Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Amirah's Kindergarten Year

One more post! I've finished planning (and ordering!) the materials for Amirah's Kindergarten year. This is off the adoption topic, but this is mostly for family/friend updates, so here goes.

This is what we'll be doing:

Hebrew:
conversational Hebrew based on various books from Behrman House
the Nitzanim Level I series (easy readers)
Rosetta Stone Hebrew (the oral parts, not so much the reading parts)
finish learning alef bet and start reading soon after that
possibly start writing if English writing is well under way

Other Jewish stuff:
A wonderful curriculum with Hebrew, parsha, middos, songs, tfillos (prayers), holidays, and projects, available for FREE at http://www.chinuch.org

Math:
Saxon Kindergarten math
She took the placement test and knows about 85% of Kindergarten math from this series, but there are many kinds of activities we haven't done per se so we'll do it just because I'm sure she'll enjoy it and there's no reason to push ahead. We'll probably go through this pretty quickly. I'd like to start as soon as it arrives. We're year-round homeschoolers, except when in the middle of a new adoption!!!!!! I don't think we'll do much more than torah/parshah, read aloud books, and Hooked on Phonics before July!

Reading:
Hooked on Phonics
This has been working great for us

Handwriting:
Handwriting Without Tears

Literature:
TONS of read-aloud books. We always have one "big book" we read as a family plus lots of shorter books we read throughout the day (except not the last few weeks!).

Science:
Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock
This is a FANTASTIC resource even though (or maybe because) it is nearly 100 years old. Yep, 1911. It is about 4 inches thick and covers all the natural sciences. Most of the chapters (we're doing earthworms right now) include an excerpt from a poem, a description of the creature and its habits (or the phenomena), a lengthy list of observation questions for the student, and concludes with an excerpt from literature. Amirah begs to read this book all the time. We have a plastic box of earthworms in a dark drawer. Her earthworms had babies!!! A couple dozen thread-thin 1/2-inch long earthworm babies are in her box. Nothing like being a proud earthworm mama.

Music:
I finally had an excuse to buy an excellent music curriculum that came out AFTER I "retired" from classroom music teaching. It's an Orff-Schulwerk based curriculum called Gameplan. We'll start with 1st grade. There is no Kindergarten curriculum developed yet, but I think Amirah is ready for 1st grade music. Or we can just take 2 years to cover the concepts. She also really wants a violin, so I think for her birthday we'll get her a little used one. She makes a really nice sound on the adult one we have! We won't start formal lesson or anything. We'll explore it to the extent she feels inspired.

Art:
Hopefully, we'll get to spend some time working on our drawing skills. Otherwise, lots of torah-based projects plus tons of just experimenting with different materials.

PE:
Swim lessons, daily walks, track and field days in Beaverton, indoor playground

We also spend a lot of time at the library, on field trips, going on nature walks, baking, and propping up mama. :)

It is tricky covering all chol and kodesh (secular and religious) studies with 4 littles at home, but doing it year-round also eases some of the pressure. I hope to spend 10 hours per week, with time off for holidays, festivals (yamim tovim + chol hamoed, the in-between days of a festival), birthdays, hookie days, sick days, and vacation days. It should be split roughly evenly between secular and religious. We'll see! I'm very excited.

GOOD NIGHT!!

1 comment:

Jodi said...

Jodi here from the Yahoo group.
I have enjoyed reading your blog and am wondering "what am I getting myself into?!"

Great curriculum. This will be our first year homeschooling. Kindergarten for us as well. Thanks for the help on books...the science one looks great! Off to Amazon to order it.