My only experience having a child in the public school system was with my oldest. He went to kindergarten at the neighborhood public school. Although he had a great time, there were just too many “pulls” pulling us toward homeschool. In my experience talking to homeschoolers, a lot of them feel drawn toward it. They almost feel called to do it. Personally, that is how I feel, also.
But having had a child experience public school kindergarten and being on the parent end, I have the advantage of knowing a little bit how it works. (And then when people ask if my 4th and 2nd grader are doing the same thing as the public school kids, I have absolutely zero idea. But I’m going to assume they aren’t.)
For my kindergartner this year I am focusing on 3 main areas: reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. He does physics and history with us, and he has his own little German “course” that he is doing, but I figure he can skip the Latin, grammar, and spelling for now.
In math we are using Singapore 1A and 1B. It’s great because it is full of pictures, colorful, and short. AND it is also teaches math… imagine that.
However, after finishing the first unit I figured we needed to do a little review on how to write numbers. So we went back for a while and did a bunch of THIS. Just 2 different numbers twice week through number 9. So yes, we are done and are back to his math text and workbook. His threes and twos are still backwards, but I’m sure he’ll figure it out. It’s only been 2 months of kindergarten after all.
As far as writing letters go, he was working on a Kumon book that I picked up at a homeschool store years go but never did anything with. It was pretty minimal. Now that he’s finished the book, we are on to these very home made letter worksheets. Like with the numbers, we do 2 letters twice a week. Last week was C and D. He drew a picture of a deacon who brought his dog to church. (I wish I had his E picture, it is awesome. He drew a head with monstrous ears.)
I also plan to have him do some copy work, maybe after we get through the alphabet this way. I remember my oldest doing simple copy work, such as “man, bed, tin, dog, run.” I think he had to write the list once a week(?) I don’t really remember. But I do remember the words were always short and included only short vowel sounds. What a great way to support reading as well!
And reading… oh yes. I’ve talked about this at length.
So after our switch away from “Learn to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” and on to real story books, we are making real progress. For instance, it took little K(indergartner) about 3 weeks to finish “The Cat in the Hat,” (maybe not the easiest to start on), but it only took him one week to finish “Green Eggs and Ham,” and today, after only 3 days, he completed “Go Dog, Go.” He even now says he likes to read. Success. I figure if he gets just a few pages in a day, he is doing well. I know with this particular child, he really needs to set his own pace, but he also needs a little push to get the ball rolling.
So we are going to go through as many Dr. Seuss/P.D. Eastman books as he (I) can stand. I also just started checking out the very easiest easy-reader books at the library. I don’t read these with him but I catch him reading them by himself every once in a while. (Bonus point!)
These books are also awesome. Limited words… entertaining illustrations.
The other things I remember from my oldest’s time in kindergarten are crafts and songs. I admit, when I only had babies and preschoolers, crafts were a whole lot easier to plan and do. Now, life is just so busy. But in preparation for this blog post, and then the slight guilt of NOT having any planned crafts for him (and the other kids, c’mon, all my kids love paper and glue – and pompoms and pipe cleaners, googley eyes, glitter, feathers, string.. oh yes, string… everywhere,) I pulled out the good old construction paper jack-o-lantern craft. I’ll have to update this post with a photo of our front window. It’s too dark outside to get a decent photo, but they did an admirable job decorating it.
Additionally, little K was narrating and illustrating a story every week. The idea was to expose him to a variety of experiences, people, events, etc. and have him recap or use those memories as a springboard for other imaginative creations.
What I ended up with was this (you should feel grateful this is only an excerpt): “Then the dog licked a mouse and a mouse licked a wolf and a wolf licked a computer and then the computer licked the printer and the printer licked the Box Top and the Box Top licked his box and the box licked the plastic…”
Uh… for some reason I’ve kind of slacked on the story narrations. That was weird.
However, I will leave you with one of his better narrations about a seriously awesome field trip we had. I hope you enjoy!
The Renaissance Fair of Magic Show
Last Friday I went to the Renaissance Fair. And I liked the jousting. Jousting is when two knights run at each other and try to knock the other knight off their horse. The knights broke each other’s sticks! There were lots of people there and it was burning hot! I felt like I was on the sun. I looked at swords and I got to keep a marble. The birds of prey was cool and the magic show was cool. The thing that I liked about the magic show was it was actually magical. There was the magic guy and he put pieces of toilet paper in his mouth and then it became a long piece of toilet paper with lots of colors on it and it lasted forever. And the guy had a bird and he put the bird in his bag and then he snapped his fingers and the bird went in to his other bag because the bird wanted to get a big round of applause. In the birds of prey there was a red tailed hawk and a golden eagle. And then there were some owls. One was a barn owl.