Monday, May 6, 2013

Kindergarten '13-'14 plans: Faith

   ***Mid-year assessment results added January 2014***  

    Kindergartners are so fun! Here's Faith's plan for fall.

  • Phonics and penmanship - Writing Road to Reading
         She switched to this a couple months ago. It sits with her better than Phonics Pathways did, and we plan to continue with it for all of K. As she learns each new letter or letters and the sounds they make she learns how to write the letters properly. Two birds with one stone. Once all the sounds are mastered this moves into spelling instruction. (Three birds?)
  • Reading - Veritas Press First Favorites
         I adore this collection of readers. When Grace and Honor read them we borrowed them from a library. I have vivid memories of Grace sitting under a book slot at the library, reading that treasure just one. more. time. before she had to give it back. I couldn't stand the thought of doing that again and bought the books for Faith.
         I did buy the guides for her. We'll be skipping the basic comprehension work and discussing the stories instead. We'll pick and choose the extra activities as we go. Since First Favorites was written for first grade we'll take it easy and move at her pace. I anticipate leisurely doing the first semester of First Favorites across kindergarten, then the second semester and More First Favorites (Veritas Press second grade) for her first grade year.
          Reading list:
    Billy and Blaze
    Curious George
    Bread and Jam for Frances
    Caps for Sale
    Chair for Mother
    Frog and Toad All Year
    Frog and Toad Are Friends
    Harry the Dirty Dog
    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
    The Little Engine that Could
    Blueberries for Sal
    Doctor DeSoto
  • Math - Horizons grade 1
          Yes, real curriculum for K math. She considers math through play to be much too babyish, and will bluntly tell you that. Horizons will be new for her. She's done great with Rod and Staff mathematics 1 and I have no complaints. Honor switched to Horizons this school year, and Grace will make the switch this fall. (More on that in their posts.) That left Faith standing there, "But I want to try the new math TOO."  Both Rod and Staff and Horizons have great math books, and I really had no valid reason to tell her no. Horizons it is.
          What's with that placement? Rod and Staff 1 to Horizons 1. You saw that right. Rod and Staff is a Mennonite company, and they don't traditionally do kindergarten. The grade 1 materials start with K level work and are very gentle. Horizons puts all the K work in their K book. If I focused on it and pushed Faith a little harder I think she could potentially handle Horizons 2 this fall, but I see absolutely no reason to do that to a 5 year old. She's already a book ahead.
  • Bible - Children's Bible by Catherine Vos
          This particular version is a good piece of children's literature in it's own right. We'll start with the Gospels, reading one short story aloud each day.
  • Geography - Legends and Leagues (published by Veritas Press)
           At her request, "I want to learn about maps and other places." This is a thin volume, but it's aimed at first graders. I'm thinking once or twice a week for the first semester. Then I'll see if I can work her into a literature based geography Grace and Honor will be doing, assuming the interest is still there.
  • Science - Green Thumbs: A Kids Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening
           She also wanted science, and thought the idea of digging in the dirt and playing with plants for school was awesome.
  • Osmosis - I expect her to jump into Grace's nature studies regularly. She already runs in and sits quietly when I start Grace and Honor's read alouds on various topics. Thus I didn't prepare a read aloud schedule just for her, but I will work some younger classics into their read aloud stack for her.
  • Extra -  She's been a Pathfinder tag-a-long in American Heritage Girls, and will actually be a real Pathfinder on paper this fall. She also attends many Boy Scout and Cub Scout events and camp-outs because the whole family goes on them.
                WWII/Doo-wop era dance group that performs patriotic hangar type shows
                Homeschool group we'll pioneer this fall. The older, relaxed, regular park days and field trips type. Not a co-op.

   So how did all that really turn out? Faith has grown, excelled, and blossomed. Here's a play-by-play.
  • Writing Road to Reading - Success! Her reading level has taken a serious leap. She went from slowly sounding everything out to blazing through words like ordinary. 
  • Veritas Press First Favorites - She loves the stories and the activity pages. I love that she's reading high quality stories instead of basal readers, and how the pages a gently laying a great foundation for future narration work. Win-win.
  • Horizons math 1 - She started by doing two lessons nearly everyday. Mid-year she is thriving and going strong. When I asked her what she thought of this book she said she missed the last book. When pressed she could barely remember what the last book was like. Some probing and looking at old books revealed that the addition/subtraction work felt harder than her comfort level cared for, but she enjoyed everything else about this book. I'll be more intentional about fact practice and see if that helps her confidence.
  • The Child's Story Bible - This was going great until she brought home an easy reader Bible from Sunday School a month into the school year. Okay, whatever, we'll do the easy-reader for awhile. Only she has no plans to go back until we finish it. I miss the vos version that was such a pleasure to read, but she is learning the stories and enjoying herself. :) 
  • Legends and Leagues - The story is adorable. The activities are sweet and engaging. Win.
  • Green Thumbs - This never really got off the ground. We did read some of the vintage Seed Babies. Both Faith and Grace want to work on gardening next year, so I'm shelving Green Thumbs until fall.
  • The Goops - We started the year with this but forgot to post it. I printed the vintage text pages full-size for her to color as she listened to the poems. Definitely a win.
  • Osmosis - She didn't give a hoot about Grace's nature study, but she did ask to learn about animals for first grade.

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