On Monday I posted about B’s third grade year and I wanted to do the same for C’s kindergarten year. I’ve done very thorough plan and recap posts over the last four years as I’ve begun this homeschooling journey with B, however, I think for C I’m going to only do a planning post at the beginning of the year and a recap post at the end since this is will be our second time around. We’ll see, though…. I put this in writing but plans always have the ability of changing drastically in a short time. 🙂
You can see the post I wrote last summer (what seems like a million years ago…) with my plans for her kindergarten year. We used my Charlotte Mason-Inspired Kindergarten Curriculum and it all went really well. It was good for me in that it provided me with a way to figure out how to juggle two students and it was good for C to start establishing good habits she’ll need for school. Also, we were also able to spend that time together. That in and of itself is priceless as I feel like the last three years, I’ve been very focused on her brother. I’m looking forward to having that more intentional time with her as she gets further into her school.
So here’s how the year went…..
This was an area where C’s readings were different than B’s. With him, I read a story per day from The Jesus Storybook Bible or the Children of God Storybook Bible. However, by the time C reached kindergarten, she had heard both of these read several times. I happened to pick up a copy of The Child’s Story Bible at a thrift sale as I knew it was very popular among Charlotte Mason families, so I decided she and I would read that one instead. Now I wish I had read that one with B also! I still really love The Jesus Storybook Bible especially for young children, but I felt The Child’s Story Bible was perfect for kindergarten-age kids. I chose to read one story (or section of a story) per day with the first three days of the week for the New Testament (and specifically the life of Jesus) and the last day for the Old Testament. At this pace, we didn’t finish, so we’ll continue reading it through the summer.
We read this one every few weeks with each reading being usually less than 5 minutes. The stories aren’t linear, but instead focus on a different person in each reading, so there was nothing to recap in each one. She did enjoy these readings, though she looked forward to other books more.
Both of these books were a big hit. I think she enjoyed the linear books more as she was able to really connect with the characters, and this was especially true for The Irish Twins. When I told her to bring this book to me, she would grab it from her cart and then on the way over to the couch tell me what happened the last time we read. I was impressed by this as most of the time I couldn’t remember what we had read!
She actually told me last week that she did not like Children Just Like Me. I asked her why and she said it was because I hadn’t read about any of the other children in the book, so we’ll be doing that over the summer as well. It did help to pull out our globe when we were reading from this book so she could see where in the world the person we were reading about that day was located in relation to us. She especially liked it when they were on the other side of the world from us.
C loves Thornton Burgess, so I knew Old Mother West Wind would be a success. For Seed Babies, I did not follow my own advice and sprout beans in our kitchen, so we missed out on that (maybe another summer activity?). She loved the talking beans, but there were definitely parts of the story that she did not enjoy as much as others, particularly when there was a lot of dialog. She now really, really wants to find some tadpoles and bring them “back to life.”
We ended up reading both of the One Small Square books with Backyard in term 1 and Pond in term 3. In term 2, we were learning about weather in our homeschool co-op and I also picked up Joy Cherrick’s nature study guide for weather, so I decided to include her with that instead of doing Science in Seconds. While she did participate in some of the activities and readings, she wasn’t all that interested in most of it, so she just kind of tagged along when we did things outside. I also didn’t want to force her to participate since this was supposed to be more of a casual year for her. I do plan to use Joy’s guides in Year 1 for her, depending on what our co-op looks like, but I think it’ll be better when I can really focus on her rather than trying to do them with a 5-year-old and a 9-year-old. I also think she might be more interested in a different subject at this age as well.
All books in this category were absolutely loved. She has heard the stories from Winnie-the-Pooh and Beatrix Potter, but thank God he made small children okay with hearing the same stories over and over again! She also absolutely loved The Children’s Book of Virtues (we called it “the golden book” since the binding on the three-book volume is a shiny gold) and got very upset when the reading was short. This is another one from which she as asked me to read other stories.
We read one poem per day and C enjoyed this part very much. I love the variety of poems in this book and how it introduces so many different poets and poetry styles.
She also did very well with her monthly recitation poems and we now have several new ones to add to our family recitation notebook!
This was my second time doing MEP Reception and I was constantly reminded of what a wonderful, gentle way it is to introduce basic math concepts. We spent a lot of time counting and coloring and playing games together and she did so well. Next year we’ll switch to RightStart Level B, but I feel very confident that she’s prepared for that after having gone through MEP Reception. I do know that the directions can be hard to follow or understand at times, so I plan to write a post later this summer that hopefully explains it better.
We studied the following pieces from Claude Monet in term 1:
- Terrace at Saint-Adresse (1866)
- Boulevard des Capucines (1873-74)
- Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son (1875)
- Fishing Boats (1883)
- Rouen Cathedral (1892)
- Waterlilies and Japanese Bridge (1899)
In term 2 we learned about Emily Carr and these works:
- War Canoes, Alert Bay (1912)
- Indian Church (1929)
- Blunden Harbor (1930)
- Vanquished (1930)
- Forest, British Columbia (1931-32)
- Odds and Ends (1939)
And Norman Rockwell in term 3:
- The Catch (1919)
- Painting the Little House (1921)
- Freedom from Fear (1943)
- Rosie the Riveter (1943)
- Golden Rule (1961)
- The Problem We All Live With (1963)
C has always been good about participating in picture study and is eager to narrate, so she was an active participant when I introduced these pieces. This was a huge change from her brother who has never really cared for this part of our school time.
For composer study, we learned about Claude Debussy, Aaron Copland, and Miles Davis, mostly in co-op, though I did play the music at home between co-op meetings. Folksong and hymns were also introduced during co-op and then sung alternating days during the week in Morning Time.
We were able to do a few of the handicraft activities but unfortunately our schedule didn’t allow for most of them. I also got her a simple needlepoint kit at the beginning of the year, but it required a lot of help from me so she quickly lost interest. I’m hoping it’s something she’ll want to take up again in the future.
I started with simple copywork sheets from worksheetworks.com for her, but then noticed that some of her letter formations weren’t as good as they could be, so I printed out alphabet sheets for her instead. I started with these to introduce how to form the letters and then we worked through these for additional practice. I definitely saw an improvement after that, but we’ll have to keep working on this.
And that was our year! She is chomping at the bit to start narrating which is very encouraging as it was such a struggle with her brother. I am so looking forward to reading the books I went through with him in Year 1 and not only reliving those memories, but making new ones as well!