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Kindergarten curriculum with everything?


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Let me just say I'm not new to homeschooling or these boards, although it's been a while.  I homeschooled my oldest up until 8th and he's now a sophomore at the university. However, he was compliant, and I was full of enthusiasm.

The on-line stuff from their school for my 2nd and 4th was a disaster even though their classical charter did a pretty good job. I'm strongly considering homeschooling my kinder, 2nd (needs to repeat), and 5th this fall. 

I have never homeschooled kinder- is there some kind of program that sends ALL the materials? Like all the messy supplies? Maybe do the basics and just sign him up for extra classes...? I do not want anything with screen time. My kids are VERY addicted to it. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and tired with the idea of organizing for THREE instead of one kiddo.  Suggestions? Advice? 

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8 minutes ago, Penny_P said:

Let me just say I'm not new to homeschooling or these boards, although it's been a while.  I homeschooled my oldest up until 8th and he's now a sophomore at the university. However, he was compliant, and I was full of enthusiasm.

The on-line stuff from their school for my 2nd and 4th was a disaster even though their classical charter did a pretty good job. I'm strongly considering homeschooling my kinder, 2nd (needs to repeat), and 5th this fall. 

I have never homeschooled kinder- is there some kind of program that sends ALL the materials? Like all the messy supplies? Maybe do the basics and just sign him up for extra classes...? I do not want anything with screen time. My kids are VERY addicted to it. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and tired with the idea of organizing for THREE instead of one kiddo.  Suggestions? Advice? 

Welcome back. 🙂

I wouldn't buy a box of anything for a 5yo child. I wouldn't sign him up for classes. All you need is a little something for phonics, a little something for penmanship, and a little something for arithmetic.

I wouldn't make your 7yo "repeat" second grade. Just start wherever he is and go from there. What academic areas is he struggling with?

Your oldest should (after awhile) be able to do some things independently while you help the youngers, and then y'all can do some things together.

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Thanks Ellie-

Homeschooling was an adventure I had thought we had put behind. Just browsing around at the familiar titles and topics has been nostalgic.  

I suppose you're right about not getting a big box o' curriculum and crafty stuff for my 6 year old- I had delayed his kinder start. As for my 7 year old, she has multiple delays and the school was going to have her repeat 2nd. She really does need some extra support. I'm working on trying to get a psycho-educational eval. Some of it may just be developmental in not understanding, ie borrowing during subtraction. But she also has many letter reversals and difficulty with spelling even basic words. 

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9 minutes ago, Penny_P said:

Thanks Ellie-

Homeschooling was an adventure I had thought we had put behind. Just browsing around at the familiar titles and topics has been nostalgic.  

I suppose you're right about not getting a big box o' curriculum and crafty stuff for my 6 year old- I had delayed his kinder start. As for my 7 year old, she has multiple delays and the school was going to have her repeat 2nd. She really does need some extra support. I'm working on trying to get a psycho-educational eval. Some of it may just be developmental in not understanding, ie borrowing during subtraction. But she also has many letter reversals and difficulty with spelling even basic words. 

That your children might or might not have been ready for their age-level placement in school does not mean that you have to say they're a year behind at home. 🙂 In the classroom, they have to perform and compete  with other children; at home, it's just them. Extra support does not mean repeating a grade at home.

With both your younger dc, I would probably suggest not doing anything formal for arithmetic, but have Cuisenaire rods for messing around with, and puzzles, and other things which are kinesthetic that they can manipulate. You could consider Spalding for both for phonics/reading/spelling, because it really can help children with learning issues, and it's infinitely flexible so that you can adjust it to your dc's needs.

History and science don't have grade levels; read alouds, field trips, fun hands-on activities, making a garden are all things that all your dc would enjoy.

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If I was really wanting an "all in one" hands on package for my kinder, I would probably look at Oak Meadow or Timberdoodle.

If I wanted to keep it simpler, I would probably do math, phonics, and maybe get something like a subscription to Ivy Kids, which features a picture book with 6-10 go along crafts/STEM activities.  They definitely send ALL the supplies.  It's also fairly inexpensive to add on a sibling kit, which basically doubles the supplies and your 2nd grader might enjoy working alongside, depending on her delays.

My kinder this year is doing RightStart Math (she needs hands on), I See Sam readers, Print Path from. Teachers Pay Teachers, listens in to family read alouds when she wants to, and then has plenty of unstructured play time.  I seriously spend 35 minutes sitting down with her - 15 for math, 15 for phonics, and 5 for penmanship - and that's it.  We set a timer.

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I used Moving Beyond the Page 4-5 with one of my kindergarteners, if I recall I still had to add phonics and math, but it did come with fun enrichment type activities. I also agree with @medawyn to look ar Ivy Kids Kits as an activity for that age.

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For me, a lot of what I do with my kindergartners is based on my goals and limitations.

Goals: 
1) Developing a wide variety of daily living skills: self-care, chores, cooking, following routines, regulating emotions, problem solving, etc.
2) Daily short practice sessions in phonics, math and handwriting.
3) LOTS of exposure to fiction and nonfiction read alouds.
4) Independent exploration in the areas of nature, art, science, writing, etc. (incorporating fine motor skills whenever possible)
5) Copious amounts of free play.

Limitations:
1) Three older children to school, plus mentally ill sibling is volatile and requires A LOT of attention
2) Kindergartner feels left out if told to play by herself while siblings do school
3) Kindergartner is (age-appropriately) needy and disruptive if she gets bored during school time
4) Kindergartner doing "fun" activities during school time is very distracting to others

So, those factors dictate a lot of choices I make.  For example, Ivy Kids (and similar kits) do not work here.  With all the book and direction reading, game playing, craft setting up, etc, they end up taking up a lot more of my time than the kiddo's.  That is the opposite of what I need!

