Hey, It's Jade! and family

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homeschool Update, 4 weeks in...

So, I realized on Friday that we had been at this Kindergarten thing for four weeks already.  It's gone pretty well... as far as I can tell.  See what I did there?  Yeah, this morning we were working on rhyming words... it kinda stuck.  Anyway, I gave Preston a bit of a review on Friday afternoon to see if what we had talked about over the past four weeks had stuck at all.  I was a little nervous 'cause sometimes he forgets what we talked about within a few hours (like can't tell Daddy what we did or answer questions about it), so I was kind of wondering if we needed to go over everything AGAIN!  But, to my surprise, Preston pretty much nailed everything I threw at him during the review.  There were a few things he couldn't recall or stumbled over, but overall... I think he's getting it.  I have been doubting myself a lot because I don't have "teaching experience" and I have been just flying by the seat of my pants for the most part.  I feel like I'm skipping around, when there should be some sort of order to it.  But... I dunno, we're having fun and he's getting it.  So, I guess we're good.

We always start the day with reading from his Childrens' Bible and we've been learning the 10 Commandments.  He's got 1-5 down pretty well.

I have to really get after him when it comes to writing... he doesn't enjoy that much.  He tends to write several letters and numbers backwards unless he's really focusing or looking at an example.  He knows them all, and he can certainly read 'em all (and books, and signs and pretty much ANYTHING!), but he doesn't enjoy writing so he I can tell he doesn't want to put effort into it.  I try to do fun things so he doesn't just hate that subject, but starting out I'm sure he thinks it's boring just to be going over capital and lower case letters.  Hopefully from now on, I can make it more exciting and he'll be more interested.  We read lots of books from his collection, and various magazines.  He knows how to tell you how many syllables are in a word too.

As for math, we spent time going over how to write the numbers for the first few weeks 'cause he just kept doing most of them backwards.  But I think he has them down for the most part.  I moved him on to patterns, then measurements, including with a ruler, time and temperature.  He surprised me by picking up on telling time really well... he can't count by 5 just yet, but on the clock we made as a craft he can tell me exact what time it is and knows how to write out the time in numbers.  He's also got his days of the week down, and we're working on months.

We trade off Science and Social Studies, working on one or the other each day.  We've gone over the 7 continents and the two oceans closest to us.  He's got his directions (N, S, E, W) down pretty well on a map, and has memorized his address (including zip code).  We've talked about seasons and weather.  And we spent a week on the 5 senses, doing all kinds of fun activities for each one.

Some other things we've been doing is learning the alphabet and numbers in Sign Language, and he's got those down pretty well, give or take a few signs.  We've been working on numbers and colors in Spanish.  We've done several art projects, and talked about some musical things like beats, rhythm and musical instruments.

It seems like we've covered a lot in those four weeks, but it's also felt very sporadic.  I'd like to give myself a better long-term plan, but end up just kind of coming up with what we're gonna do for the week on Sunday evening.  It's not that bad 'cause at least we can be flexible and it's not the end of the world if we get off a little 'cause I don't have to rearrange the whole month.  I do have an outline of "things your kindergartner should know" so I feel like we're on the right track, at least.  And we're having a good time.  There have been a few whiny days, a few days were Callen wasn't cooperative at all to let us work, but there have been a lot more times when things have gone super easy and fun, so I'm definitely thankful for that!  I'm proud to say that most days the TV never even gets turned on, woo hoo! 


candi said...

On the handwriting: Don't push it too hard. I had a horrible time with Brynn's handwriting her whole K year--it was a major issue for us. FInally, I dropped it because it wasn't worth ruining our relationship over. Instead, I gave her LOTS of art projects to do. Without even trying, her letter formation improved drastically. By doing so much art, her fine motor skills developed nicely and that is what improved her letter formation. That plus maturity growth and ability to remember the letters better added up to much better handwriting. Without any misery. :)

Sarah Smith said...

Wow, Jade! I think you are doing an awesome job. Seriously.

Like everyone is saying, don't worry too much about the handwriting stuff. It will come when he's ready (although, I don't think there's anything wrong with still trying to practice for a few minutes each day in a fun way)!

Keep it up!! :-)

Melissa Neece said...

Sounds like you are going a great job!
As a former kindergarten teacher, I can tell you that most kids write their letters/numbers backwards - no big deal! They learn it eventually - in fact, in "official" language, no need to worry or test over writing backwards till 8 years of age!
So just let them write. Best way for a guy his age - is to do a picture journal - let him draw a picture and then write a sentence about it underneath. Some believe in correcting the sentence, others believe just let it be its own creative expression. I think it depends on the child - some spirits are crushed with correction, some spirits demand that you fix what is wrong (as in, they know its not right, and they want it right, little perfectionists, I always called them).
The best thing about homeschooling is the fact you never have to "push" anything - they'll get everything eventually with maturity. That is the one reason I always hated public school - we had to push children in fields that they weren't ready for - especially reading and writing. :)