Starting All Over Again!: What I'm Doing with My Kindergartener

littlejonOur last house guests have left. Swimming lessons are over. Most of the kids' friends are already back in school. I guess that means summer is officially over. Sigh.

This year is a unique year in our homeschooling journey, as I not only have a graduating high school senior, but I also have---at the same time---a kindergartener just beginning his formal educational journey. Yes, the time has come for my baby to enter the adventure. So far, we have broken Jonathan in little by little, starting in January this year, when he turned five.

I have been asked what I do with Jonathan for kindergarten, so I'm going to share what we do, not as a model, but this is what fits him and us at this time in our crazy life. My main goals this year include

  • helping him adjust to the discipline of school (learning to stop playing for a period of time so he can attend to his lessons)
  • read lots of good books
  • explore the beginnings of history starting with Genesis and working our way through much of the historical books of the Bible
  • giving him opportunities to draw and create
  • continue laying down strong foundations in phonics and math
  • most importantly, cultivate a love for learning and discovering

And so, we are using:

Bible: Bible Study Guide for All Ages, primary level (though I am going through it chronologically and not as the program is laid out. I know, call me a rebel. I discovered this program this summer while doing my review on it.)

Phonics: Using a combination of IEW's Primary Arts of Language: Reading and Writing programs and ABeCeDarian (another review product I really enjoyed). I find we both like the variety of switching back and forth.

Reading: We are working our way through Sonlight's Pre-K list and Kindergarten lists. I picked the books that my other two kids enjoyed and split them up over the course of the year. So far, we've been having a great time!

Math: Being a hands-on guy, and because of complaints from my other kids, I have decided to give Math-U-See Primer another try this year with Jon. I was blessed to have a friend pass on her materials to me, so we'll see how it goes! I tried it before with Janna but she was a little too old for it where we started, so I gave it up. But for Jonathan, I think I'm going to give it another whirl.

History/Science: We'll be doing modified versions of what big brother is learning through Mystery of History, Vol. 1 (Ancients). My hope is to just introduce him to some of the bigger people and events that happened during this time, especially what happened in the Bible and just get started in the fascinating study of history!

Art/Music: Using Harmony Fine Arts' 1st grade program as a guide and the homeschool version of Meet the Masters, I hope to introduce Jonathan to some art appreciation and techniques in a more structured way. So far, so good. This month, we're studying Renoir. For music, we are using the same Harmony Fine Arts program and are learning about Vivaldi this month!

PE: working on ball skills, locomotor skills, and coordination! I'm looking into some gymnastics classes too.

We don't do every subject every day. In fact, the only things I do every day are Bible, phonics, math, PE and reading aloud. We do a block of it in the morning (about an hour and a half, including PE) and spread the reading out throughout the day so he can have some time to play in between. Fridays are usually are art and music days.

So far, it has been working out well and we are enjoying our time together. Isn't that what it's all about anyways?

What do you do/have you done with your kindergartners?