I have gone back and forth between wanting to wait to see what we actually accomplish this year to share our kindergarten plans, and to wanting to share as we are working through them. I first began this post just after we had started our year, and now it's been about four months (with breaks interspersed) since the beginning. I thought it would be fun to go ahead and share as I check in with myself, so to speak-----and also comment on what we've done and what might change.
Our youngest was definitely ready for more than completely learning "by the way" (as things just came up), and I wanted to use a framework for her year that would introduce her to subjects and methods we will continue to use throughout her schooling. Even though Charlotte Mason did not (seemingly?) begin formal lessons for children under 6, I think she implies (or outright says) that we can follow the lead of our children in various areas----she definitely outlines how to start reading lessons for the child who is ready before 6.
AND GUESS WHAT?
From "A Liberal Education for All" found here: https://archive.org/details/BoxPNEU23Filepneu161 (I just read this a week or so ago!)
Although this was published after the death of Charlotte Mason, it seems the PNEU at least eventually did support the start of work with children under six. I'm not sure what this means about what Charlotte Mason herself would say, but I think this may have been an outgrowth of taking the child's lead as it says they "might do a good deal of work in Form 1B". Because this document is seemingly a handbook for the PNEU, I also wonder if it would have been stated this way in years prior to Charlotte Mason's death. One day, maybe I shall find out! Of course, I about fell out of my chair when I read this. Truly, I was shocked. However, as more and more things are put online for all of us to access, we do see more into the workings of the PNEU---which we are free to take or leave, and apply as we will to our home school. I'm very curious to know how this developed, however, and will be keeping my eyes out for it.
Of course, in some states now, kindergarten is required; and those homeschooling parents have fewer choices about when they begin a certain course of study. Interestingly, of all the PNEU programmes I have been able to review so far, a 1B year is "lighter" than I had previously realized. (Thanks to Wildwood for the discussion on this and their Form 1 work! I may have first seen "A Liberal Education for All" mentioned in their Facebook group or elsewhere by one of their creators too. I wish I had more time to read much more of the original PNEU documents....) It makes sense that some five year olds would be ready to join in without narrations being required (or at least not much----again, what was I reading?!?!?) and with a book or two altered. I'm hoping to put together a post of a "typical" 1B program of study. For now, let me say---my example is NOT it. Our year has been based on interests of my daughter as well as the introduction of certain subjects we will continue to study.
So without further ado.....what I'd planned, what we've accomplished or are currently working on, and where we'll head/revisions. (It's long---many picture books, and I've listed them out... I've inserted some pictures from Instagram to break it up a bit.)
Sunshine and CM's Kindergarten Course of Study
- Picture Study (Bierstadt, Cassatt, Matisse, Audubon, B. West) - We've been working on Bierstadt, and the others may change as I'm trying to decide our future studies.
- Drawing (selected lessons from Art Projects for Kids and drawing books) We have been working on drawing, but it's not been planned out. Just as we'd like or as she does on her own.
- Art Lessons or Free Art Exploration Time utilizing the following resources:
- Primary Art: It’s the Process, Not the Product by Mary Ann Kohl
- Deep Space Sparkle website
- Art Projects for Kids website
- That Artist Woman website
- Bible Reading
- Selections from Egermeier’s Bible Story Book
- Devotional/Faith Based Reading
- Catechism: A Catechism for Boys and Girls (Carey Publications)
- Big Thoughts for Little People: ABCs to Help You Grow by K. Taylor (finished)
- Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers: The Scripture by J. Allen (finished)
- A Picture of God: 3 in 1 by J. Marxhausen
- Children in the Bible by A. Zobel-Nolan
- God’s Troubadour, The Story of St. Francis of Assisi by S. Jewett
- First Steps: 75 Devotions for Families with Young Children by P. Loth, Jr.
- The Children’s Book of Virtues by William Bennett (Selections)- We've finished this one. I left out a few selections. She did not want it to be over!
- The Children’s Book of Home and Family by William Bennett (Selections)
Geography-Read Around the World
- Introduction to Maps
*As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps by Gail Hartman
*Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney
- For Use Throughout the Year
*Little Kids First Big Book of the World by Elizabeth Carney
*Peoples of the World (Usborne)
- North America- We've finished reading each of these.
