What does kindergarten look like in your house? (and more) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 12-19-2012, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have always wanted to home school but now that DD1 is 4.5 I am trying to assess if this is what's best for her/me/us/our family.  I also have a 2.5 y/o and am due with baby #3 in mid-May.  DH is concerned (This is in a loving way, not a bad way.  He's not being controlling and will support me either way.)  that I will be overwhelmed trying to adjust to/care for a 3rd child and home school.  He also pointed out that DD would really love being with the other kids and I agree with that.  She does well with lots of social input.

So I am trying to figure out what is realistic as far as expectations go.  I know it will look different for everyone and not all learning is done formally but DD does love structured learning and workbooks.  Can you tell me what your kindergartener's day/week looks like?  How much focused time does it take for you?

I am thinking realistically maybe an hour to hour and a half with some breaks in there for wiggles. 

There is a home school co-op on Mondays from 1 to 3.  I worry about this time a little with a baby developing into a sleep rythm. However, I also worry about a stringent pick-up drop-off time with going to school so that's not a huge concern.

She goes to Awanas at church on Thursday nights.  I would like to get her into gymnastics if we can.  She also goes to Sunday School each week.  Obviously, there are also other random outings and play-times that are not regularly scheduled. 

Thoughts?  Can you tell me about starting with a new baby in the house?


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#2 of 29 Old 12-20-2012, 08:37 AM
 
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I don't have a whole lot of advice but I am in the same boat as you! I have 2 yo DD and we just found out we are expecting #3 due in August.

We tried PS with DD1 and just pulled her out. I found she was being taught how to perform and behave to their standards but not necessarily HOW to learn or think on her own. Anyway, we are just starting and we are taking a very lax approach. Personally, I think at 5 yo, kindergarten should be pretty low-key. We have a lazy morning typically. I kind of take an unschooling approach. We do work on some formal things like sight words and numbers, but otherwise we just let her lead. She has been really interested in invertebrates (DH brought home some oysters to eat the other day and she was fascinated with that) so we have been reading about shellfish, butterflies and earthworms. We do lots of experiments, we grew salt crystals and learned about filters with beans and a colander (which was spurred from learning about sea sponges and filter feeding)She also likes workbooks so we have done some very simple arithmetic ones for counting. She loves art so I always have paper, paint, pencils, glitter, glue and other art supplies available. I make sure we get outside everyday. Once we finally get a second car we will do some field trips to local museums and parks. I do my best to not let my type A personality take over and just relax and let go. It is amazing what kids will learn when left on their own to explore and ask questions!

 

Our  2 year old is pretty content to tag along with whatever we do. She is pretty strong-willed though so that may change but for a now she just joins in the fun. I am determined to get her potty-trained before the new baby. I am also worried about having a new baby in the mix, but the beauty of homeschooling is that we can adjust and change as needed. I am so thankful I won't have to get up at 6:30 to sign papers, pack lunches and shuttle to school with a newborn. I will be nursing round the clock at first and I will just have to help DD read books, show her new things on the internet and surpervise art projects with a baby attached to the boob. I consider it a lesson in child development and neonatal care!
 


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#3 of 29 Old 12-20-2012, 10:03 AM
 
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We are pretty relaxed over here...and don't really have a set schedule at all :) I aim to practice math and reading 2-3 times a week (formally at least, obviously she is getting exposure to math and reading through other activities all the time.) Right now I am trying Reading Eggs for reading practice-I have tried Explode the Code, Bob books, and a couple of other things but she just isn't that into it-she doesn't love Reading Eggs either, but it is the best we can come up with for now!

 

I use Right Start Math Level A and that has been going well-very hands on, and it just takes maybe 15 minutes a day to do the lesson and then we will play one of the games for a little while long until her interested wanes. 

 

We also do various science experiements as they come up, and use Five in a Row to cover other subjects, though this has tapered off a bit since the beginning of the year. Spanish, crafts, nature stuff, etc. just kind of happens.  Apparently I am really terrible at being structured :)

 

I also have a 2.5 year old-we used to "do school" during his nap, which worked great and we got a lot more done...until he stopped napping!  This has definitely caused us to slide more towards an unschooling attitude because is is so tough for her to focus on anything with little bro wanting in on the action.  This is getting a little easier as he gets closer to 3 and I can adapt some of the activities for him too. 

