Friday, September 4, 2015

6 weeks in the books

I was recently at our local Rec center signing Evan up for Fall swim lessons, and the lady registering us stirred up some small talk with Evan about school. She asked him if he had started school yet and he proudly said he was in Kindergarten-and that he LOVED it(music to my ears)! And then, after a few thoughtful seconds lifted his pointer finger and with a disapproving wag he declared "Except for one thing...Reading! Reading makes me (insert scrunchy face here) GRUMPY!"

As we have officially made it to our first year round "track out" next week-wooo hoooo-I wanted to pause and write some of my thoughts on where we are now in our Kindergarten journey.

Challenging though it may be, I have been encouraged to see leaps and bounds growth in reading/phonics as Evan is now blending his words with marked improvement and errors are starting to iron themselves out with practice and repetition.  Areas to work on-mixing up "b's" and "d's" and often mistaking "n's" for "h's" and vice versa. The culprit? Rushing! It's a consistent problem across the board and so  I often find myself in a chorus of "sslllooowww down!"
Handwriting is going great! We finished up our K Handwriting Without Tears book last week and have been supplementing with this and that, camping out on a few problem letters and numbers before we move on to the next book. Usborne's "wipe clean"  books are a classroom favorite.
Math is probably his favorite subject by far outside of the obvious wins like recess and art. :-) We just started learning about money and introduced subtraction after a good bit of addition work. Like handwriting, we're ready to move onto the first grade math(credit here goes to his preschool prep, and the fact that we casually got a head start on this math curriculum before school was officially in session). My plan of action now is to supplement with some topical workbooks on those previously mentioned topics(addition, subtraction) before we move ahead and place that next order with Rainbow Resource.

Other Kindergarten "potpourri" would include scissor practice, basic memory work, and more concentrated calendar time. Below is an example of his September calendar courtesy of Usborne's "make and create calendar." He can color and customize each month-this not only allows for practice writing numbers but also gives him more ownership over it all and helps him look forward to special events like birthdays and what not. It's hard to tell in this picture since we pencil the majority of it, but he gets to write in the name of the month, number the days and decorate the "happenings." It comes with a good variety of stickers for birthdays, field trips, ect for those that can't exactly spell out "Labor day" just yet. ;-)
Honestly I'm not sure I'm ready for a break and am worried to go a whole week without working on reading and math as I've seen what progress every day brings. For that reason I do have some fun educational activities planned and I'm sure I'll try to sneak in some flash card review here and there. Evan is very excited for the break and I know we'll both benefit from some regrouping. And planning! I'm personally praying for extra diligence in planning and goal setting because it really does go a long way to a productive day. Even in the small details like laying out everyone's clothes before bed-it makes a difference!

That's Kindergarten so far-6 weeks down! I should also mention that we recently joined our local homeschooling group, and look forward to all of the fun activities starting up this month. 

Last but not least, the elephant hiding in this post is that Bennett starts preschool next week!!!  He'll be in the same 3 day/3 yr old class that Evan was in so thankfully we're all very familiar with the school and his teachers. After the open house this week he seemed really excited to go back and I'm excited for him, I know he will have a blast! 

In the midst of these especially tumultuous days around our globe, I don't take for granted the present peace and joy and freedom we hold in our small corner. Despite the daily challenges and growing pains that come with raising these crazy kids, I am so proud of both my boys and so very thankful-by His grace- to celebrate these precious milestones with them.