Monday, January 5, 2015

Starting Over Halfway Through

When I started to plan Raccoon's kindergarten year, I had all of these fun and creative ideas. About October I realized that I'm not a theme person, and Raccoon, as I've always known, is not a sit-and-do-school person. It was not working but we soldiered on to Christmas break. I knew something had to change.

So this is our new schedule:

Monday - Seatwork and Sensory
Tuesday - Science and Inventing
Wednesday - History and Computer
Thursday - Books and Games
Friday - Creative Play and PE

Today was amazing. He did three pages in his math workbook, then we sat on the couch and read two books in week 1 of the Starfall curriculum. They use a stuffed bear as a new student, so I introduced Mousey as our new student, and unlike Starfall's bear, he is very naughty. Mousey is a stuffed puppet I used until Raccoon was three to help role play appropriate behavior. He is reappearing now because Raccoon has gotten it into his head that he can't learn to read. I hope that giving that negative role to Mousey will allow Raccoon to take on a more positive one.

After reading, we did snacktime with a BrainPop, Jr. video and I prepared our art project - noodles, glue, markers, and dot paints. The kids enjoyed it and so did I. When they were done we went out to play, then had lunch and nap/quiet time, all very successfully.

We're off to a great start and I'm looking forward to our new variety. I have some general goals I want to achieve by May, such as cvc reading and counting from 1-100, but I feel much happier about school now, and I think Raccoon will like it too.

Tomorrow is science day, then I want to have a picnic. I know he's going to love that. And I feel good that Kitty is getting a varied Tot school experience as well, joining her big brother for the hands-on stuff. Right now she's working on counting and learning her colors.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Stuck and Go

What will stay in our homeschool and what will go for Year E Part 2?

But first, the big news. Since school registration was in December, the King and I had to decide what to do next year for Raccoon. At this point, going to school means moving into town, so we committed to another year of homeschooling. First grade here we come! I am excited and terrified by this, but if I can create an actual reader out of my son by summer 2016, I shall be content. So we have 18 more months of living in ruralandia, then it is back to the city for us, Lord willing. Kitty will be three and Raccoon six. It remains to be seen if we will do brick or homeschool for second grade. I'll let you know next Christmas. In the meantime, we are going to enjoy our country lives to the max.

We took a two week break for Christmas. My son asked to do science about a week in. It's his favorite subject and our current book is working so that has definitely stuck. Everything else is getting shaken up.

I set the goal of knowing the alphabet by Christmas. He can sing the ABC song, so I call that good. Next is matching the names and sounds to the letters. My new goal is for him to be reading simple words at year's end, May 29.

I bought him a toolbox full of real tools for Christmas, and his favorite inventing staple - tape. He was so happy. I want to see more of that.

Ideas to try:

Games - hangman, go fish, etc.
Read together more
Letter searches
Making things
Writing stories
Sound song
Prizes for motivation

Year B for Kitty

Her big goals for the next few months are potty training and weaning.
I also want to add in more puzzles, play doh, and games for her.