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Keeping it simple for Kindergarten?


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I have mixed thought and go back and forth how I should do my daughters Kindergarten year. Some books and articles say things from not doing anything until your child is 6 or 5, some say do any the 3 r's, and others have curriculum suggestions that cover everything from science to art. I have mixed feelings. Somethings I get overwhelmed with all that I can do that I forget to think about what I should be doing.

 

Then when I've convinced myself to keep it really simple with the 3r's I get reading this forum and start looking at everyone's signatures with all there doing and I start to wonder about my plans. With homeschooling your free to do what you want and though I'm grateful for that option it leaves me unsure.

 

Are there any words of wisdom you seasoned homeschoolers could give me on this issue? Any good book recommendations that may help clarify my thoughts? How do you decide?

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We are doing our official K year so I am not a veteran by far, but I also did homeschool preschool if that counts. :tongue_smilie:

 

I think the main thing is to do what works for you. I wasn't planning on starting phonics or handwriting last year, but my kids started reading and writing on their own so I had to scramble to catch up so to speak. The other subjects that I included were kumon (cutting, pasting, etc), art, cooking with mom, library, etc.

 

It sounds like a lot, but our everyday subjects were math, phonics, handwriting, and LOTS of snuggle up reading and play. Everything else I have on a loop and am totally laid back about.

 

I feel like the kids (both of mine are 5) really need a lot of play time to just do their own thing and learn how to entertain themselves which they are doing. It's easy to look at others and see what they are doing and second guess, but I always think back to what I did in K, which was like preschool is now. That helps me keep it in perspective. :)

 

Brenda

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:bigear: No answers here, listening. We didn't start homeschooling my son until 1/2 way through 2nd grade. So, I have never done PreK or K and daughters are younger but my 4.5 year old is asking to do "school" and I go back and forth a lot as well. I *think* for right now we are just going to do AAR Pre-level 1 and then read good books together and she likes art naturally so we do that when she wants. She sits in on SOTW with us. Maybe I am responding. I am, however, FAR from seasoned....I can see starting a basic math and then phonics and a reading thing....only because she says she wants to learn to read. I am nervous because I am more in the realm of just letting her be a child and then worry about school a little later....hm...

 

I want to listen in. :bigear:

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I found the WTM book helpful for deciding my K'er's studies. :D She recommends focusing on the 3R's and reading aloud a lot, IIRC. That's basically what I'm doing this year.

 

Beware of sigs... 1) Sometimes it LOOKS like more than it really is, 2) Sometimes it looks less than it really is, 3) Some kids are really gung ho about "school" and their parents try to keep up with that, thus giving them a lot in their sigs, 4) Some kids are not gung ho at all about school and really just get the bare miminum done, regardless of how much the parent wants to do all the stuff in their sig. :D I could probably go on. Anyway, ignore the sigs!

 

What a K'er NEEDS: A parent to read aloud to him/her a LOT. This will do more than any number of curriculum in a sig can do. Read to your child, as much as you can stand. ;)

 

Really good to have: Start learning to read, write letters, and introduce the concept of math.

 

Nice to have: Art, music, etc.

 

Personally, I'm not doing art, music, etc. :tongue_smilie: Well, we listen to music, and when we get a piano soon, we'll start learning to play that (were supposed to get it earlier, but a garage fire set back our plans a bit :glare:). I have paper, crayons, markers, scissors, and other such things freely available. I occasionally get paints out. Otherwise, I'm not currently teaching "art" though, and I'm good with that.

