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Is it ok to wing it for Kindergarten?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
If I decide to homeschool my kindergartener (young....will be 5 in august), is it ok if we kind of wing it through our first year as I get the hang of everything? Do you think we really need formal curriculum? We have been working on lots of stuff this summer to prep him for kindergarten (sight words, reading with bob books, adding and subtracting, etc.) and I was basically thinking of continuing our work with this stuff instead of buying a big box curriculum. I guess I'm just nervous when I consider NOT putting him in regular kindergarten but also not having a grand plan for curriculum. He won't be missing out on anything, will he?

Here's basically what I was thinking as far as what we might do:

Handwriting (possibly use handwriting without tears)
reading (teach your child to read in 100 lessons, continuing practice with Bob books, learning more sight words)
Math: continuing to work on basic math skills/concepts....no plan for a strict curriculum currently
Science/Social studies: I have a list of themes for these and thought we would just find what we can at the library every couple of weeks and see what interests him.

Does this sound reasonable? I will probably move to a more structured curriculum as he gets older, but I just don't know if I want to put that kind of pressure on myself the first year....and he is REALLY young anyway.
post #2 of 23
yes. yes. and yes. your plan sounds perfect!
post #3 of 23
Yes! I think winging it your first year is probably a much better idea than picking a bunch of curriculum and then feeling like you have to use it even if it doesn't work! This way you will gradually come to see what things work and what don't, and THEN buy curriculm (or not if that's what you decide!) that will fit your son's style and yours!
post #4 of 23
I think your plan sounds great and in fact it sounds very much like our plan for K!! We are focusing on the 3R's and our weekly co-op takes care of Social Studies as we usually do a holiday-centered theme, or visit places out in our community, etc. We also plan on keeping one day to explore something DS is interested in. Not meaning to hijack your thread, just want to show you that our plan is similar! Good luck
post #5 of 23
I think your plans sound fine too and if you have state requirements, you probably have them all covered.
post #6 of 23
There's no better time to wing it than the preK-K years, imo.

Granted, we fall more on the unschooly side of things, but I really just went with the flow this year and we had a great time. The kids did some classes and activities they signed up for, we spent a ton of time outside, and had some great car conversations (that seems to be where the intuitive and cognitive leaps all seem to happen in our family!). No actual curriculum and very little time spent on workbooks or the computer -- just when dd asked. We read a ton of books together. By the end of the year, she was at or above just about all of our state standards for K and rather far above in a few areas. She also had some great experiences she never would have gotten so young in a different setting -- having a singing and speaking role in a drama club stage performance, doing her first piano recital, participating in a literature-based gardening class, etc.
post #7 of 23
Sounds really good.

My third child is going into kindergarten and my main goals for him are to help him learn to read, learn all his numbers and start doing simple addition problems, recognizing patterns, etc.

We love Bob books here. They helped my daughter a lot.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dubatatamama View Post
I think your plan sounds great and in fact it sounds very much like our plan for K!! We are focusing on the 3R's and our weekly co-op takes care of Social Studies as we usually do a holiday-centered theme, or visit places out in our community, etc. We also plan on keeping one day to explore something DS is interested in. Not meaning to hijack your thread, just want to show you that our plan is similar! Good luck
Yeah, I was thinking of having Friday be a relaxed day where we just kind of read through our library books and maybe watch a video that is related to our science/ social studies theme. Glad to know others do this. It's so hard to know what's a good idea when you're first starting out!

Thank you everyone for your responses!
post #9 of 23
That is nearly exactly what we did starting halfway through our K year. We spent the first part of that year unschooling until DD made some comments that let me know she was feeling like she wasn't learning enough (though she was---she just felt like we should be doing more). She plowed through the K materials we started in Jan of that year quickly, and then has moved on through 1st grade stuff now. We are very, very relaxed, and it was nice to spend that first year feeling things out and deciding what would be a good fit for us. I think your plan is fantastic!!
post #10 of 23
When you consider that kindergarten was specifically created for creative play and some very simple group play activities to get children ready for formal studies (intro of numbers and letters) that were to begin the following year in the 1st grade, and that generations of us did nothing but play in kindergarten, hear a story or do a little circle game or song with the teacher, and play some more, and still successfully went on to 1st grade and all the rest of our school years, I say YES, it's okay to just wing it!

