Homeschooling Kindergarten (Day 100): Lessons Learned, Challenges, Future Plans

We recently celebrated our 100th day of school! If you started in August, then you may be thinking, “Really?! We’ve already surpassed 100 days a long time ago.”  First trimester ills and a little S.A.D. hit us hard recently. Plus, we only “school” 4 days a week at this early stage in the homeschooling game.

100DayofSchool

Anyway, I like to mark milestones with food (healthy, huh?!), so what better way to celebrate 100 days of school than to indulge in yummy doughnuts from our local Krispy Kreme. 

Since it’s been over 65 days since my last homeschool post, I thought I’d share an update including some challenges I’ve rectified plus new challenges we’re now facing. Because, as you know, life wouldn’t be fun without a challenge or two :)

Homeschooling Kindergarten: Lessons Learned Along the Way (Day 100) | Growing in His Glory.com

Lessons I’m Learning 

In October, I mentioned my struggle to teach math to our kindergartener. When we started homeschooling, I pieced together our kindergarten curriculum in an effort to save money, but it wasn’t working, especially for math.

After trying Life of Fred for awhile, I just had to pack it up.While the narrative was funny and my daughter loved Fred’s adventures, neither of us could do the math problems at the end. It just didn’t work for us.

However, some homeschooling friends recommended Saxon K, and it has been a lifesaver! We didn’t start until the end of October, but last week we started the first lesson for April. I’m going at my daughter’s pace, but the math is very basic. Still, I am glad we didn’t go with the 1st grade curriculum because the kindergarten curriculum builds a strong mathematical foundation that she  we need.

LOTWBinder-258x300

Another challenge I mentioned back in October was how to handle my antsy 3-year-old. Well, thanks to my amazing sister-in-law, I found a curriculum just for her! It’s Confessions of a Homeschooler’s “Letter of the Week” downloadable preschool curriculum. For $15, you get printables & activities for every letter of the alphabet. These activities are F-U-N! If they weren’t, Cora would not be on letter m.

With “Letter of the Week,” my daughter does do-a-dot paints, practices cutting and glueing, works on fine motor skills, colors, counts, and is learning her sounds. Sure I could print worksheets and create activities for her for free, but I just don’t have the time or energy right now. For me, $15 was a great investment that my other young children will also be able to use when they’re ready.

IMG_1022

The “Letter of the Week” curriculum has been such a blessing. Each day I put Cora’s school work in her workbox, so she knows exactly what to do while I work with big sister. I stop periodically to check on her, ask her about what she’s doing, and answer questions, but basically, she’s 3 and I let her do her own thing. I don’t make her doing any work she doesn’t want to do, although I encourage her to try. She is still antsy but her energy is focused for at least 15-20 minutes and then she runs off to play.

New Challenges

My new challenge is the almost 2 year old. Right now, she’s doing 1 of 2 things: (1) reading books in her crib, which works for about 30-40 minutes or (2) (most often) “participating” with us by pulling out and “playing” with all the math manipulatives. I’m thinking about trying blanket time for her, but laziness has kept me from doing the training.

AnnaB

Any suggestions, Moms of little people? She really likes to be in on the action and I’m trying to let her, but some days I’m at my wit’s end.

Future Plans

Next week I’m attending the Teach Them Diligently conference in Nashville. It’s a homeschool convention that I attended last year, and I am so excited to be going back again this year. It’s just about that time of the year when you need some encouragement, motivation, and inspiration in your homeschool, and the speakers & sessions are phenomenal. Plus, I’m eager to check out the curriculum fair.

Speaking of curriculum, I’m also researching & making plans for next year. Being frugal is still a goal, but I’m learning that in my current season I have to be practical and reasonable.

Here are my criteria for effective, useful curricula for me as I prepare to teach a rising 1st grader & pre-kinder:

  • minimal prep work & planning
  • will work with multiple learners 
  • all- (or mostly all-) inclusive (includes all materials needed)
  • can be used & reused
  • affordable
  • structured

I prefer a Classical Christian/Charlotte Mason approach.

Curriculum research is a little overwhelming because there are so many options, but as I pray about next year, remind myself of our goals, and create new goals for a new year, I believe this challenge will also be overcome.

OurGirls

Homeschooling: it is a daily adventure, but God is giving us success each day, sometimes in very unexpected ways. I can’t believe we’ve already hit 100 days of school, and yet I can :) Thanks be to God for getting us there!

How is your homeschooling year going? What challenges are you facing? I’d love to know so we can encourage each other.

