Monday, October 10, 2016

Kindergarten Homeschool

We have been doing kindergarten at home for a month now and we are really liking it! There are a variety of reasons why we chose to homeschool Elanor this year, which I have mentioned before, but the two biggest reasons are that only full day kindergarten is available, and I want Elanor and Alice to be close (even if they are four years apart) and going to school all day would make that more difficult. I do not think we will homeschool for every year, but it will always be an option if Elanor would like to do it.

So, I wanted to explain our curriculum/schedule as it could possibly be helpful to others. 

Here is our schedule:

Monday: Journal, Reading/Writing, Art
Tuesday: Journal, Math, Music
Wednesday: Journal, Geography/History
Thursday: Journal, Science
Friday: Journal, open for field trips/play/hikes or a day do a subject we missed during the week.

Most everything also has to do with the country we are studying that month. For example, we learned about Nigeria in September and Elanor used pastels and scissors to make a really cool mask based on Nigerian masks. We also read and talked about one of Chinua Achebe's poems for reading/writing, listened to traditional Nigerian music, learned about the animals and landscapes of that country and learned basics such as the capital and flag. 

We chose the countries by trying to get a country on each continent, or close to and also learn about the US and our neighbors. Here is what we chose:
September: Nigeria
October: Canada
November: United States
December: Norway/Sweden
January: India
February: Peru
March: Great Britain
April: China
May: Mexico
June: Greece

We also chose a natural disaster to learn about each quarter (Earth quakes, Hurricanes, tornados, volcanos) and weather for the corresponding season. 

For the journal, Elanor writes the date, her name, our theme for the school year (Seek Learning), and one to three sentences about anything she would like to write and then draws a picture to go with her writing. Reading/writing we do things like read/memorize poetry, have spelling tests, and learn about how to write a story (story arch/mountain). Elanor can already read really well, so also reads during quiet time (I highly recommend "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons"). For math I use the Miquon Orange math book with Cusinaire rods. Elanor loves it and it is actually a really fun math book. For geography/history, we learn about the country we are currently studying and also work on memorizing the continents. For science, so far we have learned about the water cycle and about why leaves fall from the trees--also hikes. I also use the "What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know" book for some guidance and they have some fun games and projects in there as well.

Elanor is also playing on soccer team and is in Sandy High School's play, "Annie", as the orphan, Molly. I am also doing the choreography for the play. So even with homeschool, we are pretty busy and Elanor is getting plenty of socialization. It has been really great to be able to have the freedom to go on adventures, which will really be missed if Elanor does go to school next year or something.

I also believe in kids getting a lot of playtime and time outside and homeschool allows for this. So for us, it has been really great so far! However, I also think it is good for kids to learn from other people and be around a variety of children, so Elanor will go to public school at some point.

And Elanor really is a great sister and she and Alice are developing a wonderful relationship. Also, as great as homeschool has been, it has been hard too. Kids are hard, but I have created a schedule with enough flexibility, so that when something comes up, or we have a hard day, we still have time to recover and get some school done each day. Hopefully, for those that homeschool or are considering it, this has been helpful!

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