversation, nothing too “schoolish.”

Join me again tomorrow for Part Three – The Nitty Gritty

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2 thoughts on “Planning Stages Pt2: It Comes Together

  1. Lark

    I love these! Simple, effective, attractive. I “met” you on the yahoo workbox group as a fellow TOGer and now, I have to admit, I stalk your blog weekly! Thank you for these simple ideas to incorporate more CM in TOG. That is just what I needed. Are you planning on posting the others as well? *Hint Hint*

    Thanks so much, Lark

    1. Lark,

      What other ideas are in interested in? I’m thinking about creating one blog entry just for Artists and one just for Composers (and to keep updating as we go along.) Other ideas?

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