Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Kindergarten

Today was our 36th day of kindergarten.


We’ve learned so much already. He has learned a lot, but I have learned almost just as much. It’s been an amazing blessing to get to take this journey with him and my prayer journal is chock-full of thank yous for this gift. I thought I’d share today everything we’ve been doing so far this year. When it’s all written out like this, it seems like a lot. The reality is that we run on loops (I learned about those from Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie) so we don’t do all of this every day. Each day we do our daily work, one Loop A item, and one Loop B item.

DAILY
Memory work- We learn a different Bible verse each week. Some weeks we re-learn an old one. There was a sermon in my church growing up in which a guest shared that when he was in a horrid accident, the Bible verses he didn’t even know he remembered from his childhood were the only thing that brought him comfort as he searched through the wreckage for other survivors. I was just a kid when I heard him tell the mothers in the church to teach their babies bible verses but it’s always stuck with me so this is a priority for me. We also learn a poem or something each week. Eventually we’ll memorize all the books of the Bible.
Devotional- Currently still reading through Indescribable, and still loving it! We haven’t been doing it every single day here lately though.
Bible- At the moment we’re nearing the end in the Jesus Calling Bible Storybook and are about to start a new one, the Spirit of God illustrated Bible.  
Spanish- I just make up my own curriculum for this. We’re mostly focusing on nouns right now, with a few simple I statements thrown in for good measure.
Math- We do three lessons a week from The Good and the Beautiful Math K, and the other days of the week we do his calendar and songs, plus usually some kind of math-related activity or review.
Language arts- We do one or two lessons each week from The Good and the Beautiful K-Primer, then spend the other 3 or 4 days doing review or related activities. We write lots of letters and stories, play lots of letter/word games, and lately I’ve really been enjoying asking questions from Daily Question for You and Your Child*. Some of them have been excellent to have him write out and illustrate in his homeschool journal. There has been enough space so far for me to ask all three of my “big” kids the same question each day, and there is a space for three years of the same question so it will be so fun for me to look back on all the fun answers and changes. I like to write their answers into the book myself, but having him write out his own answer in his homeschool journal some days has made for an excellent writing activity. If you like line-a-day journals or are sentimental about the way your children’s thinking changes over time, this book is definitely quite a treasure.



LOOP A- we loop through these and theoretically work on one each day.
History- I bought The Good & the Beautiful’s Year One history course but it turned out to be geared more towards students first grade and up, kindergarten only if they have older siblings working through the course. So instead we’ve been reading about Christian heroes in Everyone a Child Should Know and read a historical picture book (especially, though not exclusively, from the Good & the Beautiful booklist) on our history days.
Science- We’ve been doing The Good & the Beautiful’s Space Science curriculum with our friends (who also have four children, around the same ages as ours) which has been pretty fun! Once a week (though maybe twice a week from now on) we get together for our lesson, then we eat lunch/play/chat. Both of us had reservations about how well this would work but it has worked out so wonderfully! It’s like our own mini co-op. The science (and history, too) are set up for family-style teaching which means that it works for several different grades at the same time, so wonderful!
Nature study- I made a simple nature journal for A at the end of last year and he enjoys exploring something (ideally a hike or nature walk or something, but often just a jaunt around the block or in our backyard) and then journaling about it there. The Good & the Beautiful makes an awesome, far more educational nature study book which we’ll be buying once he finishes his homemade book.  



LOOP B- we work on one each day. I used to include art here but I wasn’t actively teaching this and he has been doing his own art projects at Quiet Time using library books so now that’s kind of just part of everyday life. Plus, the TGTB curriculum includes art history/appreciation in both the math and language arts which is another win for me since art is not my strong suit. 
Music- Right now, this just means singing songs together and playing music on the kid-friendly musical instruments my parents got them… but eventually, we hope to save up for an upright piano and have lessons!
Cooking- Mostly this is just really simple meals but we’re working towards bigger things.
Computer- This pretty much exclusively means computer games on the library’s computer right now… ABC Mouse, pbskids.com, and superbook.com are current favorites. He is also welcome to make an art creation using Microsoft Paint on our computer. I’ll teach him more legitimate computer lessons when he’s older but at this point I just don’t think he needs much more.
Service Project- I dedicate a day to this because it’s so important to us. Right now his big project is an Operation Christmas Child box, which he is filling up himself for a teenage boy. He doesn’t have enough money for this, of course, so he decided to put on a concert for family and friends and charge admission. They all live far away so we made a video concert instead, and we’ve sent the video to anyone who sent him $3. He still doesn’t have as much as he needs for everything on his list so he’s brainstorming other money-earning options this week. One idea he had: Pulling wheats (weeds) for friends and neighbors we trust. =D


This has all been so fun and precious to me, and I look forward to seeing how things grow and change over the years.

*I received a free copy of Daily Question for You and Your Child from WaterBook & Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. 

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