 

We are not doing history yet. Our read-alouds are mostly stories from around the world, tall tales, things like that. We also have some light science reading. And of course we hit the library a lot, so we always have books on whatever DS2 is interested in at the time (like sharks). He's currently learning more science not officially doing science than my oldest did in school K. :)

 

In addition to read-alouds (which I'm using Sonlight P4/5 for - just to make it easier on me this year), I've added phonics, handwriting, and math. School takes us about an hour total, including read-alouds. I think that is *plenty*. My son then gets to go play outside in the sandbox, using his imagination. I'd rather him spend a lot of time doing that than working on academics that will still be here in a few years. ;)

 

If you look at what the long time successful homeschoolers with very successful graduates did in the early years, a LOT of them keep the early years simple. They don't use 100 different curricula for their K'er. They're more likely to do a bit of reading and handwriting and call it done (plus reading aloud). Most of the people with gazillion curricula in their sigs have a K'er who is their oldest child. The oldest is the guinea pig. I, too, have made the mistake at times of using too many things. I then realized I needed to cut some out, and you know what? My son learned a lot more! Less is more.

 

So keep it simple, keep it light, focus on reading (learning to read and reading to the child). And relax. It's hard to mess up K. ;)

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I don't do "kindergarten." :)

 

When the dc are 5ish and I think they're ready, we gently begin working on phonics, although of course there have been books in the home all along, and I've read to the dc. I've also been helping them to hold their pencils/crayons properly, and given them lots of free time to draw and "write" and whatnot. We've also been counting things, and looking at calendars and clocks, and I have a jar full of coins for them to play with and count and figure out the worth of the coins. And there have been discussions about color ("Dear, go get your red tennies. No, dear, not the blue sandals; the red tennies."). And of course sitting with us while we do Official School Stuff with the older dc, and going altogether on field trips and whatnot.

 

And really, it turns out that most of this we'd have done whether we hsed or not; since we're homeschooling, things gently morph into more academics as we go along. :)

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We are doing our official K year so I am not a veteran by far, but I also did homeschool preschool if that counts. :tongue_smilie:

 

I think the main thing is to do what works for you. I wasn't planning on starting phonics or handwriting last year, but my kids started reading and writing on their own so I had to scramble to catch up so to speak. The other subjects that I included were kumon (cutting, pasting, etc), art, cooking with mom, library, etc.

 

It sounds like a lot, but our everyday subjects were math, phonics, handwriting, and LOTS of snuggle up reading and play. Everything else I have on a loop and am totally laid back about.

 

I feel like the kids (both of mine are 5) really need a lot of play time to just do their own thing and learn how to entertain themselves which they are doing. It's easy to look at others and see what they are doing and second guess, but I always think back to what I did in K, which was like preschool is now. That helps me keep it in perspective. :)

 

Brenda

 

That's true. I guess as long as my daughter is enjoying what we are doing, I guess that it wouldn't hurt to add a few funner activities to keep things exciting. My daughter always wants to keep going. Even once we've done all that I have planned for preschool. She's always been that way. Even when she was younger she loved doing "school" as she called it. Mostly finger painting and fun science experiments I came up with. Just keep it fun.

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Perfect Kindergarten, in my ideal world....

 

 

15min of reading lesson

 

15min of handwriting

 

15min of math

 

 

 

2+ hours of reading aloud to the child, on any and every topic that floats his or her little boat, saving plenty of room for fairy tales and the old nursery rhymes. (Keep this simple!!! Do not over-plan it, do not waste money on a boxed curric, but do glean for book ideas from the big currics and amblesideonline year 0.)

 

 

2+ hours of unstructured play outside. There are certain lessons that cannot be learned a better way than by being young and seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, touching, falling, trying, tasting, throwing, catching, doing outside in your own backyard. At a certain age, a window closes for some of those things.

 

 

If you have the hankerin to plan something, coordinate some of the books you read with some things that your dc can discover in the backyard. Read about the birds, insects, plants, weather, etc. of your area.

 

 

Teach your child basic manners and good daily habits. Have routines for going outside to play and coming back inside. Have routines for before and after meals, bedtimes, mornings, etc, etc, etc.... *THIS* is vital!

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My K'er mainly does reading, math, and handwriting. Then he plays until my older is finished and we do science and history together. He doesn't do much (if any) writing for these subjects. He listens to me read aloud and then we discuss/have an activity/do a coloring page or mapwork. He listens to the SSL cd and we sing the songs and practice the words together. They watch an episode of Salsa Spanish together. We have a reading time where he reads library books or other books he chooses.

