Here’s to new beginnings and a new school year! Don’t you just love the fall! It’s my favorite season. Oh how I fall in love with all of the glorious fall shades, every year.
A kindergartner can also be passionate and enthusiastic towards many things. At this age it really is all about the senses. What can you see? What can you feel? What can you taste? What can you smell? What can you hear? The key to meeting your child to where they are at is to physically get down to their level and emotionally engage in what they are doing.
We are going into our 10th year of homeschooling. Due to my educational background, I often found myself documenting my children’s progress. But the longer I live the longer I realize that there is a difference between thriving and surviving. Don’t get me wrong, there were times that my sons and I thrived, however sometimes I was so focused on checking off the boxes that I forgot to live in the moment. I know it’s not always realistic to have the feeling that you are thriving or succeeding but one can try, right? Homeschooling really is a way of life. Yes, we do have a routine throughout the week but education in our family doesn’t stop when we put the books away. I encourage you to be open to teaching your children when they are searching more or when an opportunity presents itself. It doesn’t have to be formal to get the job done. It can be in the form of a discussion at home or with other adults. I enjoyed encouraging our children to teach other children their own age or younger something that they know or just learned about. One of the best things about homeschooling is that your children often encounter others that are younger or way older than them. It makes them more well-rounded as individuals.
All About Me Questions:
One way to document memories is to ask these questions at the beginning and at the end of the year. Then you can see your child’s personality as to whether their answers have changed or stayed the same.
Here are a few questions to ask & document:
What is your favorite color? What is your favorite number? What is your favorite animal? What is your favorite food?
What do you want to be when you grow up? Encourage them to draw a self-portrait
Have them write their name
(Even if it’s not legible, that's okay. At the end of the year, you will be able to see the progress as they practice writing their name throughout the year).
There are so many ideas to use leaves for crafts. You can make animal leaves or people leaves. It’s fun to analyze the different colors and types of leaves that grow. It’s neat to teach Science too! Leaves have veins just like we do. Simply put, the vein in the leaf transfers water throughout it and then sugars are transported out of it to the rest of the plant. At this age I just loved facilitating the desire to learn and increase my boy’s knowledge.
I just love how baking encompasses Math, Science, Self-Help Skills and Reading. Your child gets to learn about measurements including liquid and solids. They get to watch how mixing in the baking soda or baking powder helps it to expand. They learn how to find things in the kitchen and be helpful. And learning about kitchen safety too! They also love to feel like they did something important.
I know painting can be intimidating to some so I would like to offer a few suggestions.
Pick select days to paint so if you are like me and don’t like messes you can find great comfort in knowing that this is a “sometimes” activity.
- Always have all of the supplies you will need before you start. Extra paper is highly recommended as some children really get into the process. When I did my Early Childhood training, we learned that “it is the process, not the final product.”
- To prevent messes, never leave your child unsupervised. Sometimes it’s the future Van Goghs or Michelangelos that want to express their talents on the walls.
- Make sure you know have a designated spot to allow the art to dry (often clotheslines, clothes drying racks, a table that you don’t need).
- My kids loved expressing themselves through art for a good hour and then they got their fix and didn’t desire it until next time.
As I conclude, I would encourage you to have fun homeschooling. Remember to take time to smell the flowers (between all of the dishes and laundry, that is). Life goes by so very quickly. And these little ones don’t stay little forever. I now have a 14 year old teenager that’s taller than me and I am still in disbelief! May the Lord bless your year and may it be full of lifelong memories!
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.