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May 1, 2015

Can HeidiSongs Be Used as a Complete Curriculum?

Complete CurriculumComplete Curriculum

Can HeidiSongs Be Used as a Complete Curriculum

Can HeidiSongs be used as a complete math or language arts curriculum?  This question is asked from time to time by both teachers and homeschooling parents, and the answer is both yes, and no!  Most of the materials that you would need are there, but a basic teaching manual is not.  This may not be a problem for an experienced teacher, but it may be a big hurdle for a new one or a homeschooling mom who with no experience in the field of education.

However, I have written many blog posts that can guide you along as you go.  Plus, I’ve written a Kindergarten Pacing Guide and posted it as a free download here. (See the sample picture below.) If you use the Pacing Guide to tell you what to teach, and use the related blog posts to help you implement the curriculum, you probably won’t have much trouble!  Read on below for more information.

Pacing Guide Week 4

I am beginning to teach Kindergarten in a parochial school this year. Superkids was used by the previous K & gr 1 & 2 teacher, but not anymore. I am basically starting from scratch. I have been looking at HeidiSongs and would like to use them. It is possible to just use Heidi’s program without any curriculum? What would you suggest? Should I get the whole Kindergarten set offered? We do have the Everyday math program, but that’s it.  I am feeling overwhelmed.

First of all, let me say that I’m sorry that you are feeling overwhelmed!  Been there, done that!  Check out the links below to some key blog posts on how to use my materials.

Music Notes

Here are some links to blog posts for teaching letters and sounds with my materials.

Tips for Teaching the Alphabet to Struggling Learners

Tips for Teaching the Alphabet

Teaching Kindergarten: What’s Working Week #7

Teaching Kindergarten: What's Working?

Top Tips: Transitioning from Letters, to Words, to Books!

Transitioning from Letters, to Words, to Books

Here are some links to blog posts for teaching numbers and shapes, and counting skills, etc., with my materials.

How to Teach the Numbers 0-10 and the Shapes

How to Teach the Numbers 0-10 and the Shapes

Teaching Kids to WRITE the Numbers

Teaching Kids to Wright the Numbers

Counting Creatures Addition Book

Counting Creatures Addition Book

A Counting Creatures Workbook for Numbers 11-20

Counting Creatures Workbook Volume 2

Those Tricky Teens and Twenties

Tricky Teens and Twenties

Here are some links to blog posts on teaching kids to sound out words with my materials.

How to Teach Kinds to Sound Out Three Letter Words

How to Teach Kids to Sound Out CVC

How I Got 21 Out of 27 Kids to Master 100% of Their CVC Words in Kindergarten

Mastering Three Letter Words

Eight Great Tricks for Sounding Out Three Letter Words

Seven Tricks for CVC Words

Gone Fishin’ For Nonsense Words

Fishin' For Nonsense Words

HeidiSongs can be used as a basic curriculum, but there will definitely be some gaps.
The main thing that is missing is that you will need some BOOKS for your students to learn to read from (easy readers.)  Perhaps there are some leftover from the SuperKids series that you can use?  Otherwise, you may be able to use some books from the Scholastic Book club or something like that.  I supplemented our district books quite a bit with the “Bob Books” to help practice reading stories with CVC words in them.  There is now a Bob Books Sight Word set of books, too, although I haven’t seen it except online.  My kids REALLY loved the Biscuit Phonics Fun set of books, too.  They actually liked them better than the Bob Books, but I liked having both sets to pull from.

Bob's Books

In both cases, I ordered multiple sets of the books (mostly with bonus points and coupons from the Scholastic book club) and then had one book per child for reading groups.  Also, if you order a lot from Scholastic, there is usually a ten dollar certificate in each order for the teacher to use, as long as the order is a minimum of twenty dollars.  I often took that ten dollars and spent it on book sets like the ones I mentioned above, or on multiple copies of whatever books they were selling for a dollar each that month, which is quite common for Scholastic.  Just check the reading level on the books before you buy to make sure that they will be easy enough.

Biscuit Easy Reader

They even have some good non-fiction sets of books to purchase as well.  I got this set of Guided Science Readers and they are just perfect for Kindergarten early readers!

Non-Fiction Easy Reader Book Set

Easy Reader Desert Animal Books

Also, you will need some kind of phonemic awareness program to follow.  I used Michael Heggerty’s program.    It’s simple to use and follow, although the kids do get bored with it after a while. However, it does cover EVERYTHING and the children do learn with it.  And it takes no prep work at all.  The kindergarten version is $75.

Phonemic Awareness

The other thing you will need to do is teach writing, and I really don’t have explicit instructions on that in my materials.  I do have some good blog posts on it, though.

Getting Kindergartners Started Writing When it Seems IMPOSSIBLE!

Getting Kindergartners Started Reading When it Seems IMPOSSIBLE

Common Core Based Writing Rubrics and Writing Samples for Kindergarten – FREE

Writing Rubric & Writing Samples for Kinder

Once you get started, it is really just a matter of continuing on by giving them a new topic to write on each day, and hopefully have them include whatever sight words you are learning into the sentences that they are learning to write.  I had my kids first write a sentence of my choice and then after that, they could write one of their own.  Example:  “I see a ____.” (In the blank they would write the name of a farm animal that they found on a word wall, because our theme was farm animals.) Everyone would need to write this sentence first.  THEN, they could write something else, such as “It is brown.”  or “I like to ride.”  Or, “They are furry.”  Etc.

Okay! I hope that this helps a bit and you are not so overwhelmed anymore!

Let me know if you have any more questions.



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