Monday, April 8, 2013

Our Kindergarten Update

We are almost done with our Kindergarten year, which just seems too crazy to be true! It was our first year of homeschooling, and it has gone even better than I could have hoped for. Here's what has worked well:

Having something to do daily: math, some read aloud, some handwriting. Those are the simple, bare-bones of our routine, and it's just enough to keep us honest:)

RightStart Math. We started with Level A and progressed to Level B about 3 weeks ago. It does require some prep work for Mama, but nothing too overwhelming. The hands on nature of it really appeals to Cate, and I have seen her improve in her sense of numbers, ability to visualize, and speed of calculating.

Series reading. We began with and E.B. White trilogy at the beginning of the year (Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan), and also enjoyed the Tumtum and Nutmeg books by Emily Bearn. Delightful.

Memorization. Hymns, poems, scripture passages, carols, comes so naturally to little ones this age, and I'm trying to take full advantage of that!

Remembering that this is "just" Kindergarden. We don't have to be doing anything. We have some responsibilities to our charter school in terms of work, but it's very manageable, and the key thing, at this age, is reading great books, building good habits, and getting outside. That's it. And when days are hard and I realize we haven't "done" anything, even the basics, I try to remember what counts most right now: time together as a family, time outside, beautiful ideas to ponder.

To work on:

Daily routine. I like to start schoolwork right away after breakfast, so as to get done what needs accomplishing before the day begins to run away from me:) My girl, however, wants to play for a bit first, and which means a) it's then hard to pull her away from it to work with me at the table, and b) school time begins to run into errand/classes time, and then things start falling off the schedule (hello, nature journal and french work. Ahem.). I need a schedule overhaul.

Entertaining the little man. Owen wants to be involved in what Cate's doing, and even if I get him set up with some "work," he chats at Cate and pretty soon she's not paying attention to math anymore. I don't want to force him out of the room, and I'd really like not to do school during afternoon rest time because, selfishly, that's my downtime;) So, he needs habit work on being quiet, among other things.

I plan to wrap things up at the end of May, take June/July/August to par down to basics, work on habits, and enjoy family, friends, and building our new house:) And then AO Year 1 starting in September! I am one of those "school can't begin until summer is officially over" kind of people, but I am very much looking forward to the next few weeks of planning and dreaming up what we'll be working on. 

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