A few days ago I realized, with a bit of a start, that Emily will be turning five soon. Less than three months from now, my baby will be five and my mental wail was almost audible.
I can’t believe how quickly this time with her has passed and as I digested the big number FIVE in my brain, my thoughts drifted to school and curriculum planning.
Now, technically I could wait another year if I wanted. Emily turns five on October 4th, past the cutoff date for a kindergarten start this year. If she were going into public or private school, she would be forced to wait until Fall 2012.
But her curiosity and thirst for learning knows no bounds. I’m amazed at what she has picked up in the past few months. Today we were reading What Time Is It?, a hardcover book where you can manipulate the clock hands to show the correct time of day in the story. She still needs to look at the example to see how to do the 1/2 hour and 15 minute increments, but she’s already got the o’clocks down pat. And then of course there are the words she has begun to sound out and read aloud and the counting she does every day when collecting the eggs.
I decided to look at the Kindergarten goals in Rebecca Rupp’s Home Learning Year by Year and plan on starting into our first official year of homeschool.
I just finished typing up the goals for Kindergarten as listed in Home Learning Year by Year along with a space to check each goal off along with date of mastery.
In all, there are eight subjects listed:
- Language Arts
- History and Geography
- Foreign Language
- Health and Physical Education
I am making an assumption here, but I think it is a pretty sound one…language arts and mathematics will provide a solid base for the rest, so I’m thinking they need to be a daily occurrence.
Music and art are pretty natural. We are always singing to each other, and I’ll look into doing some themes on a week by week basis. The art should also naturally follow, so I’m not too concerned about that.
So that leaves history, geography, science, foreign language, health and physical education.
Health and physical education should be relatively easy, and I’ll probably enroll her in the community center’s local homeschool phys ed classes on a 1-2 times per week basis.
I need to talk to my next door neighbors who are Honduran and speak Spanish. I need to find out a) their schedule and b) their willingness to teach Emily to speak Spanish. They definitely seem willing to teach her Spanish words on an informal basis, but I’m hoping for a more formal commitment and course of study. I found a great site where I can start her out learning her numbers and colors and basic words. Check it out by clicking here. You know, I just re-read the guidelines for a foreign language and it suggested that our goals for the year should be:
- Simple words and phrases
- Greetings and the names of the numbers from one to ten
- The names of colors and other everyday expressions
Heck, with that website I listed, I can handle that much myself.
So maybe our homeschool schedule looks something like this:
Mondays: Language Arts, Mathematics, Phys Ed and History
Tuesdays: Language Arts, Mathematics, and Geography
Wednesdays: Language Arts, Mathematics Phys Ed and Science
Thursdays: Language Arts, Mathematics and Foreign Language
Fridays: Language Arts & Mathematics (Fridays are often hectic work days, so having less on the schedule works out better)
Now if you are new to curriculum planning as I am, then this is still rather…intimidating. I mean, sure, I’ve homeschooled before, but Dee was fourteen when we started homeschooling. It was very much based on her input and her fluency in reading, writing and advanced arithmetic. Starting homeschool with a kindergartner is completely different.
Join me tomorrow as I take on Language Arts and break it down into a usable, flexible plan of study.