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Homeschool Kindergarten (Winter '09/'10)

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
Can we get a regular thread going for support?

What is everyone doing right now with their kindergartner?
post #2 of 69

We're in the last week of the "Learn at Home, Grade K" book, and about to start on their first grade book (ds turned 6 at the end of Sept, and the Learn at Home K book would, IMO, really be better as a preschool curriculum.)

Because of ds's age/readiness, we've been sorta doing a hybrid of K and 1st, and are about halfway through the basic addition facts. What's really neat is that all on his own, ds has figured out how to do more complex math in his head. A month or so age he was sitting on the couch, drawing on his magnadoodle, and looked up and said "Hey mom! I know what 4 plus 3 plus 2 is! NINE!" It was neat because I hadn't even introduced him to the concept that 3 numbers could be added like that yet.
post #3 of 69
my son is in kindergarten this year. he'll be 6 in late march. currently we're doing hooked on phonics K, handwriting without tears K, and a little math. other than this, i have no expectations in place for kindergarten. my ds is learning a lot through following his own interests though & we read a lot together. it's been a great year so far with both of my kids.
post #4 of 69
We're doing Moving Beyond the Page, and right now we're studying community. I think this is a great year for us in terms of a first homeschooling year, because she's really learned to read rather than just a word here and a word there (mostly just from reading and writing simple mini books with simple language). She's also learned basic addition and subtraction. Between those 2, it just feels like such academic progress! Although I think both are more a function of age/maturity than they are of "teaching."

We've also had such fun studying habitats, places in our community, the changing of seasons, baking together, doing crafts... it's really a nice fun time for us to spend together.
post #5 of 69
We're doing Headsprout for reading, some Explode the Code book 1, Handwriting Without Tears K, and MathUSee Primer for DS who turned 5 in September. The first trimester has (once again) knocked me on my rear and we haven't been doing much lately, I need to get going again.
post #6 of 69
Good lord, the craftiness. DD turned 5 a couple weeks ago and suddenly it's craft, craft, craft! She's been knitting a hat on a round pegged form. Today she took out a needlepoint form and did a butterfly. We've gone through two pads of paper and a full pack of markers in the last week. She decorated her epipen with a paper chain for Christmas. (Do I wince or laugh at that one?) Right now she's at the table with her brother stringing cranberries and O's with a tapestry needle to decorate the holly bush outside our front door. And so help me if I don't come up with at least two more ways she can decorate the house today!


She's also been casually getting farther with figuring and reading. She thinks she can't spell, but then dh will ask her how to spell something and she'll sound it out in her head and get it at least pretty close to right. I'm actually happier that she's getting some of them wrong (but phonetically right, like thinking C-A-T spelled SAT before dh reminded her that a C can be hard or soft...then she figured out it was CAT), because she's got a really good memory, and this means she's really thinking about it rather than just memorizing certain words. It's hard to tell where she's coming from sometimes.

She's very into figuring things out "inside her head" right now. My grandmothers are thrilled! They're becoming very big homeschool fans because we seem to accidentally be doing things the way they learned, and they like that. I like that dd's really getting basic phonics and mathematics without using tools like a calculator or even a pad and pencil. I mean, we play with those, too, and they definitely have their place. But there's mental strength and flexibility in figuring things in your head and I think it's a good base skill to have.

So no curriculum we're following; mostly we're supporting her interests at this point. I have some books I've picked up for support and ideas, like Road to the Code for phonological awareness, but most of the time she just does her own thing and we set her up with the tools and basic instructions so she can play.
post #7 of 69
We're doing Sonlight Core K with Readers 1, Sonlight Science K, Explode the Code 1, HWT K, and Math U See Primer (just finished Singapore Earlybird). With lots of rabbit-trail type study and fun!

But we're taking December off from regular curriculum (except math) to focus on 'Christmas School'
post #8 of 69
Thread Starter 

We aren't really using a curriculum. I was set on using Enki but have since abandoned it for the most part as DS is wanting more academic type things! So now we are just using bits and pieces. (saxon math, teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons, handbook of nature study,etc)

earthmama- have you checked out www.kinderart.com (lots of art ideas there!) I have a little artist (and crafter) here too! We are starting sewing lessons this week per his request.
post #9 of 69
We're on our second week of homeschooling. It seems to be going well so far. I'm not using any set curriculum. I've pulled things from free sources to work on. I've been trying to evaluate where she's at and what her strengths and weaknesses are. Since she was halfway through her second round of kindy, I'm trying to see how far we can go with first grade material.

