Recommendations for Five and Six-Year-Olds
Read "The Home Schooling Toolbox" for lots of comprehensive, but not overwhelming suggestions on getting started in home education successfully. It will also give you valuable ideas regarding a variety of approaches to home education and to curriculums.
I recommend starting out with just math and English instruction for academics until the child is about age ten. Once the child is reading well then you have opened the world to them. Fill the rest of your day with lessons in practical life skills and spiritual and character development. With strong foundations in these areas your child will be ready to tackle any other curriculum later on, not to speak of facing life with Biblical wisdom and Godly character.
Our recommended resources help you to educate your child spiritually (at the heart level), academically, and, in some cases, physically. They complement each other and are easy to use and effective. Unless otherwise noted, all recommended resources are available from JOY Center of Learning. Each curriculum we sell is thoroughly explained on our website or CD catalogue.
Plan to spend about 60 minutes for 5's and up to 90 to 120 minutes for 6's in total per day in some organized academic math and reading instruction, spread out over many small increments.
FOR TEACHING PHONICS, READING, SPELLING, GRAMMAR:
Teaching WHY and HOW to read:
Christ-Centered Curriculum: (about 30 to 45 minutes per day, 3-5 days per week)
You need the Teacher Phonics Kit #010 and Student Phonics Kit B #012 This curriculum focusses on Biblical principles and character development while developing reading, spelling, and grammar skills.
Teaching - READING COMPREHENSION
Pathway Readers: (about 30 minutes on days you use it, but not every day)
Introduce once your child is beginning the CCC - B2 workbook (about a third of the way through the year if you follow the recommended schedule, or later if you plan to take longer than one year in the B level. Begin with the "First Steps" reader and workbook. OR, you can use the "Helping Ourselves" and the "Before We Read" when you are in the CCC - B1 book.
Teaching – USING the English Language – (about 15-20 minutes - 2-3 days a week)
Climbing to Good English: These workbooks reinforce what the child is learning in the CCC and put into practical applications their knowledge of the English grammar. Add Level 1 when in the B2 or B3.
Be sure to read our information entitled "Using Pathway, Climbing to Good English & Christ Centered Curriculum Together" for ideas for using these three programs as a dynamic trio that will be comprehensive without being overwhelming! No, you do NOT use them all every day!
Supplemental Reading Practice:
"Little Jewel Books" – although these are not readers as such, the titles we list as "Level 1" contain text that is simple enough for beginning little ones to enjoy reading. Include Little Jewel Books Levels 2 & 3 and the "Bible Times" titles as child progresses. See also our books in the section entitled "Cuddle Up" books.
"A Guide to Teaching Printing With Character" complements the CCC very well and presents a simpler method of printing than the traditional "stick and ball" approach used in the CCC. You may also find the rubber pencil grips to be helpful for some children.
Until a child is reading and spelling well on their own, I personally recommend that you not have them write out sentences independently. I know this is a little radical according to some people but it works! Have the child dictate to you any answers that require being given as a sentence or paragraph. Some children need "prompts" for answering in sentence form. You discuss the grammatical structure and possible rewording. You write out the results on scrap paper with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation and then the child writes the answer in their workbook etc. Using this method they are practising correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation and eventually they recognize when there are errors. This saves you and the child much frustration and frees up loads of time for accomplishing other tasks. The child does not have to unlearn incorrect spelling and punctuation but instead develops excellent skills from the very beginning. Most children benefit from this method until they are around nine to 12 years of age, depending on their academic abilities. Test the waters from time to time to determine if they are ready to write on their own. See our "Writing Suggestions" flier for additional information and ideas.
Christ-Centered Curriculum Math: (about 20 to 30 minutes a day)
Purchase Mathematics Kit #011. Contains enough consumable workbooks for one child. If you already have the Kit, purchase only the Math A and Math B workbooks. It will take approximately one to 1 ½ years to complete, depending on the child and time spent with it. It teaches Biblical principles, basic math concepts, and introduces ten character qualities illustrated in nature through animals.
