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Who Else is starting w/ a Kindergartner this coming year? - Page 2

post #21 of 95
Us too! Starting in July I think, because Pre-K runs until June. I've been thinking about a year-round schedule with some long breaks off in between maybe 4-5 sessions.

I don't know that we'll do a whole lot of curriculum overall, but I'm thinking that we'll do a fair amount of travel, and I think it will be nice to have "weeks off" where I don't try to cover any curriculum and can catch up on the housekeeping, etc. (Someone in a homeschooling book I read did that, but they did heavy duty curriculum in their "on" weeks). I think DD would do well with some weeks where she can focus on crafty things and more independent work--hand sewing, she reallllly wants to learn to knit, and those weeks seem like a good time for that.

So far, I think we'll do some Peak with Books, because we already have it and she seems to like it. Might do Right Start Math, too.
post #22 of 95
Sounds like you're doing a GREAT job.

My second is starting kindergarten -- we started when she turned five also, rather than waiting for the "official" academic year. It was an easy transition, just kind of firming up what we were already doing with reading, math, etc.

My older child (9) is also homeschooled, so Sadie (5) can see kind of what things look like down the road, and she's eager to get started. There's no need to jump into a big rigorous schedule or make lots of plans -- just continue to go with the flow and follow your child's lead.
post #23 of 95
We will start officially in the upcoming school year. Nik was eligible for K last fall but we decided to wait to start since we could. That gives us an extra year before he has to be tested according to NY state regulations. So for official paperwork purposes he'll be a Kindergartner, but in reality he's already adding double-digit numbers, starting to grasp multiplication, and reading entire easy-reader books, so we'll probably do a lot of 1st grade work.

We'll be schooling year-round in a relaxed manner. It would be silly not to, when I have a child who brings me Joy Hakim's A History of Us series to read as a storybook. For us, learning is just an extension of daily life.

I have read a ton of books and internet links since before I got pregnant with Nik, so I have some ideas about how I would like certain aspects of learning to occur. But I'm realistic, so I know that it may not work out the way I want it to.

I think that the classical model of chronological history make a lot of sense. And I like the cyclical teaching of history and science that classical education follows. Most of the other aspects of a classical education are too rigid for me. I also identify with many of Charlotte Mason's ideas. I think narration is the perfect tool for cementing reading comprehension, and reading comprehension is a vital step in learning IMO.

Nik already plays with math and does math workbooks on a daily basis. I see no reason to start a formal curriculum and turn math into something to hate and fear. (I'm not saying that this definitely happens with curriculum use, but I don't want to take the chance! ) I've payed attention to the concepts that the various curriculum present in each grade, so I'll gently introduce those concepts to him and if he shows an interest (which judging by his current love of anything math-related he will) we'll find some resources to explore.

Science experiments are something we already do together as a family. It's a common Saturday evening activity in our house. Last night we played with baking soda and citric acid to make "volcanoes", and then we made a cornstarch suspension (what do people call it?....oobleck?) and watched parts of this YouTube video so we could see people run across it. They had so much fun with the suspension (which we haven't made since Nik was about 2) and played with it for almost an hour. My only struggle with science will be in regards to life science. So far Nik thinks science is only fun if it involves chemistry of some sort. He told his preschool teacher that "biology is boring." I took advanced biology in high school, so I obviously disagree!

My mom discovered a Highlights For Children subscription kit called Top Secret Adventures and we're going to use that to have some fun with geography. Marc really wants to teach geography, so that will be an activity to do with Daddy. We're also going to introduce some family geneology (which Nik has shown an interest in) by talking about the places our ancestors were born and lived.

Ok, this post has become really long , so I'll stop there.
post #24 of 95
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
Not starting kindergarten - my son is already grown and close to finishing up college - but I'll offer my article, A Homeschool Curriculum for Preschool and Kindergarten.

And this page has lots of other articles above an annotated list of links to sites that have fun learning activities for little ones - Preschool & Kindergarten Learning Activities. Lillian
Thanks for the links. I have read them in the past and wondered if we would ever get to the point where it was just a natural learning environment- because in my heart I lean toward unschooling. Now rereading your list I am happy to see we are now incorporating a lot of those things into our life- always room for improvement- but we are still relatively new to this and figuring out what works for us all.
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
Us too! Starting in July I think, because Pre-K runs until June. I've been thinking about a year-round schedule with some long breaks off in between maybe 4-5 sessions.