 

I obviously don't have a new baby as well, but my advice is to start very slow with whatever she enjoys doing...read lots of books, do lots of crafts, and throw the other stuff in wherever you can!  If you are worried about her keeping up, you can do a search for the educational standards for each grade/subject in your state.  I checked out the K ones and we are right on target, despite not formally doing school for more than a couple of hours a week :)

 

Good luck, hope that helps!


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#4 of 29 Old 12-20-2012, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you ladies for the input so far.  I guess I am in part feeling a bit pressured to make sure it's "right" (whatever that means) because SIL is a teacher and MIL is an OT.  This is probably mostly my perception and not so much what they say, although I think there is some of that.  I know I need to do what is right for my child and my family regardless though.


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#5 of 29 Old 12-21-2012, 06:24 AM
 
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My boy is 4 years and 4 months and we do Sonlight P4/5 which is mainly literature based and awesome, All about reading's pre-reading program, then loads of arts and crafts and playing. I dont have a structure, which I reckon will come more this coming year(our school year starts in January)..as he is getting older and with nr 3 coming in July, I think structure will be good. 

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#6 of 29 Old 12-21-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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Ds is kinder age this year.  He goes to a co-op 3 days a week (2 days without me and one day I am there as a teacher).  We hang out with friends on other days.  We do a lot of crafts.  We have a DreamboxLearning membership and a ReadingEggs membership and he plays those sometimes.  We go to the library and check out whatever books he wants.  We read a lot.  He helps make dinner most days.  We bake and cook and go for walks.  He helps me take care of the 18month old I watch.  We pretty much just hang out.

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#7 of 29 Old 12-21-2012, 10:55 PM
 
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I have one in 1st, one in K this year, and a baby born last spring (so during the spring of our K year with my 1st).  

 

Homeschooling is a very different animal than school-schooling ;), but you probably already know that.  The skills our local schools cover for kindergarten were/are easily just a part of the life we live.  If you read a lot, talk about what you do and see, discuss numbers and letters/words, it isn't really more than that.  I guess there is the handwriting practice... we started that more now this year, though.  It's not a race.    

 

It can work very well to homeschool K with 3 kids.  I actually found that we did more focused learning when the baby was small and not as busy.  This fall/winter has gotten harder with crawling and cabinets... :)

 

We're only in our second year, so I am NOT an expert.  I have just been surprised at how much the kids grow and learn and discover as we live.  I am also NOT an unschooler.  I have many cirricula that we draw from (which I choose).  Some we do regularly, some we use periodically.  Even being a "non-unschooler" our structured time is very flexible, and with K and 1st it isn't particularly long.  My DD loves history, so we do a lot of fun things with that.  My DS loves the math book we have, so we will often do a couple lessons when we do use it.  We do read together a lot, though, outside of "school" time. 

 

It's funny, I've had to make a few of the things we do be more "sit-down and play we are doing school" than they actually need to be, purely so the kids can answer questions like "what do you do for school?" and answer Daddy "what did you learn for school today?".  There isn't a natural division in life between living and learning, and my poor kids were always so confused and awkward when the questions would be asked of friends/relatives/Daddy every night at supper!!!?!  

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#8 of 29 Old 12-22-2012, 07:06 AM
 
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i would say an hour or so a day is very realistic. i consider myself a more structured homeschooler & our days in K were very fun and rather short. as for what our days looked like, they involved a lot of hands-on learning.  even for math, phonics, writing, etc. we would often learn through games.  my daughter is 11 now, but this was her K schedule. my son is 8, but his k schedule was similar, gentle and fun.

 

hope it helps.