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So far both of my kids who have gotten to k age have already been reading. DD 12 wanted to learn at 4 and dd7 wanted to start doing school cause her big sister was. My 2 year old is already doing sorting, cutting, painting, and some early reading stuff (mostly because he WILL NOT talk unless I am practicing a letter with him which is another issue entirely). They were more than ready for a more rigorous kindy. I haven't really pushed, I just met them where they were.

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I tried FIAR and a few other lapbook/unit study activities and my dd wasn't interested. After spending far too much on K curriculum, I ditched everything and focused on the three R's. Everything else was interest-led. I read aloud lots of books, usually by themes like animals or different versions of Cinderella (dd loved this). On our library visit, I required "find one new thing," where dd had to tell me one thing she was interested in learning more about and I would help her find books on that subject.

 

We also watched many science videos which dd loved. She retained far more information than I expected.

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DD is 4.5 and we're doing Pre-K this year. For us that means we do phonics a little (ie 5 minutes a day unless she asks for more), play with c-rods and count stuff for math (this is just randomly through the day), and read lots of books together. I've done a couple of interest led "unit studies" which were science-y... Mostly she was into bugs, so we collected bugs and read a lot of books about bugs. She was into flowers so we pressed flowers and read some books about flowers. Nothing intense. She writes, draws, paints, etc. She has a good pencil grip already, and when she decides to write real letters I encourage her to form them correctly. She's in a co-op art class which she adores.

 

My plan for next year (K) is to expand phonics to about 15-20minutes a day, start doing math a bit more consistently, and practice letter formation. If she ends her Kindy year being able to read, write the letters of the alphabet, and having a solid understanding of the numbers from 1-20, I'll be thrilled. Everything else is just fun stuff, and I treat it as such. :-D Read alouds are never required (but they don't have to be, my kids beg for it.

 

And FWIW, I hadn't really planned to do phonics for pre-k either but she was begging. For pre-k I'd have been happy with outside time and playing with blocks and crayons.

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In kindergarten I try to get the Phonics work done consistently. We always have math and handwriting, but those aren't crucial. If he wants to do school when the big kids are, I pull out Explode the Code, Developmental Math, or DK Kindergarten Math. I also let him play with C Rods and other manipulatives as much as he likes. This is the path I've taken with my last 3 K'ers and have been very happy with the results.

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Read-alouds, file-folder games, read-alouds, counting/sorting/patterning, read-alouds, things like Kumon workbooks, outdoor play/exploration, read-alouds....:D Sense a pattern? We did a lot of reading in K. Exploration and play is ideal for this learning stage. Patterning is useful for both pre-math and pre-reading skills. We also did some computer edu-games like Reader Rabbit and JumpStart. HTH!

 

Whatever you do, have fun!

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Are there any words of wisdom you seasoned homeschoolers could give me on this issue?

 

I'm beyond seasoned -- I'm retired! I was just killing time on the boards before dinner and this thread caught my eye, so thought I'd throw in my .02.

 

From my perspective, looking back 12 years to when my youngest was a K'er, I can tell you I have zero regrets for being very relaxed, and am so thankful for all the hours we spent reading books, going to the zoo, making cookies, and just playing. We did phonics, handwriting and some simple manipulative math and that was it as far as formal schooling, but my kids learned so much history and science through all of our reading and activities. We stayed fairly relaxed through the early elementary grades, gradually ramping up the formal school work towards the middle school years. Both kids wound up graduating a year early and are thriving in college.

 

So yes -- relax. Focus on the three Rs for a short time each week, even if it isn't every day. This is a precious time -- cherish every moment of it!! (And keep reading aloud even when those cute little ones become lanky and smelly teens!)

