Topic | Desperate help needed- Kindergarten…getting started

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • Etresia
    Member

    Dear Charlotte Mason educators, 

    I am in Desperate need for some counsel- getting started- kindergarten curriculum/ schedule.  Some background I started home schooling last week. I have an old kindergartener and a 4-year old- both girls.  I love Charlotte Mason philosophy about education and life. I thought being a newbie at homeschooling it would be best to start with a set curriculum, (incorporate some CM) so I went with FIAR, plus the bible supplement and cookbook.  After our first week I find myself very frustrated and keep coming back to CM- SCM.  My biggest aspiration for my children is to have a heart for God (getting saved at a young age) and having a heart for the things that are valued by Him.  I do not feel that  FIAR is accomplishing that for us.  But having said that I find myself up every night until 2:30-3 trying to figure all this out.  Everything else is suffering from my quest to figure it out and I certainly do not want to make this into an idol. That would also defeat the purpose. So I am starting to wonder if this whole CM method is to lofty for me.

     I am using this post as my last call for help, otherwise I might just stick with FIAR or use Sonlight or  Heart of Dakota until first grade.  So, I pray that this post would come across the right person(s) and I would be able to have peace and a action plan.  I am having a really hard time putting it all together so if some of you can please share with me your program, curriculum and resource for kindergarten I would so much appreciate it.  I bought the e book Planning your CM education but it starts at 1st grade.  I am also having a hard time because my daughter is turning 6 next week so she it two weeks to young for 1st grade where we live.  Also, if there are any long time CM educators out there, would you also please share the amount of time required to give your children a CM education each year. I am also worried about burn out. 

     All advise would be appreciate because my aspiration is really making me wonder because of the amount of time I have spend on researching the CM methods and the difficulty I an having putting it together.  ( I really feel sorry for my husband but he has been supportive).  

     

    Thanks in advance to all you who would take the time to respond.

    Have a Happy Memorial weekend.

     

    In Him,

     

    Etresia

    my3boys
    Participant

    Wow!  You sound like I did several months back.

    My experiences and background are: Homeschooling for 4 years (we’ve just begun our 5th).  I have 3 boys.  We have homeschooled mostly from a traditional philosophy; eclectic is what some might’ve called us.  I called it chaos with a capital “C”.  Now that we have begun a CM education 100%, I finally feel as if I have a plan, not only for this year, but for the years to come (assuming we homeschool for the long haul).

    But, that transition did not come easily.  I spent many a day and nights reading, reading, reading and reading some more.  I spent time watching the All Day Seminar/Planning Your CM Education then reading some more, especially old posts from this site.  I spent most of the summer weeding through our current curriculum to decide what would work in a CM education and what I needed to let go of (that was difficult, yet a relief). I have 3 boys to consider, so I was weeding through all of the stuff we have accumulated over 4 years and realizing most would not work and that I would probably never use it again, even if we weren’t CM:) Then I read some more.  I almost gave up until I had a major breakthrough and discovered (yeah, it’d been there the whole time, but I failed to understand it) the Curriculum Guide on the homepage.  I was very intimidated by it for months and would close it out each time I opened it, but one day I just took the plunge and went through each subject and made myself understand it.  I was running out of time and I had come so far at that point (already using 106 Days and other material from this site), that I had to give it a chance.  I am so glad I did.  It makes sense to my soul to school this way and even if you think of the practical aspects of the method that’s enough to keep me going (who wants to go back to long drawn out lessons or twaddly books?) 

    Anyhow, I just wanted you to know that you are not alone when it comes to figuring out this method, it takes time, but very worth it, imho.  What I was doing was chaotic, but this feels progressive yet not difficult.  It feels natural but not lazy.  I don’t know how to describe it.  I’m headed out to church, but wanted to encourage you.

    It has taken me about 2 years to get where I am now (and that’s not near as far as others) since the first time I stumble on this site and fell for 106 Days and other material.  I’m embarrassed to say it took that long to “figure it out”.  I didn’t even know CM was a method, to tell the truth, but now it is so great!  Consider yourself lucky that your children are so young and you have found this great way of schooling and this wonderful website that has been invaluable to me for our academics and more:)

    Gotta go. I’ll check in later to see what the wise women of this forum have to say. 

