Quite a few homeschoolers attend my church. Several months ago, I had nursery duty with three other homeschool moms. The topic of conversation? Homeschool curriculum. Even in that small group, everyone had an opinion about what curriculum worked best for certain types of learners.
There are a lot of curriculum choices out there, and each of them has different strengths. My school-age daughters have both used the BJU Press curriculum. My oldest daughter has used it for K4, K5, and first grade; and my middle daughter has used it for K4. They have very different learning styles, but one of the strengths of BJU Press curriculum is its flexibility.
The curriculum isn’t designed for one type of learner—it’s designed for all types of learners. In a lot of ways, the BJU Press curriculum is like a roadmap—the objective is the same for everyone, but you get to choose where you stop along the way and how long you linger at each place. Below are two examples of how you can customize the BJU Press kindergarten curriculum to fit your child’s needs. I’ve chosen to focus here on the kindergarten curriculum since I’ve had one child use it already and another child who will use it this fall.
Customizing Your Lessons
One way you can make BJU Press’s kindergarten curriculum work for you is by customizing individual lessons to fit the learning style of your child. You don’t have to do everything the Teacher’s Edition suggests. For example, the K5 curriculum includes a lot of songs that are designed to help kindergarteners remember challenging concepts (such as the difference between the hour hand and the minute hand on a clock).
My oldest daughter doesn’t remember songs well—the Lord hasn’t gifted her with that ability. I would have probably skipped over that part of the lesson. However, since my middle daughter loves music and singing really helps her learn, we will probably sing every song in the book multiple times.
Making Use of Optional Activities
Another way you can make BJU Press’s kindergarten curriculum work for you is by using some of the optional activities in the Teacher’s Resource CD to provide extra practice for your child if he or she is struggling with a concept. For example, BJU Press Math K5 introduces kindergarteners to the concept of fractions by teaching parts of a whole.
If my middle daughter struggles to understand that concept, I could pull out the Teacher’s Resource CD that’s attached to the inside back cover of the Teacher’s Edition. This CD contains an entire section of extended activities that are organized by chapter. Since I know that my daughter is a very kinesthetic learner, we would probably play the shape matching game that is explained in chapter 13.
You as the parent/teacher know your child best; you know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. So take advantage of the flexibility of the BJU Press curriculum and customize it to meet your child’s learning needs.