Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kindergarten at Home

We decided not to send David to Kindergarten this year.

Okay, really he's got a late birthday so we wouldn't put him into an actual school this year regardless, so I guess what I'm saying is that this year is a homeschooling trial run--if it's a total failure we'll call a do-over next year and check out the schools in wherever it is we will be living by then.  Of course if that place is Guam we'll probably keep plugging away at the homeschooling even if I am a total homeschool failure.

Now, when I say I'll be teaching David at home I mostly mean that I'll start teaching him to read (using this) and we'll keep playing lots of math games....and probably work on writing (only because he's really into writing now and I don't want him to get into bad habits with the way he forms his letters)........and we'll continue reading lots of good books, painting and playing, and of course spending lots of time outside--I mean, doing nature study.


And calendar time!

I'm super proud of my calendar :)

I've seen lots of cute bulletin board calendars floating around and I took bits and pieces from several different places (weather station, temperature chart, liturgical calendar wheel) to make ours.  My plan is to have a bit of a morning basket time each day where we do the calendar, check the temperature and weather outside and then read a Bible, saint, or character/manners story or some poetry depending on the day and then break for some playful learning type activities that I'll rotate each week.  We'll see how it goes.......


I've been collecting Montessori type math materials for the boys to work with this year mostly because I won this amazing Montessori giveaway so I figured I might as well get a few more to round things out!  David's favorite so far is the hundred board although he also loves his Cuisenaire Rods--which aren't exactly Montessori but I remember working with them as a little girl so they just felt right :)


Of all the preparation I've done, I've had the most fun re-configuring our "library" into more of a homeschool room.  It's such a tiny room, I eventually just gave up on fitting adult sized furniture in aside from our bookshelves, and now it feels much larger.  The boys have a child-sized desk from my grandparents' house and another little white table and chair set from IKEA to work at and I also recovered some old brown cubes we had in a prettier blue color which gives me something to sit on besides the floor.....


There's also an easel and my sewing cabinet crammed in there as well which I apparently did not take a picture of.  Here's our nature treasure area that sits under the sewing cabinet though, so that's something.....

Right now it contains an assortment of rocks, shells, nuts and various dead bugs/scorpions/frogs that the kids have picked up and lovingly preserved.  See?  Nature study--I think I've pretty much got Kindergarten science covered :)


I'm really excited to get going.  I told David we'd start right after his birthday, once he's officially five (mostly because I need to get a few more things laminated and his reading materials prepped first).  I want to take things slowly and just have short little lessons that only last as long as David is interested.  I'm thinking an hour a day max, if that.  The last thing I want to do at this age is squash his excitement and love of learning with long, cumbersome lessons that he's not ready for or interested in.


David is pretty excited to start too........Chris told him that all the math activities I've been putting together will make him smart.  David said he doesn't want to be smart, he wants to be like his dad.

I'm sure he'll change his tune once he gets a little older and realizes my math shortcomings.  After all, his daddy did win my heart by doing my Calculus homework for me :)

Wish me luck!  I'm sure I'll let you all know how it goes!

5 comments:

  1. Looks lovely Christina - so exciting to start a new adventure. Where did you get those wire mesh covered jars in your nature area? I've been looking for something like that for sensory work.

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    1. Thanks! The jars came from the dollar bin at Michaels but the inserts in the tops are clear plastic, not wire mesh--you could probably turn them into wire mesh tops easy enough though if you had some laying around :)

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  2. You might really like this for science. http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/themagicschoolbus/

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  3. Love the bulletin board/calendar. David will have so much fun and I see Henry joing along. ;)

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  4. Wow! What a wonderful home school room! I predict that David will want to spend more than an hour there on a regular basis. And the nature treasure box - just superb! Have you ever read "Little Men" by Louisa May Alcott? It's the followup to Little Women, and in the story (a great one for parents of boys) there's a chapter on a whole building that was turned into the place for nature collections of all the boys. It was one of my favorite "reads" when I was a kid. I expect you'll find homeschooling quite rewarding, especially because you're starting early. That's one thing I regret about raising my kids, is that I didn't homeschool them. Of course that was 30 years ago, when the homeschooling movement was just starting, so we didn't have the support you do now...

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