Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Preparing for Kindergarten

Kindergarten is such a wonderful time in a child's schooling. I, however, was very nervous about beginning this journey!:) Give me a high school class of Seniors and I am comfortable, but Kindergarten is another story!

I was overwhelmed with the pressure to get it right: the reading, the handwriting, and the math. The reading was the most intimidating to me. What if I messed them up somehow? Could I ruin their whole school career in one year? I wish someone had been there to tell me to RELAX!

Kindergarten is a year of exploration for you and your child. Your child gets his first taste of "school" and you begin to learn things about your child that you never knew before. Is he good at scientific thinking or mathematical manipulations? Does he love books or drawing? It is truly a magical time that goes by too fast.

My advice in a nutshell is to enjoy the wonder that is in your child's eyes. Read with them and explore God's universe with them. Unit studies and lapbooks are a great tool for homeschool teachers. This time goes by so quickly and then you are faced with "curriculum" that must be completed.

Here are a few sites that might be helpful in your journey:


There are also a number of great books that I have used in our homeschooling that I would recommend:

Phonics Pathways
The Scientist's Apprentice
A Story of the World
Apologia Beginner's Science
Bob Books
Handwriting without Tears
Explode the Code
Math U See (love the manipulatives)
Sonlight Read Alouds

This is a great time to use games to augment your learning. You can reinforce letters, numbers, etc... or focus on good sportsmanship. Here are a few that I recommend:

Boggle Letters
Boggle Numbers
Letter Soup
Hi Ho Cherry-O
Bingo (you can make letter bingo, number bingo, shapes bingo...)

When you are looking at Kindergarten remember that life is full of learning opportunities. Look around you.

Zoology Projects

For the culmination of our Zoology study (Land Animals), we decided to produce a few wildlife videos. The basics of what we did were this: each child picked an animal that we studied this year and wrote out interesting facts about the animal and their feeding and habitat. Then, we paid a visit to our local zoo and videoed each animal that they had chosen.

After we got back home and examined our footage, we realized that we need to add more information to make the video more interesting. The kids did a little more research on their animals and then we went to the park to film a bit more.

Creating the final product was a learning experience in itself! I used Microsoft Movie Maker and of course my oldest figured it out quickly. I then uploaded our finished projects on to TeacherTube.

Please check them out under the key words "Meerkat", "Giant Panda", or "Komodo Dragon". The account is under "Mrsbwrite".