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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Our curriculum, such as it is

Because I’m thinking about this at the moment, here is what passes for curriculum in the daily life of Naomi Rivka, aged almost 5.  Where we live, she would be in what’s called Junior Kindergarten.  In the US, it’s known as K4 or PreK.

Here’s a basic rundown of everything we do with our time that could be considered educational…

Reading (Phonetics) / Language Arts

  • Bob Books Phonetic Readers
  • Reading “living books”, chapter books, longer stories and fairytales
  • Various poetry, fables and other English materials of lasting value

Writing

  • Handwriting Without Tears:  Get Set for School
  • Miscellaneous dollar-store alphabet workbooks

Math

  • Free play with Cuisenaire Rods
  • Planning to start formal lessons from Idea Book for PreK-2 next week
  • Free play with Funtastic Frogs
  • Planning to start Frogs activity cards soon (ordered them this week)
  • Free play with split peas, lentils, rice, barley or whatever!

Geography (Naomi’s current obsession - yay!)

  • Recently purchased and read This is me on the Map… plan to do more with this
  • Bought a Children’s Atlas
  • Freecycled a Globe
  • Bought a Continents poster for the wall
  • No formal study yet, though I have purchased Trip Around the World and plan to do at least a couple of countries from there

History

  • Nope!

Physical Education

  • Dance class once a week
  • Swim class once a week
  • Running around outside whenever possible

Tefillah (prayer)

  • Basic daily davening (we aim for 3-4 days a week) including, in order:
    • Modeh ani
    • Reishis chochma
    • Torah tziva
    • Al netilas yadayim
    • Asher yatzar
    • Mah tovu
    • Adon Olam
    • Yigdal
    • Morning Brachos:
      • Asher nasan l’sechvi vina
      • Boy/girl morning brachos
      • La’asok b’divrei Torah
    • Shema
    • Ayn keloheinu (Fridays only)
    • Aleinu
    • Lecha dodi (Fridays only)
  • Planning to start a unit on brachos very, very soon

Hebrew Kriyah / Kesivah (reading/writing)

  • Alef bais and reading from a really old primer
  • Shaah shel Menucha, Alef Bet Primer
  • Homemade alef-bais worksheets
  • Planning to start homemade copywork sheets in a few weeks

Safa (Hebrew language)

  • Sharing basic kids’ stories in Hebrew
  • Hebrew singing time once a week – thanks, Sara!

Weekly Parsha (Thursday and/or Friday)

  • My First Parsha Reader
  • Online parsha:  Itche Kadoozy Parsha Report and G-dcast.  Neither fits with our hashkafa, but the kids enjoy seeing stuff “live.”  Sigh…
  • Hoping to save up and buy Tell me the Story of the Parsha someday soon
  • Coloring sheets from aish.com or TorahTots.
  • Occasional crafts or related activities

Art/Music etc.

  • Occasional singing time programs at the library
  • Occasional artistic or cultural things, at random…

Is that really everything?

8 comments:

Mia said...

i really like explode the code for phonics workbooks and singapore math for math workbooks. i blog on both at http://pragmaticmom.com. See entrys: Math Workbooks and also Phonics Worksbooks. Hope this is helpful.

pragmatic mom

Anonymous said...

very useful read. I would love to follow you on twitter.

AztecQueen2000 said...

Donh't waste your time with Tell Me the Story of The Parshah. I have the set, and it has some inaccuracies in it.

Jay3fer said...

AztecQueen2000: I've heard this before, but with no details. I'd be curious to know specifically what type of inaccuracies. Thanks!!!

Jay3fer said...

Meanwhile, if your kids are very young, you might want to try the "Torat Imecha" booklets:
http://ronypony.blogspot.com/2010/02/parsha-for-toddlers.html

AztecQueen2000 said...

The Tell Me the Story of the Parshah books rely heavily on midrash. The most egregious examples of this are in Bereshit. For example, in Parshat Noach, the writer spends more time on Avroham's early childhood than he does on Noach. Also, in Chaye Sarah, Avroham tells Sarah that it is time to find a wife for Yitzhak. Since she dies at the beginning of the parshah, I would really like to know how he did that.
The rest of the series isn't bad, but written from a very chareidi hashkafa. For example, a child is encouraged to throw a candy away because of a questionable hechsher. The laws in the Torah are not stated directly, but illustrated through stories about children. This could either spark discussion or become very confusing.

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