I'm going to follow the public school cutoff and general calendar for assigning grade levels for my children. It has nothing to do with the level of curriculum they are using; it's just to keep things easier for when folks ask, "What grade are you in?" or for outside activities and such.
Anyway, kindergarten. Let's talk about it.
Philosophically, I am leaning Charlotte Mason. I appreciate her gentle approach, short lessons, encouraging exploration in the outdoors, fine arts appreciation, narration and dictation and so on. She would have formal schooling begin at 1st grade or age 6, and I've jumped ahead since I am overeager with my firstborn.
I've been devouring pages and posts at SimplyCharlotteMason.com and I think I may try to piece together our full program using their model.
Here's some big-picture goals that I'd like to accomplish for my son's kindergarten experience:
- Fun. If no fun, no doing. It's kindergarten. The unfun schooling can come later. :)
- Field trips! Museums, historical sites, whatever. I feel like this is a wonderful age to get out and explore as a family.
- Phonics: Phonics instruction will continue to be my primary focus.
- Writing: I will increase the frequency in handwriting instruction and practice to emphasize proper letter formation, spacing and scale.
- Math: We will also begin a math program to start laying a solid mathy foundation.
- Read-alouds. There are so many wonderful books and such limited time! I'm happy my kids enjoy listening to books. We still do plenty of picture books and are adding longer stories with fewer pictures, too. Also, some audio books.
- Bible: hymns, memory verses, stories, catechism