    My best to you as you work through this for your family.

     

    Polly
    Participant

    I have used FAIR, HOD and Sonlight.  If your primary concern is teaching them to love God and a CM education, MFW Kindergarten and 1st grade is WONDERFUL!  The K program’s science/character section is exactly that.  I have used just that portion of it and love it!!!  I am using it again this year in full and again love it.  I like HOD in the older grades better (but MFW does Bible right the whole way through!).  However, in the older grades you can do your own thing using this great website (not that you can’t in the younger grades) but I love MFW K and 1st grade for the Bible/character in it.  

    Helen
    Participant

    Dear Etresia, maybe this short version of my transition into CM homeschooling will help. I have a 5yr old boy and  3yr old girl. This was to be my 3rd year using Sonlight. If not for discovering the simplicity and sanity of a Charlotte Mason education I would still be using Sonlight. In fact I actually ordered the entire 1st Grade curriculum but an ad for Beautiful Feet Books was constantly calling out to me every time I opened my favorite homeschool mag ‘The Old Schoolhouse’. I took the plunge and ordered BFB’s Early American History curriculum w/study guide and time-line and hoped to squeeze it in during school breaks. Well, I read Susan Schaffer Macauley’s ‘For The Children’s Sake’ over this summer and it sealed the deal that I was not going to do the entire Sonlight Curriculum.

    We do devotions in the morning, with Bible memory verse song and a monthly hymn to memorize. Then my son reads one or 2 pages from a beginners reader book. He does a lesson from ‘Handwriting For A Reason’ and ‘Explode the Code.’ I read from one of the BFBs books (we just finished Leif Erikson) and I have both my children narrate back to me. He does a few pages of Singapore Math. I have my 3 yr old doing math manipulatives and puzzles during that time. We do a short Latin lesson also. 1 day each week we learn about a composer, his life and listen to his music. We also do an art study. My 3yr old loves being involved and when she won’t or can’t she is happily occupied with other ‘homeschool stuff’. We do poetry 3 days per week. Geography one day. I keep the lessons short and stop when my son or daughter gets frustrated or tired. They are loving it all. I also have my son involved in a weekly 1 hour nature study program at a nature center close by. My son also enjoys teaching his sister 1 new alphabet letter per week and counting. He’s quite an assistant teacher!

    I love not having to ‘check-off’ all the boxes on the curriculum guide this year. But I am so grateful for Sonlight’s help with that type of organization. It has served me well. As a matter of fact I am using the Language Arts guide and plan on using the science/history guides at our own pace in future. Am I afraid of not teaching what is needed? Not at all. I have a daily  guide as to what needs to be accomplished during our school day and I simply go down that list and make sure it’s complete before we end the school day. We school from 9:30 – 1pm. That time works for us. It includes snack breaks and occasional interruptions from my husband who works from home.

    Today we did our first Nature Journaling with me and the little ones drawing things we observed in a park. They loved it! I plan on doing that every 2 weeks.

    I am so much more relaxed using Charlotte’s method and am so grateful to her and God for it.

    Blessings!

    Helen

     

    Kelly Bond
    Participant

    I am so sorry for the stressful situation you are in! You are a perfectionist, I can tell. Hey, it takes one to know one! 🙂 God bless you for wanting the best for your kids. If I can give you one piece of advice, it’s this: slow down and take your time figuring this out! I have a 5yo and a 2yo. I spent the spring/summer working out a plan for my son’s kindergarten year. It’s very gentle and easy, with LOTS of room for flexibility. Even at age 6, there’s no reason you can’t take a gentle approach either.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned about CM, it’s that she did not advocate formal lessons until 6 years old! And even then, they are to be very short lessons. As the person above me suggested, go to the Curriculum Guide on this site for specific help. But if you are reading your kids good books, bible stories, and spending lots of time outside, you’re doing just fine! As you’re reading the FIAR books (and they are good books!), keep learning about the CM method and start incorporating the methods slowly.