My youngest is only 4.5 right now, but I am considering this fall her kindergarten year.  Each morning, while the 6th grader works independently and the 4th grader works with his ABA therapist, I sit at the table with the K and 2nd graders.  In about 40ish minutes I work through a little bit of Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, Singapore Essentials book B, speech therapy homework, and a handwriting sheet with the K'er, while also supervising and helping the 2nd grader with a couple subjects.  Then the younger two and I do a chore or two before they both take a 20 minute play break and I check in with the 6th grader.  After break time, I work with the 2nd grader while the K'er does a couple pages in Explode the Code, listens to a couple Wonder books or Vox books from the library, draws, does dot to dots or mazes, cuts junk mail into confetti, plays with math manipulatives/a balance scale/a measuring tape, reads Bob books to herself, “play” the digital piano with headphones on...basically anything she can do mostly by herself that isn’t overly exciting or appealing to the older kids who have work to do  

By this time it is ~10am and the 2nd grader is finishing up with his work, but free play time doesn't start until after snack, so he and the K'er do sometime productively fun for half an hour: art, play outside, play a board game, the 2nd grader can read to the K'er, color, do a puzzle, play with snap circuits, help make snack, etc.  Often one or both of the older kids joins in for this activity; this is a good break for them, and snack time provides a clear signal for when "break" time is over and the olders have to get back to work.

We all come together at 10:30 for a snack while I read poetry and a children's book in Spanish.  Then the younger two are let loose to play...anywhere that isn't distracting to the older two.  Later, I read history aloud during lunch and science during afternoon snack - I choose carefully to find books that will offer something to all the ages.  Then during/after dinner I read aloud from a novel (currently The Hobbit), and at bedtime DH or I read aloud whatever the K'er requests.

Edited by wendyroo
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/10/2020 at 9:03 PM, wendyroo said:


2) Kindergartner feels left out if told to play by herself while siblings do school
3) Kindergartner is (age-appropriately) needy and disruptive if she gets bored during school time
 

Not the OP, but this really helped shed some light on some of the issues my DS5 was having. Thank you for the insight!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/10/2020 at 7:03 PM, wendyroo said:

 

By this time it is ~10am and the 2nd grader is finishing up with his work, but free play time doesn't start until after snack, so he and the K'er do sometime productively fun for half an hour: art, play outside, play a board game, the 2nd grader can read to the K'er, color, do a puzzle, play with snap circuits, help make snack, etc.  Often one or both of the older kids joins in for this activity; this is a good break for them, and snack time provides a clear signal for when "break" time is over and the olders have to get back to work.

We all come together at 10:30 for a snack while I read poetry and a children's book in Spanish.  

Wendy- What time do you start the day...? Trying to visualize our day a little better. Do you find that having this schedule works or does it get all messed up? With homeschooling one rather compliant kiddo, it just sort of happened. But I'm wondering if I should actually schedule the day. Just thinking out loud. 

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1 hour ago, Penny_P said:

Wendy- What time do you start the day...? Trying to visualize our day a little better. Do you find that having this schedule works or does it get all messed up? With homeschooling one rather compliant kiddo, it just sort of happened. But I'm wondering if I should actually schedule the day. Just thinking out loud. 

My kids are early risers (they also go to bed early) - the 11 and 9 year olds normally wake around 5:30, the almost 7 year old around 6am and the K'er between 6:30 and 7am.

The older two read in their rooms until 6:30 when they come down to start school.  To some that seems ridiculously early, but 1) they don't use alarms clocks, so that is the time they naturally wake, 2) by 6:30 they have already spent an hour free reading and easing into the day, and 3) this allows them to finish their school work by lunch time which is worth it to them.

The younger kids read in their rooms until 7, and breakfast is served at 7:15.  For us it is important to stay on schedule because the ABA therapist walks in the door every weekday morning at 8am, and by then breakfast needs to be eaten and cleaned up, the table wiped, floor swept, teeth brushed, etc.

As for how the schedule works...for us it is more a string of routines and a general daily flow, and we would be lost without it.  I certainly know that there are unstructured homeschoolers, but that would never work for us.  We are simply too interconnected to all march to the beats of our own drummers.  We all eat and then clean up at the same times so the kitchen is not in a constant state of mess.  We all listen to read alouds at the same times.  My oldest works on independent work while I teacher the youngers.  The youngers play together while I work with the oldest.  We all work hard in the mornings so that the kids can have rest time (which they need) and fun time (which they want) in the afternoons while I catch up, make dinner, prepare for the next day (time I need to avoid burnout).  None of those pieces fit together as nicely if everyone is just doing what they want, when they want to.

Our main time blocks are:
Wake up - 8am: Get ready for day, olders get a head start on school, breakfast and clean up.
8 - 10: Everyone works on checklists*.  Then snack.
10:30 - 12:30: Youngers play, olders finish checklists.  Then lunch.
1 - 2:30: Rest/quiet, independent play time.  Then snack.
3 - 5: Free play, perhaps a trip to the park or library when they were open.
5 - 6:30: Dinner and family time.  Then reading in rooms.  Lights out for everyone by 7:30.

* Each of my kids has a daily checklist of tasks (which includes chores and hygiene tasks).  The kids are welcome to work through the items on their checklist in largely the order that they want. The older they are, the more they are responsible for ordering their tasks based on constraints.  For example, they know that spelling is teacher intensive, so even my 7 year old will keep an eye on my availability, and pause an independent subject to do spelling with me when he sees that I'm not busy.  If the piano is being used they need to move on to another subject.  If they are waiting on me for their last school subject, then they should get their daily chore done.  So they have quite a bit of freedom within the basic structure of our days.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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