I have made the decision to homeschool my daughter, Bella, and September 2nd was our first day back to school. After we ate breakfast and got dressed, we headed down the hall to our homeschool room. This year is a little different than our others — we started kindergarten. In previous years we’ve done very casual homeschool for preschool, but this year I bought a full curriculum.
The beauty of homeschooling is it’s at our own pace. Starting Bella slightly earlier than most children because of her fall birthday means that if this year needs to be stretched out into next, it’s not a big deal. With that in mind, I do have goals I’d think my daughter is able to meet throughout the year. These are based on her abilities, my experience teaching kindergarten, and state standards. Although we aren’t following the Common Core standards like a public school might, this is a great, detailed overview for kindergarten in a pdf file. (Lookup state standards by searching “(Your state) kindergarten standards.”)
By the end of this school year, I’d like for her to be able to read short sentences and most simple words. This is by far the most important part of our year — so even if we need to catch up with other subjects later, reading will be put first.
I’m not aiming for perfection, but more of the ability for her to communicate what she sees. A little journal with writing and drawing space on each page encourages a child to write freely — regardless of spelling or looks.
This is pretty simple. I was always overwhelmed by math and hope to pass on the opposite feeling to her. We’re doing all hands-on things along with learning counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. Balancing, counting, measuring — no worksheets.
We’re using a science kit that offers all kinds of experiments, as well as the Young Scientists Club and Kiwi Crate. So many curriculums (especially in the early years) skip science, but it’s pretty easy to add in. It’s one of the most fun parts of the school year, so don’t miss out on it.
While this seems like a simple concept (what child doesn’t like to draw and create?) offering a more structured time for art can offer a new view. We’ll be briefly studying famous works of art, not for memorization but to see how other people have created works.
Little Passports offers a peek into different countries in the world with their once a month kit. Use it to explore the same countries you’ll be talking and reading about.
Diana blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. You can also find her work on Liberating Working Moms, She Reads Truth, Still Standing Magazine, The New York Times, and The Huffington Post, with smaller glimpses into her day on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.