    I’ll share what I do with my K age son:

    • bible story
    • geography (which for us is looking at and enjoying maps, and learning little facts about the U.S.),
    • reading good picture books & chapter books,
    • nature study and free play time both inside and outside,
    • music appreciation (simply listening to a classical composer during breakfast),
    • art appreciation (looking at beautiful art together),
    • language arts (playing alphabet Go Fish, making letters in the air or with marshmallows or with cornmeal in a pan, and copying letters because my son loves doing that), 
    • singing hymns together at family prayer time
    • scripture memory after dinner
    • learning spanish words after dinner

    It took me a while to pull together all the materials, but as you can see, it’s all simple stuff at this age.

    Be gentle with yourself and don’t expect to get this all figured out in a day, week, or month! Your children are still young…take a deep breath and pray. Give this to God and ask Him to direct you!

    MamaSnow
    Participant

    Amen to much of what has been said above.  Also, if you’ve not already checked out the Early Years portion of this site and/or the Early Years book, that may also be helpful as well – this will give you ideas of what you can do with preschoolers and kindergarteners given that CM didn’t advocate formal academics until age 6/grade 1 (since you mentioned that you had gone through the planning guide, but that didn’t begin until grade 1).  It was very helpful to me to realize it was OK to keep things really simple as I was planning out a K year for my oldest.

    That all being said, here is what we are doing for K in our home, after a lot of fiddling and tweaking to find what worked for us :

    All of this takes approx. 1 hr 4 days a week:

    Bible Story/Scripture Memory/Hymn Singing

    Read-alouds for poetry, science/nature, history/geography (finding things on the map as we go), and picture study (we don’t do all of those every day, maybe 1 or 2 each day). 

    Calendar (We have a blank calendar template that we glue the date on each day, talking about days of the week, months of the year, trace over the number, color the numbers to make a sequence/pattern, find the number of that day on the hundred chart, count out that many beans – lots of math/number concept practice there in a very short time)

    Phonics – we are’t following a curriculum for this – just playing around with word families of words we have learned as ‘sight words’ in the books we have read together.  I am using a combination of ideas of Charlotte’s that I found in the Early Years book, and Ruth Beechick’s ideas in the 3 R’s (also another book that has helped me in ‘keeping it simple’ for now)

    Math – we are using MEP Reception Level at the recommendaton of others on this forum – we break the lessons down and spread out about 2 over the week.

    Handwriting – simple copywork taken from favorite story books.

    On Fridays we do our library trip which doubles as a nature walk (we walk to the library), come home and write/draw in our nature journal (very collaborative at this stage), and then do some kind of ‘project’ – art project, or cooking project, or whatever.

    Throughout every day, we do lots of literature type read alouds – I read aloud from picture books to all of my littles and my daughter reads aloud to me for more reading practice (we are working through Dick and Jane right now) after lunch and another Bible Story and chapter from a chapter book before bed.  She also helps out with chores and things – all part of normal ‘home life’, but naturally learning lots of life skills and provides opportunities for habit formation!   And lots of time left for free play, too.

    Hope that helps some!

    Gem
    Participant

    Just wanted to add that if putting together your own curriculum is leaving you doubtful, Queen’s Homeschooling Supplies offers easy packs for each level.  I found that using their materials made the “theory” of CM into a reality for me.

    http://www.queenhomeschool.com/productpages/Easy%20Paks/Easy%20Packs%20Frame.html

    Good luck!

    MeadowLark
    Member

    I have a soon to be 6yr old son. I’m lightly using Language For Little Ones which is Charlotte Mason and very short lessons. I use it as a guide for my very hands on son. We count “everything” Our ABC’s are very short and built with using clay and making lines in a cookie sheet with flour or cornmeal. (He likes different textuers) It also is used to “drive his cars thru roads with numerical and alphabetical names.” The pictures are wonderful for our picture study as well.  I’m using Book One as I did not start teaching him ABC’s etc until this year. Book two would bemore appropriate for you if she already knows basics. Your younger daughter can follow along with her. The books were under $20 at timberdoodle.  My children are ages 17 down to birthday boy the end of this week will be 6. these little books have brought on interesting discussions when it came to the beautiful picture study pages.  My suggestion would be to follow some of the awesome advice given here and relax. Your heart is awesome!

