Grapevine and Olive Shoots

growing in grace and knowledge.

Kindergarten Prep/Summer School

on July 10, 2014

We started some kindergarten curriculum on Monday — yes, in July.  Although I have been tethered to the traditional school-year schedule for almost my entire life between my own schooling and then teaching, I see many benefits of year-round schooling: more consistency/less need for review, schedule flexibility (can take time off here and there as needed or desired), less chance of burn-out (more frequent, albeit shorter, breaks), and my personal favorite…making learning a beloved and routine part of daily life, especially because it doesn’t have to look like “school.”  For that matter, who says learning has to take place M-F?  We frequently “do school” on Saturdays and Sundays; the biggest bonus is that Daddy then gets to participate.  Homeschooling has freed me in many ways from the conventions of a traditional brick & mortar education.  However I think we will not officially start kindergarten until the public schools begin, as we’re still in the newborn stage with Ladybug and sleep is a long-lost memory.

[Side note: despite the fact that Peanut won’t turn 5 until November, we’re forging ahead with kindergarten because she is just so ready — she’s been doing preschool stuff since age 2, and now the girl is reading at 2nd grade level!]

So here is our curriculum lineup for kindergarten:

Five In A Row – A gentle, literature-based approach to learning.  Uses quality, classic children’s books, each being read and studied for five days in a row, with many ideas for incorporating social studies, science, language arts, math, art and field trips.  Allows for as many companion books as you can find in the library.  The supplements also encompass Bible study and character building, cooking, and nature studies.  Given Peanut’s age, the fact that we have an infant in the house, and just how much fun stuff we can glean from each book, we may stretch out each book/unit over two weeks instead of just one.

Life of Fred – the coolest, most understandable way to learn math.  Seriously, why did they not have this when I was growing up??  It goes all the way from basic arithmetic through calculus and makes math both fun and accessible.

Handwriting Without Tears – a multisensory approach to learning printing (and cursive, later on).  Although she knows how to write all capital letters and most lower case letters and numbers, they could all use some fine-tuning and review.

Easy Peasy – Getting Ready 2 – a comprehensive online [FREE] curriculum that spans every grade level and every subject imaginable.  We’ll be using Getting Ready 2 for our reading work (phonics and sight words) but also for a little extra math and fun games/videos.  And of course she’ll just keep reading as much of the books we have as possible.

Music – I’ll be using many of the fun, creative music and movement ideas I collected from teaching at Music For Children, as well as starting very basic piano lessons with Peanut, at her behest.  I’m hoping this will replace, at least in part, the eternal, infernal Frozen music that has become the soundtrack to our lives…if I have to sing the Anna duet part one more time I’ll bash my head into an ice block…

I realize that this list reads like an awful lot, but (a) it actually only takes about 2 hours/day and (b) she keeps asking for more, more, more…I’m just following her lead.  At her age, play is really her most important job – both guided and independent.

All of this is made possible, and brought to you by, homeschooling.  Yes, folks, I am once again extolling the virtues of homeschooling because I just LOVE IT SO MUCH.  I realize it’s not the right fit (or calling) for everyone, but man oh man do I feel blessed and joyful that God had it planned for our family.

We’re kicking off summer school by “rowing” The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, but that will be an upcoming, separate post once we’ve finished the unit.

Happy learning!

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