Before I begin, I need to point out that my iPad just autocorrected “homeschoolers” to “homes hookers” and then “homes oilers” and then “homes hollers” before I finally poked it into submission.
Come the Tuesday after Labour Day, our home will become a homeschool. Mr. Teatime (autocorrect: Mr. Testing) and I have decided that for kindergarten this is our best option. The local public school is full day kindy, just around the corner, but has huge classes, a not stellar reputation, and the lunch system is totally screwed up. Z would be sent off into a daycare group with other kids, not from his class, to eat lunch and play outside, and this would cost us about 15$ per week, lunches not included. What?! No thank you.
Our other option is a public school father away, with a better reputation, but Z would be gone from 7-4 every day, and I just feel that that’s overkill for a 5-year-old. We also breifly considered a private school just south of the border from us, and while the school seemed fantastic, just cost of tuition, gas, and the cost of J and S being stuck in the car for 2 hours each day seemed like too much to commit to right now. Perhaps next year.
So, I find myself teetering on the fine line between biting off more than I can chew and being a little too relaxed about this all. I did some googling and blog-surfing to get an idea of a realistic set of goals for the year. Much of this is pulled from The Sunny Patch but I’ve adjusted it a little bit for our particular needs.
Goals: Kindergarten 2011-2012
• Work on fluency in reading
• Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading Phonics Book
• Basic grammar skills: recognize that sentences begin with a capital letter, and end with a punctuation mark.
• Able to write the letters or the alphabet (from memory) and progress to simple words and sentences.
• Counting out loud to 100.
• Beginning skip counting (counting by 2s, counting by 5s)
• Telling time to the hour and half-hour.
• Simple addition.
• Begin understanding money amounts.
• Read lots of stories, fairytales, and adventures.
• Basic map skills (NSEW, directions, following a simple map).
• Exploration and hands-on experiments.
• Nature walks and time spent outdoors.
• Beginning of scientific method (hypothesis, experiment, observations, conclusions).
• As much immersion as possible.
• Have weekly vocabulary words.
• Practice simple conversations.
• Learn some church songs
• Making straight lines with a ruler
• Folding paper and using scissors
• Chores: making bed, helping with laundry, clearing and setting the table, loading the dishwasher.
• Answering the phone and placing phone calls
• Memorize address and phone number
• Understand calendar and dates
• Basic money management (10% tithe, 40% spend, 50% save?)
Art and Music
• Rhythm and beat, names of notes, simple fingering on piano
• Lots of fun art projects.
• Colours and colour mixing.
I feel pretty comfortable with my ability to teach all of this, and with Z’s ability to grasp the concepts. I’ll be breaking this down into month-by-month and week-by-week increments and activities as well, to guide us as we go. He’ll also be doing swimming lessons and neighbourhood sports.
Now excuse me while I go second guess our decision for the umpteenth time.