 

 

MONDAY
Math
Phonics /Reading/Writing

Nature Walk/Study
Piano Lesson


TUESDAY
Math
Phonics /Reading/Writing

Science

Library Outing

Sewing / Gardening Co-op

 

 WEDNESDAY
Math
Phonics /Reading/Writing

Social Studies

Nature Walk/Study

Piano Practice

 

THURSDAY
Math
Phonics /Reading/Writing

Science

Bible

Piano Practice

 

 

FRIDAY

Math
Phonics /Reading/Writing

Social Studies

Game Center

Piano Practice

 


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#9 of 29 Old 12-22-2012, 01:39 PM
 
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I just pulled ds (5) out of public school because it was crushing his love of learning, so this is all new to me, but right now we do about two hours a day of either reading, writing or math. I'm really trying to make it very unlike school, so I'm not using worksheets at all. The rest of our days are unplanned. We go to the museum or the library, do an art project, make crepes. I'm trying to follow his lead. 

 

Next month I'll be working two days per week, so ds will go to our friends' houses on those days (also HSers), and DH will do science experiments (and other math-related stuff) on Saturdays, so I can get work done. We'll see how that all works out!

 

I don't have younger kids. DD is 15, so I don't have the same challenges you're facing, but I did homeschool dd with a newborn, and it didn't work out for us, but I realize now that I was being way too hard on myself and stressing myself out. If I could go back and do it over again, I would have let her do much more self-guided learning. 

 

Good luck!


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#10 of 29 Old 12-22-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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I never did anything special for the kindergarten years.  I had (have) good materials around: interesting books (not necessarily written for kids--the big books are often more engaging), tools to draw, create and measure, free access to most of those tools and endless quantities of paper and scotch tape.  We get 2 different Highlight puzzle books, which are expensive but well-loved.  We watch a lot of videos about nature and science (and our fair share of junk!)  I try to make my life open to them.  We read together.  We explore together.  We are on no schedule and do no formal schooling at the moment.  DD1 is round about 2nd grade-ish, and dd2 was going to be "kindy" (I would have enrolled her this year if I was planning to PS her) but somehow she just kind of slid into more 1st-grade territory and we never really had a "kindy year" precisely.


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#11 of 29 Old 12-24-2012, 04:54 AM
 
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"I never did anything special for the kindergarten years.  I had (have) good materials around: interesting books (not necessarily written for kids--the big books are often more engaging), tools to draw, create and measure, free access to most of those tools and endless quantities of paper and scotch tape.  We get 2 different Highlight puzzle books, which are expensive but well-loved.  We watch a lot of videos about nature and science (and our fair share of junk!)  I try to make my life open to them.  We read together.  We explore together.  We are on no schedule and do no formal schooling at the moment."

 

Totally this. Its about doing what is developmentally appropriate, IMO. Those years are for something, there is a kind of learning that they just do best at when they are between around 3-7-that imaginative, play based, experiential learning where every new idea gets incorporated into a game. They need that, IMO. 

 

I think there's nothing wrong with introducing a bit of academics at this age, I mean, I don't think its harmful or anything. I just don't think it is necessary. They will learn the same stuff very quickly a few years down the line, my older two, who left kindergarten aged 7 having done nothing but play, were at or above their grade level for maths and, once they'd learnt to read, went directly to books a a reading age at or above their chronological ages. With my youngest I have no qualms about doing "nothing" with her for her kindergarten year.

 

But I think it can be helpful sometimes , especially first time around, to feel like you are doing something, or to get some structure in place, or what have you: I don't think twenty minutes a day of learning to read will really harm any kid especially if it puts their parents in a place where they feel able to homeschool.

 

We actually have a couple of computer based programs for my youngest (kindy age, I think, she is rising 5) that she enjoys, that she uses as and when. Because she does not otherwise really watch tv, use computers etc, I'm ok with her having this time as and when she wants it, maybe twenty minutes a few times a week. The advantage possibly for some families would be that the sites do actually give you a "reading age" and a "maths age" for the child so you have a sense of where they are. Not something I'm at all bothered about-I couldn't tell you what my 4 year old's is. TBH the main reason I have her on these "educational" sites not anything else is that because the educational sites do make you work, they are self limiting, she won't stay on them for hours. What I see as her actual education-well tbh I think 4,5,6,7 is too young anyway to be thinking in terms of "education" but if pushed, I'd see it as what SweetSilver talks about.


