Homeschool Discoveries

Sharing a few things I've discovered along the way…

Collage Friday: Now with added Kindergarten! April 20, 2012

Filed under: Weekly Highlights — kirstenjoyhill @ 8:12 pm
Tags: ,

It was nice to have a “normal” week of sorts after our short week last week filled with preparations for Miss M’s Expert Day presentation.   But it was a “normal” with an added twist. As I talked to Mr. E about the purchases I made at the MACHE convention and about our plans for next year, he asked why he couldn’t just be a Kindergartener now. After all, he reasoned with me, he is five whole years old now and didn’t he graduate out of the 3-and-4-year-olds class at church and into a class with other Kindergarteners on Sunday mornings?

I had to admit, he had some good points.  And he probably doesn’t realize this, but a lot of the “school work” he’s been doing already these past few months is about the same difficulty level as what Miss M was doing when she was a K’er.   So, I told him he could be a Kindergartner right now  in our home school.  In honor of that change, I committed to Mr. E to make doing school with him a priority every day that I do school with Miss M.   Honestly, other than doing ten minutes or so of phonics every day I hadn’t been doing much with him and he wants more.

My school routine this week with Mr. E looked like me reading a chapter of the Bible with him and talking a bit about it, working on phonics/reading for 10 minutes or so, a quick math activity some of the days, and then working on handwriting until he got tired of it.  I think it was 30-4o minutes total.   But, wow, it made me feel much busier and tired each morning to juggle everyone’s needs with that little bit of extra school load.

Here are a few highlights from our week:

1. As I mentioned in this post, I made a big investment in the “Logic of English Essentials” spelling curriculum, which we started right away this week.  As much as it is really well planned out, there is still a learning curve, just as there is with many curricula.  As much as Miss M was initially feeling a bit put off that we had to start “all the way at the beginning”, I could tell that was really a good thing.  I’ll post a more thorough review once we’ve had a bit more time to use it.

2. and 3: On the recommendation of the Logic of English Essentials, I decided to try teaching Mr. E cursive first for his lower case letters (He pretty much taught himself upper case printing, but hardly knew how to make any lower case manuscript letters).  He was actually pretty excited about the idea.  LOE suggests that learning cursive first can be easier because all letters start at the baseline, the movements are more fluid, and it reduces letter reversals.    I’m not 100% convinced of their theory, but I thought  we could at least try it!  Mr. E practiced cursive on the iPad and by making really big letters on really big sheets of paper.

4, 5 and 6: It was an artsy-craftsy week around here.  In #4 the boys were making beaded necklaces while Miss M worked at the desk.  #5 is the result when the boys used their new  “nice” watercolors for the first time…let’s just say they looked “not so nice” rather quickly! Luckily I could rinse the trays off and they didn’t look so bad.  Miss M found my copy of the “Arts and Crafts Busy Book” and set off to follow the directions and make a couple crafts on her own.  I love that she is old enough to do that!

7.  We went out on a “Spring Nature Walk” in our neighborhood.  We haven’t been too “into” nature study in the past, but this was great. Hopefully we can do more of this in the future.  If I find the time, I’ll write up a post just about the nature walk.

8. This is my stack of reading from our weekly library trip.  Well, at least my stack for “skimming.”  🙂  We’re studying American history next year, and I am investigating various potential “spines” or key texts we might consider using.  Miss M has mostly been reading books I bought for her at the Mache conference — three books from the Grandma’s Attic series and Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary.

9. This week’s RightStart lessons were a breath of fresh air for Miss M.  She breezed through lessons 96-100.  These were much easier for her than the previous lessons that were thick with lots, and lots, and lots of long subtraction problems.  Maybe taking a week off from math was a good thing too!

Have a wonderful weekend!

There’s no “official” Collage Friday this week, so I’m just linking up with the Weekly Wrap Up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

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2 Responses to “Collage Friday: Now with added Kindergarten!”

  1. steedj Says:

    Just visiting from Weekly Wrap Up. Good luck on starting Kindergarten! I’m working to get in the groove of just one. I can’t wait to see how Tot School goes for the 2 year old in the fall/winter! Yikes!

  2. Amy @ Hope Is the Word Says:

    Breath of fresh air in RS? YES! We’re there, too. (You and I are finally together on this thanks to our breaks and sick days here.) And yes, I know what you mean about juggling 2. My younger dd is officially a K-er this year (she was 6 in November), but I’m really thinking it’s time to ramp up what we’re doing. She does participate with her elder sister in history and science, but she could easily be doing FLL now and even WWE. Hmmm. . .I think I’m still going to hold off until next year for my own sanity. 🙂


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