I'm mainly focusing on reading/ writing and math. I have a folder set up for every day of the week. I fill each one with 3-4 worksheets for each subject. We're doing a letter of the day (writing it and discussing the sounds and works that start with that letter.) Then she does some handwriting practice with her name and other simple words. For math we've been doing patterns, picture addition and subtraction, and other beginners concepts (ie: writing numerals correctly, bigger and littler numbers, etc.)

As far as science, social studies, and all the other subjects go-- we're taking more of a relaxed approach. There are plenty of everyday situations and opportunities that arise in which those subjects can be covered. We watch educational shows (lots of Animal Planet, etc.) and we discuss things that Ambrosia is curious about. I'm letting her take the lead in this department.

We are still getting into the swing of things. In the spring we plan on starting her in some sort of extra curricular physical activity. We're leaning towards ballet, but she may end up choosing some other form of dance, gymnastics, or even karate. Until then our "gym" time is goofy dancing, stretching, yoga, etc.

As far as art goes, I aim to do a crafty project at least once a week. I had originally thought to do one daily... but clearly that is not in the cards for us. I certainly don't want to burn out before we've even begun. We made salt-dough ornaments last week. Today we made paper snowflakes to put on Ambrosia's personal Christmas tree. We'll probably make another batch of ornaments later this week.

And we haven't done it yet but will also set up one day a week for Library visits. On that day we will probably do some walking at the park, as well. We have a pretty cruddy vehicle so I don't like to drive anywhere myself. When DH gets it fixed I'll be able to have more freedom as far as out-of-the house activities go.

Anyway... That's us. So far, so good. I'm really enjoying the transition. So is Ambrosia. We've had a couple of *Heavy Sigh* moments during "school time" and I've made it very clear that if she's not interested in working with me at home, then she can certainly go back to her regular school . The idea upsets her enough to tell me that she prefers homestudies even though we aren't doing tons of "fun stuff" all. the. time.

Another thing to note is that right now we are just doing our work wherever. I'll either pull out our card table for her to work at in the living room, or she'll do it at the activity table in her room. Within a month or two we'll be finishing our sunroom and that will be her "school room". Then I'll have more room work with her. We're both looking forward to that.
post #10 of 69
We're doing an extremely non-academic Waldorf-inspired kindy. I'm really focusing on small motor strengthening, but try to have it be through "real work" and not busywork. We also do workboxes. I'm just trying to get him used to the idea that there are actual expectations on him and that there's more to life than wandering around the house getting into his brothers' stuff, LOL!
post #11 of 69
Oddly enough, I have taken a step back and we're just not doing much right now. This fall has been full of try this try that try everything...and it just hasn't been that great.

My daughter (turned 5 in July) has no interest in reading and will do handwriting...but any book on the subject has just caused problems.

So...we're unschooling?
post #12 of 69
We're also doing a very non-academic "better late than early" Moore-inspired type of homeschooling. Dd is taking gymnastics and we are swmiming at the Y, we do workbooks we buy at the store, and watch phonics videos sometimes. We do real life stuff as it occurs to us..seems like we've done a lot with money lately, and time and seasons. Some crafty stuff. Playgroups and playdates, local museums and attractions. Computer stuff, starfall, pbskids.org, Webkinz, reader rabbit, Jump start, etc.
post #13 of 69
We're doing Enki K with our 3-yr-old right now, and just jumped into our first winter-themed block. DS is loving the snow themes! We took a break for a week between our final autumn block and our first winter block, because DS was so in love with everything autumn that he didn't want it to end. Now that we've had our break, he's ready for winter!

Recently, through the academic verses in the Enki curriculum, DS has come to know the entire alphabet (he knew about half of it before we started doing K) and can count to 20. We haven't done anything more than incorporate the alphabet verse and a counting sequence into our morning circle, but it has stuck like glue and DS is happy to show anyone who will listen that he knows his alphabet & numbers

We've been doing lots of watercolour painting, and it's fantastic to watch DS's paintings evolve. He loves painting day!
post #14 of 69
We are basically unschooling, but DD has wanted some structure. So, sometimes she works on handwriting (usually writing cards and letters to friends and family), sometimes math, sometimes social studies. She started reading over the summer but she's annoyed with herself (she wants to read more complicated things) so is basically working on it by herself and won't let us help. She does some kind of art/craft every day, usually based on her own imagination (as opposed to anything we've set up for her). Lots of science experiments and discussion. She is currently obsessed with childbirth and space so those two topics make up the focus of a lot of things....kind of her own self-directed unit studies.

