Saturday, August 2, 2014

Some highlights from our first week of kindergarten

My son thought August 1st sounded like a good day to start, so I said why not? The area public schools are back in session ranging from July 30 - the first or second week of August.

I am planning a slow build, especially since it is August and the weather so far this summer has been pleasant for the most part. Let's be outside!

We went to area parks 5 days in a row. Love it. We even went to two that we had never visited. We had a last-minute playdate and 3 other homeschool moms joined us.

While at one park, a mom commented aloud that she couldn't wait for her kids to go back to school. Johnny told me later that he thought that was a really sad thing to say.

I mean, I get wanting to be back in a routine and stuff but don't make your kid think you don't like spending time with them. If that's how you feel well, that's your feelings -- just don't tell your kid that, know what I mean?

So while we have been in the van, I've switched us from music CDs to some story CDs to change things up. We borrowed an Adventures in Odyssey pack from a friend and enjoyed it, though some of it was over their heads. Though it was 4 hours, I was surprised how fast we went through it.

Now, we're listening to the Adventures in Odyssey the American history one from the HSLDA. LOVE IT. They were both so into the first (of 8) CDs. I wish they had some history CDs of other eras and places (let me know if I'm just not seeing it).

(Sidenote -- if you have other suggestions for CDs I'm all ears. I'm still downloading Jim Weiss CDs at the rate of 3 tracks per week. I wouldn't mind other history CDs, or perhaps audio book recommendations. I'll see what our library has. If it's a book, perhaps less than 3 hours? I just want to make sure we can finish it within the 3-week borrowing period without needing to renew).
One day, Johnny read aloud to me from a Dick and Jane reader that I had. The illustrations are so precious! The stories are kind of dull but Johnny seemed to enjoy reading it. He is overwhelmed by books with small print and pages full of text. I don't know if it's a visual thing or psychological one.

He is doing really well with reading but he needs lots more practice to become fluent and comfortable, so I'm just going to encourage him to read anything that builds his confidence right now. No need to feel stressed.

He is working on an "all about me" book this week. I think it'll be a fun kindergarten keepsake. I found some free printables for it and created some simple questions for him to answer with my help for spelling.

Things like full name, age, address, height and weight (we measured him and weighed him and wow this guy is growing!), and a family tree. Also, I asked him some open-ended questions, like "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Answer: "a flying-car engineer."

I told him I would buy a flying car if he made one, and he said not to worry, he'd give me one for free.

He's having fun making his book and sharing it with his grandparents. I 3-hole-punched the pages and we are putting them inside a folder with a clasp. We'll print off his "first day of K" photo to include, maybe do a paint handprint for a page and I'll ask what else he would like to add.

We are doing a lazy unit study on China. There's a really fantastic exhibit at the children's museum that opened recently, so I thought it would be fun to expand upon what we saw there. We watched two videos (one was about ancient China and also the terra cotta warriors, which are at the museum now; the other video was a day in the life of two Chinese children).

We read through a few books, I made a Chinese-inspired dinner one night that was well-received, and Johnny made his version of the Great Wall using craft sticks. He is really into craft sticks lately and he did that project on his own.

Oh and of course, we found China on our globe.

I should probably do The Story About Ping with our Five in a Row guide soon.

We started our 100 chart (just add a number to a chart each day we do school), a craft stick counting thing (one stick per day and when we get to 10, we bundle them with a rubber band, up to 100) and filling in the date on a blank calendar. These are all MFWK ideas. When we get to 100 days of school we will have a partyyyyyyy. I like these activities because while they are so quick to do, they reinforce a lot of information.

A few books from our library basket and that was our week.

It was great and I'm so glad we've been able to be outside and play with others.

Johnny is excited for this year and he said, "I can't believe I'm in kindergarten!"

I can't believe it, either. So glad I get to do it with him!

Not much has actually changed between what we normally do and now, because children really do learn all the time. As we add our more structured subjects perhaps it will take a different feel.

P.S. I am making progress on my history search. I am loving the looks of TruthQuest History, starting in maybe 2nd or 3rd grade. Haven't decided and I will post more about it soon.

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!