    MeadowLark

    Etresia
    Member

    Thanks so much everyone who has taken the time to respond.. I do so very much appreciate it.Smile

    This is my rough plan for Kindergarten.  Any input and suggestions would appreciated SO THAT I CAN FINALIZE MY PLAN.  Do I need to add any other subjects   I have some questions under each category.

     

     I am planning on having my 4k just follow along as much as she wants. I was surprised yesterday that she has picked up so much just by observing.  She told me last nigh she wanted to read a Bob book like big sis.  I though ok….she read the whole thing (she sounded out every word ) without me ever giving her a formal reading lesson other than teaching her the letter sound in our everyday life.

     

    From my previous post it is quite obvious I am not getting enough sleep -of course it is not Memorial weekend but Labor Day weekend.

     

    So happy Labor Day.

     

    PLEASE REVIEW and add things that I am missing or other resource recommendations? 

     

    Phonic/ Learn to Read:

    Reading made easy – Valerie Bent

     

    Handwriting/ Copy work

    Handing writing without tears-

    Not sure if I should use this???

     Can I buy Startwrite and just have then do copywork (poem or scripture) for their handwriting/penmanship?

    Does anyone recommend italic? 

    Label thing throughout the house

    Make books

    Write letter to friends and family.

     

    Math:

    Singapore Maht Early bird Standard editions with readers. 

    I do not have the teacher guide do I need it?

     

    Poetry:

    A Child garden of verses – Stevenson

    How any poems should we study?

     

    Foreign Language

    Brazilian Portuguese- Rosetta Stone

    Sing one Portuguese song after kindergarten and say a dozen little sentences.

    How many times a week should I teach it?

     

    Handicrafts:

    Drawing/ Painting or anything to do with art (my daughter says she wants to be an artist).

     

    Lifeskill:

    Cooking.  Anyone have some suggestion of getting the kids more involved in kitchen.  My year old loves helping me dice but I would like them more involved?

    Horseback riding lesson

    Piano lessons at Co-op

     

     

    Art Appreciation:

     

    How to use child Size masterpiece.  Any suggestion would also be welcomed?.  My daughter like I said ready likes art.

    Art lessons at co-op.

    Any good teaching your children art at home programs (artistic pursuit???)

     

    Music/ composer Study:

    Suggestions Needed

     

    Read a loud:

    Recommend  Reading list on SCM and Ambelside and other sites.

    Books to coincide with character training: Thornton Burgess and books/CDs from Lamplighter.

     

    Habit Training:

    I am getting “Laying down the Rails” . Work on one habit 6-8 weeks.

    Chore chart. 

     

    Bible Reading:  Might follow Penny Gardner scripture reading plan http://www.pennygardner.com/bible.html  

    We are also in Awana and starting CBS(Community Bible Study) this Wednesday (might have to only do one but I love CBS so much for myself)

    I want to focus on teaching them Gods character/nature and our need for a savior and that the wages of sin is death and that ’s why we need to make good choices. 

     

     Do I have to Start History/ Social Studies/ Geography for kindergarten?  My daughter is taking Galloping the Glope and Earth Science at co-op.

     

    THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH.  Eagerly waiting.