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#12 of 29 Old 12-24-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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I had kids who were precociously academic at age 4/5/6, and I completely agree with SweetSilver and Fillyjonk. I did not sit them down and say "school time" at those ages. Their lives encompassed lots of learning which might have been overtly taught in an adult-directed way in a school situation, and I did make an effort to notice and document those for my own peace of mind. But we didn't do any of that stuff in a formal adult-led structured way. 

 

We did have a rhythm to our days, because that was helpful in managing and meeting the needs of three or four young children and their mom. Craft-like things tended to take place after breakfast. Outside time in the late morning or early afternoon. After meals was a good time to initiate any parent-assisted activities the kids wanted to do. Evenings were when we did most of our reading aloud. That sort of thing. But sit-down schooling? No, not at that age, except on rare occasions when a child would say "mommy, I want to learn how to print, can you show me?" or "can I do some math in a workbook?" or some other such request. Those things did happen here, but always completely child-led.

 

By 2nd/3rd grade level we were doing little bits of math bookwork semi-regularly. Twenty minutes or so, maybe two to four times a week. Gradually as the kids got older they wanted to add a bit more structured learning in and we did exactly that. My 9-year-old youngest is at a 7th/8th grade level and does maybe an hour of sit-down learning about three times a week, on a good week. Not much, I suppose. Most of her learning is, as has been the case all along, integrated with her life and not separated out as a block of time with a curriculum. 

 

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#13 of 29 Old 12-25-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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I think a couple of books on this might be useful?  I left a copy of Unschool Rules by Clark Aldridge in the bathroom for my husband to read.  thumb.gif  It is really simple and light but gets to the heart of the ideas behind child focused learning in the family.

 

We have a 5 year old and a 9 year old.  They have no screen time between 9 and 4 all week unless we're sitting together working on something, but otherwise they are free to do what they like.

 

It sort of looks like this:

 

Social stuff:  Ice skating, play centres, swimming, weekly playground meet, play dates and days out with friends - whether to museums or a chocolate factory or the woods.  Obviously, the other social stuff they do is just like anyone else - shopping, going to the doctor/dentist/cinema/cafe, a closed safe forum to chat on, negotiating needs within the family...

 

Maths:  Board games, measuring, cutting, folding, card games, mirrors, cooking and baking, sharing slices of pizza or melon - our eldest was taught to hate maths at school.  He doesn't even realise that he's been 'doing maths' at home, nor has he realised yet that he's actually getting pretty good at it.

 

Literacy:  Comics, annuals, story books, picture books, non-fiction ranging from cookery books to lift the flap kids' stuff to adult text books (for the 9 year old).  These boys read anything and everything.  I didn't even know the youngest could read when he was at school.  He was bringing home books he hated and refusing to touch them.  The first day after he left school he spent a long, long time reading me the Beano with sheer joy on his face.  I read to them, we talk about books and compare them to each other, or the films or talk about the characters or the plots and draw pictures of them or make things out of the books.  I don't ask them to write.  They play games that improve their motor skills and are learning to touch type.  They write remarkably often given that they're never asked to do it and used to scream over doing homework.

 

History:  Books, museums, documentaries - a surprising amount of useful stuff appears on the BBC children's programmes, especially Horrible Histories.  Talking to people should never be underestimated.  A couple of days ago they were hiding in a Morrison shelter with a friend, trying on gas masks.  A couple of days before that they were asking me about life before computers and how old telephones worked.

 

Geography:  Nothing like watching the developments of the area just by being in it every day - building work, people renovating their houses, roads being resurfaced, a huge, stone, Victorian pipe being replaced after a crater appeared in the road when it split.  They use their atlases, watch programmes, try out food from other countries but there's a lot to find out very close to home too.

 

Sciences:  We just keep giving them opportunities to learn about the world and how it works - there are lots of books, we talk about our bodies, watch youtube videos and TED talks and do 'experiments' that look very much like playing (because that's exactly what it is) and we have a couple of periodic tables dotted around - it's our 'biggest thing' because the eldest is very able in this area.  We clean the fish tank water and learn about the nitrogen cycle and train the dog and look for spiders and take pictures of webs and put mints in cola and measure our lung volume blowing up balloons etc.  

