Kindergarten – 1st Grade
The term “readiness” refers to those activities (mostly structured) of the preschool or early elementary age child that actually prepare him to learn to read and understand beginning math concepts. These activities start when you hold your child on your lap, read to him and talk about the pictures. He learns to hold a book, turn pages, and sees left to right sequencing. HE soon learns to relate written and spoken language. Through discussion of the story, he builds his vocabulary and begins to develop reading comprehension skills. Sorting, matching, and discriminating between objects in games are other readiness activities that come along in normal playtime. Learning the sounds and names of letters (magnetic letters are great) along with matching beginning and ending sounds through audio or visual discrimination are also important activities for the younger child. Preschool children can easily be encouraged to make up simple stories or retell a familiar story. Wholesome family activities (a trip to a museum, park, or zoo, of baking cookies) expose the child to new learning experiences, build vocabularies, and make learning a fun family event.
Initial Steps to Reading:
Learn the sounds of letters (vowels first); the names of the letters of the alphabet; recognize that sounds make up words; recognize upper and lower case letters; learn to blend the letters; recognize simple words; and recognize blends, digraphs, and diphthongs (not the terms). If the child is progressing well he should be able to: recognize basic sight words; recognize root words/base words; recognize some suffixes; be able to read aloud and indicate the end of a sentence by voice inflections, and be able to recognize new words in context.
2nd and 3rd Grades
By this level the child should be increasing his sight vocabulary, comprehension skills, and solidifying his understanding of phonics. Children should be able to: independently read for enjoyment; follow written instructions; understand, read and write contractions and compound words; understand and count syllables in at least two syllable words; understand and relate story sequence; recognize homonyms, synonyms and antonyms; use basic phonics skills consistently; recognize common suffixes and prefixes; and consistently expand their vocabulary.
4th – 6th Grades
Although still limited by maturity level and lack of knowledge, a child at this grade level should be able to read most written material. Some children might need remedial attention while most will be reading for information and pleasure. Advanced reading skills should include: reading with increasing skill and expression; following more difficult written instructions; listening to adult reading which improves both reading and listening skills; using reading skills to locate information and for practical reading such as newspapers, advertisements, etc.; understanding prefixes and suffixes on a more difficult level by studying Latin and Greek derivatives; learning dictionary skills; identifying an author’s point of view; comparing authors and their works; becoming familiar with renowned authors and their works; reading and studying a variety of forms of prose and poetry; analyzing reading material for theme, appeal, technique, and effectiveness; and reading for literary value.
7th and 8th Grades
General literature: There are many excellent literature texts available. Students should be reading from classic and contemporary novels.
Grammar and Composition
Kindergarten – 1st Grade
Students should learn to: speak in complete sentences; follow oral directions; tell stories; say name, address, and telephone number; recognize rhymes; listen to others reading; relate simple stories, verses and rhymes orally; write simple sentences ending with periods, and capitalize first letters of sentences and proper names.
2nd – 3rd Grades
Students should learn to: follow oral and written directions; use the suffixes: -s, -ed, -ing and some prefixes; use apostrophes; alphabetize; recognize syllables; use a dictionary; write simple stories, notes, and reports; punctuate sentences using periods, question marks, commas, and exclamation points; capitalize proper nouns and words at the beginning of sentences; understand what a complete sentence is; and identify the following parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives and simple conjunctions.
Students should learn to: participate in discussion; write simple stories, poems, letters, reports, etc; apply punctuation rules for: periods, commas, exclamation points, question marks, periods after abbreviations, initials and commas in a series, dates, greetings and closings of letters; identify possessive words; properly use apostrophes; group related sentences to form a paragraph; write a letter and address an envelope; use capitalization rules; identify: nouns, verbs (state of being and action), pronouns, adjectives, conjunctions; and recognize and diagram indirect objects and prepositional phrases.
Students should learn to: give oral reports; use all punctuation correctly including quotation marks; underline titles; write reports (2-5 pages), letters, prose, poetry, creative stories; proofread and edit their own work; identify nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns; identify subjects, predicates and direct objects; recognize subject-predicate agreement; use adjectives and adverbs in writing; apply correct usage of verbs; identify prepositions, conjunctions and interjections; recognize agreement between pronouns and antecedents; learn irregular plurals; diagram subjects and verbs, direct objects, adjectives and adverbs, prepositions and conjunctions; and recognize and diagram indirect objects and prepositional phrases.
6th – 8th Grades
Student should learn to: give oral reports and participate in group discussions; use plural possessives and contractions; recognize and write compound sentences; write outlines and topic sentences; compose poetry, short research papers, book reports, dialogue; write with unity and coherence; proofread and edit their own work; develop total understanding of use of dictionary; understand appositives and direct address (“you”); master helping and linking verbs; write compositions; identify simple verbs (can be taught as early as 4th grade); use predicate adjective and predicate nominative; diagram all the parts of speech; define and learn examples of similes and metaphors; use a thesaurus; and take notes from printed and oral material.
Begin by working with the student on: relating quantities (same/different, larger/smaller, shorter/taller, long/ longer/ longest); classifying (by color, shape, size, common characteristics); relating characteristics (matching items one for one, recognizing like amounts, duplicating a given pattern); recognizing basic shapes (square, circle, rectangle, triangle); recognizing and ordering numerals 0-10; counting and printing numerals 0-10, understanding concepts of smaller/larger and more/less involving values from 0 to 10 with aid of pictures; and naming coins (penny, nickel, dime, etc.)
