KGRD Do-Aheads


our-lady-of-divine-grace

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.

General

  1. Print out my lists.
  2. Make wise book-buying goals. 
    • Check your library for the fiction books before you buy. Since we don’t have a required order, you don’t have to own them. Save your pennies for used copies of the liturgical and saints books!
    • Check the liturgical calendar against your school year. Do you read to the kids in July?  I don’t.  Same for Thanksgiving and Christmas break.
    • Buy the books that land on actual school weeks first.
  3. Order your blank books.
    • I prefer THESE. They’re small enough for kids’ hands. We do a Bible retelling and illustration on the same page. You’ll fill the Bible one up. If you do every single illustration (we never do) you might overflow a few pages. For poetry, we usually put the poem on one page and illustrate the facing page. Get this one and it will last you through 3rd grade.
    • If you want to plan super long-range or use the BIG 8×10 books, see THIS post.

Fine Arts

  1. Go ahead and cut out your art cards. (Only if you aren’t using the KGRD Art Book)
    • 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 find that ugly/beautiful distinction confusing, watch this video.
  2. Check out my K-2 GRD Hymn Links or upload your CD to itunes and play it from 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. If you can carry a tune AT ALL, you’ll quickly ditch the CD and just sing through it with the book each day.
  3. Evening classical music appreciation time isn’t assigned specifically outside of the sample schedule. Decide what you think of that. I never do it.

Language Arts

  1. Breathe and get realistic. I don’t know whose started it, but so many curricula suck the FUN out of literature.
    • Ramming the kids through a specific list of books, strictly stratified by grade level is legalistic and unnecessarily anxiety-provoking, especially if you have more than one student. MoDG is 100% AGAINST this mentality. Breathe.
    • Plan to read 30 minutes from any MoDG literature list. It’s all good. Even the same good book over and over is fine. Quality, not quantity.
  2. If you want an example schedule for the all the fiction reading, here you go.
    • The basic pace is 2 picture books a week, one Bennet story, and a fairy tale.
    • These are EXAMPLE schedules.  If  you beat yourself over the head with them, you have to go to time out. MODG is 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.
  3. 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.”
    • If you want to have a really smooth, non-stressful year, start reciting this to yourself now. Sequence, only sequence.
    • Notice your child’s conversations now, before school starts so you can be in the habit before it’s an “assignment.” Try cheerfully steering them back to proper order and ignoring all other errors. No eating the leaf before hatching, but otherwise, let them claim the worm has rainbow hair and is five years old just like they are.

Math

  1. 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. It doesn’t mean you don’t do it. If you neglect drill, the 15 minute 2GRD-3GRD worksheets will take an hour. Abeka assumes a lot is memorized already.
  2. For the original math plans, buy supplies.
    • Get watercolors, blocks for adding, and get a stack of index cards for the little shape and letter activities sprinkled through the year.
    • Hide them in a “nazi box” (our funny word for the NO TOUCH box of supplies in my closet) so you aren’t looking through the household community supplies to teach a lesson.

Reading & Writing

  1. Memorize these words: TEAM READING.
    • 100EZ is genius at teaching blending and sound isolation and other hard-to-teach skills, but not phonograms.
    • The lesson plans provide few phonograms: c,d,f,l,m,n,r,s,t,th,w, short a-i-o-u, and LONG e. No b. No short e.
    • At a certain point, the lesson plans tell you to have them read an easy reader. He can’t unless you TEAM READ.
    • To gather more phonograms and put sight words (advanced phonogram and rule words he can’t possibly navigate) in his visual memory, I highly recommend TEAM READING Little Angel Readers, since they tell mom which new sounds are coming and give practice time.

Religion

  1. 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.

Science

  1. On your weekly assignment list, put “Enjoy something nature-y together.” OR Just use the new book.
    • Nature walks and close observation of nature are assumed
    • They aren’t in the weekly assignments,
    • See Teaching Tips, sold by the school, for examples.