Monday, January 26, 2015

Kindergarten Homeschooling

In September I kind of threw myself into the world of homeschooling. I jumped into a small co-op, field trips, and anything I could find. I have since realized I need more structure in my days and my priorities needed to change. 

From September to December my days were filled with a whole bunch of nothing. I felt like I was doing 1000 things but really not getting anywhere. I didn't have a written lesson plan, no goals, and since I was told by many people "it's just kindergarten, it's more important that they just play", I wasn't making school a priority. 

All of that changed over the holidays. I was talking to a friend of mine and I was telling her how I felt like I wasn't doing my son any justice and I didn't know if I should follow the "it's just kindergarten" input I've received. She said "think of it this way, it's not JUST kindergarten, it's his first year of school."  You know what?  She was totally right!  

Why am I going to essentially hold him back?  He's excited about learning, he absorbs everything, and he's smart. Who am I to say "it's just kindergarten?" 

I am not saying playing isn't important, but us doing all if our lessons, minus crafts and games, takes about a total of 30-45 minutes out of the whole day. And that is doing language arts, math, Spanish, a unit study, and added reading throughout the day. And intentional playing is just as good as unguided playing. They get plenty of both. 

I am learning a lot about my teaching style and his learning style. I am learning a lot about how much is too much for us, and how to pick a topic and stick with it. I want him to learn so much, and he's so interested in everything that it is hard for me to pick and stick with something. 

I have found that they both love for me to read out loud to them. I'm talking real and informative books. We started "The Story of the World" not too long ago and they love it. They want it read after dinner, during bath, and pretty much any time they are playing quietly. And it's a history book!  

I find that if I use the read aloud time to read other topics other than what we are studying it helps his curiousity and still gives him good, true facts. 

A friend of mine, who just graduated her oldest son, suggested a simple weekly schedule. Cover the bases you want to cover, decide how often you will have school, and don't put specific days on your schedule. I put a date range, a week, to keep me on track but it is nice not feeling like I missed things because I didn't do them that day. Life happens, interests change, and we try to make everything a learning experience. 

I am still tweaking things, but I think I am on the right track!  What does your day look like?


4 comments:

  1. We are falling into our groove now too after starting over the summer...mine are in 1st and 3rd grade though so it's a bit more work. Each day we do Language Arts (Spectrum Writing), Handwriting without Tears, and Mon-Thurs we do Singapore Math. My 1st grader is flourishing with All About Reading and both boys do All About Spelling a few days a week. We just added in Sing Song Latin last week and love it so far-very fun for them to do, and when we have time we do Real Science for Kids-no set schedule, it's a bonus. We are on and off with our history-we do living history and lots of field trips but haven't been exploring much in the cold weather. I am starting literature with my 3rd grader this week. It sounds like a lot but takes about two hours a day which we divide up with breaks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You keep busy! It is amazing how much you can get accomplished in such a short time. I find that Z always wants to actually do more workbook work than I have planned so we end up doing a week's worth of math or language arts for a week in one sitting! I have to put time limits on lessons because some things he just wants to keep going and going! it is great, but sometimes there are other things that need to happen, like dinner...

      Delete
  2. I think it's really true that guided play is just as important as unguided! For some reason that tends to get left out of the kindergarten conversation so often, but it's a really valuable aspect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree. Playing is great, and guided play is even better ;)

      Delete

I look forward to your comments, they make my day!