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I tried FIAR and a few other lapbook/unit study activities and my dd wasn't interested. After spending far too much on K curriculum, I ditched everything and focused on the three R's. Everything else was interest-led. I read aloud lots of books, usually by themes like animals or different versions of Cinderella (dd loved this). On our library visit, I required "find one new thing," where dd had to tell me one thing she was interested in learning more about and I would help her find books on that subject.

 

We also watched many science videos which dd loved. She retained far more information than I expected.

 

This sounds a lot like what I'm doing this year.

 

I have been like you, op. I went back and forth between the minimalist approach and the lure of all these awesome things I could add. I ended up buying some of those things (luckily they were pretty inexpensive) and I'm already eliminating them one by one. We're keeping science, because dd is really into all things science, but I ditched the curriculum I bought (Elemental Science) and I'm making it interest-led and super casual. She really couldn't care less about Christopher Columbus or any of the other things I fretted about.

 

So, a month into this thing, I'm already deciding that it really does make more sense to stick to the 3 R's. One thing that's tricky for me is that dh doesn't understand the idea of simplicity. He is all about rigor and competition. So I have to balance my personal philosophies with his, since these are his kids, too.

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I'd agree with Boscopup. When looking at sigs look at the ages as well and start reading about different posters philosophy and their results. Most with 500 programs for littles only have littles. Most that tell you that doing all these other things are crucial to their later success haven't made it far enough to test that theory.

 

I have a few posters that I follow that have children that have been extremely successful, by my own standards of classical ed and also those accepted by others- their children have transferred on to college and continue to do well in their chosen fields and have a life time love of learning and the ability to learn on their own. Of all of my favorite veteran posters I stalk -none of them were hard-core have to do 500 subjects in k or 4 or 5(and usually not until 3rd grade really- and most didn't really do a lot of formal Science or History Curriculums until more like highschool).

 

When ds was 5 we did TONS of read-alouds, sang songs, went for walks, played games(which naturally taught basic Math concepts), and worked on writing. Half-way through the year he developed enough fine motor skills to hold a pencil and started HWoT, then shortly thereafter was reading to start some Phonics work. DD is 5 now. We do some math together- Right Start with no worksheets- and some HWoT and some phonics. She does art on her own all the time and is outside for many hours a day playing with the animals or catching bugs, or picking flowers, collecting rocks or looking for other unusual things. We talk about various things having to do with science as she is curious we read books, we watch documentaries (that is with ds 2nd/8 yo now). fwiw Ds is on grade level or above now despite our slow start and him being a late bloomer.

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I started Dragon on reading instruction via OPGTTR shortly before his 4th birthday. I couldn't read without him pestering so it was time.

 

He spent from August to December in a formal classroom and was sooo bored. We pulled him and Fury (struggling in 4th) out and brought them back home. I immediately dialed Dragon back to basics as his handwriting was almost non-existent.

 

I would definitely stick with the basics of reading, handwriting, and as much math as is tolerable. Remember that your dc's reading may be easier than handwriting. Don't lump them together.

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I have my oldest in K this year, and we are doing FIAR plus 3Rs. FIAR is basically read aloud plus a quick activity based off of the book--one activity per day. We also do a lot of other (kid chosen) reading aloud, play board games, do art and fine motor activities, play outside, go to the park, etc. We're pretty gentle, and it's been so fun so far!

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We started TYCR when DD turned 5 and went through it slowly (about three lessons a week). We didn't do anything else until she turned 6 in July. Now, three months later, she's learning multiplication in SM 1B and reading chapter books. She's retaining and processing her history lessons and can tell you all about the ocean (our science focus for the past two months). She enjoys writing and illustrating stories. She can read basic ancient Greek sentences. Her handwriting and spelling are both above average. It took us about three weeks to make up for what she missed during her extra year of free play. Since then she has been sailing through first grade books at an incredible rate.

Last year she played outside all the time and learned a lot that she would have missed if she had been doing book work. She's good at climbing trees, catching bugs, playing soccer, and entertaining herself without the use of electronics. She can organize a group of kids and make up games for them to play. She knows about weather, seasons, tides, animals, and plants because she saw them and was curious. She knows how to investigate something interesting.

