Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Planning for the Coming Year

J’s Kindergarten year has always seemed like it was such a long way off in the distance.  That is until the last couple of weeks ago when it dawned on me that it’s just one summer’s leap away.  Really?  How is this possible?  I remember when he was as small as Baby M with few teeth and just about as much hair.

Senior-citizen-esque fashion sense aside he’s still just a boy and likely a bit too young in my opinion for anything all that academically rigorous.  For the last year or so I had planned on following something very close to Waldorf for his “Elementary” school years.  However, given the prospect of memorizing all of those fairy tales (and accompanying finger plays, songs, puppets, etc) with two other little ones under three it seemed like it was a bit more than I could chew.  I know there are those that say you don’t have to do the memorization…I’m still doubting its fit.  J’s interested in science and the real explanations as for how things work.  I’m not keen on delaying that.

We’ll still carry some things forward with us.  Waiting for reading until First Grade is one of them.  There are some other skills that J could benefit from some additional exposure and practice.  Small motor skills like drawing, cutting and gluing among them.  Using “Home Learning Year by Year” by Rebecca Rupp as my guide this is what I’ve come up with so far (this list is not inclusive and most likely subject to change):

Handwriting Without Tears, Pre-K “Get Set for School“: Teaches the capital letters and numbers as well as things like proper grip, shapes, and body awareness with Mat Man.  I’m going to couple this with the wall cards from “LMNOP and All the Letters A to Z”.

McRuffy Kindergarten Basic Math or Miquon Orange:  I think that J will benefit from the hands on nature of Miquon, but McRuffy’s got the cutting and pasting element that I like plus the fact that it doesn’t require any writing.  I’m leaning more towards the McRuffy (Kindergarten plus First Grade maybe?) and leaving Miquon Orange until next year.

Unit Studies from Lesson Pathways:  Their “Guided Journeys” seems to mirror very much the suggestions in Rupp’s book.  I’m planning on using them as a rough outline for Science and History.  Although, if J still maintains as much of an interest as he does in electricity we may just continue on with the Unit Study we’ve been doing this summer on electricity and postpone the Science suggestions given there.

We’ll add in other pieces of the puzzle like reading aloud, visiting the library, museums, Homeschool Gym class, Karate, etc.  Over the last couple of weeks or so I’ve stumbled across a few places that specifically offer classes for homeschoolers so I’ve been making reminders to check on their offerings as Fall draws ever closer.  In the meantime we’re pondering, planning, and enjoying the summer each and every minute.

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