    Etresia

     

     

    Etresia
    Member

    Sorry- I did not ask how do you put the above in a weekly daily schedule.  I feel like I read somewhere that you do certain subjects in a certain order.  Thanks

    MamaSnow
    Participant

    I can’t address all of your questions, but here’s a couple more ideas to think about:

    I haven’t used the handwriting curriculum that you mentioned, but I think whether or not you need one will depends on how much help your daughter will need in actually learning to form the letters correctly.  We started out with a handwriting curriculum from Abeka (not that I recommend anything Abeka, but it’s what we had) and it was helpful with learning the letter formation (the teacher’s guide gave a little ‘story’ to help learn how to write each letter the right way which my daughter liked.)  But now that she knows all the basic letter formation and just needs to work on practicing them and becoming more ‘fluent’ and comfortable writing them, we’ve pretty much ditched the rest ofthe workbook pages since she was getting bored (and therefore silly/not trying) with them and have moved to simple copywork.  We pick a sentence from whatever story was the favorite from her library basket that week, and I’ve found that that is far more motivating for her.  Not an expert here by any means, but this is what is working for us!

    As far as how much history/science/geography sort of stuff is necessary at this level: I don’t think it is totally necessary at all.  I don’t follow any set program or plan really for that kind of thing.  When I mentioned that we have ‘read alouds’ for those topics, it is very gentle and sort of interest led at this point (we will get started with a more formal ‘curriculum’ for these subjects in grade 1).  Like for science, we had found a HUGE spider outside and had recorded it in our nature journal, so we found a book that had some info about spiders in it and looked at it. She’s been asking lots of questions about the body, so we might find some books about that next. And so on.  History at this point usually coincides with holidays – like during the month of July we read some things about America and famous Americans.  At Thanksgiving, we’ll read book about Thanksgiving. And so on.  Geography I’m a little more intentional about simply because geographical literacy is really important to us (we are overseas missionaries so it is a big part of our normal life as well). Right now, we are working through a book about Bibleless peoples called from Akebu to Zapotec and each week as we read about the little story about the people group we will find that country on the map, and maybe read some other books/stories or look at pictures from the country on the computer or something.  And at this stage my only goal in these subjects is exposure to different ideas, which I think helps to round out the ‘basics’ (reading, handwriting, math).  If your daughter will be in a co-op that will cover those things, it’s probably not really necessary for you to plan to cover any of it unless it’s to follow up on things that may have been of particular interest to her during her co-op times.

    As far as cooking goes, I just let my kids stand up on a chair and help with just about anything that doesn’t involve sharp knives or getting too close to the hot stove. =)  We have a book called Pretend Soup that is a cookbook for preschoolers with little pictorial recipes which my daughter loves.   It also gives lots of ideas for how young children can help with things in the kitchen – some of which were things I wouldn’t have thought about.  (Like letting my 4 year old crack eggs, I would have thought it would be too hard and a disaster waiting to happen, but she did it and loves it and thinks that anytime I do anything with eggs it should be her job to crack them….)  So, if you are looking for more ideas in that area, that may be a good book to check into!

    Our schedule is pretty much in the order I described in my previous post.  We do the Bible/read-alouds/calendar time on the couch and then move to the table to do phonics (since we do a lot of things with letter tiles and such that’s just easier at the table), math (some writing, some manipulative work), and then handwriting.  We do that last since that is the subject that has been somewhat of a struggle for her and it can be helpful to know that snacktime is waiting for her when she gets it done. =)  Our literature read alouds happen after lunch and again at bedtime.  In between all of those things are time for chores, free play, and ALL of my kids have a rest time in the afternoon regardless of if they sleep or not.  But honestly, it comes down to what works for you.  We landed on this after lots of trial and error. =)

    And yes, isn’t it amazing how much tag-along younger siblings pick up?  While my 2 year old hasn’t yet figured out how to read yet he LOVES to imitate everything big sister does and has pretty much figured out all his letters and many of the sounds just from hanging out with us while we do school….

    Blessings on your journey!  We are still in the early stages ourselves, but it is a blessing to have a place to share ideas and ask questions, isn’t it!?

    MeadowLark
    Member

    Oh Yes 😉 StartWrite is fantastic for forming letters and fading them out as she does better.  I use it for the beginning of the week to trace out our Spelling Wisdom and then let the kids play with it.

    If she likes Bob Books, she would enjoy the free Starfall.com and fun worksheets too.You can take what you want and leave the rest. They do have one at the end that is arts. My kids loved that one.

