Sunday, July 14, 2013

In which I ramble...and share my kindergarten plans for next year

After sharing some of my thoughts on the coming school year last week, several people asked if I had chosen curriculum yet.  It has been a slow process this year.  For many of our homeschool years, I've known well before a school year ended what I was going to be doing the following year! This year I craved a change and so proceeded to do more research and scouring before making curriculum choices.  

I'm adding a student this year, and though he has been learning along with us since he was a baby, having him officially a part of our learning adventures adds another element.  He is on the cusp of reading and yet he does not like to sit still for more than a few minutes.  He loves to color and he colors well but he hates to hold a pencil.  He's a climber and a jumper and a talker. I did not take my task of choosing curriculum for him lightly. 

After three years in our  small Charlotte Mason style co-op, we're going it alone this year.  Though I love the Charlotte Mason style of learning, I am feeling more free to do what works for us without conforming to a "method."    As a fun aside, I took this short (and free) teaching assessment online.  I scored 25 points on Charlotte Mason, 25 on Unit Study, 15 on Classical, 10 on Unschooling, and 8 on Traditional.  (You should take it, too, and share your score in the comments!)

I spent a good chunk of time on Thursday planning for next year.  I counted out how many weeks we have in our first term which lasts until Christmas break. I penciled in planned days off and special events that will affect the school day. I also looked through each book I want to use and put away a few for later.  Next year for us begins on August 6 so I have about three weeks to get my thoughts in order.  In our seven years of homeschooling,  I have never needed to spend so much time planning.  Usually I jot a loose daily schedule down on an index card, formulate a few yearly goals in my head, and dive in. 

Brian worked on Saturday so I spent more time at the table.  (Maybe I wouldn't need so much time if I didn't have interruptions about every 30 seconds.  Anyone relate?) I focused on planning specifically for Benjamin who is entering kindergarten.  I covered his nature notebook with colorful paper and familiarized myself with his workbooks.  The majority of our homeschool work is completed together as a family. We learn Bible, history, geography, science, art, and music together, but each child gets their own math and English work, based on skill level.  

Because Benjamin is ready to read but so full of energy, I am focusing on short lessons that challenge his mind without boring him.  Here is my tentative plan:

(Some links are affiliate links, though some books were given to us and are no longer in print.)

Starting to Measure (by Usborne) which should only take a week or two and then moving on to Counting With Numbers (by Rod and Staff) which goes beyond pencil work and  includes cutting, gluing, matching, and coloring

Monday/Wednesday: Fun to Learn About Letters and Words With Winnie the Pooh workbook
Tuesday/Thursday: Explode the Code 1-- short, simple, silly lessons that introduce phonics

Friday FUN Day: He and Alaine (almost 3) will enjoy  a variety of busy bag activities, including Number Gobbling Busy Bag, Build a Rainbow Busy Bag, Duplo and Lego Patterns Busy Bag, and Simple Shapes Busy Bag

As I continue to sketch out our plans, I plan to share what the older kids will learn in math and English this year and what we will be learning as a family. 


  1. Individual Teaching Styles
    Charlotte Mason 27
    Unit Study 21
    Classical 19
    Unschooling 8
    Traditional 4

  2. Charlotte Mason 29
    Unit Study 25
    Unschooling 19
    Classical 6
    Traditional 6

    Fun assessment! I'm not really surprised at the results.

    It looks like you have perfectly tailored Kindergarten for Benny, which is one of the (many) beauties of homeschooling!

  3. Charlotte Mason 21
    Unit study 19
    Unschooling 19
    Classical 12
    Traditional 12

    Some of these questions were so hard to pick a "right" answer for me!


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