kindergarten homeschool questions! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-07-2013, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I would like to know what a typical school day looks like for Moms of kindergarteners who are homeschooling.
What is your school schedule like?
what kind of curriculum do you use?
Do you meet with other Moms of kindergarteners for socilization?
How many days of the week do you have school time and for how many hours a day?
Did your child have preschool at home too?
Do you do field trips and if so, do you have them do any writing or anything on the field trip?

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#2 of 10 Old 02-07-2013, 06:14 AM
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My DD just turned 5 and so we are starting to ease into HS. We've actually been doing it all along since she was a year. We don't have a cirrculum picked out yet, nor do we have much structure with our day. We go with the flow right now. DD is very interested in learning... writing, reading, art, and so we go with that. Our 2-year-old DS follows along. When we get to the age that we have to report DD, which is not until next fall (2014, late birthday), I will pick out a cirriculum. So, I guess we'll be unschoolers for a bit longer. DD and DS have never been to daycare, preschool, pre-k, etc. Once the cirriculum is chosen, we'll make a schedule, but generally speaking, learning at our house will be 24/7 365/year, more than satisfying our state's requirement. I think at this age an hour at a time is good and then increase as tolerated, needed. We've been a one-car family since late last summer and that will change next week. We'll be doing more outings soon and as the weather gets better. Kids have a lot of friends in the neighborhood. Hope that gives you more of a perspective.

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#3 of 10 Old 02-07-2013, 07:33 AM
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You won't find anything like "typical" in homeschooling, especially amongst such young children. I don't even think the concept of average carries much validity. There's just so much variety, so many possible great approaches, and you don't necessarily get the best of all of them by choosing the middle path. You get the best for your child by discovering what's the best for him or her.


We used no curriculum for kindergarten. We lived our lives. The kids were involved in daily life around home and pursued whatever interests they had. My kids were all reading well by kindergarten, but I read aloud to them whatever they wanted. We had a few mathematical and science tools around to help with whatever child-directed exploration they wanted to do. We were out in the natural world and in our community a lot. They were busy with their interests and I did my best to support that. I had interests I was involved in that got me social contact with other adults. I didn't make a point of hanging out with other parents who had kids who were five. My kids had a few friends whom we saw semi-regularly, and they were involved in music which brought them into contact with a nice group of kids of a variety of ages. 


Gradually by 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade we introduced a little more intentional learning, rather than just sticking with the learning that came naturally through life and natural interests. Not much curriculum, but a bit. My kids have tended to be academically quite advanced despite our organic approach.



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#4 of 10 Old 02-07-2013, 11:04 AM
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I'll be revisiting Kindergarten with my daughter next year. The following is what I remember from when I did it with the boys.  

One of the main reasons I started homeschooling is because I didn't like what had happened to kindergarten in the schools. Occasionally, I felt guilty about "keeping them out", thinking about the neat things I remembered from my own kindergarten experience and from when I taught kindergarten. Except that's not what kindergarten is anymore.


What is your school schedule like?  I tried to have them doing something each day.  We focused on improving letter formation and fine motor skills, sight words and phonics, with math concepts getting time as well. One of my goals was to have them reading by the end of kindergarten.



what kind of curriculum do you use? I purchased no curriuculum for kindergarten. I did have pattern blocks, counting bears, sight word games (made by me), art supplies, and a membership to our local children's museum and zoo.

Do you meet with other Moms of kindergarteners for socilization?No. They participated in story time at the library, swim lessons, and art classes. I didn't worry much about socialization. They had opportunities to mix with others, both children and adults, as life happened.

How many days of the week do you have school time and for how many hours a day? at least 3 days, sometimes 5. an hour or two each day.

Did your child have preschool at home too? Yes
Do you do field trips and if so, do you have them do any writing or anything on the field trip? Yes. We usually went with a friend and her daughters (not a homeschooling family).  If the chance came up, I'd have them do some writing on zoo field trips-- a draw and write what you see kind of journal entry.  Certainly not every time. Sometimes after we returned home we'd journal about what we did there.


