Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kindergarten Curriculum

I'm not sure where the summer went but our school year is right around the corner. My youngest starts homeschool Kindergarten this year and I have to say I'm having pangs of not feeling confident at times. My two oldest kids both attended public school in their younger years and learned to read while there.
Tae has never been to public school so his learning to read is all on me.
Like everything else I've ever attempted, I'm sure it will be just fine but I do want to have a good plan of attack. This is the child that doesn't like to sit at a desk but loves workbooks and loves stories. When he is not sure of something he completely shuts down and I think he's not listening, but in a few days time he comes back and seems to have grasped the concept. Sometimes you can just see the hamster wheel spinning at full throttle with this kid. So my game plan this year is, well, to have a game plan.
It's always good to have a plan.

Tae got his folders ready for school. Yes, I know it's upside down. So what. He did it himself.
Dixie the ninja kitty watched the keyboard while I sorted through books.

The two books we are using are Sadlier Phonics and Zaner Bloser Activity Phonics. Morgan used both of these books while she was in Kindergarten and First Grade and we loved both of them. I have to say that these are beautiful books. Colorful and interactive. Just right for five year old.
The Activity phonics has a letter of the week for eight weeks then a cumulative review of the letters. At the end of the chapter there is a cut out book that the child should be able to read. We will also be using , an online learn to read program that Tae just loves.

The other night I sat for about four hours and went through our very extensive library, finding books that correspond with Tae's letter/sound of the week. Week one, the letter is Cc, so we are reading The Cat in the Hat and several others. The Cat in the Hat makes another appearance when we do the short a sound. Tae loves to be read to, so my plan is to immerse him in reading books this year. Some we will read and some he has words that he recognizes and will soon be reading by himself.

I took a few breaks to breeze through the Lakeshore Learning Catalogs that came in the mail. I still need storage containers for all of our homeschool stuff and honestly I drool over their stuff. It's not in the budget this year to buy all that I want so for now cheap containers will have to do.

Back to the books. I actually was able to plan out the first 12 weeks of school for Tae. I used post it notes to label the books. Each post-it is labeled with the letter of the week and the corresponding week number. Week 2/letter Cc etc.
I selected anywhere between 5 and 10 books for the week for him.
Everything is neatly lined up and I can find each book according to the lesson plan.
This year we will also be learning about numbers by doing the morning Calendar with the weather forcast, I have tons of math manipulatives for him, I have created a letter of the week cork board for him to use, I bought some letter tiles for word creation and we are starting to put together our word wall-all words that Tae knows how to spell and recognize by sight. We also need to work on our days of the week and months of the year.
I am going to use the free plan book that I received from Lakeshore Learning. Homeschooling three kids is confusing enough and I need to know what I covered in each of their subjects. For my own sanity, I need to have everything in one place. My Grandma used to say, "Can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. " How do Grandma's get so wise?
This plan book is large enough for all three kids for each week. Patrick and Morgan only do one subject a day so they are able to spend much more time and depth on each subject. Sometimes the subjects overlap but mostly it's one subject a day for ease.

I like the plan book because it has both monthly and weekly breakdown on the calendar.

My other investment this week was a label maker. I really needed this not only for my pantry but for all the crates, containers, bags and receptacles of homeschoool manipulatives. Some of our containers are solid colors (in the futures I will only buy clear containers so we can see in them) and I needed the label maker to identify what was inside.

Here are the results of many hours of work. Two neatly stacked, labeled and very cool looking baskets ready to start our school year. Two more kids to plan for and oh, I have to buy some new baskets for my linen closet. Guess where these very lovely baskets came from?

1 comment:

Sara said...

Wow! You look all set to go - I'm sure learning to read is going to be great for you both.