She takes piano lessons and spends a lot of time each day practicing and making up her own songs. She also takes a laid back gymnastics class and somewhat serious horseback riding a couple of times a week.

post #15 of 69
Add us to the list of "not doing much right now". We still do some Saxon K lessons that he flies through (I think we'll finish K by January/Feb) but everything else is kinda set aside because life happened.

I think we'll be back on track at the end of January... although I really am torn between trying to make him do anything even remotely academic vs. just letting him play all the time. He's dealing with a lot going on in our lives and he really responds so much better to some structure--and learning time did that for us. So I'm kind of thinking it would be better for us to do stuff vs. not do stuff, but I'm still figuring it all out. I just think we have bigger fish to fry right now.

When we return, we'll go back to Moving Beyond the Page. He just used his "Learn" money to buy a Magic Schoolbus science kit--so that's on tap for next week.
post #16 of 69
We're in a slow spell right now. We worked pretty consistently July-October and then stopped "doing school' for about a month. Right now, we're on more of a mini-school approach with lessons 1-2 days a weeks in just 2-3 topics. We'll go back to regular schedules in January.

I have a 2nd grader and a Kindergartener so we do more of a blend - they do the same history, social studies, science, handwriting, etc. We rotate between K, 1st and 2nd themes. We've been very low key about reading and plan to encourage more in January. She picks up on so much faster than her brother did but she was getting bored so we stopped.

Our main source is Lesson Pathways and it's working out really well. We use a workbook for math and had been doing Reading Eggs for reading (it expired yesterday) so we'll start something new for reading...eventually
post #17 of 69
Thread Starter 
My DS did Reading Eggs and Headsprout last year. Are there any other things like this online? (he has done Starfall too)

He does read short "reader" type books..any good recommendations for those? What about read aloud stories? He's not at the point to be able to read a story book (that he hasn't memorized from having it read to him over and over) but I've seen him read a 10 page reader w/ 3-5 words per page.

luvmybaby- we tend to just do "school" whenever too..not actual lessons yet I guess. I need to provide much more structure I think. (Something that is challenging for me!)
post #18 of 69
We're also doing kindy. We're sort of unschooly, sort of waldorfy, sort of Charlotte Masony, very nature-inspired and hands on types of learning (many, many hikes, around lots of animals large and small for science "lessons," we also do science experiments, some occasional workbooks, science documentaries that we watch together on the Nile and Amazon Rivers, coral reefs, caves, etc.) We do lots of reading (fiction and nonfiction), and have lots of indepth conversations! Last night we talked (just talked! but it was so fun and educational) on ancient civilizations for 2 hours!

Next year we will do a more "formal" curriculum, but right now, this simple approach is working beautifully.
post #19 of 69
Thread Starter 
Williamsmom- I agree this age is soo super fun! DS is into ancient Egypt, volcanoes and rocks, more science stuff, the solar system and astronomy and also his current obsession is the human body (he steals my anatomy books constantly and makes us read him off all the muscles,bones, organs,etc.!)

when in doubt we do art!

do any of you use The Handbook of Nature Study? (this is what we are starting to get into now)
www.handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com (you can download the book free at this site and do the challenges there is a thread in the main HS forum)

I am drawn to CM but I haven't gotten any materials yet..

Sounds like alot of us are just following their lead right now!
post #20 of 69
Originally Posted by rainbowmoon View Post
Williamsmom- I agree this age is soo super fun! DS is into ancient Egypt, volcanoes and rocks, more science stuff, the solar system and astronomy and also his current obsession is the human body (he steals my anatomy books constantly and makes us read him off all the muscles,bones, organs,etc.!)

when in doubt we do art!
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention all the arts and crafts we do, too! And DS is also interested in the human body and space, too! Right now, we're just doing lots of "exploring." It's been great fun!

I'm glad to have this thread.
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