Now DD2 is 4. She'll be in kindergarten next year. It's so tempting to buy kindergarten curriculum and teach her academic things, especially since she wants to be like her big sister. I'm trying to remind myself that she, too, will reap benefits that no book can teach if we let her be a curious kid in a natural environment.

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Ds#1 went to ps for K.

DD#1 did cyber school for K, so a whole soup to nuts curriculum.

DD#2 simply got folded into dd#1's 1st grade lessons, for the most part.

 

Now I have my current 5yo, and I'm really only focused on a few things; phonics, math concepts, thinking skills, and printing. Everything else comes everyday living and listening in on the big kids' lessons.

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Well, I'm not seasoned, per se, but what I'm planning on doing with Pink, starting next school year, is this:

pre-k year (2013-14):

Math - no curriculum - patterns, shapes, calendar, weather, etc

OPG

ETC Get Ready, Get Set, and Go for the Code books

read alouds

 

K year (14-15):

Bible (with the boys)

Handwriting - ZB K

Math - MUS Primer or Singapore Essential Math A/B

OPG

ETC 1&2

read alouds

 

I have friends who are going all out for K, but I'm just really feeling that this is the right track for us. I currently don't do anything with her formally, and have no desire to. She spends her days learning in her own environment and her own ways - I see no need to infringe upon that at this point. Idk, it just isn't my thing - I like to let her be. :)

 

Her birthday is in May, so she'll be 2 months over 4 when we start pre-k and 2 months over 5 when we start K.

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Second time doing K here. We do Reading lessons, Math, Penmanship, Poetry, and Literature from M-Th. On Fridays we do these exclusively:

 

Geography

Picture Study

Composer Study

Poetry Recitation

Natural Science

Nature Study

Spanish

 

On weekends we do Art and Sewing.

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Keeping it simple here, too. I started K this year with my oldest, and we are doing reading (OPGTR, which we started a year ago), handwriting (ZB K) and math (RS, which is only two lessons per week). We also do read-aloud storytime every day. Occasionally we'll do structured crafts, cooking/baking, and outings, but almost everything other than the 3 R's is interest-led at this stage. DD5 and DD3 also get some unstructured science stuff when they spend the day at their grandmother's house once a week, just because grandma thinks it's fun and wants to contribute something educational. Other than that it's mostly free play in our home and I love it.

 

So, I feel very relaxed about the whole thing. And since money is very tight I'm not really tempted to go overboard anyway. There are a few supplemental things on my wish list (phonics readers, CM art prints, some classical music CD's) but if we don't get them this year, oh well. What we're doing is enough, and I'm happy with it.

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K should be an extension of YOUR life. If you are laid back in general, then "school" should be laid back in general. If you are slow to teach chores and how to dress themselves, then "school" should be slowly introduced. Take a look at how YOU are approaching character development, grooming, pet care, chores, thank you notes/responsibilities, etc., and approach "school" the same way.

 

If you are a hippy mom, look at hippy mom curricula and methods. If you are OCD, then look at explicit and systematic curricula. If you are minimalist, then look at 3R curricula.

 

Hopefully the HOMEschools of others that you see here are extensions of THEIR homes, and not something they do just to keep up with the Joneses or because they read it in a book by a famous author.

 

I'm pretty OCD and a minimalist. But I do believe in the need to nurture the body and spirit as well as the mind. My methods and curricula reflect ME and MY ways. I don't like frou frou. I start to feel shamed into adding things and then realize they are frou frou and pull back. It's a constant spreading out and then retracting.

 

"I NEED to do that. No I don't. I need to THAT! No I don't." :tongue_smilie: I follow a crooked path of trail and error, but I only seem to go so far left and right, and seem to keep moving in the same general direction.

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We are just doing memory work with CC, phonics and math. My K'er LOVES history and science, so I get books from the library to read in our free time. We are doing ancient history in CC so we have been reading lots of things about Greeks and Romans, he is enthralled :001_smile:. I might start the SOTW next year, we'll see how it goes...