*Welcome to North America! by April Sayre
*The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose (Tribes of North America)
*Arctic Son by Jean Craighead George (Alaska)
*Hill of Fire by Thomas P. Lewis (Mexico)
*Erandi’s Braids by Antonio Madrigal (Mexico)
*The Very Last First Time by Jan Andrews (Canada)
*How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the USA by Marjorie Priceman (USA)
*Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (USA)
*Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold (USA)
- South America- We've finished reading these.
*South America, Surprise! by April Sayre
*Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia by Jeanette Winter (Columbia)
*My Name is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral by Monica Brown (Columbia)
*The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry
*Rain Forest Secrets by Arthur Dorros
*Welcome to the Green House by Jane Yolen
- Europe- We're working on reading these now! We've read the highlighted ones so far. :-)
*Hello Europe! by April Sayre
*The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (Spain)
*Chanticleer and the Fox by Barbara Cooney (England)
*Mirette on the High Wire by Emily McCully (France)
*Starring Mirette and Bellini by Emily McCully
*Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (France)
*Strega Nona: Her Story as Told to Tomie dePaola by Tomie dePaola (Italy)
*The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot by A. and M. Provensen
*The Treasure by Uri Shulevitz
*Greetings, Asia! By April Sayre
*The Empty Pot by Demi (China)
*Once a Mouse… by Marcia Brown (India)
*Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho (Thailand)
*Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel (China)
*Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park (Korea)
*How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina R. Friedman (Japan)
*A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsumo (Japan)
*Good Morning, Africa! by April Sayre
*A is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu
*The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Florence Heide and Judith Gilliland (Egypt)
*Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema (Kenya)
*Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier (Uganda)
*Galimoto by Karen Williams (Malawi)
*Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie
*G’Day, Australia! by April Sayre
*Colors of Australia by Lynn Olawsky
*Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under by Marianne Berkes
*Hooray for Antarctica! By April Sayre
History: Before the year started, I thought I'd like to read a picture book biography every week or so. But so far, we've only read a few of these and I'm not sure how many we will finish by year's end vs. saving them for another year. These are great books though, so I'm leaving them up in case anyone is looking for good picture book biographies/historical stories.
- Picture book biographies/true stories
- A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin by D. Adler
- A Picture Book of George Washington by D. Adler
- The Boy Who Loved to Draw: Benjamin West by B. Brenner
- A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson by D. Adler
- The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki (John Chapman)
- Ordinary Extraordinary Jane Austen by D. Hopkinson
- The Boy Who Drew Wild Birds: A Story of John J. Audubon by J. Davies
- Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas by C. Bardoe
- Emily and Carlo by M. Figley (Emily Dickinson)
- Emily by M. Bedard (Emily Dickinson)
- Suzette and the Puppy: A Story About Mary Cassatt by J. Sweeney
- A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison by D. Adler
- Lily: The Girl Who Could See S Oxley and T. Ladwig (Lilias Trotter)
- Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by S. Slade
- The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever (Kate Sessions) by H. J. Hopkins
- The House That Jane Built: A Story about Jane Addams by T. Stone
- George Washington Carver by L. Bowdish
- Snowflake Bentley by J. Martin (Wilson Bentley)
- The True Story of Peter Rabbit: How a Letter from Beatrix Potter Became a Children’s Classic by J. Johnson
- Matisse: The King of Color by L. Anholt
- Papa is a Poet: A Story About Robert Frost by N. Bober
- Young Helen Keller: Woman of Courage by A. Benjamin
- Young Amelia Earhart: A Dream to Fly by S. Alcott
- Duke Ellington by A. Pinkney
- Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by J. Marzollo
- You Should Meet Mae Jemison by L. Calkhoven
- Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by L. Mattick
- The Story of Ruby Bridges by R. Coles
- Letter, number, word formation on lined paper
- Beginning Reading....well, my daughter started reading completely on her own. Like reading just about anything elementary level or so. We've not done formal reading lessons, and although I fret about her missing something for not having done them, I keep saying----she's *reading* so stop the fretting. So we haven't exactly used the books I thought we might as she hasn't been as interested in them. In all my years of teaching the young children of others (10+) and even with my oldest, I've never experienced this kind of progression first hand. Just mentioning it by way of explaining why we aren't using any beginning reading things (I even purchased The Good and the Beautiful K at some point though it's not listed here as I had put it aside)---certainly, not typical at all. It's been a bit surreal---in a good way! :-)
- Free and Treadwell Primer, First Reader
- Other beginning readers/series
- The Complete Brambly Hedge by J. Barklem
- Dooryard Stories by C. Pierson (night time reading)
- Beatrix Potter Collection of Stories by B. Potter (in progress)
- Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (finished)
- The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne (in progress)
- Seasonal picture books and additional picture books and/or short chapter books
- Lavender’s Blue: A Book of Nursery Rhymes by K. Lines (selections)- In progress. We will likely stick with this and poetry collections vs. starting any of a certain poet.
