My eldest started Kindergarten this week! Where does the time go?!
I’ve been researching curriculum for a while and finally decided on one last year. We are doing a program called KONOS, a unit study that focuses on character building. It is a complete curriculum for everything except phonics, writing, and math, even though it touches on the subjects and has suggestions. It covers Practical Living, Language, Bible, Reasoning, Memory, Arts & Crafts, Health, Physical Skills, Reading, Science, Literature, History, Music, Field Trips, Listening Skills, Creativity, Social Studies, Geography, Classification, and Vocabulary. The great thing about it is you can skip around and study whatever you’re interested in that week.
For phonics, we have been doing “The Reading Lesson” the past year or so and while he’s been doing fairly well with it, he’s getting a little stuck three-quarters of the way through. So I added a different phonics program that will help give him a more kinesthetic approach to reading using letter tiles and activities, All About Reading – Level 1. We’re going to be starting about half way through that program though, so we’ll see how far we have to back track to pick it up.
For writing, I bought Explode the Code 2. What I like about the series is that it’s a written phonics program. J can write his upper case letters fairly well, but I haven’t yet taught him lower case letters, so we’ll be doing that first before we get into the Explode the Code series.
For math, I originally had Singapore Math for Kindergarten, but it was too easy. Personally, I thought it more appropriate for Pre-K, dealing with subjects like long-longer-longest, and simple shapes. So this year we are going to stick with hands-on manipulatives, including: Unifix cubes, Omnifix, Geoboards, Cuisinaire rods, wood cubes, hundreds board, abacus, balances, links, beads, clocks, money, and board and dice games. We’ll probably start with Singapore 1A in first grade.
I’ve reogranized the KONOS unit studies to flow with how I’ve planned out the year, so this week, being the first week, we are starting with “Time.”
We started by setting up the calendar for September with birthdays and holidays, in both English and Spanish.
This book was something unique that I wanted to do with J that would give him something to look back on as he gets older. It’s a great little Dr. Seuss book I found on Amazon called, “My Book About Me.” It asks you to fill in information about yourself, and it gets you up and moving and counting pictures frames on the wall or light bulbs in the house.
These are the All About Reading letters.
We practiced lowercase lettering in the sandbox while also covering our feet in sand mountains.
This was a cool water clock we found in a library book. We filled a paper cup with water, punched a hole in the bottom and marked the jar at every minute to see how long it took the jar to fill up with one minute of water, consecutively making the hole larger.
For art, J drew a sun, storm clouds and tornadoes. The sun signified the project we started that morning, a sundial.
We did a sundial experiment using J as the “stick.” He stood in the same place every hour (his shoeprints are drawn in where he’s standing) and we marked the top of his shadow and labeled them with the time so he could see how the sun moved through-out the day. While we were waiting for the sun to come out behind the clouds, J predicted where his shadow would fall for the next hour.
The evening’s 7:00pm sun was the most stunning. His head nearly made it to our neighbor’s drive!
I put together this little game of Slap the Clock. Whenever I call out a time, he had to slap the short hour hand (fly swatter) on the hour and the longer minute hand (broom) on the minute. He loved it!
We took a trip out to Sunflower Farm on Thursday. It’s one of their favorite places to go. They fed the animals…
Ran over, under, and through the hay bales, down the zip line, over the wooden bridge, rode on a pony and ate with chickens.
On Friday, we went to the Children’s Peace Garden. The kids learned about insects, habitats, parts of a plant, tasted raw honey and fruits and vegetables from the garden.
J found a ladybug and yellow and black spotted bug.
We went to see a bee hive with over 10,000 bees living inside!
Then we went back to the garden and picked leaves (mint, cilantro), vegetables, and fruits and sampled them. Yumm!