Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Looking back on kindergarten, Part I

Unlike families who switch from public school to home and have big adjustments to make, homeschooling is something our family has gradually waded into over the past few years, and I am thankful for that. I think it has made things easier on us in a lot of ways.Although I have some things planned for Dale this summer, I consider us officially done with kindergarten. Mostly for my own benefit I want to look back (in writing) over this school year and see where we started, what we did, and where we ended up. But I thought I'd put it on the blog too, in case anyone else was interested? ....anyone?

First, I believe some of the main purposes of kindergarten are to prepare kids for the elementary years ahead of them. In public school this is going to mean (among other things) getting kids well on the road to reading, learning to follow directions given to the group, learning how to stand in line, learning to recognize numbers and colors and other important things 5 & 6 year olds need to recognize, learning to raise their hand and stand in line at the appropriate times.... and on and on.
Our kindergarten had similar goals, but instead of Dale learning to ask permission to go to the restroom or find his place in line, we were "finding our groove" of working together as teacher and student. In some ways it wasn't much different from what we have been doing the previous 4 years of his life, but there were new things to get used to.

I learned a lot this past year about how both Dale and I "operate". I know that I do best when I have specific plans made well in advance. I now know that I like to have detailed records of what we did to look back on. I know Dale loves math and science, but gets frustrated with handwriting. These bits of information will be very valuable to me as we get ready and head into first grade.

I didn't believe much formal 'schooling' was needed for Dale this year. Five is still so young, and I believe a 5 year old should spend the majority of his time playing. At the same time, I was eager to jump into homeschooling and to give Dale a kindergarten experience. We found a nice balance, doing just enough school work to gain the experience of 'school' before more structured lessons this fall.We spent the majority of our school time reading books. Fiction, non fiction, chapter books, picture books, some that I read, and some that Dale read, and some we read together. We also did some math, and some science, some arts and crafts, some nature study, practiced handwriting, learned some phonics, and various other things. But more on that in my next post, Looking Back... Part II. :)

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

As always, I love your "recaps" and look forward to Part I...or even III and IV!! Congrats on a great school year!!