- A Child’s Own Book of Verse Book One (selections)
- Selections from Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson
- Climb Into My Lap: First Poems to Read Together selections by L. Hopkins
- Pledge of Allegiance (Memorized)
- Short Bible Passages (ongoing)
- Prayers from Classic Treasury Collections
- Poems (ongoing: We started using IEW's Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization. She's memorized the first few, but we keep this very light and not regularly scheduled. Note: recitation does not have to be memorized. There seem to be two types in Mason's volumes. And when she's older, I'll likely turn over some of the choice of recitation selections to her. )
- RightStart LevelA We've used some of RS Level A.....I tried it with my oldest some 10+ years ago....I was a drop out then, and I'm probably a drop out now.....I put it aside and have been thinking about looking at it again sometime soon. Meanwhile, we've been using some Math Mammoth 1 and some Horizons K (which I already had).
- Math Application (Every day activities: games, puzzles, cooking, play dough, slime, etc.)
Modern Foreign Language (Spanish)
- Songs in Spanish: Use Boca Beth, De Colores
- 1000 Words in Spanish
- Picture Books in Spanish: La Oruga Muy Hambrienta, Biscuit books (need to purchase 1-2), Mi Amor Por Ti
- Videos on Amazon Streaming, Boca Beth
- Listen in on ULAT lessons if desired
- SALSA Spanish online stories
I'm just going to do a general update on Spanish, because we are using a variety of the things listed above, but they are not our focus. Our focus has ended up being some things I found after I made up these plans:
We LOVE WhistleFritz and Calico Spanish. We've used some Reading A to Z books, but I mostly got those for a bit further down the line and am still working on printing them out. I was able to purchase the WhistleFritz program and the Reading A to Z subscription at a discount through Homeschool Buyer's Co-Op. We've not used the lesson book from WhistleFritz at all yet....some of she already knows and Calico Spanish has been our "main" lesson source. If you're not familiar with it....instead of me writing it all out---just hop on over to their site and look around. Watch free videos on YouTube. Sign up for their free trial---you'll get access to everything they offer! And if you decide to subscribe, email them for a discount for homeschoolers.
- Music Appreciation- We've started using some of these resources, but it's been by the way. I really do want to be more intentional with this!
- SQUILT: Meet the Instruments (collection of selections for listening based on instrument families and accompanying instrument cards)
- M is for Melody: A Musical Alphabet by K. Wargin
- Meet the Orchestra by A. Hayes
- The Story of the Orchestra by R. Levine
- Songs- We are using these resouces....but I fizzled out after the first two songs in each category. Need to get back on it! :-)
- Children’s/Folk Songs
- Selections from Raffi Singable Songs for the Very Young and Raffi on Broadway
- Bible/Faith Songs
- Selections from Hide ‘Em in Your Heart Volume 2
- Patriotic/Americana Songs
- Selections from Wee Sing America
- Children’s/Folk Songs
- Nature Lore
- Seed Babies- (started)
- Outdoor Visits by E. Patch (selections) ** I may save this for next year....not sure.
- Among the Meadow People by C. Pierson
- Science/Nature Study: Backyard observations
- Science Experiments for Young Learners (Evan Moor)- Selections from Life Science Section (Seed and Plant Observations, Meal Worm/Beetle Life Cycle, etc.)
- Plants (Term 1)
- Sprout bean seeds and watch grow (We tried this multiple times, but after ours sprouted they all got moldy no matter where we tried to set them up. It was disappointing and I may try again in cooler temperatures because I've done this more than once in the past and it's so cool to watch!)
