Xavier is my kindergartener this year. He's 5.5, all boy, very eager, and a lovable combination of silly and serious. He's only 14 months younger than Cate, but I have no plans to combine the two now or in the future--we'll save his Year 1 for next year, when he'll be six. This year, he's enjoying the riches and readings we do as a family as well as a little time carved out just for him.
He has three slots on my checklist each day:
:: 15 minutes of either math lesson (RightStart Level B) OR reading lesson (CM-style)
:: 5 minutes of either writing (learning letter strokes on a chalkboard) OR another fine motor activity (cutting, puzzle, lacing, etc -- these usually stretch longer than 5 minutes)
:: 15 minutes of a read-aloud from the Year 0 shelves (though Cate listens in too)
He also gets a bit of schoolish time in other ways over the course of the day:
:: He listens to about 20 minutes of an audiobook daily with Cate while I do school with the Big Kids. Right now they're working through the Little House series again, and then we'll move on to Jim Weiss and some Year 1 free reads.
:: The Big Kids spend a few minutes reading either Beatrix Potter or Winnie-the-Pooh to him two afternoons a week while I get a little extra school time in with just Cate.
:: He joins us for our family work, including Morning Basket readings, picture study, music study, poetry, and Italian.
:: He listens in on Cate's daily religion readings as she prepares for First Communion.
:: He loves our nature study outings and keeps his own nature journal, which he takes quite seriously! :: And obviously he joins the littles too when I sit down in the late morning with a short stack of picture books.
Basically, he occupies his "middle child" position in the family quite happily by being involved with everyone doing everything. ;) The rest of his time he spends outdoors or in imaginative play, and he's also apprenticing under his big brother to take on some new chores later this year.
He doesn't have his own binder or pencil box yet (those are special privileges reserved for the Year-1-and-over crowd around here ;)), but he does have a couple spots where he keeps his things:
his small "kindergarten box," like Cate's last year...
...and the ottoman in our family room, which has during-naptime-only activities he can pull out while I'm working with the older kids, including puzzles, pattern blocks, lacing beads, and the like.
When I get a chance, I'll give a closer peek at his shelves, which include not just kindergarten-ish read-alouds but also my favorite picture books for the Year 0 crowd.