Students should learn to: count, recognize and write numerals 0-100; memorize addition and subtraction of numbers from 0-10; understand place values (ones, tens and hundreds); recognize “greater than” and “less than” concepts, apply simple problem solving; identify fractional shapes and parts of a whole for ½, ¼, and 1/3; measure: 1 cup, ½ cup, foot, inch, yard; and add and subtract two digit numbers without carrying and borrowing.
Student should: review addition and subtraction facts to 10 + 10; learn carrying and borrowing in math (regrouping); accomplish counting, identifying and writing numerals up to 100; learn to use “greater than” and “less than” symbols; begin learning the concept of multiplication; learn to count by twos, and fives to 100; review place value of hundreds, tens and ones; identify parts and the numerals for ½ , 1/3 , ¼ in fractional shapes and fractional parts of a whole; understand money concepts up to $1.00; tell time (hour, half hour and quarter hour); apply measurement (linear, liquid, and weight); interpret simple bar graphs; and solve one-step word problems with either addition or subtraction.
Student should learn to: multiply up to 9 x 9( (mastery may not come until grade 4); divide (introduced pictorially or with hands on objects); identify place value to thousands and ten thousands; read and write up to five digit numbers; recognize even and odd numbers; add and subtract three digit numbers where regrouping is required; divide with one digit divisor; recall multiplication and division facts up to 9 x 9; multiply one digit times two digits with carrying; identify fractions: ½, 1/3, and ¼ of different shapes and amounts; understand a.m. and p.m. and tell time to the nearest five minutes; identify days and months; count, add and subtract money; use $ and decimal point; measure using linear, liquid, and weight measurements; use the metric system; do one-step problem solving using addition, subtraction, multiplication or division; do simple estimates; make up simple word problems.
Student should learn to: do any addition and subtraction with whole numbers; read and identify any numeral up to seven digits and beyond; do two-digit times three-digit multiplication; round off numbers; learn estimation; divide with two-digit divisors; show remainders in division; add and subtract fractions with like denominators; understand fractions as ratios; reduce fractions; master time (be able to read and write to the nearest minute); count money and make change; master more difficult measurement concepts regarding length and mass; do all liquid measurement; identify all shapes and construct graphs; add and subtract mixed numbers ( 2 2/3 + 5 1/6 ); solve more complicated word problems; use data to construct word problems; determine missing data for problem solving; find averages.
Student should learn to: do any addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems with whole numbers; add, subtract and multiply any decimals; divide whole numbers by decimals; use ratios; master more difficult measurements; determine prime factors; read and write up to nine digit numbers; use decimals other than in relationship to money; read and write decimals to the thousandths; determine the area of squares and rectangles; introduce the concept of volume with cubes; round off whole numbers and decimals; estimate; identify the following terms: congruence, symmetry, diameter, radius, angle, parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting lines; construct and interpret graphs; compute the area of a triangle; use math to solve real life problems; and use a protractor.
Student should learn to: read and write all decimals; change percents to decimals; understand and apply percentage; introduce integers; read and write all 12 digit numerals; do any computation using fractions and decimals; convert fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions; determine circumference and area of circles; use a protractor to measure and draw angles; interpret graphs; line circle and bar; convert units of measure in the system; quarts to pints, yards to feet, etc.; formulate and apply problem solving strategy; deal with exponential notation; define, explain and use probability; analyze and evaluate statistics.
7th and 8th Grade
Student should study general math or pre-algebra with an emphasis on problem-solving using all math concepts.
Social Studies: History, Geography, Government
Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
Focus for the student at this level should be on the neighborhood and town, or rural area and town most frequented. Children should become familiar with surrounding streets and roads and how to get to and from familiar places. Children should be aware of the types of stores in the area and the public services, such as police stations, fire departments, hospitals, libraries, etc. Second grade is a good time to begin map skills (a homemade map of a familiar area is helpful). Children should learn directions (north, south, east, west) around their home and understand those directions on a map. Introduce the time line concepts using the child’s actual birth as the beginning and add events that have happened since the child’s birth.
Students should; study Native Americans including types of shelter, dress, etc.; learn more map skills including roads, towns, lakes, rivers, etc.; study national holidays; begin study of prominent historical figures like Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Wright Brothers, etc.; start a time line and include these people; study different kinds of occupations and interview people working in these fields.
This is the year to study Indiana history. Include materials from first settlement to the present. Students can practice map skills by using a map of Indiana, locating major towns, highways, waterways and surrounding states. They should study famous Indiana people from the past and present. Field trips to the State House and other important historical spots can add much to the course. Include a study of Indiana government.
United States history should be taught this year. It can be taught from a textbook or through unit studies. Helpful ideas include making extensive maps and constructing a time line. Many read literary works that relate to different periods of time in our country’s history. This is a time to practice writing good reports.
Students usually study world history this year. Extensive use of maps can be very helpful. Continue the time line from previous years. Students should write reports and simple research papers.
During seventh grade world geography is taught but from the cultural, physical and political aspect.
United States history is taught again this year.
A general science program is taught throughout elementary and middle school years. Science textbooks for each grade level are published by most curriculum companies. The use of a text can insure consistent instruction in this subject. Most texts suggest enrichment reading ideas for experiments and activities. These help the parent motivate the student and allow more first-hand experience for the child than textbook reading. Parents need to take advantage of the child’s writing education by requiring reports appropriate to the grade level. Learning the scientific process is also important. Many parents make use of unit studies for science in the elementary grades. This can be an effective way to study science. By involving all of your children, it provides a family activity at the same time.
Note: Cathy Duffy’s Christian Home Educators’ Curriculum Manual – Elementary Grades is highly recommended for further in-depth study and ideas for teaching grades K-6.