    Renelle
    Participant

    Hi Etresia,

    You sound extremely organised to me it’s putting that plan into action that is the hard part, but when you get started it will flow beautifully. I expected too much when we started and thought I wasn’t doing enough but I have seen great results using SCM resources and guide.

    When you make a timetable, do lessons when the suit you and then stick to it. Most people do math in the morning first thing but most of the time we do it in the middle of the day because that’s when my kids respond best to it (& include games)

    We’ve been homeschooling for just over a year and learning to use CM methods for about 3terms (10wks ea, we’re in Australia) I am still always learning. I think it’s amazing how much children earn no matter what they are doing but I love the gentleness, character training, biblical world view and respecting the child as a person the most about Miss Mason’s philosopy. I think if you find that the children really don’t like something your using shorten the lessons dramatically or change resources. I’ve learnt quite alot this year about our childrens learning style and how to cater to their styles and this has made our day smoother and the children learn more (because they are interested) We have a ds8 (visual spatial learner) and a dd3 (auditory learner).

    CM style works for all. FIAR is lovely too. We do literature unit studies now and again just for a change (but we dont drag them out) and we still use a CM style. 

    We use:

    Math 4x/wk – MEP (free online math curriculum) + Games for Learning by Peggy Kaye, The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick, A Collection Of Math Lessons by Marilyn Burns. We will probably continue doing our own thing and I have a sample of Horizons math on it’s way.

    Language Arts 4x/wk – Primary Language Lessons by Emma Serl. Games like Bananagrams etc We did use Reading Made easy by V Bendt (wasn’t a great fit for my VS leaner so we taught phonics very simply (tanglewood school) and read alot) and also Making Books With children and have also read Unit Studies Made Easy.(a great read even if your not inot unit studies)

    Copywork 4x/wk – Aesops Fables manuscript print (finished), Downunder Copywork Bk1 from Downunder Literature (nearly finished), Own copywork ZB fonts online & Horizons Penmanship.

    Reading – lots of it, I read chp bks mostly to ds8  and younger stuff to dd3 and get my ds8 to read to his sister & I longer story/picture books.

    Poetry 1x/wk – SCM Guide and do 1 per week

    Science 3x/wk- Nature Study – The Wonderland OF Nature by Nuri Mass (AUS), bushwalking and 106 Days of Creation SCM

    Bible /History/ Geo 4x/wk – Genesis Through Deuteronomy and ancient Egypt SCM Ancient Civilizations and the Bible (K-4) by Diana Waring

    PDHP 2 x/wk- Horse Riding Lessons All terms, Swimming terms 1 & 4, Gymnastics term 2& 3 amongst other stuff  

    Language 2x/wk- a little spanish starting sign

    Art 2x/wk- Lots of crafts and occassional lesson in pottery and printmaking, Childrens Book of Art Usbourne, famous paiting prints. PLL helps you learn to do picture study. 

    Music 1x/wk – Bach & Grieg lapbooks, listen to music and act out to it. Listen to a variety of style My ds8 enjoys swing!

    Life Skills – everything, we cook and clean and fix and create……..

    Character – Sing together read The Childrens Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Lightkeepers 10 Boys that change the world etc Laying Down the Rails for me…

    We schedule 4 days per week and leave the 5th day to do revision or outings or whatever. It’s really easy to overschedule and fail so imho just ease into it, there’s plenty of time. We spend the morning setting a good atmosphere for the rest of the day with Bible/Hist/Geo/reading/LA/CW & Math just before or after lunch, then play and creative time after lunch.

    You’ll be fine as long as you let God help you each day and don’t rush. Modern day life has taught us to rush everything.

    Blessings,

    Renelle

     

    KellyP
    Member

    Just a couple of of quick points….

     

    1.  We are using Penny Gardener’s Italics (dd is in 2nd) and so far we like it.  Lessons can easily be divided and kept short. 

