This last kindergarten is so bittersweet for me. My youngest just turned 6 last month, and it was such a reminder of how fleeting this time with our children really is. It feels like just yesterday when our son was putting on his backpack to go to his first kinder homeschool co-op.
And here we are, three kindergartens later, and the year is almost over . . . just like that.
I've learned quite a bit since that first kindergarten. I don't worry as much. I've learned to enjoy the journey and walk in freedom.
I've learned that sometimes learning looks nothing like school, and many times, it's okay to just make time to play or run outside or build something.
My little one starts the day with her siblings, doing morning routines, eating breakfast, then gathering in the living room for Morning Time. The read alouds I share are often a higher level, but she does just fine with a “fidget” basket of quiet activities like thinking putty, magnetic games, and “Water Wow!” booklets. Sometimes she brings her own toys or paper to draw and color.
It's amazing how much she's still learning though. She likes to join in on the conversations and joins us for hymns and prayer as well.
After Morning Time, the children go outside for about 20-30 minutes for outdoor play. This allows them to enjoy the cool of the morning before things get too hot in the summer.
I then spend the next hour on our kindergarten activities. I use my Kindergarten Bucket Planner to put together her lessons, drawing out activities and books from the individual buckets.
<--These are the buckets we are currently exploring. To find out how I plan for each of the buckets, visit "Member Freebies" to take my FREE Masterclass: Planning Your Homeschool Preschool and Kindergarten. *This printable planning page is also available in my Printable Library.
This week's buckets look like this:
* My Father's World: God's Creation from A to Z Bible Lessons 1 2 3 4
* Be a Blessing: Meal and cards for S's family
* DK Math Workbooks: Math Grade K 1 2 3 4
* Rod and Staff ABC Series: Finding the Answers 1 2 3
* Months of the Year Song w/ The Year at Maple Hills Farm book (cover) 1 2 3
* Mom's Phone Number (magnetic letters & cookie sheet) 1 2 3 4
*Watch "Archfeather's baby birds grow! -->
*Art with Grandma
*Intro to Classical Music
*My Father's World Crafts & Activities: Shape horse and farm scene
* Imaginative play
* Building with blocks: horse stables
* Puzzles: At the Farm
Health & PE:
* Dance/Tumbling Class
* Outdoor play
* Household chores: cleaning up as we go
* Cooking with Mom
* Planting seeds in our garden
The numbers beside the curricula above are the number of times we will cover it in the week. I simply circle each number as we complete the curriculum activities, day-by day.
Typically, the teacher-directed activities take about an hour to complete. This is how it all is coming together on a typical day:
Science Read Alouds and Discussion (10 min.)
Reading/Writing Activities (15 min.)
Sing Mom's Phone Number (5 min.)
Discipleship Lesson (10 min.)
Math Workbooks (15 min.)
Sing the "Months of the Year Song" (5 min)
Listen and Dance to Classical Music (5 min)
After this, she then completes an activity of some sort while I work with my next oldest child. Sometimes these are Math Activities, Sensory Bins, puzzles, games, crafts, or art with grandma once a week.
After that, I just take note of some of the other goals we have for the week, such as completing chores or cooking with Mom once a week. Writing them in my weekly planner helps me be intentional with these other areas of development that are just as important as academics.
It also helps me see how much she is actually learning each day--even when we are not sitting down doing "school." It's easy and engaging, and I love that I can change things up from week to week or month to month.
The Bucket Planner Weekly Planning Sheet also allows me to be flexible so that I'm not tied down to doing certain things on certain days of the week. I can dip in when we have time and still add value to all of the other most important things, like discipleship and play and family and life. You can watch me plan for the week here!
It's been the perfect balance to our homeschool.
I'm going to miss these days, but I will forever be grateful for this sweet and simple time to nurture the heart of my little one.
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