I am new to CM this year and I just can’t stop wondering if I am doing enough for my 5 year old (Kindergarten). I went from doing Sonlight K with my oldest daughter to now not having a “curriculum” at all. I think I realize now why Kindergarten was so hard with my oldest as Sonlight K seemed overkill at the time and even more now. But I think I still have this mentality that she should be doing more, and something more structured. Are there things she should “know” by 1st grade? I plan to use Delightful Reading and Handwriting when she starts 1st grade and any other SCM suggested material. At this point she knows the Alphabet but doesn’t know how to write letters or read any yet.I didn’t purchase any curriculum because of CM’s views on mainly focusing on habit training, outdoor play and reading. I am just throwing in some games and short worksheets for the alphabet and numbers. Should I try some word building?
What have you done and how much for your 5 year old? Also, we have been doing school for 2 weeks and she just does not have the attention span to sit very long for anything. I was hoping she would really do well listening to history, bible, poetry, picture study, etc. as I do them with my 8 year old but it just ain’t happening. Is that so bad? I think I just need enouragement and any advice. Our habit focus was on cleanliness but maybe I should switch to attention or something else! Thanks!KelleyParticipant
If you use Delightful Reading, word building is part of it. I would relax, focus on reading/learning to read, fine motor activities (to help prepare for writing later), counting and numbers, time in nature, and playing. If she isn’t interested in those other activities, put them away and try again later. Your 8 year old has a few years of maturity on the 5 year old and is in a different place regarding brain development. You’re doing enough for the 5 year old. 🙂KelleyParticipant
Oh, and read to her. Just for fun. Read things she’s interested in. Read as a family. Read from the bible. Read, read, read! Stories are going to make her imagination soar. Let her act them out. Let her just enjoy hearing you read.cedargirlParticipant
There is one workbook I buy for K. It is Kumon’s My first Book of Cutting. Rip put a page every couple days and let them cut along the paths of the page. It really exercises those little hands. If they are destitute to use a pencil, My First Book of Mazes and a Triconderoga black large triangular pencil from Staples. I find they help proper pencil holding training easily. They also get their own blank notebook for nature study training ? . Those are things that help build skill for G1 and make them feel like they are “doing” school. Certainly not CM reasoning but easy to fill a void. Read, play, get outdoors, and read some more! In my mind, K is about easing into home schooling.sarah2106Participant
It can be hard to just relax when they are 5, but it is worth it 🙂
I do really like the Rod and Staff preschool and kindergarten workbooks. They are simple, cut, color and paste books. With simple letter and number activities. My 2 older kids enjoyed them in the preK – Kinder ability range.
My youngest is almost 5. This year he is doing the R&S workbooks and that is about it. He really wants to do “school” like his brother and sister, but 5-10 minutes in his little books and he is happy to be finished with “school”. He listens while we read books and also spends time playing a lot. We play card games, memory, board games, play dough, building with legos… that is learning!
I have 2 friends that are pushing early academics and can’t believe that I am not doing formal school with my youngest because he is older than their boys. But watching my 2 older children do well in school; even with out formal early academics, it reminds me to relax. There is so much to learn in play time! My mom homeschooled myself and my siblings, and she never started academics until 6.sarah2106Participant
Oh and it is interesting. My aunt has taught 1st grade for 33 years. She said years ago kids did not even start learning to read and formal academics until 1st grade; but the end of 1st grade most were reading; but some it was not until 1/2 way through 2nd. She said, sadly now that kids are “behind” because they can’t read in Kindergarten there is so much pressure kids are arriving in 1st grade already stressed out 🙁
She has said time and again that Kindergarten should be a time of “cut, color and paste and learning how to interact and play with others and play alone too. It is more about social learning, how to behave in situations (sound like habit training doesn’t it?) not academics.” She used to not support HS’ing when my mom was teaching us in the beginning; but she came around 🙂HollySParticipant
My DD turns 6 in October. Officially this is her K year, but I’ll probably be doing some 1st grade work with her.
We are going to use parts of Wee Folk Art’s simple season program. It has one poem each month to memorize, a painting each week, and two suggested picture books to get from the library. There is also a craft or cooking project (or two) and a suggested field trip (pumpkin patch, yarn shop, bakery, etc.). I’m not sure how much of the program we’ll fit in, but I plan on doing the field trips/cooking/craft projects as part of our afternoon handicrafts. The older DC will enjoy these as well. We’ll probably pick and choose from the activities, but I plan on at least doing the picture study, poetry, books, and some of the projects.
She has already learned her letter sounds so we’ll start her on some blending and reading lessons. I have some Reading Rods so she can build words, basic readers, a “word book” for her to put new words in, some workbooks and puzzles from Starfall, and some phonogram flash cards. I also have a couple phonics books ( Webster’s Guide to Reading and Writing Road to Reading). I have everything thrown into a bin, so we can pick and choose which materials to use each day.
While my older DC are working on copywork/dictation, I’ll have her do a page or two of the R&S preschool workbooks. These lean slightly toward “busy work”, but I think they are great for working on coordination and fine motor skills. There is a bit of writing and some cutting & pasting.
For math, I think we’ll be using suggestions from SCM’s mathematics DVD & book. She’ll also do some paper sloyd projects with my 3rd grader.
For the remaining subjects, she’ll join in with the older DC. I plan on reading some of the grades 1-3 history books with her and my 3rd grader. She’ll also join in for all the family readings and subjects.HollySParticipant
I wanted to add that I think you can do far less for K! I have quite a bit scheduled for my DD just to keep her busy while the other DC are doing schoolwork. She’ll probably spend quite a bit of time keeping my 1yo occupied as well. Some days for math, she just pulls out the pattern blocks, teddy bear counters, or geoboards in place of her regular math lesson.
Most of my DC didn’t listen very well to chapter books until they were between the ages of 6 and 8. Generally before 1st grade I let my DC participate as much as they choose. Often they play quietly during the readings and participate in activities like science experiments or art projects. They also like “mapwork”, but often just scribble on the maps or use it as a coloring page. 😉cedargirlParticipant
Holly, that sounds lovely!!!MelissaParticipant
I think holding off until your child is six is very hard, but very worthwhile. There is so much pressure from well-meaning friends, grandparents, etc. to “keep up” and it’s so easy to begin to question your decision. Now that my daughter is six, I can see the wisdom in waiting a little more clearly. She is excited and ready to concentrate and give her best effort, she sits through (and loves) the read-alouds, and the skills are coming together quickly. She has not been burned out by years of workbooks and activities I orchestrated, and all those hours playing inside and out have resulted in a big imagination and lots of resourcefulness. Now that we have a “school time” for the six year old, my three year old son plays in a big bin of dried beans (dumping and pouring are great fun and good skills), cuts and colors scrap paper, and I sometimes set out a puzzle or some other simple activity in case he chooses to join us at the school table. (He usually chooses the beans instead.) I have been known to hide a magnetic letter or two in his beans for him to hunt for and we talk about the letter he found, but that’s about as academic as we get at that age.Amy3Participant
Thank you ladies! After reading your encouragement and suggestions I feel so much better! Whew! I am going to look ino the Kumon booKS and Rodd and staff. My 3 and 5 year old might enjoy some of these. They love to cut paper that’s for sure! Thanks for your advice! Love these forums. 🙂
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