Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our Kindergarten Work Load

We started school today. It was kind of arbitrary, choosing today to start school in earnest, but I really just wanted to test out the system I  had worked out in my head and see if it needs any adjustment before next week when her co-op classes start. Co Op classes are twice a month, up from once a month last year, and she will be in three different classes: science, Spanish, and art.



I have been slowly purchasing her educational materials every time I get a hold of Amazon.com credit, which I do often thanks to Mysurvey.com (I can send you a referral to this site if you would like. Just give me your email address. It has by far the best rewards for your time of any survey site I have found so far and you can sometimes get product samples as well), and we have been doing light school all summer, but it has been mostly just one subject a day. Today was the first day I decided to do all the subjects at once.

The subjects I have chosen to teach this year are reading, handwriting, math, and Spanish. I plan to incorporate literature, art, and other humanities subjects through our library books, picking out subjects she is interested in and expanding upon them with books (such as I did with our unit on Van Gogh and our space unit).

We already finished up our Kindergarten Reading Unit through Hooked on Phonics.



I was surprised at how quickly we went through it. I am going to buy the first grade unit when I get a chance, but I don't want to rush her through it too quickly, so right now for reading we are just using readers that we get from the library. Her favorite are the Mo Willems ones that I blogged about here. 


I was concerned that Coryn would get burned out if I tried to do everything in one day. After all, I've never really required her to do more than a half hour of school at a time and here I'd planned out a math lesson, a Spanish lesson, a fairly length handwriting sheet, and also to read a book. That could take hours.

It took less than an hour and a half, so now I'm wondering, okay, did I go too light? Should I add in a few more subjects? More busy work with the subjects that I did choose?

Here are the  workbooks we are using:

I chose to go with Horizons for math. It is very highly recommended and the books were a reasonable price.

 My only complaint is that they are a little  easy. I do like that they include a mix of different subjects. The lessons involve pattern recognition, telling time and the days of the week, shape recognition, and number writing practice. These are all subjects that Coryn has become somehow fairly adept at (we haven't done a lot of math work but she has a decent grasp on addition and subtraction), but I decided to resist the urge to skip ahead. For one thing, this means that for now math is her easiest subject and I'd like to avoid  it becoming hated for her as swiftly as it did for me (I remember disliking math from an early grade). Coryn likes subjects where she can feel smart and has my weakness for getting frustrated with things she can't get right the first time. 

For handwriting we are using a combination of Draw.Write. Now and a basic printing workbook called Brighter Child Handwriting: Printing


Draw.Write.Now is good because it involves drawing a simple picture and then writing out four sentences describing the picture. Coryn doesn't really seem to do too well with the drawing part (she takes a lot of short cuts), but so far she has been good about getting through the sentences. 

Handwriting: Printing has worksheet pages that focus first on letters, then on words, and eventually sentences. It is a very basic workbook and I probably could've just printed out handwriting sheets for free off the internet, but I've been having off and on trouble with my printer, and I felt it would be nice just to have the worksheets on hand (it helped that the entire workbook is only $3.59 on Amazon and I had some credit there). The letter pages are a little bit monotonous, but once she focuses she can get through on in about ten minutes.

For Spanish I found Teach Them Spanish which is a teacher source book, meaning it is meant to be copied so that you can share the pages with multiple students and have them cut them up, draw on them, etc. It has a decent range of activities and even some songs to teach children basic Spanish words and phrases. It is a good program if you know how to read Spanish, by which I mean are familiar with the Spanish alphabet and pronunciation of the words.


I was surprised at how quickly we got through our work today, so I'm reevaluating a tiny bit. I'll keep tweaking the system until we figure out what works for us. 

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