Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Valor - Kindergarten

    Little man starts kindergarten this year. Academically he is ready. If we were going to put him in a brick and mortar school we'd have to seriously consider putting him in this year or next. At home I have no doubts. I asked him a few weeks ago if he'd like to learn how to read. His eyes got huge at the possibilities, then suddenly, "But I'm too little. I'll do that when I'm 5." 

Ladies man, in real dance
shoes he'd have you know

   His sisters before him were chomping at the bit by his age. I had to pad their work with some extras to keep them content. This little guy is content with trying to build one word with fridge magnets before he runs off to play Legos. Just through reading to him, play, and Leapfrog cartoons he already knows every letter by sight, the first sound each of them makes, and a few of the other sounds too.  Numbers have come slower for him. Just this summer he's started counting to ten reliably every time, and has a sturdy understanding of what those numbers mean.

   Kindergarten in this homeschool means phonics, learning to write letters correctly, and gentle math introduction. They get read to daily, and they work their way through a story Bible. Here's the curricula Valor will use this year.

Phonics, reading, writing
  • Sing, Spell, Read, & Write level K, using just the workbooks and music
  • BOB Books
  • Now I'm Reading! by Nora Gaydos
  • level 1 of Sing, Spell, Read, & Write is waiting in the wings
  • gobs of easy to read real books already on our shelve, including Kindergarten Favorites from Veritas Press

  • Beginning Arithmetic 1 from Rod and Staff, 2nd edition with the duckies
       This is a grade 1 book that starts at the beginning with number sense and gently yet thoroughly covers addition and subtraction through 10, along with some skip counting, fractions, time, and such.
  • felt duckie pond

Read alouds
  • Winnie the Pooh (originals by A. A. Milne)
  • Charlotte's Web
  • Collier's Junior Classics volume 1

  • The Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos
        This will be read aloud and discussed. The goal is a basic familiarity with the major stories. 

  • Dance! He sings and dances in the WWII hangar show his siblings are all in, and we take him to the club with us too. He doesn't care to jump into the club lessons yet, but he has started braving the dance floor when it's in full swing.
  • 1-2 times a month he gets a rollerskating lesson with his sisters.
  • Does tagging along to a jillion scout meetings and swim team practices count?

Notice the lipstick? The ladies
love him. He's too bashful to
talk to most of them. LOL

**** Mid-year notes added March 2016****
    The curricula listed was a perfect fit for Valor. The only dud was the little drill book that comes with Rod and Staff math 1. For whatever reason he'd crumple and said he hated it. The little bit of extra practice it gave wasn't worth that; I shelved it.  He's now halfway through that math book and doing fabulous. It's perfect for his slow and steady get me ready learning speed.

    Likewise, Sing, Spell, Read, & Write has been a great fit for him. When level K hit blending he wasn't quite ready. We reverse engineered the BOB Books by spelling the words out on a Boogie Board first, then slowly reading through it. The first BOB Book took about two weeks before he was confidently reading it. About two months later, which included Christmas holidays, he was up to two BOB Books a week and we went back to SSRW.  Toward the end the K level was really challenging him again, but I had him plug on through. Level 1 takes a serious step back to review penmanship and letter sounds, which will let those reading skills from K just simmer on the back burner for awhile. Perfect timing.

    Valor absolutely adored the Winnie the Pooh books. He was quite solemn when Christopher Robin tried to grow up at the end, and begrudgingly started Charlotte's Web instead. Wilbur quickly won him over and they're friends now, too.

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