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I am so glad I read this thread! I have been feeling bogged down with school with my DS. He loves math, but balks at any mommy instruction. I keep forgetting how much he learned in our everyday life before workbooks! I just went through his workboxes and pulled everything out and only put back AAR/AAS (I am going to rotate these as he loves spelling, but struggles with reading), Horizons K (a workbook he loves!), LOF for fridays only, and FIAR work. He has been asking to learn to draw so I may look into Draw Write Now to give him some fine motor practice when it relates to our FIAR book.

 

However, my DD is always asking for more school so I'm sure her K year will be very full :lol: and all the books I bought this year will pass on down :001_smile:

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I am not a veteran HSer, we are just in our third year.

We kept it very simple for K for DD and absolutely have no regrets. They are only little once! We will do the same for DS next year.

 

 

We did phonics/reading, math and handwriting.

 

We did fun activities science/nature or history themed as opportnities presented themselves. Maybe two a week and nothing elaborate. We read zillions of books, played outside, went on field trips, enjoyed library story time and made cookies. We had a great year! :D:D

 

They have their whole lives to do formal, structured schoolwork but only a few years to dress up as princesses or pirates, make forts out of blankets and nap in the afternoons!

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  • 3 weeks later...
K should be an extension of YOUR life. If you are laid back in general, then "school" should be laid back in general. If you are slow to teach chores and how to dress themselves, then "school" should be slowly introduced. Take a look at how YOU are approaching character development, grooming, pet care, chores, thank you notes/responsibilities, etc., and approach "school" the same way.

 

If you are a hippy mom, look at hippy mom curricula and methods. If you are OCD, then look at explicit and systematic curricula. If you are minimalist, then look at 3R curricula.

 

Hopefully the HOMEschools of others that you see here are extensions of THEIR homes, and not something they do just to keep up with the Joneses or because they read it in a book by a famous author.

 

 

:iagree:Nice Reminder. I think I too often get caught up in what everyone else is doing and trying to keep of with everyone. I have this fear that I'll fail my kids. I have to often tell myself to relax and focus on following my kids leads. Currently my almost 5 year is to gung ho about schooling she asks to do more after we've done all that I had planned. She is sure into "preschool" right now. A little more than I am right now. I just try to keep up with her. Thanks for putting things back into perspective.

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I love the early years!

 

I do phonics, math, fine motor, and read alouds DAILY. Math can be c-rods, games, pattern blocks, workbooks, whatever. Fine motor is handwriting, coloring, cutting, playdo... I like to keep them focused and intense for a short period of time. What I really want them to learn is that school is not negotiable. I want them to find enjoyment in focusing their attention and satisfaction in seeing something through to completion.

 

THEN

 

nature study, childhood games, sing songs and hymns together, chores, handicrafts, glitter, markers, googly eyes, tissue paper, field trips, unit studies, races, missionary stories, audio books, baking cookies, writing letters, drawing pictures for neighbors, Peter Rabbit and Half-Pint, library trips, park days, art books and prints,memory work...

 

Do what makes you feel happy and at peace! :001_smile:

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At that age, I allow the child to help set the tone. I think I pushed my oldest because she was capable and eager to please, yet she wasn't terribly interested and I think it was a mistake. My little one is 4 and she is very much the way I remember being as a preschooler. She hauls her workbooks out and follows me around the house until I will sit down with her. But my now-13yo did very little seatwork until we broke down and medicated her adhd at age 9. There are so many paths that will take you to the same end. Offer but don't force. A little or a lot will work equally well as long as there is joy.

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Thank you for posting. I also find the sigs intimidating! I find that it's all my Ker can do to finish the 3Rs and a little Bible story/verse every day. Then we try 5 minutes of reviewing our modern language since we live in an area where English is the second language, and I don't want to send him to a public pre-school here to learn the language. I don't think science and history, etc., are necessary for K. Thank you to all who have relieved a bit of guilt for me on that account.

