this is how we doooooo it

i’m sorry for quoting that terrible song, but it’s in some tax help company’s commercials right now, and it’s in my head. i mentioned yesterday that i planned to give a more concrete update to our curriculum choices, so here it is. it is cobbled together in some ways, and trying to help her find her strengths in others, and is the by-product of a mom who majored in art for 3 years and then made a last minute change to english literature to graduate earlier.

she’s on a slightly rotating schedule, one that looks something like this:

math – Monday-Friday

reading – M-F

writing, social studies and p.e. – M/W/F

science – T/Th

art – T

music – Th

so yesterday, we did math, reading, writing, social studies and p.e. – what that really means is that we did addition and skip counting worksheets, measured different things and talked about which was larger (5 mini m&ms, or 5 coffee beans, etc), did base ten counting bingo on my laptop, played a marble counting game online, read pinkalicious at the rink (30 pages), learned the parts of a book, practiced her handwriting, reviewed phonics rules, did sight word bingo online, colored a map of dahlonega, rode scooters/ran for an hour and a half at the park, collected rocks and pinecones, talked to a military dad about community helpers like military personnel, and watched a documentary on deep ocean fish (her latest interest).

will someone please talk me off my ledge and assure me that we are covering enough? i’m so afraid we won’t do everything she needs, mostly because everything aside from the playground and the documentary was done by lunchtime. well, the reading was before bed, but it was part of our plan for the day. i’m using the curriculum standards for georgia, both the kindergarten and first grade standards as a guideline. as it stands, we’ll finish the kindergarten stuff in about 5 weeks, since she was so ahead at her private school. so we’ll launch into first grade, though when we start school next year i plan to follow a classical method of organizing our studies.

i get to drink coffee, we stay in our pajamas until lunchtime, and we play at the park or the library for an hour as often as we can. tomorrow is science and art and math and reading, and homeschool p.e. at the park with the local enrichment group. i’m tying in the science and art together, and we’re planning on doing a color mixing project, and looking at refracted light as well as painting for our art class. we’ll cover primary, secondary and tertiary colors, and probably attempt a mosaic/pointilism style painting.

the art and science will be changing monthly, with the art moving from ancient to modern over 4 months, and the science moving from indoors to outdoors over the 4 months as well. we’re doing scientific processes – how to use her science notebook to write up hypotheses and reports, what a scientist does, and some basic experimenting this month. next month, we start physical science, like magnets, and friction, and velocity. march is earth science, eg: rocks, weather, water cycles, basic astronomy, and seasons. april is life science: life cycles, parts of plants, living vs. non-living. may is going to be the most fun, since we’re going to break out the basic chemistry: acids vs. bases, polymers, and a bunch of other things that i can’t remember. but it’s the end of the year for us, and we’re going out with a bang, though hopefully not literally. she loves loves loves loves science and experiences (what she calls experiments), and she’s quite confident that she is really good at math. both of those are things i want to reinforce, as somewhere along the line, i decided i wasn’t any good at them. and it wasn’t true. though she loves to read as much as i did at that age, i want her to know there are possibilities for her beyond the humanities. though they will be stressed, thanks to my own interests.

wednesday is the anniversary of countee cullen’s death, so i plan to go to the library and get one of his children’s books to read, as part of the day’s curriculum. there are quite a few noteworthy people’s births/deaths/and other major events that have happened throughout the centuries on any given day, so we’re taking advantage of that. it will be a 15-20 mini unit at the beginning of the day, ranging from recreating a giacometti sculpture in play dough to preparing to celebrate burns night or chinese new year.

and if i’m going overboard, please mention something to me. i’m prone to going overboard (just ask anyone who showed up at the 4 major parties/get togethers i threw in 3 months this summer) and need help reining it all in. i was a homeschooler who got to learn how amazing and wide this wonderful world was, and my early years instilled in me a love of learning. i’m trying to do the same thing, but i think i might be getting too excited about all the things there are to learn. i guess time will tell… thankfully, this is only kindergarten, and she’s got a lifetime of learning ahead of her to enjoy.

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4 thoughts on “this is how we doooooo it

  1. I WANNA HOMESCHOOL!!!!! You’re doing a fabulous job. I remember my mom making me write a research paper in 6th grade (the index cards/outline/bibliography…. the whole 9 yards). She was terrified because she heard that 6th graders in GA always write research papers. COME TO FIND OUT… the actual 6th grade “research paper” is more of a guided, fill-in the blank, poster project. And there I was busting out a research paper. Zoe is going to do wonderfully.

    • pretty sure that’s something i would do. if you can’t tell from everything i just typed out, i would be the one who requires a 6th grader to write an annotated bib, have 20 sources, an outline and a 10 page paper. i guess it worked out in the end though, didn’t it? πŸ™‚

  2. I’m just gonna comment on all your homeschooling stuff, I guess… That sounds like you’re doing a lot! As someone who works in a public school, I’d say that at least half an hour to an hour is lost every day just in handing out and taking up materials, getting ready for a new lesson, correcting behavior of the troublemakers, and explaining everything at least three times to make sure a) all of the students understand the instructions, and b) they all heard it. That’s not counting bathroom breaks and large disruptions. So don’t worry that not taking the entire day is indicative of not doing enough. It’s just a symptom of having a 1:1 teacher to student ratio.

    • Natalie, it is a relief to hear all of that. Given that she was really talkative in school, I figured we weren’t quite hitting what we should have from the get go. Thanks for talking me down.

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