 

Music - we have a piano, flute, guitars, recorders, bongos, we make shakers, we listen to music and dance.

 

Art - they draw and paint and make things from play dough and clay and junk model and go to art galleries and take endless digital photographs.

 

IT - well, they already know more than me and the eldest is learning basic programming with his dad.  They use photoshop and the BBC and google earth and google sky and club penguin and are highly capable and carefully supervised.

 

They are learning so many skills that were being stifled in school - they follow their interests, make their own lunches (with help) tidy up now, sometimes without being asked (oh the tears when I asked them to do this after an exhausting school day!) they go ask if they can't find something in a supermarket, they plan their days, they sort out problems often without help, they can say when they're too tired to do any more.

 

There's so much more but that's a summary.  It really doesn't look like school and it doesn't look much like 'learning' if you think of learning as sitting at desks, quietly writing.  But it's surprising how it's developing and I'm very hopeful for them.  A friend told me their faces look like they've been 'ironed smooth'.  A 5 year old should never have had that much stress on their face that they can look so different just from not being at school any more but they are genuinely thriving now rather than having a very unhappy time where they were.

 

I would still choose school as a first option, for finances and time and my own career, and because when it works schools are great places - but for my boys, for now this is what we should be doing and I'm very content with that.

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#14 of 29 Old 12-25-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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I should add that I am also a student and fitting in my work just fine.  We sit and read together or I work while they're doing junk modelling or painting or I work after dinner and my husband takes over.  Sometimes he takes time off during the day and works in the evening instead.  It's pretty easy going really - no battles to get them doing stuff they don't want to do (except maybe take a bath!)  They are using the skills I want them to develop and learning what they want to learn so I can let them get on with it and help where I'm needed, backing off when I'm not.

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#15 of 29 Old 12-26-2012, 02:04 PM
 
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I am in between I guess.  I chose a curriculum (My Father's World) so I would at least have something to go on.  My Kindergartener is pretty easy going and we do worksheets when he wants to do school.  Otherwise we have tons of books, paper, colors, scissors, glue and free time.  I did get him a penmanship workbook that he loved doing- and I just ordered him the first grade version.  We don't do too much structured school with him.  My first grader is again using MFW 1st grade and we have done much more structured work with her.  Now that she is reading pretty well it is so much easier.  She can do some math on her own (I am using Singapore) and she does a reading/phonics with me and then she summaries in a writing/drawing journal at the end.  Science is mostly in the kitchen, bath or garden at this point.  We are usually done in about an hour with structured school- and I have 5 kids with my first grader being the oldest.  It can be done.  But most of our learning comes from outside of structured school- you will be amazed at how much they learn just living :)


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#16 of 29 Old 12-26-2012, 09:07 PM
 
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My DS was kindergarten age last year.  We did nothing formal for reading, because he was already a pretty good reader at the start of the school year and chose to spend a lot of time reading.  I did spend some time teaching him how to form lowercase letters correctly and asked him to do a bit of practice writing.  I had him do some math worksheets and taught him how to recognize and count coins.  Science and social studies consisted largely of me reading him books on science or social studies topics.  We also took some field trips, did a few science experiments, played with Snap Circuits, and spent time outside catching and observing things like frogs, salamanders, and caterpillars.  We definitely averaged less than an hour a day doing sit-down schoolwork type things.  (Unless you count read-aloud time, which happens every evening, in addition to whatever I might read aloud during the day.)

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#17 of 29 Old 12-27-2012, 03:52 AM
 
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Just a quick one about this morning, with the 9 year old who 'hates' maths.  We're on holiday at my husband's parents' house.

 

He spent some time, while watching Ice Age, trying to work out how statistically likely it was that he would be born when Ice Age 1 came out, given that my husband and I had met, but hadn't decided to get married or have children at that point.  He didn't know how many sperms would have been trying to get to the egg so his calculations broke down at this point - but can't do maths?!  I love that this is how his brain works and I'm just waiting for him to realise it so we can get down to it, but I'm giving him time to realise for himself that school made him think he couldn't do it and that's all it is - just a belief that can be undone.

