I have been asked several times lately what we do for homeschooling. When we first decided that we were going to homeschool I looked into curriculum online and in doing so found lots of free resources for the 3 to 5 age range. For kindergarten I used a mish-mash of store bought workbooks and fun projects/printable from online. My oldest went to two years of Christian preschool and knew all of his letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. He could also write/draw all of his letters, numbers, shapes, and his name. I found a check list of what a kindergartner is "suppose" to know by state standards. We finished up the checklist before Christmas.
While making my own materials was free it was time consuming. I knew that I would need to order some sort of curriculum for first grade because I had a baby due in January and there was no way I was going to be able to devote the same amount of time to looking for and collecting/organizing materials. After asking many church friends and other homeschooling moms I settled on My Father's World. They offer a complete package, all put together for you. Minimal trips to the library are suggested by not required. Asa and I both loved it. It was simple, had some repetition to it but wasn't so repetitious that it was boring. My biggest worry was teaching him how to read but with their comprehensive phonics program it was no big deal.
The next year Zach started kindergarten so I order the kindergarten package from My Father's World and again was very impressed with the materials. Easy to follow, a bit more time spent at the library but that was good for us, got us out and about more. We are also very lucky that one of our local libraries is part of the community center so we could utilize the library and the gym, a great way to blow off some extra steam in the middle of these Minnesota winters. Asa did the first grade studies from January to September and then went right into the second grade curriculum from My Father's World. This is where we started to have a bit of a problem with the repetition of the program but we still liked it enough to utilize it for all of the second and third grade years. Math and english are ordered separate once second grade is reach.
My Father's World recommends Singapore Math and English Primer. Asa couldn't even make it through the Singapore Math placement test and I had heard from other moms that their kids didn't like the program either. I had one mom give me some books from The Critical Thinking Company and we used them as part of our kindergarten work and really liked them. I order the math and english workbooks to go with our second grade materials and have order them every since. I have ordered several other workbooks and CD-ROMS from them and the boys love them. It also offers me the chance to have them work alone, great for when I need to take care of the little ones or change that load of laundry around.
This year we decided not to go with My Father's World, it just wasn't working out well enough. That is one of the great things about homeschooling, if something isn't working, you change it. I am embarrassed to admit that it took me awhile to figure that out. I was so convinced that if I just followed the program and its schedule it would all work out great. After some serious frustration over the English Primer, I finally realized that if it wasn't working we didn't have to do it.