Keri.Signature

 

 

 

facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestrss
Get email updates & exclusive subscriber freebies

Comments

  1. I have a feeling My Father’s World curriculum might meet ALL your criteria, at least somewhat??? :) We LOVE MFW. http://www.mfwbooks.com/ The Charlotte Mason/Classical approach is part of their vision. (Our 3rd grader is learning Greek root words, for example. :) ) One caveat: I did not “find” MFW until our kids were older, so we did not use the programs for younger children.
    We are only on Day 117, so I know the feeling! :) But a lot of public schools are stretched as well from all the snow days/cancellations in many states! I heard one school in another state (a friend of mine) created longer school days to try to catch up!
    Christa recently posted…Blogging BreakMy Profile

  2. Hi Keri,

    We too have just reached 100 days! We have been using My Father’s World since the beginning. Our children are in grades 5, 4, 1 and K. The others are ages 4, 1, and one in womb. I LOVE MFW! I can’t say enough good things about their curriculum. You do have to add English and Math. MFW does recommend Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons (which are the BEST English/grammar books….they are old from 1914 and are 100% charlotte mason :)) They recommend Singapore math which we use until the 3rd grade and then switch to teaching textbooks (which helps momma a lot). I love charlotte mason style but with lots of littles it presents some challenges especially with me being so sick from pregnancy.

    Have you delivered your fourth baby? or has the sickness just eased up ;)

    Blessings to you~~~angela
    btw….im super jealous that you have a local krispy crème!
    angela recently posted…Fabric Tape NotecardsMy Profile

  3. I also wanted to add that MFW does not add math until 1st grade….their K curriculum has math type stuff woven throughout. They don’t recommend adding English until 2nd grade….which makes sense considering 1st grade focuses on all the phonics “rules”, reading from a bible reader, and beginning to form and write sentences in their bible notebook. Their history is a bible timeline (which we have displayed on the wall). Yep, I think first grade is my favorite grade so far!
    angela recently posted…Fabric Tape NotecardsMy Profile

  4. Well, since you mentioned frugal, I just encountered this brand new free online curriculum by a fellow blogger http://plainandnotsoplain.com/elementary-age-children-schooling/
    She has several little ones, so has probably planned well for the scenario you’re dealing with.
    You might want to check it out : )
    Anna@stuffedveggies recently posted…MYO Wrinkle Remover Spray & Anti Static SprayMy Profile

  5. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I’ll be researching curriculum of my own before too long. Aaaa. They grow up so quickly. The conference sounds amazing too.
    Deanna recently posted…Homemade Pizza CrustMy Profile

  6. Love this! Our year is going really well, but it’s year 5 for us and I think it’s because of two main things: 1) because of external circumstances, my girls & I have been more aware of our moment by moment reliance on God to run the race, and 2) after five years of trial and error, the girls and I know each other’s teaching & learning styles, weaknesses and strengths, likes and dislikes – so our days just flow much better. I’ve learned that there are suggestions in the pre-planned instructor’s guide (Sonlight) that are just not even worth attempting with the girls, and some that are worth spending 1-2 hours on.

    Have a great time at the convention! I think if I lived within a reasonable distance, I would attend, too :)
    Lisha recently posted…Getting to know meMy Profile

  7. You are so wise to be schooling 4 days of the week, rather than trying to strive for 5 days. That gets exhausting fast, and why wear yourself (or your kids) out this early on? Good choice! We use Saxon as well for math, & have used it since Kindergarten, and we have loved it. I agree with your statement of starting with K, rather than skipping to 1, for the purpose of laying that foundation. You’ll find that 1 will build right off what you did in K, and you’ll be happy you did this.

    I’m so glad you shared the Letter of the Week, that looks great! Excited about looking into that for my little one. :)

    Homeschooling with littles running around? I usually tell people that homeschooling isn’t that big of a deal, it’s homeschooling w/a baby & toddler running around that’s really crazy! Ha! I don’t know if I have much to offer you other than, hang in there! I’ve always had a little one getting into everything during our school day. It’s been a wild ride, but really it’s been awesome to have the little ones around while we school. :)
    Caroline recently posted…Consider It Joy: Five Minute FridayMy Profile

  8. As someone who is trying to research homeschooling this is a really encouraging post!
    Stopping by from http://www.ourlifeonabudget.com :)
    Stasia recently posted…Getting Rid of Stuff: Sale on FB PagesMy Profile

    • I’m so glad, Stasia! We are new to homeschooling and I never thought I would do it, but I must say that it has been such a blessing for our family. Our girls are very close and my relationship with them is too. One of biggest fears of sending my children to school was losing that influence on them, and as a parent, charged by God to disciple my children, I did not see how I could do that except by homeschooling. That being said, homeschooling is a challenge. We spend a lot of time working on character issues and loving one another, but it’s refining for my girls and especially for me.

Speak Your Mind

*

Current ye@r *

CommentLuv badge