- Grow different varieties of sunflowers
- Fruits and Vegetables (seeds and how they grow)
- Books—Select from: The Fruits We Eat, The Carrot Seed, Berries, Nuts and Seeds (Take Along Guide), How Do Apples Grow, A Seed is Sleepy, A Reason for a Flower, The Vegetables We Eat, The Tiny Seed
- Worms (Term 1)
- Learn about earthworms and their importance to the soil/plants
- Books: Wiggling Worms at Work, Up in the Garden, Down in the Dirt
- Butterflies, Dragonflies, other insects (Term 2)
- Observe backyard insects
- If possible, collect (or order) caterpillars to observe and learn about the life cycle of butterflies (or moths)
- If desired, select one other insect to closely observe through a habitat kit such as ladybugs or ants
- Books---Select from: Are You A Ladybug?, From Caterpillar to Butterfly, Ant Cities, What About Ladybugs, The Honey Makers (maybe), Bugs A to Z, A Butterfly is Patient
- Spiders (Term 2)
- Observe backyard spiders and webs
- Learn about the differences between spiders and insects
- Books (need to select)
- Birds (Term 3)
- Observe backyard birds, begin to learn their call and learn names of birds that visit the yard
- Learn about the life cycle of birds (observe nests/eggs if any found in yard during the spring)
- Books---Select from: A Nest Full of Eggs, An Egg is Quiet (not just birds), A Nest is Noisy (not just birds), Birds, Nest and Eggs (Take Along Guide), Counting is For the Birds, The Robins in Your Backyard, How Do Birds Find Their Way?, Flute’s Journey, Beaks
So "Science" has its own update too.....My daughter was asking for more Spanish...check! And she was taking out one of our kits and trying to make her own "experiments" daily....so I got right on that too. :-) In the form of purchasing Elemental Science's Intro to Science year. (Not that her water play and pouring and measuring isn't great...but I though she would delight in doing more; and she has.) The Intro to Science program is based on the book More Mudpies to Magnets for experiments and schedules things out nicely. Notebook pages and lapbook templates are also available. She has LOVED every thing in this program. The lapbook, the notebook pages, the experiments---and the suggested nonfiction picture books that we've read that go along with topics. Some of my original planned topics are parts of the Intro to Science year, but I'm using that as my main guide/focus now. We are moving at our own pace through it, though and I'm not sure if we'll use the whole program this year or not.
She also gravitates towards science books in her own free reading time. I'll have to update at the end of the year with some of her favorites. She's really enjoyed the entire Backyard Books series (Are You a Ladybug? Are You a Spider?....etc.) and several from the Let's Read and Find Out Science series, along with some Magic School Bus books and others we have on the shelf. Anything dinosaur is a hit too!
If you view click through to view this on Instagram, you can see a second picture of some of her notebook pages.
- Habit Training
- Neatness in work, cleaning up after play, clearing table
- Hand Work
- Lacing cards, beginning sewing kits
- Finger crochet (making chains)
- Playdough and/or clay sculpture work
- Cooking: Pouring, measuring, chopping
So that's much of what we've been up to for Kindergarten so far this year. There is still much by the way reading and discovery going on. Our whole schedule is sort of by the way even though I have these plans as a goal. We do not have set start and stop times or set days of the week for work even as it's turned out. Our life right now just does not work that way. We work about 3-4 days a week, and if I'm doing everything together we are finished in about an hour unless we add science experiments on to a "regular" day. Usually those are done on their own day with maybe a little reading done too. We rotate subjects and books within subjects in a typical CM schedule way (i.e. spread out the chapter books and longer picture books).
I'm the slowest blogger in the world, I think. My posts take me forever to write---even the short ones. So this one was a doozy for me. I'd really like to do a general post about how I plan in case it would be helpful to others (even if it's just helpful to my own girls one day). And another post about what a "typical" Form 1B looks like in the available programmes online because I find it fascinating. Hopefully sooner than not. I'll just echo again---what I've done is not a typical year based on a PNEU programme at all.
And if I were to sum up how I plan---it would be by basically following Simply Charlotte Mason's Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education. I have the old version. It's WONDERFUL. I hadn't taken it out in years, but I've been enjoying go through it again recently. There are many great free articles/blog posts on the site about planning too. Sonya Shafer is a treasure! She has always been a voice of encouragement in the CM community and she has a way of explaining things so practically that is very helpful. She also focuses on helping people apply CM philosophy and methods to their individual situation, family and needs/goals. The whole Simply Charlotte Mason team is fabulous!
And if I were going to suggest something I've listened to recently that has added much value to my inner thoughts about our individual home school and how I would like to proceed in plans and future years----it would be Karen Glass's Principles at the Helm seminar. Even if I've read something similar, had a similar thought, or have even heard/read Karen say something similar somewhere else----I always enjoy listening to her and learning from her---and this was no exception. Great food for thought and guidance---especially for those brand new to CM; but encouraging too for those not so new such as myself.
To those reading----I hope you and your family/students are having a wonderful year so far!