Kindergarten, Kindergarten 2 or Preparatory
Math – Earlybird Math (Standards Edition) Very colorful, easy to teach and engaging to the young learner. Binding is not as strong as you would want so handle the books with care. Used in Kinder 1 and 2 with all my kids.
Language Arts – English – Sing Spell Read and Write
Comprehensive and effective! All my children learned to read, write and speak English using this program. It is pricey. We ordered our copies through Christianbooks.com. Despite the price I still used this because we had invested in the teaching materials and resources already, and the kids had become familiar with the phonics songs and lessons making it easier to use. The drawback is that it takes a lot of work to finish. The Teacher’s Manuals are a big help by cutting down on parent/teacher prep time. Worth its price if only to see your learner read independently and to save yourself hours of late nights preparing lesson plans. Used in Kinder 1 and 2 with all my kids.
Bible and Character – Following God (ICI Ministries), Apologia’s Who is God?, Achieve True SuccessTM
The Following God program has been tailored to the local culture making it that much easier to teach and easy for the kids to relate to. It comes with a Teacher’s Manual which was a big help with my oldest child when I was a “young” homeschooler. I didn’t use it much with the younger two. The curriculum is flexible and my children liked it very much. Available in the Philippines through ICI Ministries and used in Kinder 2 with my two oldest children.
Achieve True SuccessTM is an excellent study in Character. It is hard-bound with glossy pages, good images and inspirational stories that highlight Character. The content is timeless and relevant whatever the stage your family is in or the culture you come from. Continually used from Kinder 1 to the present.
Who is God? (And Can I Really Know Him?) is a book that teaches the “worldview” approach to studying Christianity. The book description mentioned that it is suitable for younger kids but I found my youngest had difficulty grasping a lot of the concepts. The stories in each lesson entertain and teach at the same time making it appealing. It’s also got lots of colorful pictures and comes in a durable hardcover format like the Apologia elementary science series. I got the notebooking journal that goes with it but found that we couldn’t do all of the activities because they were too much for a Grade 2 and Kinder. Despite that, it’s really solid and complete if you need a Bible-focused Christian curriculum. It is also pricey but since the books are made to last and the content is relevant, I would consider it worth the investment. The drawback is that it can be overwhelming for younger kids (and busy mommies with young kids) to grasp such a difficult concept as “worldview”. Used in 2014-2015 with my Kinder 2, Grade 2 and Grade 3’ers.
Language Arts – Filipino – Ang Diyos At Ako – Wika at Pagbasa, Ang Ating Wika,
Ang Diyos At Ako – Wika at Pagbasa was our first foray into learning the Filipino language. Not having grown up in the Philippines myself, my Filipino is not so good so I end up learning with the kids as we go along. It is very important that I can also understand the material we use. We used this for my two oldest kids when they went through Kinder. Printed on not-so-durable paper, needs proper handling and is not in color. Good content but I thought not sufficient to teach Filipino.
Ang Ating Wika – Excellent Filipino textbook and workbook for young learners of Filipino. I liked the way the grammar lessons were structured and the use of stories at the very start of the books (we used the Kinder 1 and Kinder 2 levels). I used this with my youngest and he learned to read in Filipino with the textbooks in this series as his take-off point. Available from Rex Publishing.
Neither of these titles had Teacher’s Manuals or Guides. I found the “Ang Ating Wika” series more teacher-friendly. I supplemented with children’s storybooks which we either borrowed from the Pasig City Library or which we bought at the local bookstore. I also supplement with videos of Filipino nursery rhymes, storytellers or cartoons so my kids can hear the proper tones. Filipino is a tonal language similar to Chinese where the meanings of some words change depending on how these are said.
Science – Apologia’s Exploring Creation elementary science series, Exploring Science (ICI Ministries)
Exploring Science takes a broad approach to Science instruction. It covers biology, botany, earth sciences, machines etc from a creationist perspective. It comes with a Teacher’s Manual and is in the form of a workbook. There are no experiments in the workbook but it is loosely structured so you can supplement with plenty of activities if you want. If you’re like me and pressed for time, it’s got enough content taught at a level that can be understood by the learner.
Exploring Creation focuses on one field in Science at a time with each title. When my two oldest were in Kinder, we used Exploring Science but now with my youngest we are using the Zoology 1 text as my daughter is studying this. The positive thing about the Exploring Creation series is that it can be taught multilevel so if you have kids in different Grade levels this is a good text to use. I have always gotten the notebooking journal as it helps direct the learner to take notes about the lesson being studied. My children love to read the books by themselves. The series is full of information and digs deep into a field of science (immersion). It adopts a creationist perspective on the origins of life. A drawback is that it does require a lot of teacher prep time.