Reviews of what my kids used for K & 1….

We are “finishing” up this year 2013-2014, T is in 1st, L in Kindergarten.  We homeschool year round, but the end of June they do get a 2 week break and then they move up to the next grade level (however, my kids work in all different grade levels, I use this primarily as a resource to make sure they don’t fall behind others and to keep the state happy).  Our focus is on mastery/understanding of the subject rather than what ‘grade level’ they are in (and each subject is different).

Math: Miquon Math– T has used this since Kindergarten (at first it was hard to understand, but after using it for a few weeks I got the hang of it, and he likes it. I love how it challenges him and jumps around different concepts, like multiplication and division even in book 1 (and he gets it). L just started using it in May.  The First Grade Diaries is a waste (I think), I never used it.

Math: Khan Academy– LOVE this site, completely FREE and my kids really enjoy it also. I even used it when I was in college to help reinforce what I was learning.  It claims it starts at a 3rd grade level, but my Kinder does fine with it and likes it also.

Math: I had gotten both kids Spectrum grade 1 (L) and grade 2 (T), the kids did 1-2 pages a day for while, but once again, very repetitive, and the kids really didn’t like them, so we went to Khan Academy and haven’t looked back 🙂

Science/History: Easy Peasy– I use this on and off, it’s also Free.  Science so far is my favorite on there and the reading list is nice. We focused on Zoology this year. We love nature hikes and geocaching as well.

Spelling: Explode the Code books- T started out with book 1, and he seems to like them okay, I really think they have helped him with reading and spelling. L started her Kindergarten year with Before the Code A, and has went all the way through to Book 1 1/2, which she is on now.

Music: We got the kids a keyboard for Christmas and T has taken to it the most, however, both kids play on it about 10 minutes a day. They have made a lot of progress. I recommend Alfred’s Basic Piano.  I am not musical at all, but was able to sit down and teach myself the entire book in a few days.

Reading:  We do a TON of reading, they read, I read, we listen to audiobooks in the car, and stories before bed.

T also used Daily Trait Writing for Grade 1 and Scholastic Writing this year.  I do like them, however, we are trying to be more interest-based and with the $25 price tag (daily trait), I think we will pass for this next year. Trying to move toward quality not quantity. He also used 100 Words you Need to Know Before 1st Grade/2nd Grade and Word Ladders, Turner is just now starting to enjoy WordLadders since he can read the description himself, it’s like a riddle to solve.

L used Kumon books in the beginning and they did help her a lot, but became very repetitive and boring after a while.

Would love to hear what you use and if you have used Miquon Math and what you think of the higher level books?   Also, I am looking for some good resources for Science/experiments.

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