    2.  For art you might want to check out Usborne’s Art Treasury.  It lets you look at famous works (full color), read a brief bio/info about the artist and then has steps to recreate the picture/style, so they can paint like Van Gogh, or draw ballerinas like Degas.  We’ve done a number of the projects and they have turned out REALLY well.  (ie the directions actually work :))

    3. A fabulous, IMHO, very gentle Math program is Math on the Level. It encourages lots of hands on math through life activities and games.

    I am personally feeling overscheduled myself right now that I need to sort out, so can’t really help you there, but those are a few things that have worked well for us. 

    We started with FIAR and enjoyed it best when I organized it into Unit Studies – ie we found all the books on horses so there was a common thread, but thats just my daughter.  Homeschool Share is a free online program similar it FIAR.  http://www.homeschoolshare.com.

    Blessings,

    Kelly

     

    Lesley Letson
    Participant

    I have done the Singapore Earlybird math with one of my sons – you do not need the teacher’s editions (they are so pricey!) – there is enough instruction at the bottom of each page and it will tell you when to read what book in there as well. We liked those overall, but we did tend to skip some of the activities geared more for a classroom.

    With Handwriting, we went through a Zaner-Bloser Kindergarten book of just the basic, how to form each letter properly (we started with HWT but it just wasn’t working with my son). Now I just make him copywork pages from our Bible memory verses – some he doesn’t finish all in one day, I usually have him do 1-2 lines a day. 

    With Picture Study/Music-Composer Study/Poetry – I’d say to go back through the website and read some of the explanations of how to do that, it can be very simple and enjoyable. The SCM guide also gives suggestions of artists, etc. I try to remember that I am not trying to make them art/music/literature critics, I just want them to recognize, appreciate and enjoy. Also, we don’t do this every day – most of the time just 1-2 days a week. 

    For picture study, we do one artist at a time (like the SCM guide suggests) and do a picture a week. I did buy some of the Dover coloring books to go along with the artist we were doing and my older son likes to color the coloring page of what painting we’re studying. I check out books from the library that have the big pictures in them and we check out or buy a biography (there are some in the bookfinder) for that artist. We leave the book out all week and talk about the painting in passing. 

    For Music study we do pretty much the same thing. We’ve gotten the Opal Wheeler biography on Mozart and I print out the coloring pages from the CD and we read a little bit each week. 

    Same for Poetry, we take a day a week and read poetry – a lot of times I get requests more often and I gladly oblige.

    A book I have that seems like your daughter might like is “Discovering Great Artists” by MaryAnn Kohl and Kim Solga – it has art projects that are in the style of great artists, to learn about them by doing like them. 

    Based on what you’ve said, I wouldn’t worry with starting one of the history/geog modules this year, especially if she is doing that at the co-op.

    I don’t own this cookbook, but my sister-in-law and her two daughters have a Paula Deen cookbook for kids that they love. The girls have planned meals out of it before 🙂 I am sure there are other good kids cookbooks out there too – maybe let them take the reins for dinner one night?

    And as far as foreign language goes, do you happen to speak Portuguese? You could have certain times of the day that you just speak that language, or just try to intersperse it as much as you can. All my boys are still very young and while I’ve looked at Rosetta Stone and some others, I think it may be too much for them right now. My husband is fluent in Spanish and I am not too bad – we try to speak to them in Spanish alot and I let them watch Spanish cartoons, listen to Spanish songs, etc. They pick up on quite a bit in that gentle way. 

    Those are the things you mentioned that we do – hope some of that helps. One thing I have to remind myself every time I sit down to plan is that I don’t have to do everything every day – for some reason I constantly forget that concept! Another thing that is good to keep in mind is that you don’t have to start out doing everything at the same time. You could maybe give yourself a week or two to get in the routine just doing the basics and then add in the other things (picture study, music study, etc.) later on when you are more comfortable in your routine. Enjoy getting started and don’t forget to get some sleep too – a well rested mommy can be as important as a having good plan 🙂

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • The topic ‘Desperate help needed- Kindergarten…getting started’ is closed to new replies.

Free basic shipping on USA orders over $75!