I know plenty of grown homeschool grads who did no math or pre-reading activities at that age, and it didn't affect their later learning and academic success in any way. My son learned to read when he was almost seven, and he was easily ready for college classes in his teens. There's no hurry whatsoever. So don't put any stress on yourself - enjoy and have fun.

- Lillian
post #11 of 23
My kid will be 5 in late August too. We're doing less than you are. I guess we're unschooling. We are indeed working on writing and math and all that, but I have zero curriculum or schedule and I'm not concerned about it. DD is definitely learning even without anything formal, and in fact initiates "sessions" herself ("I want to write letters now, will you help me?" "Let's play counting with these beans" etc.).
post #12 of 23
I agree, your plan sounds great. I don't think pressure to learn is very effective, but especially with children so young. I think your kiddo will love your plan for him
post #13 of 23
I`ve never bought a big boxed curriculum set, in fact we didn`t use any formal curriculum books until grade 2. We winged it for JK, SK and grade 1 just with books and activities I pulled together from time to time from the internet, library and made up stuff. We finally bought formal math curricula for grade 2 because I couldn`t keep up with his demand for it, he loves math. My IL`s were so worried about my relaxed approach to hs, they weren`t supportive of hs to begin with, but they would be a lot more comfortable if we were doing a school-at-home approach where you have a textbook for every subject and sit at the table on schedule every day- so not my style! They can balk at all they want at my approach but my ds is reading and doing math about 2 grade levels ahead of public school, so it must be working for him! They`re starting to see the light and are much less anal about our hs now. I`m getting into purchasing more formal curriculum as we go on, as I am feeling less creative and with 3 kids I don`t have the time to put into pulling it all together myself. We are using science curriculum this year, math (Teaching Textbooks 5), history (Story of the World), Bible (Rod and Staff), and I haven`t decided on a language arts program yet- I may wing it with that one while using some Rod & Staff books, want to focus a lot more on writing and spelling this year- this is for my 8 yr old. My dd is 6 and going into grade 1, she sits in on our Bible, science and history lessons (it`s interesting reading and fun activities) and she begged and pleaded for workbooks this year so I got her a few Rod & Staff activity books which she loves.
post #14 of 23
Yes! Wing it!
post #15 of 23
If it makes you feel any better, my ds will be 5 in august too. Our school system's cutoff date is aug1, so technically, he wouldn't start K until NEXT year! That is why I am "winging it" this year and doing K work with him. I figure, if I totally screw it up, I get a do-over next year!
post #16 of 23
My dd is starting K this year too and we're pretty much winging it too. Right now we're hsing for K because we'll be moving this year and don't know when yet so I don't want her to change schools mid-year and DH agreed. I'm just starting to think about what we'll work on and do this year but it's not going to be a box curriculum. I have the World Book course of study and frameworks for our state as a guide just to make sure we're on track in case she goes to ps next year.

It'll most likely just be reading, writing, and simple math with some social studies and science from library books for us.
post #17 of 23
I didn't read all the responses, but as someone starting their 7th year hs'ing, I think you have the right idea! Winging it is the best way to learn to listen to your child and figure out what works and what doesn't. Have a great time!

We did a set curriculum our first year. It was okay. We had to modify everything and I quickly discovered tons of greater resources out there and things that worked better for my kiddo. I wouldn't mind having that time and money back. LOL
post #18 of 23
Yes! Winging it is the best way.

Here was my kinder plan...

Buy a Calendar your child likes. Do calendar and weather each day. Mark the weather on the calendar. Learn about any holidays or special days all year long. Practice handwriting and learn to read and count to 100 and count backward and then by 2's, 10's. You have it all covered!
post #19 of 23
yes thats great, I wish I would have winged it instead we bought Calverts boxed curric for K and I feel it dumbed him down, I should have jusr went with my insticts and abilty to do it on my own , GL
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebsy View Post
Math: continuing to work on basic math skills/concepts....no plan for a strict curriculum currently
Kitchen Table Math Book 1
by Chris Wright
For parents of children ages 2-8. A step-by-step guide to how you can help your child develop good math skills and do well in school. It also includes activities and games so that you and your child can have fun while exploring these early stages of your child's mathematical journey.

This looks like a cool resource for teaching math to young kids without a formal curriculum. You can find it at www.artofproblemsolving.com This is the best site for secondary math, but you have a long time before you need it. They keep expanding their offerings, but for now this is it for the early elementary crowd.
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