Archives for the month of: August, 2011

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
Language Arts

• 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.
Mathematics:
• 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.
History/Geography
• Read lots of stories, fairytales, and adventures.
• Basic map skills (NSEW, directions, following a simple map).
Science
• Exploration and hands-on experiments.
• Nature walks and time spent outdoors.
• Beginning of scientific method (hypothesis, experiment, observations, conclusions).
• Seasons
French
• As much immersion as possible.
• Have weekly vocabulary words.
• Practice simple conversations.
• Learn some church songs
Readiness/Life Skills
• Pouring
• 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.

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I love to crochet. It’s such a simple craft, but can create such beautiful finished projects. I enjoy knitting, but I’m not enough of a planner to feel like I can truly create with it. I can follow a pattern, but not innovate. With a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, I’m more confident that I can whip up an idea out of my head and get going.

So last week I decided that the boys needed matching pillows on their beds. I was inspired by this post over at The Purl Bee. I loved that it was just a simple square to crochet. I whipped up a square, quickly stitched on a big Z, and now all that I need to do is sew on a backing and stuff it. I love projects that I can finish in less than a week! Of course, it’s been a week, and I don’t know when I’ll actually get around to sewing on a back and stuffing it. But still, it feels rewarding. I’m happy with how it turned out, but for the J I’m attempting next, I’ll break out the graph paper and plan a bit better so I don’t get the funky crooked lines I ended up with on the diagonal here. Hopefully this is a project that will actually get finished.