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#18 of 29 Old 12-27-2012, 08:17 AM
 
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Our schedule/routine went something like this:

 

Monday-Wednesday, Friday: breakfast, chores, activities in the morning, lunch, nature walk, nap/rest time, snack, free play, dinner, etc.

Thursday: breakfast, chores, women's group at church (the girls went to the preschool class), lunch, etc.

 

"School" activities included workbooks (for my oldest only since she loved workbooks; I got them where ever I could find them including at the grocery store), play dough, magnetic letters and numbers, board and card games, glue, scissors, old magazines, colored pencils, crayons, paint, paint brushes (both for paint and for water), chalk (chalk board and sidewalk), markers, etc.  In general lots of craft and art supplies.  Dried beans, pasta, bits of fabric, buttons, trims, etc.  I did some themes based on the seasons and holidays but, in general, they picked what they wanted to do.  We did a lot of talking about measuring, fractions, colors, shapes, numbers, quantity, spacial awareness as we went about our day.  We read books and went to the library.

 

As we added academics starting with 1st grade, the schedule looked like this: reading, writing, math, morning snack and "recess" (first started because I needed to nurse my 3rd about mid morning and just continued); history/social studies alternated with science every other day; lunch, art/music, free play, etc.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#19 of 29 Old 12-28-2012, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all so much for sharing!  I really really appreciate it.  It is building my confidence that this is something that is doable!  I am working on getting things a little more organized around here to free up time to spend one some more focused activities (we'll see how that plays out when #3 is born).  DD loves learning and I have so enjoyed watching things click and come together for her.  It's fun that she is so curious right now so we are just talking about a lot of things and playing with things to learn.  It sounds like kindergarten will be more of the same.  

I would like to check what is generally expected to be covered in kindergarten.   Does anyone have a link to what things should be covered in kindergarten?  I am having a hard time finding a concise list.  I will take it at her pace but I would like to try to make sure I'm not missing things.

My SIL gave me all her homeschool material from kinder/1st grade but it's not a curriculum set so I need to sort through it all and figure out what is what and what will work for us.  She tends to be very academically focused so I may need to make some adjustments.

 

Well, we saw menorah tonight at Target and now DD wants to learn more about that so I need to go look up some info.  My brief summary only seemed to increase her wonder!


Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and expecting one very wiggly baby boy in May 2013!

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#20 of 29 Old 12-28-2012, 09:53 PM
 
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Thank you ladies for the input so far.  I guess I am in part feeling a bit pressured to make sure it's "right" (whatever that means) because SIL is a teacher and MIL is an OT.  This is probably mostly my perception and not so much what they say, although I think there is some of that.  I know I need to do what is right for my child and my family regardless though.

 

Ah! You might enjoy this article by The Alliance for Childhood - Crisis in Education, Why Children Need to Play in School. Be sure to read A Call to Action on the Education of Young Children in Appendix A, page 63 - it's signed by some pretty impressive, well known educators.  

 

- Lillian

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#21 of 29 Old 12-28-2012, 11:22 PM
 
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i havent read the other responses, so sorry if i'm repeating.  my children are 1, 3, 5, and 6......so i just did kindergarten last year with my oldest and now i'm starting with my 5 yr old.  we do Sonlight 3/4 and p4/5 because we really like reading and literature based learning.  we also do Singapore Math, Handwriting Without Tears, Ordinary Parents Guide To Teaching Reading, and Explode the Code.  We also do AWANA, Sunday School, and a homeschool co-op.  I got 2 books on Amazon that are useful.....What your Kindergartener Needs to Know, and Home Learning Year by Year.  I LOVE homeschooling for so many reasons....more family time, more flexibility, able to pick your own resources, able to teaching according to the interests and level of your child, able to integrate religion...the list goes on and on.   So far, I'm happy with my decision. 

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#22 of 29 Old 12-29-2012, 04:04 AM
 
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http://www.allianceforchildhood.org/sites/allianceforchildhood.org/files/file/kindergarten_report.pdf  I found this somewhere - maybe here?  I thought it was relevant for this thread. 

