There are plenty of things you can do to get a jump on next year. This will be especially helpful if you have multiple kids.
- Print out my KGRD Supply List (in excel), the giant KGRD Supplementary Book List, and email me for the current K-2 liturgical calendar. ivorysoap76 at gmail dot com.
- Make wise book-buying goals. You do NOT need to buy the fiction books if you have any kind of decent public library. Save your pennies for used copies of the liturgical and saints books! Check out the resource section of your syllabi to figure out which religion books you will actually use. Do you read to the kids in July? I don’t. Are you reading to them on Spring Break this year? I don’t. Forget the stack of St. Patrick books. See? Same for New Year’s. Buy the ones you will FOR SURE use before the rest. If you want, you can email me for this year’s liturgical planner (ivorysoap76 at gmail dot com) that already has this assigned by this year’s calendar. Then you can really see what you need.
- Construct a realistic schedule. It mentions in the online syllabus that he should still be having family read aloud time in the evenings. Teaching Tips and the Writing Manual and Language Arts Overview, both sold by the school, explain how all of that happened in the Berquist home. If you have multiple kids going, you need to read it. For the earliest years, I recommend getting Teaching Tips first. There’s a lot of BIG PICTURE material in there that helps you get a handle on how these early years fit in.
- Order your blank books. Oh my gosh! I know I’m crazy, but 14 half-filled blank books K-5? Nope. See THIS post to figure out how many books you need and what sizes. Wait, that might be totally overwhelming. Hmmm…here’s a pdf of just the stuff you need to think about for KGRD Blank Books.
- Go ahead and cut out your art cards. I have an attractive, cheap way to store them HERE. I think the pdf that now comes to enrolled folks says to toss out Miro and Chagall. I can’t remember if anything else is ugly. If you have no idea about objectively beautiful art and you like highfalutin talk like I do, read this.
- Check out my K-2 GRD Hymns on your devices or upload your CD to itunes and play it from there. This is not intended to be your “evening music time.” It’s 2-minute memory work. Lump it in there. Scrambling for that CD all year is a pain. Also, my kids don’t love the singer’s voice. The links are more beautiful. I grew up Church of Christ, so after hearing it twice, I can sing it from the sheet music. Then, I just sing it with them daily without a recording.
- Evening music time is described in Teaching Tips and isn’t assigned specifically outside of the sample schedule. Decide what you think of that.
- Print my Read Aloud schedules, if you want an example schedule for the all the fiction reading for the year based exclusively on MODG picks. Here you go. The basic pace is 2 picture books a week, one Bennet story, and a fairy tale. These are EXAMPLES. If you beat yourself over the head with them, you have to go to time out. MODG is never about barreling through a book list or being behind in “literature”; there’s no such thing. It’s about falling in love with literature and goodness. If the book is checked out, pick something else. The order is unimportant. This ain’t Ambleside.
- See what your library already has. You can go broke buying all that fiction. If you have an online catalog for your library, go ahead and check off every book they have. save your pennies!
- Somewhere on your Mom notebook, write “Sequencing.” That’s the language arts focus this year in retellings. Here’s a made-up example for The Very Hungry Caterpillar: “The caterpillar ate lots of bad food. He ate a leaf. He turned into a butterfly.” Don’t correct them if they leave out something, but we do (cheerfully) steer them back to proper ordering. No being a butterfly before hatching.
- Consider doing the Abeka K option, it will make next year so much easier. Print THIS to guide your drill choices. The syllabus completely leaves out drill until 2GRD.
- For the original math plans, you need watercolors, blocks for adding, and get a stack of index cards for the little shape and letter activities sprinkled through the year. These plans will not get you as far as Abeka, but if you’re willing to do the drill in 1GRD to catch up, you can use them without tears in 2GRD.
Reading & Writing
- I don’t use 100EZ, so I can’t tell you. DYOCC and other school resources seem to take this book faster than is laid out in the plans. It seems they went double speed. Somewhere in the early parts of 1GRD, they hit Lesson 75, bail out there, and switch to Sound Beginnings with reading practice minutes. MoDG assumes that by the end of 1GRD the child is already snowballing and needs no further direct reading instruction. Some of us need to drill sight words for that to happen. Some of us have to enroll in dyslexia intervention. Good luck, my friends. (We use Little Angel Readers with the workbook and teacher’s manual. But, we do it like the 100EZ lessons. 1-2 “tasks” each day. No more than 15 minutes.)
- Set up your liturgical reading on a calendar. THIS IS THE BIG HASSLE OF THE YEAR. You can email me for a syllabi-based liturgical planner if you already own the syllabi or are enrolled. Here’s an example of what it looks like: 2016 Planner. But regardless, here are a few Tables of Contents by Date.
- On your weekly assignment list, put “Enjoy something nature-y together.” Nature walks and close observation of nature are assumed, but not in weekly assignments. See Teaching Tips, sold by the school, for examples.