Regarding the concept of socialization:  My kids haven't been in large, single-age groups much at all. Only recently, with sunday school,  has that happened on a regular basis.  The sunday school teacher assures me that they fit in fine in a class setting. Socially, they do seem naive-- they are honestly not really aware of the cruelties that can be dished out by children.  In some ways, including what they talk about, how they play, and their behavior in public, they seem older than their age. However, some behaviors (they are still very huggy and cuddly) they seem younger than what they are.   My point is this: my kids, and perhaps other homeschooled kids as well, are socialized in reference to the family. Children who attend school are typically socialized in reference to their age-mates. Neither is better, really. The goal is healthy, well-adjusted adults. There are many paths to that goal. Just don't expect one to be the other.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-07-2013, 03:50 PM
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Subbing to see everyone's take. DD officially starts K in the fall.

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#6 of 10 Old 02-07-2013, 07:00 PM
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I am doing K with my daughter this year.  What we started off doing in the fall is much different than what we  are doing now :) Best laid plans and all of that...!  We did homeschool preschool as well. 


We started off using Five in a Row to cover most subjects (Social studies, science, a little bit of math, art) along with RightStart Math, and Explode the Code for Phonics, along with trying to fit in Spanish as well.  I planned to do about an hour every day.  We did that for a couple of months and then just kind of got overwhelmed and quit everything!  I was too stressed out and feeling too guilty for not doing "enough," so I needed to start fresh :)


Now I have dropped Five in a Row (though I did like it and would recommend it!) and I just focus on doing math and some sort of phonics/reading practice 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes to an hour.  I also throw Spanish in wherever it naturally fits (I am lucky that, while not fluent, I have a fairly good grasp of the language so it is simple for me to do this.)  Science, likewise, gets tossed in wherever it naturally fits.  She loves "experiments" and the like, so we will probably do more of this soon too.  I still use Right Start Math, which we enjoy, and I base my phonics lessons off of Explode the Code-however, dd got really bored with the worksheet, so I make up really simple games out of each page in the workbook, sometimes as simple as just doing it on the chalkboard or with post-its instead. 


We belong to a homeschooling co-op for younger kids (8 and below) and that has been great in terms of having her feel like we have a community.  Dd also takes a dance class once a week and goes to storytime weekly.  We do field trip type things with the co-op and as dictated by interest, but no, I don't have them do any writing or push it as an "educational experience," just as something fun to do. 

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#7 of 10 Old 02-08-2013, 01:29 PM
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We use oak meadow as our main curriculum along with rightstart math and other stuff as wanted/ needed we finishouroffical. Checklist of activities by lunch . No typical schedule per say . We just make sure we get it done.
Once a week or so we meet up with other he families for a play date and sometimes more depending on activities available , less in the winter more in the summer.
And yep we homeschool prek

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#8 of 10 Old 02-09-2013, 06:44 AM
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My DS was kindergarten age last year.  We had no schedule at all - no set time of day or amount of time per day to do school work, no particular days of the week that were "school days."  We didn't use curriculum.  I had a few random math workbooks around and I sometimes had him do pages from those; other times, I just wrote out math problems for him or we worked with real coins. 


There's a loosely-organized homeschool group in my area and we sometimes do activities with other homeschoolers.  For instance, there's a once a month homeschool "Share Day" when kids can show or tell about things they've done or worked on.  Last year, DS took swimming lessons in the fall and he and his sister did a library program for homeschoolers in winter/spring, an art camp (not just for homeschoolers) and a homeschoolers horse camp in summer.


We did something that could count as homeschooling most days of the week.  There's our regular evening read-aloud, for instance.  DS also spent a lot of time reading to himself.  (He was already reading by the start of his kindergarten year, so I didn't need to plan any reading instruction for him.)  We went skiing, ice skating, and hiking.  I sometimes read DS books on science or social studies topics.  We used Snap Circuits and did the occasional science experiment.  We spent time outdoors observing and catching frogs, insects, etc.  Probably at least a few days a week I had DS do something more deliberately schooly, like a math worksheet or handwriting practice, but he wouldn't normally spend more than an hour a day (and often much less) on things like that.  DS went to part-time public preschool the year he was 4, but that wasn't a learning experience.  All his real learning that year happened at home.  We sometimes went on trips that could be called field trips - a trip to a museum, a tour of the post office for homeschoolers, etc.  I never asked DS to do any writing or anything related to the trips.