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Haven't read other replies, but my goal for kindy with my kids was to get them reading. Everything else was gravy. I also did Singapore Math Essentials and handwriting, in addition to reading aloud history, literature and science. But that was all gravy. My only "real" goal was for them to end the year as readers.

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DS is doing Oak Meadow 1 for his K year. It's fairly simple... and yet it is not. Right now, it only takes 50-75 minutes 4 mornings a week to get it done... so not alot of time BUT what he is doing is so thorough and in depth thats its not really simple. He learned the concept of mulitplication this week. We do practice reading more than OM calls for (in fact it doesn't call for it at all yet in week 6) because he was reading when we started.

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Our Kindergarten year was VERY relaxed and simple. We used Oak Meadow which is gentle, creative, Waldorf-inspired, and not overly academic in the earliest years- there were fairy tales, nature crafts, music and movement, drawing pictures, and that kind of thing. I also added on a bit of Funnix reading lessons figuring he'd like those because they were on the computer and he loves the computer, but I didn't stress or force them, we sort of did them now and then as we had the inclination to do so. (This year for 1st we've switched to Reading Eggs which I hadn't known about previously and would have used instead if I had known- that is also on the computer and he LOVES doing them, they're much more fun)! We didn't really do formal math but he learned a lot of math just from the computer games he liked to play, and we also sometimes played math operations board games, and we'd play conversational math games like while waiting for restaurant food or something using the crayons as tangibles, the prices on the menu, whatever. He had a lot of free time, outside time, field trips, an outside activity or too, free reign of many educational games, toys, art supplies and so on, and I feel it was a very good and very worthwhile Kindergarten year.

 

This year we're doing 1st grade and still using Oak Meadow and Reading Eggs, plus learning lots informally, and I'm happy with what we're doing.

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I think it totally depends on the child's readiness. And their sex. In my experience boys are a little later to be interested in schoolwork and that is OK>

 

I've completed preschool/kindergarten twice now and am on my third girl.

 

All 3 were all ready at 3 yo for "schoolwork" because everyone in the family was doing it and they weren't. I capitalized on that and had them doing lots of fun stuff. One did Calvert prek and k with ETC books. Another did MFW prek and K with ETC books.

 

Now with the "baby" I'm doing Memoria Press K and SL ps 4/5 books for bedtime reading. It's going very well and I'm super surprised at her ability to learn in these few minutes of our day.

 

I just wanted to add that if you feel your child is ready, don't hold them back because of their age. I think one of SWB's kids were reading early because they didn't want to take a nap! :) That's how it's been for us too.

 

One thing, though. We stop when I get negative feedback. A deep sigh, a collapse in the chair, any verbal cue...and we're done. We might pick something up again after lunch. When she's ready, I'm ready. When she's done...I'm done.

 

Just my own personal advice to a new hs mom...know what works for you as the mom/teacher. Too many times I picked curricula based on someone else's rec. I need a curricula at this age. I did when I first began too because I was so sure I was missing stuff. (I wasn't but I was afraid I was, kwim?)

 

Now I chose MP because I simply don't have it in me to create activities and pull a bunch of stuff together on my own. We LOVE MP K. Gentle, thorough, just enough pictures but not distracting to the goal, and I like the path it's got us on. Open the book, do the work, give a sticker, give a kiss, praise her like crazy, schoolwork done :)

We may go to WTM rec's at 3rd grade cuz they are soo fantastic and I WISH I'd just stuck with her plan for all of them...but for now we're thrilled with MP.

HTH

Edited by momee
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We read a lot. We played math. We lived science, history, geography, art, music. At no particular time of day... It was lovely, informal, and successful. :)

 

I don't start formal learning until first grade. The only challenge I faced with being so relaxed was with DS9, when he began first grade and DD and younger DS didn't have any official expectations. But first grade was still pretty gentle, so that wrinkle got ironed out OK.

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