My personal homeschool goals for Kindergarten are:
Be Fun, because play and learning are like strawberries and cream
Be Full, because a rich tank of fuel; gives you wings to fly
Be Free, because boxes were made for things that do not stay alive
This week at the start of our Kindergarten, I wanted Elijah know from experience that learning is as natural as breathing, and as intentional as gazing at the night sky with a pair of binoculars.
Bible and Character
” My son, pay attention to what I say, turn your ears to my words, do not let them out of your sight….” Proverbs 4:20. This is a song we sang the whole week while reading stories and talking about obedience and how we pay attention with all our senses. We also started practicing his basic chores for the morning time, afternoon and night.
We did some calendar time activities. And with daddy having travelled, there was a lot of interest in dates and how many more days till his return. Calendars and Maps are Elijah’s loves and so we simply used these to scaffold lots of talking around months of the year, ordinal numbers, direction, number recognition and writing. We did a lot of counting inside the house and also outside during play, counting to 100 and counting down from 10.
I had been collecting some empty household used goods during the summer, so when Elijah announced that he wanted to play shop, I was only happy to incorporate categorizing, counting, basic adding in buying and selling into our imaginative shop play.
We are using Horizon Math K and Life of Fred this year, but building into the lessons, practical hands-on experiences. Since Elijah already knows his basic shapes, I went right ahead and introduced him to 3D shapes. You-tube has great videos on cubes, cones cylinder, spheres and pyramids. Then, it was off to playing with the shapes in the mini sandpit while casually talking about them.
Language and Writing
Lots of stories for rich ideas and a gentle guide to reading. This week we played a lot of phonemic awareness games and reviewed all the alphabet sounds. The sad discovery I made was that Elijah has really mastered the “names” of the alphabets and their order, but we need a stronger connection to the “sound” that each letter makes.
I am using All About Reading and Phonics Pathways and Phonemic Awareness games from Teachers Pay Teachers. As well as Handwriting without Tears for handwriting. I have not opened the latter yet. We did a lot of finger drawing in sand to write his name and on the chalkboard as well.
Science and Nature
I have been listening to the curious questions coming from Elijah for a while now and before the start of our school year I asked him what he wanted to know about or anything he was wondering about. Thats why we started our exploration into the Solar System.
Once again, youtube videos were an excellent resource. We also read books like Magic School Bus and Children’s Encyclopedia. Daily discussion and exploration into the universe and the wonder of creation, as well as discussing the other planets from the perspective of what makes the earth so ideal for life, was appropriate for Elijah.
We spent a morning at a nature centre, playing and walking around while observing trees, signs of Fall, birds and also encouraging Elijah to describe what he was seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and imagining tasting.
Our visit to the Play Museum this week was a fun way to fan life into the the activities that Elijah naturally was drawn to. This is when a simple field trip becomes a learning provocation with the motivation already sandwiched with the exposure. Elijah was introduced to Chinese food and clothing and we located China on the map.
We discussed life long ago and got to play with some toys that kids long ago used to play with.
Each week I will note any possible links that I could identify. Natural follow-ups and possible ideas of how to connect one idea or topic to another. Some of these links may be explored straight away or wait for a more opportune time. But the point is to encourage those links so that learning remains meaningfully and beautifully interconnected. Learning links may also be flow into and feed into Elijah’s interests, as well as overall Kindergarten grade outcomes.
Solar system ~ days of creation ~ the earth ~ continents ~ the earth ~ volcanoes.
A learning thought # 1:
Start the Day with an activity to be enjoyed purely for connection sake