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#23 of 29 Old 12-29-2012, 10:11 AM
 
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This website might be useful for you.  http://www.handinhandhomeschool.com/resources/teachkindergarten.php  Also check your state's dept. of education's scope and sequence for Kindergarten.  In CA, it's called content standards and is divided by subjects, not grade levels.  In my experience most of Kindergarten can be taught through day to day living and doesn't require any special textbooks or curriculum.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#24 of 29 Old 12-29-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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Also check your state's dept. of education's scope and sequence for Kindergarten.  In CA, it's called content standards and is divided by subjects, not grade levels.  In my experience most of Kindergarten can be taught through day to day living and doesn't require any special textbooks or curriculum.

 

While it may be helpful to check your state's content standards or prescribed learning outcomes or whatever they're called, I've found that for myself doing so really worked against me having faith your second statement ... which I believe to be completely and totally true. Those scope and sequence documents tend to take very ordinary developmental learning that most children undertake naturally with nothing more than interesting lives surrounding them, and couch it in terms that make it sound so complicated and intentional that you'd think it would need curricular engineering. 

 

Since kindergarten is not compulsory where I live, and since my children were not going to be tested on their adherence to a KG scope and sequence I found it best to hold those documents very much at arms length. General awareness of their content and their silly language was perhaps helpful. Detailed reading of them during times when I was planning or evaluating my homeschooling strategy tended to awaken all my neurotic penchant for detailed planning -- and guilt over not following through, not covering everything, not planning and executing detailed 'lessons.' Very counter-productive, when my kids were obviously, in the big picture, learning wonderfully by living interesting lives led forth simply by their own curiosities.

 

Just my experience.

 

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#25 of 29 Old 12-30-2012, 08:05 AM
 
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While it may be helpful to check your state's content standards or prescribed learning outcomes or whatever they're called, I've found that for myself doing so really worked against me having faith your second statement ... which I believe to be completely and totally true. Those scope and sequence documents tend to take very ordinary developmental learning that most children undertake naturally with nothing more than interesting lives surrounding them, and couch it in terms that make it sound so complicated and intentional that you'd think it would need curricular engineering. 

 

Since kindergarten is not compulsory where I live, and since my children were not going to be tested on their adherence to a KG scope and sequence I found it best to hold those documents very much at arms length. General awareness of their content and their silly language was perhaps helpful. Detailed reading of them during times when I was planning or evaluating my homeschooling strategy tended to awaken all my neurotic penchant for detailed planning -- and guilt over not following through, not covering everything, not planning and executing detailed 'lessons.' Very counter-productive, when my kids were obviously, in the big picture, learning wonderfully by living interesting lives led forth simply by their own curiosities.

 

Just my experience.

 

Miranda


Just goes to show how people think differently.  I took the scope and sequence terms and redefined them in every day language, then rewrote what we did back into educational language to fulfill state requirements just in case we came to their attention.  But while I found it easy to interpret the elementary school scope and sequence, the high school one is much harder so I went the charter school route this time around and let my educational facilitator (the school's term for her) do that for me.


Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#26 of 29 Old 12-30-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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But while I found it easy to interpret the elementary school scope and sequence, the high school one is much harder so ...

 

That's funny, I found the opposite. KG and 1st were the toughest, with the weirdest most flowery language to describe the most basic of developmental achievements, while things got progressively simpler as the years progressed.

 

For instance, the language arts document for kindergarten consists of nine pages of expectations like these:

 

respond to prompts such as reminder cues and informal symbols

use gestures and other nonverbal means to communicate more
effectively
use sound/word discrimination to
– indicate when words or sounds are the same or different
– identify which word is different when given a choice of three
– tell the difference between single speech sounds when given
a choice of three 
– identify alliteration
use segmentation to
– clap or count the words in a three‐ to six‐word sentence 
– clap or count the syllables in a one‐ to three‐syllable word 
– identify two words in a compound word
– identify the first sound and ending sound in a one‐syllable
word
sequentially look at pictures in the text to build schema for
reading (e.g., picture walk)

 

There are hundreds of such points, just for Language Arts. Just figuring out what each point means takes a long time. Many of them are just "duh!" things (like the second point in my list above, which just means "nods or shakes head to emphasize a response"), but it's an intimidating document. I suppose it depends a lot on your jurisdiction.