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#9 of 10 Old 02-09-2013, 07:20 AM
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We're unschoolers so we don't do curriculums here, we don't really have much of a schedule either. Here are some of the things we have done with ds who is kindergarten aged this year:


K-9 training facility tour


a lot of research and a field trip of our local fire department


reading TONS of books about spiderman, the avengers, star wars, c-3po and r2-d2


doing research about the beach, the ocean, and taking a camping trip to the beach


playing TONS of computer games, mainly reading eggs and games from pbs kids


we're joining a local lego club


learning about germs, the immune system, all of the states in the US, dinosaurs, evolution..............


And of course this is only a partial list.........

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#10 of 10 Old 02-09-2013, 03:01 PM
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Well... we live in a state where we need detailed reporting, and my kids do really well with lots of guidance.  Left to their own devices they just fool around with each other (they're both in K now and we will probably do another year of K next year...) but if I sit down with them to do books, sheets, etc they get a kick out of the attention and learn a lot.  If I just leave the material out, they make a mess and have the attention spans of gnats.  So, formal learning works better for us, at least now.  It's a bit unfortunate because I've always been a fan of self-teaching (taught myself to read etc) and delaying academics, but I think we actually should have started some pre-academic stuff earlier... anyway.


That said, I had a very difficult pregnancy and lots of bedrest, and now I have a 2.5 week old who is, naturally, in arms all day.  So our "routine" isn't really much of a routine.  It's more crowd control, survival, and fitting in the curriculum when I get a chance to breathe.  The rest of the time the older two kids run around like little wolves.  =/


I will list our specific books later if I get the chance but suffice to say I looked on Amazon for various texts geared towards their age group, and we're working through them.  The good thing is that while K level textbooks aren't very detailed they leave a lot of room for discussion, so it's like small group sessions a few times a day.  We have a social studies book, a science book, an all-around book that has history and art and other things.  For reading we have that learn-to-read in 100 lessons book that we're going through, and we picked up a few workbooks from Walmart that have math and pre-reading skills in it, handwriting, etc.


But what they (and I) really love is the rest of it.  We have a reverse school year because we are stuck in our house during the winter due to the climate, but in the non-snowy months we visit the library a few times a week for story time and also to check out tons and tons of books.  Picture books, sure, but also non-fiction.  I have units in mind that I take out books for (we did a really big thing on continents earlier this year, also Thanksgiving, apples, pumpkins, etc.) but they can pick out other ones as well and we'll read them together.  DD likes books on ballet, DS likes books on transportation... etc. 


We take some field trips that are really just family outings... This year we did a pumpkin patch, an apple farm, a train ride, a Christmas fair.. that was about it, but we'll do more in the spring again.


And to round out our days, we usually do a few minutes of circle time in the morning.  (No idea why I call it that, but I guess that's what they call it in "real" school.)  We do the pledge of allegiance (we have to learn it in this state), days of the week, the months, sight word of the week, poems (we memorize a short verse every week or two weeks, and then I read a few other seasonally appropriate poems.  They also do some youtube workouts - right now they like the cosmic kids series .  On Mondays we do projects... last week we did Groundhog Day, this week we're doing Chinese New Year's... there's tons of printabl projects and such online.  I come up with a list of topics then just google "free kindergarten unit on [xyz]" and it usually has a list of coloring pages, activities, projects... usually I try to do something artsy that involves cutting, pasting, etc. 


On Sundays we do a religious/moral themed unit as well, even though we don't belong to any particular tradition.  It's like famous people in world religions (saints, gods, Buddha, etc) or holidays or a Bible story or moral theme.


Sorry if this post was disjointed, I was and am nak.  :)

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