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Homeschool Curriculum - Six Year Old

© Beverley Paine, 1997
(this learning program first published in Getting Started with Homeschooling Practical Considerations)

This is the very first homeschool curriculum we wrote in 1986 for our eldest daughter who had just turned six. It should be read in conjunction with our statement of philosophy, goals and aims.

This list of subjects was supplemented with a statement on educational beliefs and elaboration on the methods of instruction to be used. The period of the
learning program was set at one year.

When I wrote this curriculum I was a complete novice with very little knowledge of how to help children learn. We were both involved as much as we could in April's preschool experiences, and had been family-day-care providers for other people's children for a number of years. We knew of no other home educating at this time. Knowing what I do know I am sure the curriculum would look completely different, but this is what we did and it worked very well.

1986 Learning Program - April

ARTS

Drama

We will follow the format April was accustomed to in Kindergarten, with role-playing in fantasy games and acting out rhymes, stories and songs. We have an extensive box of dress ups and props, toys and ordinary household objects to stimulate her imagination. It is anticipated April will continue to have access to her friends to develop social skills in playing.

Music

We have an extensive collection of music for listening to, and April has several percussion instruments (with more to be made in craft sessions). April will be encouraged to make use of these at all times. In addition, we will be introducing her to the recorder and teaching her to play, with an emphasis on enjoyment.

Arts and Craft

For the most part activities will be spontaneous, generated by April’s interest (or her brother, aged three). We will continue to improve our collection of art and craft materials, and make use of the natural environment for ideas and materials. Projects and ideas will also be generated from our excursions, and activities in other subjects. We will be focussing on fun and experimentation, with mastery of dexterity and aesthetic skills also important.

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Reading

April is already a proficient and independent reader of picture books. She will continue to be read to on request and daily, and will be required to read aloud to us regularly. She has her own collection of books, and will visit the library often. Quiet times, where April can look and read a variety of types of books alone, will be provided.

Phonics/Spelling/Word Knowledge

This will proceed as in the past. As April comes across words she does not understand they will be explained. We are making use of various educational aids such as ‘Royal Road Reading Kit’, letter shapes, alphabet dice and games, flash cards, etc. April has her own personal dictionary she records new words in. Spelling is corrected as necessary

Poetry

We have tapes and records of nursery rhymes which April enjoys listening to, as well as reading from children’s poetry books. Rhyming games are played, and April is encouraged to make up rhymes, songs and poems and to record them on tape or paper.

Grammar

As April increases her vocabulary of written words, sentence structure and punctuation will be introduced, beginning with capitals, full stops, simple sentences, conjunctions and commas for phrases and lists. Attention will be given to correct tense when speaking, and correction of incorrectly pronounced words.

Talking and Written Language

Conversation is encouraged, with emphasis on being able to express herself and her needs clearly. We will continue to scribe for her when requested, but will encourage her to record for herself. Opportunities for writing and talking will generally arise out of general daily activities and work in other subjects. April will be involved in making books, labels for pictures, letter writing and writing in a daily diary.

GENERAL STUDIES

Social Studies

April has access to the television (although this is regulated by us) and is able to watch a variety of programs on subjects related to history, geography, other cultures, as well as children’s educational programs. On these occasions we will generally watch with her, and answer questions and discuss the content and her reactions. We intend to visit the Birdwood Mill and historical places in the Barossa Valley to give April information about European settlement of South Australia and how people lived in the early days of the colony.

Science

Practical science will be concentrated on - as part of everyday life. As April observes the world about her and how it functions we will endeavour to answer her questions and initiate discussions. April is a very curious child with an inquiring and mind and interested attitude. We will focus on the natural environment, particularly on living things, and begin a natural history collection. April is already interested in rocks and shells and her interest will be fostered.

Health

Basic understanding of diet and nutrition, personal hygiene and exercise is a natural part of her life. We will look at the role of health professionals in our lives, with visits to hospitals, doctors, and dentists. April will be encouraged to be involved in the preparation of simple meals and celebrations. Physical education will be a feature with attention to physical co-ordination and ball games to improve hand-eye co-ordination. Walking will continue to be our main form of exercise.

MATHEMATICS

Numbers

As April already knows her numbers and understands what they represent we will continue with expanding on number sentences - addition, subtraction, division and multiplication with the numbers 1 - 10, and to be able to calculate in simple sums. We will be teaching April to count to 100 with practical activities drawn from daily life, the abacus, counters, games, M.A.B. blocks, etc.

Measurement

This will include learning to tell the time (to the hour and half hour and understand minutes), understanding scales and weights, and volumes (mostly by practical activities in the kitchen and playing in the sand pit!). April will also be introduced to distance, with measuring activities using the ruler and tape measures. Through shop games and pocket money we will introduce April to handling money, and teach her to recognise all of the denominations.

Shape

Focus will be on shape recognition in both two and three dimensions, colour and size differentiation. An ability to understand and use words relating to space will be fostered. Recognising and creating patterns, both inside and outside, will be important.

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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.

Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

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