The language Arts curriculum was an easy choice. About a year ago, I came across a Facebook post in a homeschool group about a curriculum called Sing Spell Read & Write. I did a little research and quickly decided this would be a good fit for Snowflake. It is a multi-sensory reading program using music and games as it’s primary instruction methods. The main song Snowflake will be learning to start is the ABC Phonics Song.
Sing spell read & write teaches letter sounds alongside letter names and puts everything to music, increasing the child’s ability to remember. This will be especially good for Snowflake who can sing a song back after hearing it only one time. The first half of the school year will focus on letter names and sounds. The second half will focus on letter sounds, rhyming words, and reading 3 letter words.
The second part of our language Arts curriculum will focus on handwriting. While sing spell read & write has a handwriting component, due to Snowflake’s weakness in this area, I felt he needed a more hands-on and direct approach. Rather than just practicing tracing the letters as the sing spell read and write curriculum uses, we are going to take a multi-dimensional approach using the handwriting without tears curriculum. Instead of just tracing letters, HWOT uses much more hands-on instruction practices to teach handwriting. Each day we will be working with letter pieces to build letters, chalk and sponges for wet dry try, and playdoh or a salt tray for tactile practice. The tracing and actual writing are almost considered secondary in this curriculum.
Choosing these language Arts programs was easy; keeping it in our budget was the difficult part. Thankfully my deal finding and diy skills came in handy. The SSRW curriculum is normally $275 for kindergarten and 1st. I got the instructional portion used for $100. I purchased the workbooks (for this year and next year) new for $50. So, buying used, I was able to save about $125 and the cost per year is about $75. The HWOT curriculum is about $400 for a complete, new curriculum. This was WAY out of reach as our budget for handwriting was closer to $40-50! I purchased the instruction manual and student work books for $30. My handy husband made the wood pieces, I made the mat out of a piece of balsa wood and foam sheet, I found the little chalkboard and sponges in my stash, and finally I created the letter formation cards and bought a pencil box and salt to create a salt tray. We will make playdoh as part of our science next week. This saved us over $100 and I decided the other parts of the curriculum were not necessary for one on one instruction.
I am excited to see how Snowflake takes to these programs, hand-picked for his learning strengths.