Monday, August 31, 2015

Kindergarten in our Home: Fall 2015

So Miss Elizabeth has finally officially joined our ranks as a kindergartener.  I don't think kindergarten is technically necessary....but when you are the youngest and are desperately wanting to be included in what is going on, and you have begged all spring to learn how to read and Mama has taken so long to get around to beginning reading lessons that you start asking your brother, and you cry on your fifth birthday when Mama says you can't start Year One until you turn get the idea.

As with all of the curriculum posts I will be posting, please take them as DESCRIPTIVE of what is currently happening in my home with my particular students.  These lessons have been planned with their needs and abilities and our overall goals in mind.  I share to give you a peek inside of our home, just as I like to get a peek inside the homes of others from time to time. :)

Our kindergarten time takes 30-45 minutes each day.  You can see where it fits into our daily routine here.

Phonics (10 minutes)
We follow the basic method outlined here and here.   Elizabeth is in the word-building phase at the moment.  We occasionally mix it up by reading a bit from Run, Bug, Run.  (I don't endorse the program associated with these readers by the way.  I have just appreciated the readers for a couple of mine who have stayed in the word-building phase for quite awhile.  They are sort of similar to the Bob books, but with nicer illustrations.)  I've been trying to take photos when we are doing reading lessons and someday hope to do a series on what reading lessons have looked like in our home.

Read-Alouds (10-15 minutes)
We read each day from:
The Real Mother Goose and The Children's Bible in 365 Stories and then one of the following that Elizabeth has chosen from her kindergarten shelf:
  •  a Childhood of Famous Americans biography (currently Clara Barton)
  •  Dooryard Stories (Pierson)
  •  Faerie Gold (Hunsicker and Lindskoog)
  • Chimney Corner Stories (Hutchinson)
I also still read to her from our selection of picture books or a chapter book of her choice after lunch while the big kids do lunch clean up.

Math (10 minutes)
We are using Singapore's Essential Math for Kindergarten.  I've not used this before (actually I've used something different for kindergarten with all of my kids!), but chose this for her since I am using Singapore with the older two and it seemed the simplest thing to do. :)  Each page has a simple hands-on suggestion at the bottom with an accompanying very simple workbook exercise (so far it's just been concepts like same, different, matching sets, etc).  This is her favorite 'school' thing to do with mom by far.  (She says it's because she likes coloring the pages when we're done.)

Handwriting (less than 5 minutes)
I have a little workbook for this, which I thought she would be ready for.  But in reality she is finding it frustrating.  She knows how to form a lot of her letters (she has been writing her name and trying to write other words for some time now).   So I think we will set it aside for now and work more on getting the strokes in the right order, etc, in a more free-form way - using a salt tray or whiteboard for now, and come back to the lined pages in the workbook later.


  1. Precious times, savor them. Congrats to Elizabeth, I am tickled reading her plans, what a delight.

  2. Precious times, savor them. Congrats to Elizabeth, I am tickled reading her plans, what a delight.