I don't know that we'll do a whole lot of curriculum overall, but I'm thinking that we'll do a fair amount of travel, and I think it will be nice to have "weeks off" where I don't try to cover any curriculum and can catch up on the housekeeping, etc. (Someone in a homeschooling book I read did that, but they did heavy duty curriculum in their "on" weeks). I think DD would do well with some weeks where she can focus on crafty things and more independent work--hand sewing, she reallllly wants to learn to knit, and those weeks seem like a good time for that.
I am still trying to figure out a schedule kind of thing- more of varying levels of intensity and working out how to help him self-direct so I can keep up with my duties as well. It is so much more of a process than I figured at first.

Also- I appreciate everyone's posts in every single one I heard of something new that we can explore and see what might or might not work for us.

Also big in this all is learning more about visual spatial learning. Anyone else seem to have a visual spatial learner? I have been so frustrated by Luke and his inability/unwillingness to count no matter how many times we go over it. Reading the articles though it finally clicks- that is not the way he works. It is interesting as that he needs to see the whole picture. I had wrote in my first post how he likes to figure things on his own and likes it to be perfect before you see it- it was so need to read that was a trait in common of vsl'ers. I have a bit of it in me as well I guess- I am horrible at following instructions- but just like to look at something and the supposed final project and figure out how to get there- my brain doesn't process the instructions in-between. We have always been amazed at his ability to figure out different locks and him wanting to take things apart-his father is extremely mechanical and can figure out anything- I guess it all makes sense now and it is just so dang interesting- it all falls in line as well w/ my mommy instinct that he does not need to be in public school- he would be a target of way too many labels. It also makes me aware that I need to try even harder to not judge or compare as he will pick up on things when he is ready and it may be in a different order than others.
post #25 of 95
Mine is 2E and tested high for some things last year when he'd turned 4yo. He CRAVES information and he likes more structure in how he works than I do, but I like structure in my planning. I've used this year with him at home to kind of undo the last 2 years of preschool/daycare (he was special needs and part of this was believed to be necessary to help him--looking back, I'm not positive it was or wasn't).

So I took this year to figure out how we can "do" homeschooling and satisfy both his and my personalities and work-styles without being too "schooly" (which he's "into" but I just need to find a way that it can work for ME).

I'm just now kind of getting into the swing of things. He turned 5yo in January and we've intermittently done Saxon K math and I've been intermittently looking at the Core Knowledge stuff. But now I really feel moved to do stuff. We've spent this year doing mostly some enrichment classes (swimming, arts, play-based drama, regular park play-date) and less academics--but he reads like a fiend (last year tested at 2nd grade comprehension & 4th grade decoding) and WANTS to learn. Friday he was outside barefoot with the fireplace shovel "digging for limestone" after reading a Magic Schoolbus book on the Earth's core. So I'm following the child and trying to get my act together to do so.

I implemented one of the variations of the workbox system (see the "flexible structure" thread on here) today and ds ATE. IT. UP. He is already doing tomorrow's work and threw my out of the "classroom" (our playroom).

So now, I can satisfy my "planner" needs and direct his play a bit better but still leave him alone to do things as he feels he wants to. I like ALL of that.

I also like that I can put my prepared materials in the "Work with Mommy" drawers so that *I* have the stuff *I* need when I catch 10 minutes to work with him. I'm just really loving the whole thing.

I even went out and bought a laminating machine yesterday. And already used it (how did I live without this?).

So I'm going to continue to follow Core Knowledge's K curriculum for now. I'm making peace with ds being totally not into unit studies. I'm also building a "keep on hand" binder so that when stuff comes up, we can delve deeper into it. Ds isn't a lapbooking kid (another for me) so I need to dig up some activities on a few topics--resources if nothing else.
post #26 of 95
We are! DD turns 5 in September. I plan on playful learning. I guess I mean a fun atmosphere with a curriculum.

DD is already in the "blending phase" of reading, so we will go through Alpha-Phonics for reading instruction, as well as Bob Books for extra practice. I also made a homemade flip phonics book kinda like this one: Phonics Modular Flip Chart. I made it with spiral bound notecards & wrote vowels in the middle tabs & consonants & consonant blends/digraphs on either side.

Math...I had previously thought Horizons Math K, but instead have opted to teach what she'll need to know to begin 1st grade math just with hands on activities. I printed off the pre-test for Horizons 1st grade math & will just make sure she learns those concepts with the help of books like Games for Math by Peggy Kaye, Family Math for Young Children, The Three R's by Ruth Beechick, etc.

For science we like More Mudpies to Magnets and science videos. Also, dd likes to learn about different animals with books from the library.

