Monday, May 05, 2008

Wrapping Up Kindergarten

Only three more weeks until I'll officially declare this school year over. Levi has done so well. We've worked our way through the website and his reading is really exceptional for a kindergartener. I know that sounds like bragging, but I really can't take much credit for it...he just seemed to pick it up. I started him on English for the Thoughtful Child this spring and we both like it. It does have quite a bit of writing and he gets a little tired of that. Sometimes I make him plow through and sometimes I let him narrate to me.
We've also covered the whole Saxon K book and we're working on Saxon 1. I really love Saxon's spiral approach of doing a little of everything everyday, building on concepts slowly. But Levi does get bored with it, so I edit quite a bit when I know he's had enough repetition. As a matter of fact, we probably could've skipped Saxon K altogether. Now I know.
He's on Book 3 of the Draw Write Now series. I love these books for drawing and handwriting. Levi loves to draw so he loves them, too. We're almost done with the beginning MindBenders book and Beginning Geography: How to Use a Map - both of these have been fun. This spring we started doing Spelling as a separate subject using Spelling Workout A. I skipped the first few lessons because they seemed a little simplistic for a kid who's already reading, but the book itself is really good. We've done lots of other things like making a nature notebook, learning hymns, memorizing the books of the Bible and learning the catechism. Most importantly (to me, anyway) we've both gotten used to the idea of homeschooling and learned to adjust things when they need to be adjusted.
I planning now for next fall. I've planned to follow the general outline of The Well Trained Mind since I first read the book when Levi was a baby. The thing that appeals most to me is the idea of studying history in the order that it happened. We bought The Story of the World already and Levi is going through the activity book picking out projects he wants us to do (will I really be able to stomach making a real chicken mummy? that's right mummifying a chicken we bring home from Kroger, y'all).
Since we'll be beginning with ancient history in the fall I wanted to go back just a little farther and study how history started in the first place. Of course Levi already knows the creation account from the Bible. But I wanted to really delve into it a little deeper this summer so we're going to do a unit study on Genesis using books like these
The Creation
Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden
Dinosaurs of Eden
Dinosaurs by Design
The True Story of Noah’s Ark
Tower of Babel
There will probably be a lot of emphasis on dinosaurs if I know Levi...I just plan on exploring whatever he shows an interest in.
I think I'll post about what I'm planning for next year later since this post is already probably more than you ever wanted to know. Just one (maybe two) last thing(s). If you're homeschooling little ones or thinking about it, Holly has a great series going on here, here, and here. And I've decided to start kindergarten with Brenna next fall, even though she's just turning four this summer. I'm certainly not trying to rush her at all, but it's really just a matter of labels. She insists on doing school with Levi anyway and if she isn't ready for first grade work after one year of Kindergarten we can always do another year. For me having a grade level is just about the kids being able to answer "what grade are you in?" when other kids ask them. It will make history study much easier, though. We'll study ancient history, for example, next year when Levi is in the first grade and Brenna is in Kindergarten so she'll start at the beginning, too.


Maggie said...

Its great that you posted all the details. A lot of people don't comment but pick up so much this way and will find it really helpful.

Shannon@Idylwild said...

Maggie - Thanks for stopping by! It's great for me to keep track of all the details, too:) You know, sometimes I regret that I don't have a lot of time to put into blogging and building traffic and all that - it looks like so much fun:) But I just don't right now and that's fine. I do really appreciate comments, but I love the journaling aspect of the whole thing, too. It's nice to have a place to think.