As I mentioned in Part 1 of my Planning for Kindergarten at Home, our main goal this year really is to have fun. It’s a nice, rainbow-y concept, but how is this going to look and how are we going to do this? I know I need to have some routine and rhythm to our days and weeks or I will be a momzilla. I will be short(er) on patience and high(er) on irritability, which is a great recipe for no fun at all.
One of our daily routines is our morning checklist. The kids have been doing it so long they don’t need the list or check marks anymore, they just know to do everything like make bed, take vitamin, brush teeth, etc. Now that they’re getting even more capable I’ve recently added wipe down bathroom sink and toilet, sweep kitchen floor and fold/put away laundry as needed. I think these life skills are very important when considering our “school” plan.
Another life skill I’m adding to our rhythm is getting the kids in the kitchen on a daily basis. The days we are home in the morning I’m expecting both Eliana (5) and Stephen (4) to help make their own lunches. I think I’m going to write an entire post on this soon so stay tuned!
Into our weekly rhythm I plan to leave three afternoons a week open for project time. Project-Based Homeschooling is my homeschooling bible. I have already seen so much learning take place in the projects the kids have done like this one and this one, oh and this one. I want to guard these afternoon time slots like I do my chocolate in the cabinet the kids don’t know about. It’s easy to skip a day and fill it with play dates or a trip to the store, but this is the meat of our homeschooling and I don’t want it to lose it’s priority. There. I wrote it down so now it can’t!
The other two afternoons a week Eliana is going to dance classes. It’s a big chunk of time each week, and I was hesitant at first about this level of commitment for a 5 year old, but she loves it and so far is doing great. We never would have done this if she was starting traditional school, but it fits well with our homeschooling right now. It also gives her the opportunity to be a part of a team and community and meet lots of new friends.
As far as any academics go there are no plans for anything formal. We go to the library once a week, read out of a chapter book daily (she and I now take turns reading to each other) and she is always practicing writing and handwriting during her play. She has her Life of Fred books when she feels like doing more math. I have not found us lacking in learning about math during our daily activities and this should just continue. Things like time, calendars, board games, lots of conversations about numbers and math concepts, art, patterns, cooking…the list goes on and on.
Her dad speaks Spanish exclusively to her, she does some sort of art project daily and we listen to all kinds of music. She took an art class last year and may take it again, although she recently said she would rather take piano lessons. So, one of these classes will likely get added to our week.
As of now, we have no scheduled activities in the mornings. The plan is to keep them free for time outdoors, running errands, lots and lots of unstructured play, and any field trips to places like the zoo, farm or museum.