Oh yes, and we will be working on handwriting-just being able to write numbers & letters-slowly & gently as dd doesn't like writing so much.

Other subjects will be done with real-life experiences. DD loves music so that's easy & "social studies" is simple, imo.

Finally, LOTS of read-alouds. Right now we are enjoying Little House in the Big Woods together.
post #27 of 95
My second child will start K this fall...

We've been homeschooling for a while (she has an older sister) but now she is more interested and I'll want to make sure I give her more individualized attention.
post #28 of 95
DS#1 turned 5 earlier this month and we are starting kindy this summer. I am using My Father's World cirriculum and also veritas phonics museum. Right now we do alot of computer work and work books that we have gotten at the store like mazes and hidden pictures with a little about the alphabet and numbers mixed in.
post #29 of 95
Me, me! DD will turn 5 next month. I guess the way I have things planned puts us squarely in the eclectic camp. I got the Spell to Write and Read curriculum for reading, but DD currently hates writing anything other than what she wants to write, so I'm looking at adapting it for now, until she feels like writing. For science, we'll use the Building Foundations... book by Nebel. She's REALLY into biology, so we may also get the Noeo Biology 1, but I'm not sure. I'll have to see how interesting the Nebel book looks first. For math we're using Professor B. And I'm ordering the Community package from the 6-8 level of Moving Beyond the Page. That should cover social studies. I also have the What Your Kindergartener...book, which I'll be pulling stuff from. I'm ordering the Pfeiffer House music curriculum, because I want DD to have some music instruction and she's not disciplined enough to take music lessons yet. lol For art I'm using the art prints from Core Knowledge and a cheap book I got for teaching the very basics of art to kids. DD just started taking a Spanish class, which I know will last until at least the fall, hopefully longer. In the fall she'll start a weekly P.E. class for homeschoolers at the YMCA and a weekly science lab for homeschoolers at a local museum. She'll also either do soccer or gymnastics, but she hasn't decided which yet.

It looks to me like a lot of curriculum all typed out, but it's really not. It's just so we have stuf to choose from without me having to come up with all the plans. DH nixed unschooling and after hearing him out and thinking on it more, I agree with him for our kid, so I'm going to need this stuff. I think it'll all be pretty relaxed, though. DD is not the kind of kid you can coerce into doing anything anyway. lol
post #30 of 95
My dd who turned five this past Nov will begin K this fall as well. I am most likely going to homeschool her. She is at the beginning stage of reading. We practice blending and she can do most of the Bob books in the first set. We'd be further along in this expect we aren't consistent with it yet and I don't want to "push" her too much right now. I think in the fall I'll do a bit more structure b/c I think we both will need it for the first year or so.
post #31 of 95
this is all so nice to read My dd will only be 4 this year, but I'm home schooling her brother instead of sending him back to public school. He will be in 2nd grade, and I'm looking for pre-K and K things for her. Mostly play based. She enjoys her ABC flash cards, so we'll keep doing those and add numbers We already read, draw, sing, and teach her though life. But, knowing my darling little girl, she wants to do what big brother does. I know she'll be wanting to do school of her own.
post #32 of 95
My son will start K this fall, using Sonlight P4/5 as a guide for most of our subjects (history, reading, LA, Science, Bible -- all mostly read-alouds with Mommy), adding in Singapore Math (since he LOVES math) and Handwriting Without Tears. He was in a Christian preschool for ages 3-4 and can read cvc words, but was shamed for not writing well : so we're going to take it easy and do what we can (after some unschooling) to make learning fun!
post #33 of 95
My ds is turning 4, but we're starting him on K work this fall due to his learning level. We've been doing unschooly, them-y activities, with some workbooks mixed in, and I am currently hunting for actual curriculum, since he loves feeling all 'big' at 'doing school'. DD is only turning 2 in the summer, but she is so into her artwork, I think she would love to tag along with some of big brother's artsy schoolwork. We are in a very nosy, agressive school district, and I have already had to declare us hsers to them. I have heard that they are very prone to auditting, so we have to have some bookbased work, but ds loves to learn that way, so I think it will be child-led curriculum I too can't believe my baby is going to be a 'kindergartener', it went way too fast! I love this stage too though - the kids being peopley is so fun!
post #34 of 95
I am! I can't decide what path I (or my daughter) want to take. I'm leaning towards unschooling with some Waldorf philosophies. I have several ideas but would like to do it with a group of local moms...just need to find some.
post #35 of 95
I am signing in here! My DS will be 5 next month, I can't believe it! Like someone else said earlier, this peoply (sp?) stage is incredibly fun.

