So last year did not go as planned! We had plenty of changes throughout the year and at some point in the spring I decided to explore unschooling. Unschooling still interests me, but I don't think it is right for us right now. Since last spring, we have made some positive changes in our family around screen time, the kids have matured, and I gained a world of experience.
Our plans for Drake's Kindergarten year are, if nothing else, flexible! It turns out that it isn't just Drake's Kindergarten year as Devin, who is 3.5, has been tagging along frequently, and Maddie, who is approaching 2, has been practicing her coloring and drawing alongside of her brothers. So we are Kinder, PreK, Tot schooling family now. Luckily, my flexible plans allow for this most of the time!
The foundation of our homeschool day is Build Your Library Around the World Level 0. This is a gentle, secular, Charlotte Mason based, Kindergarten curriculum. It is does not require a lot of paperwork, time, or preparation to be honest. We are about a third of the way through, and we have been enjoying it immensely. Drake loves a good story, which makes a literature based curriculum perfect for him.
In addition to Build Your Library (which for some kids could stand alone with the addition of math), I am adding a loop schedule of 6 subjects: Reading, Math, Writing, Art, Science, and Physical Education. This is partially because our state requires these subjects in first grade and partially because I think Drake will benefit from practicing skills in these areas. I do not have a real expectation of how much of the loop we do in one day, but so far we have been averaging 3 subjects a day. How much we get done depends on Drake's ability to attend to an activity on any given day.
The activities we do in each subject area are varied to stave off boredom. Sometimes we might use a workbook or printable and sometimes I might just write 1-30 on our whiteboard and have us practice counting and sometimes we might bring out a math manipulative and explore together. We are not following a curriculum for our loop subjects, but working on whatever skill needs working on in whatever way seems most appropriate in the moment.
The rhythm of our day is simple. We begin each day with a Morning Basket over breakfast (20 mins). This usually includes some of our Build Your Library Reading and part of the loop. In the afternoon, we do 2-3 loop activities (20 mins). Then before bed most nights I spend an hour or more reading aloud to them. I usually save the longer Build Your Library readings for bedtime as the boys are typically more attentive before bed. We also read picture and chapter books that the boys are interested in. Twaddle or otherwise. I keep our homeschool routine as low stress as possible because we do this almost everyday. I find that cramming too much in to one day or taking more than one day off completely is not good for any of us. So I make an effort to do part, if not all, of our routine everyday so we can stay on track and don't feel overburdened on any one day.
And that is it! If this works out, I imagine we will be ready to start first grade with a solid foundation and routine, and I have some big plans for first grade so stand by!
Welcome to the family!
We are a laid back, fun, family of four living on a dime in 700 square feet. Life might not be perfect, but every moment of every day, it is beautiful.