Optional math kit: Place Value Kit (#015) – contains the place value pocket chart and mat, counting sticks, felt counting set, and linking cubes recommended and used extensively in the CCC curriculum.
Professor B Math:
On completion of CCC Math, proceed to Level 1 of Professor B. The first half of Level 1 will be a review but your child will learn speed and accuracy, laying foundations for other math skills. By the end of Level 1 the child will be adding and subtracting to an advanced grade seven level.
THINKING SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
• Critical Thinking Press - Building Thinking Skills "Hand-on Primary Book" for Pre K-1 (item #CT5225) . Book includes instructions and activities for improving observation and description skills, vocabulary, and clarifying thinking processes. Some 5's & 6's could handle the "Building Thinking Skills Book 1" (item #CT5209). You need a set of interlocking Cube-a-Link cubes (itemE131) and Logic/attribute block (item #121). The Pattern blocks suggested are optional (item #E101 or E102).
• Cassettes: #405 Animal Stories Cassette, #504 Songs of Virtue, and #511 Verses and Hymns for the Very Young. In addition, any of the cassettes and CD's we sell for children.
• Character: The charts by Doorpost Publishing
• "Beginner Activity Books" set, the "Preschool A-B-C Series" - These sets of books teach pre-kindergarten and kindergarten/grade one pre-reading skills and concepts including colours, sequencing, following instructions & more.
• "Creative Family Times" - (book) excellent ideas for many teaching concepts to young children.
• Developmental Resources: be sure to consider the neat resources in the "Developmental Resources" section of our catalogue and website.
• Music & Art: check out the Music Maker Lap Harp. Learning to make melody in your heart enhances academic ability! Introduce some of our "How to Draw" books to develop lots of skills.
• Indispensable Recipes for Crafts and Projects – full of neat ideas for use with all ages!
• Spiritual Development: the book, "Leading Little Ones to God" is excellent for spiritual instruction; Doorpost Publishing charts and their books entitled "For Instruction & Righteousness," "Plants Grown Up" and "Polished Cornerstones."
The following books are NOT available from JOY Center of Learning:
SCIENCE/SOCIAL STUDIES - take about 15-20 minutes per day in each area
As mentioned earlier, hold off until you have laid those solid foundations in math and English. (generally after CCC is completed). However, in the event that the province or school board insists:
• School of Tomorrow and Christian Light offer good science and social study workbooks with lots of Canadian content in the social studies booklets. These help with reading comprehension and encourage independent study. You will not need answer keys at this level.
• "Backyard Scientist" books with easy, interesting science experiments that your children would enjoy doing together once in a while. It is available from many distributors.
• "Character Sketch Books" These beautiful books study various creatures from nature and Bible characters together, using reading and discussion as opposed to experiments. Design your own projects – build a beaver lodge out of playdough and sticks, pretend to be a badger by donning an extra large coat, act out some of the characteristics of the creature being studied, etc. Available from IBLP, 511 Piercey Rd., Bolton, ON L7E 5B8 (phone: 905-951-0001); Character Concepts, in Vernon, BC at 1-866-444-2288; Character Foremost in Ontario at 519-899-4344. Pricey, but worth every penny.
• "Five in Row" Read a recommended book every day for one week and follow the suggestions for study included in the Five in a Row guide. Topics are determined by the story or the pictures in the book being read. E.g.: if the story takes place in Japan, find Japan on a map, perhaps study about the Cecropia Moth (silk worms), make a meal based on Japanese cuisine.
• "Come Sit By Me" – the Canadian counterpart to Five in a Row. Contact: Cyndy Regeling in Richmond Hill, Ontario at 905-775-8781
• "Canada, My Country" by Donna Ward and available from most major home school distributors. Not specifically graded so you can often teach many ages of children at once.
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