Originally we were excited about using K12 and had full intentions on signing up. After doing the orientation and being told a few times "you are not homeschooling..." and seeing how rigid it was, we decided against it. Here are some things we are looking at for the fall:
  • Handwriting without tears
  • Math-U-See
  • Reading Eggs
  • Violin Lessons

We are planning on doing the box system (it looks like it will fit us well!) and there will be other things we will implement but I'm not sure what yet (arts & crafts, science, etc). It will not be rigid by any means, it will be very relaxed things we do throughout the day (not in a strict time schedule). There will be lots of time to play and learn through "living" of course! He has his own garden to tend to and chickens to care for, etc.

I am so happy to homeschool and we have a fantastic natural living homeschool group here where we fit in and my son has great friendships with. This is a good life : and thanks to everyone for sharing your ideas!
post #36 of 95
We'll be starting Kindergarten this fall.

We have a "school" room in progress which will be finished this summer. To start we'll go in there when DD asks. I hope to make it bright and cheerful and fun for both of us.

I have plenty of workbooks when she is interested but don't plan to purchase a full curriculum.

We'll be doing gymnastics, storytime, sunday school, and a playgroup each week so I doubt I will start with a homeschool group until she's a bit older and able to do the field trips etc.

DD is very social so the focus for next year is going to be finding enough opportunities for her to play with other kids. I'm not worried about academics at this point. Almost everything is learning for her now.
post #37 of 95
Officially we will be doing Preschool II (DD turns 5 in Oct), but I'm looking more at Kindergarten material. I structured this year around a literary theme - families and homes. We have been working through a reading list of books centering around that theme. We've also been working through some Fisher-Price workbooks that I've picked up here and there - colors, shapes, letters of the alphabet, numbers, simple addition...as well as some in Spanish (I need to find more of these...) DD has participated in alot of self directed art. I've tried to emphasize the Jewish festivals this year. And we live on a farm, so living science...

Next year, I plan to center our readings around animals, and I expect to start reading instruction.

ETA - Gosh, I'm a little surprised when I read at what we've accomplished! - there have been many, many days when we did not get around to "doing homeschool".
post #38 of 95
We started kindy recently. We are relaxed/eclectic, so not much has changed in dd's life, but *I* am being more mindful of writing things down and categorizing them into 'school-ish' subjects. My dh, while supportive of home schooling, likes to know that she is 'on-track' so I am trying to honor that and have a nice record book for her. I'm lucky in that dd thinks 'school work' is the coolest thing since sliced bread, and asks for her workbook every single day. I save one worksheet per day to stick into her little file. Other than that, I just write down what we did that day, and put certain things under specific subjects. Like, today we played with water outside, that was science. Or a few days ago, we counted some pennies and nickels and talked about their value differences. Then we used them to play 'store'. That was math. THings like that.
I'm not too worried about 'teaching' much right now, so far, at just turned 4, she knows everything on the kindergarten scope and sequence...all by just living and playing. I trust she will learn most everything that way.
post #39 of 95

My daughter will be 6 this fall, she's currently struggling in K at public school so we will do K stuff in the fall to help her. I would love to pull her out now but dh wants her to finish the year since school is out in june.

Plan on using
  • Math U See
  • Reading Eggs
We are currently doing the free trial of Reading Eggs and she loves it

We will also use the preK- K workbooks by school zone since she likes those also and wipe clean books to help with her writing since it she messes up it's easier to wipe away.

post #40 of 95
My daughter, Anna, will be 5 this May. We have been doing activities primarily based on her interests. Things I have planned more for have been health and safety. Having worked in the Early Childhood Education field in the past, I have a lot of resources to cover the next few years as well as archiving those new ones I get from people such as you all.

At this age it doesn't take much to get them interested in any topics, if they are hands-on, meaningful to them and you are excited about their learning. She is basically learning through everyday life. We will continue with that.

I did copy the learning standards for Kindergarten in Michigan from the Dept. of Education site. I loosely use it as a guide and to help me think about some topics that we may have forgotten about. We are already about half way through their standards. And, you know what?, we covered that just through her interests and expanding on them.

I will encourage more writing of letters - something she balks at. I do not push it, though, because I know it will come eventually. Two of my other three kids were like that, too. They were not homeschooled.

We will increase a focus on reading - something she is interested in right now.

Looking forward to sharing ideas, resources and support with all of you!
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