 

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#27 of 29 Old 12-30-2012, 09:46 AM
 
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I downloaded my state's requirements mostly just for reference-since this is my first time homeschooling and because I have a decent amount of outside pressure to do it "right" (hah!) I found it helpful to go through and check off what she has already accomplished and make a note of things I'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.  This is also handy to show to doubters :) We don't have to report anything or take any tests until dd will be in 3rd grade, so it is also good for me to make sure I am generally on the right track. 

 

I agree with the PP that at first the list was pretty intimidating-there are tons of bullet points and some of them seem hard at first-until I read through and realized they were really simple points and most were definitely accomplished through everyday living and our very basic instruction. 


Single mama namaste.gif to dd dust.gifand ds fencing.gif, loving my dsd always reading.gif .
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#28 of 29 Old 12-30-2012, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!  The Hand In Hand scope and sequence was just what I was looking for.  (I was having a hard time finding our state's.)  While I do believe in learning through play and not being overly structured I wanted the scope and sequence for a few reasons:

1.  DD actually does significantly better with more semi-structured activity.  She does have some minor sensory issues so I am flexible about it but it really helps her.  I am NOT a structured person by nature so I actually need things to help me help DD in this way.

2.  In connection with point two DD is also very curious and sometimes I need ideas to keep her challenged. 

3.  I have always wanted to home school but also have always viewed it as something we would do until it wasn't right for us, IF that day comes.  That may be for many different reasons.  Should we need to integrate into a public or private system I don't want to be too far behind. 

 

DD taught us VERY early on that she is not going to do something before SHE is ready so I won't be pushing things.  She already has a good grasp of many of the concepts listed and I can see how the other things would be learned very naturally over the next year and a half.


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#29 of 29 Old 12-30-2012, 05:58 PM
 
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We are kind of doing K and pre-K together for my almost 5 and almost 6 year olds.  They went to preschool before and really enjoyed it - but we can't afford to have them continue going, and "big kid" school is a whole 'nother animal.  Still, they discovered they really enjoy crafts and worksheets and that kind of stuff.  So we set up a homeschool room where they have their "cubbies" and we have a round table and chairs and such so we can work formally.  Their choice, not mine. I download various themed curricula from free sites and we go at it.  When the weather is good (we're snowbound right now for example) we visit the library at least once a week, for group storytime and also to check out books, both fiction and nonfiction.  They also have various little workbooks they enjoy.  And we do various craft kits etc.  Other than that most of their toys are educational to a degree (like pattern blocks, marble runs, matching games, things like that) so we spend some time reading together, some time doing household stuff (like cooking, measuring, etc), some formal worksheet time, some arts... and then the rest of the time they just play with whatever interests them.

 

I'm 9 months pregnant right now so we're taking the rest of January off (we are going to do full year schooling anyway) and I've ordered some textbooks for them to start with in the spring semester.  We have strict homeschooling regs in our state so I will have to submit a full curriculum to the school board in the spring, gah.

 

Next year we'll also add in a homeschool program at the Y for them which is once a week art, gym, and music.  Probably also one extracurricular class each (DD wants to do ballet, DS isn't sure yet).  DS would have been old enough for the Y program this year but I didn't want DD to feel left out, plus I didn't want to be preggers and lugging them around really.  So she'll be in K and he'll be in 1st when they start that.  They're also going to do a week of camp each in the summer.  We have a couple of homeschool activities that we've gone on with local groups (apple farm field trip, nursing home visit) but the groups aren't totally active here, small town.  We do some stuff on our own, like donating goods to the hungry, going to the pumpkin patch, going on the train - and we call them "field trips" and learn about them via books before we go.  And honestly if I wasn't so exhausted/sick we would have gone on tons more nature walks etc - we live in a gorgeous area but I just didn't have the energy.  We'll do more next year.

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