Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kindergarten Roundup

Kindergarten is sort-of half way through -- except that we're planning to do "all-year" school, so I sort-of have until August to finish. However, I'd like to do different stuff during the summer (so that it feels like a summer vacation), so it is half-way through the "normal" year. Anyway, I feel like it's time to revisit my objectives for the year, since I don't feel like I'm progressing much at all.

I'll be honest with you, we're hardly doing anything that I would consider "school", and I find myself worrying whether we'll have learned anything at all. Sure, lots of our activities actually contribute to the objectives of kindergarten in some round-about way. Yesterday, for example, Chester and Bennet took apart an old radio together and noticed all the parts and what they did. Hardly in the curriculum (whatever that is), but definitely educational. But at the same time, I wrote up these objectives so that I'd be able to feel like we were doing something concrete, and they're not even on my radar hardly ever. I guess I'm not sure how to measure progress of "school" when we don't do hardly anything formal.

Anyway, from my objectives list that I wrote up in the fall, here's how we're doing.

Language Arts:
  • We're still using "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons". We've started supplementing with a Primer McGuffey reader and a Sonlight book too. His progress is slow, but reasonably steady, and he's gaining both skill and confidence.
  • Bennet can print pretty well, and copy anything he wishes. We decided to start learning cursive as part of school. So far he knows "c", and "a". Today we'll learn "d".
  • We haven't even started learning Chinese.
  • From the park, yes, I think Bennet knows North, East, South and West. Not from very many other places.
  • He knows all the nearby landmarks, and even some that we rarely drive past.
  • He knows the walks to the park, mailbox and store.
  • He knows our backyard, and what he can see. And he knows the yard of one set of grandparents. I'm not sure about the other.
  • We're not doing much of a nature journal yet. But we did collect leaves this fall. We also collect "colors" (something red, something blue, etc), frequently from nature. But now that it's frigid, we're not outside much.
  • He can identify nearby wildlife -- possums, squirrels, rabbits, a few types of birds. Today he saw a black squirrel.
  • We've killed three caterpillars so far. Last year we raised one, if we don't get one to work this year, I think he can still describe what happened.
  • To add numbers up to ten. Nope, can't do this yet (except for +1).
Social Studies:
  • He knows six songs (not really hymns, but oh well)
  • He can recite the words to six other songs, at least
  • We're learning Psalm 23 (instead of Psalm 1). We learn a verse every week.
  • He can tell several Bible stories, but I don't think he readily knows any of the parables yet.
  • He knows the names of all the major body parts.
  • He can keep himself clean, to the extent that is expected of a young boy.
  • He plays within the boundaries of our yard very consistently.
  • He sort of knows our address (with prompting), but not our phone number yet. He knows 911 and when to call it.
So, perhaps we're closer to half-way through than I was thinking. We need to work a bit more on math, learn our contact info, and really need to get in gear with the foreign language. But those are the only two majorly lacking areas. I'm encouraged by this exercise!

How do you define progress for your child - either in school or out? Do you set objectives to try to meet, or do you track progress by keeping a record of their work, or do you do something else?


  1. Quit being so hard on yourself. Hey, if a 6 year old boy can clean himself, he's above average! LOL!

    Being flexible is what homeschooling is about. If school isn't fun, if you just want facts, send them to public school. Shayla learns so much more when the subject intersts her. (I think that applies to all kids).

    I was feeling kind of discouraged about what Shayla is learning, too. We are still on week 5 of the curriculum. But you know what, I know how far we have come. She is not only learning facts, but learning life skills, as I'm sure your kids are, too. I know that I spend a minimum of 4 hours a day of one-on-one time with her, but another 12 hours a day we are talking and learning things not in a text book, like how to put silverware in the correct pockets, how to peel potatoes, why we have to pick up after ourselves, and her latest craze, how do you spell. . .?

    I use my blog and scrapbook to keep progress of her work. I write it on my blog (to help me remember and to maybe help out others). Then I print it off, put it on pretty paper. She loves to look at the scrapbooks. The teacher that did our assessment last year loved the idea. Now that it's online, she can check it periodically, too.

  2. Sound's like you're doing great to me. I've just started "homeschooling" my 2 year old this past month. Some days we don't do anything official... other days we don't do anything official! :) I wrote up and executed a Christmas lesson plan for Christmas week, but that's the last time that's happened so far. We did some science earlier this week when I found a feather floating about the house (one from my husbands coat). The day or so before that we did some science with snow in our kitchen. I incorporate "reading" and other things by what we talk about, add a coloring sheet and finger trace the letter corresponding. It's simple really, and I didn't have a thing planned ahead of time. I saw what the Lord was handing us in a new day and grabbed a piece of it.

    I do find (and I'm doing it through my blog so far) that keeping track of what we do each day helps me see that we are indeed doing something!

    Thanks for sharing! Stop by sometime to see what we are doing... maybe your little ones would enjoy something similar. :)