I took some pictures of our school day today so I would have a record of how things went, and to show others who are asking me questions...just what do you do to homeschool a kindergartener? Keep in mind I've pretty much created our own plan, loosely using materials recommended by the Mother of Divine Grace and the St. Thomas Aquinas Academy programs.
We start with a simple morning offering prayer I made up, and then we say the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge along with one or two patriotic songs. These are the flags we painted last year but still need to laminate or frame/decoupage and hang on the wall.
We try to start lessons around 9am. Today we started a little before 9, after waking up around 8! I heard the school bus drive by as I was dragging myself out of bed :) On Monday mornings we start with journal time to write about the weekend. Mary Clare narrates/dictates what she wants me to write and then she illustrates. Oh, and we had school in PJs today, fairly normal occurrence around here.
Close-up of her journal story about Daddy's Birthday and then a "poem" about rabbits she made up on the other side.
I offer to let Ellie dictate a story but she likes to write her own! She keeps herself busy while I work with MC. Oh, and she learned how to write a "P" and a "B" while writing this "story"!
Next, we practiced Mary Clare's current poem, "The Rainbow" by Christina Rossetti. I found it online and thought she would enjoy the topic and it would challenge her a bit since it's 10 lines. She did some of the poem-practicing while coloring a page of a random coloring book for a "break".
Her poems and narrated Bible stories are in plastic pages in a binder. It would probably be easiest to have one binder with tabs for poetry and the different narrations (Bible, journaling, nature), but we have a separate bound notebook as a journal. I like the paper with room for pictures at the top, and MC does too! She loves to illustrate but also loves to do it quickly! Ellie is working on a poem too, "Happy Thought" by Robert Louis Stevenson. I'll try to put videos of the poems up later this week.
We move on to math. I pretty much let MC choose the order of the subjects while I choose the subjects , and we end up covering everything in about an hour. Mary Clare is really enjoying Math U See. I am also really impressed with the approach and think it is a great fit for our family! I am fairly good at math but never learned all the good "tricks" to help me with memorization or to keep me from counting on my fingers. I love that it uses just one type of manipulative and tells you exactly how to use the blocks. The DVD is very helpful for me; I'm not having MC watch it with me just yet. Here she is showing a 3-digit number for her "test" today.
Then she (and Ellie) wanted to play with the blocks for a few minutes.
We're still trudging along through "100 Easy Lessons" for phonics. Neither of us is crazy about it, but I haven't found anything else that is grabbing me right now. We've done this on and off for over a year and we're on lesson 27. We're doing it every day now, though, so hopefully we'll make some headway soon. This is the part of school she likes the least...reading.
Ellie plays with the Leap Pad while we do phonics.
Today we ended with our bible lesson. On Mondays I usually read a new story in our Children's Bible. The bible I chose isn't necessarily a "Catholic" one, but one I bought at the Catholic bookstore because I really liked the illustrations.
Today we read "Jacob's Dream" and tomorrow she'll narrate it back to me and I'll write it out. We'll probably have to read it again before she narrates because she won't remember it all. She'll illustrate it tomorrow or the next day and may have me add on to her narration if she wants.
After a good 45 minutes of school time with a sleeping baby, I go to check on him...so sweet! I love babies first thing in the morning!
And so, that was our Monday morning. We had ballet this afternoon and everything went fairly smoothly for a Monday. I hope the rest of the week continues on this track and that that Hurricane Ike stays FAR FAR away from here. We're going on a big camping trip this weekend with our homeschool group, so we're praying for good weather and healthy families.
Hope everyone had a happy Monday and a wonderful Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary! (We celebrated Friday so we didn't do anything special today) Happy Birthday, Blessed Mother!