A few months ago I began thinking about what I was going to do for Kindergarten for X-man. On the one hand, I have read all about delaying formal academic instruction for kids. And I agree. Kids should be given plenty of time to be kids. They should be outside, interacting with real things and having rich experiences with life and in nature. On the other hand, I am SO excited to get started on this homeschool adventure and while Kindergarten is not legally required in my state, all of his church friends will be attending Kindergarten this year. I don’t want him to start feeling left out. Thus, I considered long and hard about what I wanted to do. I decided, after prayer and consideration, to do “practice school” this year. We are calling it Kindergarten and I am planning it as if it is formal schooling. This helps me to develop the discipline to plan and carry out school every day (well, four days a week anyway). However, I am going into this with a very open heart – I want school to be a fun and positive experience this year. There is a place for practicing discipline and diligence, but this year, that place will mostly be in his household chores. I will be paying close attention to how he responds to schooling and if he is not ready for a certain subject, we will shelve it for awhile and try again later. If he is interested and willing to work with me, we will plug away and see how much we can learn!
X-man has shown an interest in maps, so this year’s theme is “A Trip Around the World.” We will study various countries and cultures and their geographical features through a variety of books and have fun with it! We’ll color maps and flags and eat food from various countries. We will also read the folk tales, fairy tales, and other stories from each country we “visit.”
My curriculum for Kindergarten:
Bible- Read through the stories (using Penny Gardner’s list of highlights) using flannelgraph to illustrate (and for the children to use to narrate the story back to me). We will memorize verses and hymns. We will read missionary stories from around the world.
Math- We are using RightStart Math Level A and keeping a calendar
Language Arts- We are using Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading for phonics instruction. I also have a collection of great poetry for children that we will read. When the children are ready, we will add copywork (focusing on the formation of numbers and letters).
History/Geography- “Trip Around the World”
Science- We we learn about the various habitats, animals, and plants that occur in the various countries we ‘visit.’ Daddy will do some of the experiments from Totally Irresponsible Science as he is inspired (and has time). We will also spend a good deal of time outside (at least, that is the goal) and do nature study once a week. We have The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook and Fun with Nature: A Take Along Guide to help us with our nature studies.
Music- We will listen to a variety of music from around the world and learn about a few composers. Daddy will be teaching music lessons in piano and guitar.
I would also like to begin to have the children do chores more consistently. And always, prayer, character, and family relationships will be highly prioritized. I hope and pray that I will remember to capture every teachable moment and every opportunity for growth or learning in these areas.
I was outside on the swing, watching my kids play, listening to their laughter, and enjoying their delight the other day. And I thought, “Wow, I am so lucky that I get to spend so much time with these kids. I really like them!” I am really thankful for this homeschooling calling upon my life. I love it!