Kindergarten Artists: Day 14 of 31 Days of Classical Education Lite

If you are new to this series, feel free to start at the beginning.  For each of the 31 days of October 2013, I will write about practical ways to include classical education in your school routine, whether that is preschool, homeschool, or afterschool.  I will focus on an age range of birth to fourth grade.  This includes the grammar stage of the Classical Trivium. The final part of a well-rounded, classical Kindergarten education is the arts.  If you look at a program like Mother of Divine Grace, you will see that even in Kindergarten, they begin fine art appreciation with the study of famous paintings and traditional Catholic hymns.  That sounds great, but I really don’t do much for the arts at this age.  Part of that is because I want to wait to roll it into the 4-year history cycle, and part is because I just don’t have … Keep reading…

Kindergarten Explorers: Day 13 of 31 Days of Classical Education Lite

If you are new to this series, feel free to start at the beginning.  For each of the 31 days of October 2013, I will write about practical ways to include classical education in your school routine, whether that is preschool, homeschool, or afterschool.  I will focus on an age range of birth to fourth grade.  This includes the grammar stage of the Classical Trivium. Exploring history and science should be a fun time for your Kindergartener.  Instead of focusing too much on building skills and vocabulary, you should be building your child’s interest in discovery and investigation.  My goals for this stage and these subjects is really for me to learn what interests my student.  Does he like animals, space, buildings, maps, experiments, etc.?  So really, it is a time of discovery for both parent and child.  And if you just don’t have the time, then skip it.  Keep … Keep reading…

Kindergarten Counters: Day 12 of 31 Days of Classical Education Lite

If you are new to this series, feel free to start at the beginning.  For each of the 31 days of October 2013, I will write about practical ways to include classical education in your school routine, whether that is preschool, homeschool, or afterschool.  I will focus on an age range of birth to fourth grade.  This includes the grammar stage of the Classical Trivium. Preparing your Kindergartener for elementary mathematics is actually a lot of fun.  That is because almost everything they need to know can be accomplished by baking cookies with Mom.  Everyone loves cookies, right? The FoundationIf you have been working with your preschooler on counting and one-to-one correspondence, then they are well prepared for Kindergarten math.  If not, then start counting stuff.  It won’t take long to stick. The ConceptsOnce your child can count objects to at least ten, you can begin work on understanding the … Keep reading…

Kindergarten Authors: Day 11 of 31 Days of Classical Education Lite

If you are new to this series, feel free to start at the beginning.  For each of the 31 days of October 2013, I will write about practical ways to include classical education in your school routine, whether that is preschool, homeschool, or afterschool.  I will focus on an age range of birth to fourth grade.  This includes the grammar stage of the Classical Trivium. For most of this series, I have cautioned against teaching handwriting too early.  It takes many children a long while to develop the fine muscle control necessary to have success at making letters with a pencil and paper.  And you aren’t going to have an easy time trying to force a physical skill onto a child that has just not reached that level yet.  However, by the time your child is four or five years of age, they might be ready for handwriting instruction.  Along … Keep reading…

Kindergarten Readers: Day 10 of 31 Days of Classical Education Lite

If you are new to this series, feel free to start at the beginning.  For each of the 31 days of October 2013, I will write about practical ways to include classical education in your school routine, whether that is preschool, homeschool, or afterschool.  I will focus on an age range of birth to fourth grade.  This includes the grammar stage of the Classical Trivium. I love Kindergarten!  I have fond memories of my own class and teacher.  This is about the age when the last vestiges of babyhood give way to childhood.  Your child’s brain is alive and curious and ready to tackle some tough stuff.  Nothing is more exciting for me than teaching a child to read, and it is in Kindergarten when most children are ready to learn. To make life easier, I consider Kindergarten to include the Pre-K or K4 programs that are in schools.  For … Keep reading…

Using Microsoft Word to Print on Handwriting Without Tears Two-Lined Paper

As I was falling down some rabbit holes on the internet one day, I stumbled across this post detailing how to set up a Microsoft Word document that can print directly onto the lines of Handwriting Without Tears wide-rule two-line paper.  I took the instructions from that post, tweaked them a bit to make it work for Century Gothic font (the closest to HWT font), and can now print Alex’s copywork straight from the computer! This allows Alex to copy directly under his example.  Below are instructions for building your own Word document (or you can try using my template): Set up a word document as described here. I found that I did not need to trim my paper, so you might try skipping that step. Change the font to Century Gothic size 43. Type your first line.  At the end, right click, go to paragraph, and set the line … Keep reading…

Mom’s Summer Science Academy

We haven’t been doing as much science during our summer ‘school’ as I had planned, but I did break out this awesome Thames & Kosmos Little Labs science kit that Aunt Carla and Uncle Brad gave to Alex last year. We have three of these kits and they are super cute.  Each kit comes with an experiment book and materials for a fantastic (and easy) introduction into one specific topic.  We completed the first two tasks of Boats which included learning how to use a pipette… …and discovering what sinks or floats. I hope to include some experiments with our notebooking next year, but it may be difficult to do for biology (animals, human body, and plants).  I did find a few options at Home Science Tools that we may try.  I especially like the owl pellet and maybe an ant farm.  If anyone has some great ideas for experiments … Keep reading…

Curriculum Review: Math-U-See Primer

PRODUCTS WE USED: Math-U-See Primer Student Text Instruction Pack (Teacher’s Manual and DVD) Manipulative Block Set Skip Count CD and Book TOTAL COST: All materials were purchased new at a convention for $95 plus tax. STUDENT BACKGROUND: This curriculum was used to teach a 5 year old boy at the Kindergarten level. He began the year with some mathematical knowledge.  He could count to 100 using 1:1 correspondence, skip count by 5s and 10s, do very basic addition, and identify basic shapes and numerals 0-9. PROS: The DVD provides all of the teacher instruction necessary to teach the skill, so there is no need to worry that your own knowledge will fall short. Various learning methods (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) are used in each lesson. No number writing instruction included.  Others may call this a con, but I don’t want handwriting cluttering up my math lessons. Not mastery based at this … Keep reading…

Summer ‘School’

Back when I first started this homeschool thing, it was my intention to school year round with a short break for May and part of June.  However, not long after we began, we discovered that Cooper would be joining us in April.  I had to speed up school to finish early, and with a newborn now, I don’t want to start 1st grade until August. Even though we won’t officially be schooling, I must have some activities for Alex, or he will drive himself and me bonkers with boredom.  So, with a new schedule in hand, these are our summer plans. Review Binder To make sure that we can jump right in where we left off come August, I created this binder full of review sheets for Alex to work on all summer long. I filled the binder with 10 weeks worth of work.  I saved the F worksheets from … Keep reading…