I don’t quite feel ready to post yet on my progress, because it will take so much time to gather all the stuff I’ve been pouring over and working with. I think I’m going to just have to dive in or it’ll never happen. Baby napping, older kids playing with their Dad so here we go…
I have decided that for our family it would be most fun to do unit studies. This involves choosing a topic, and basing all your lessons around that topic. I’d like to start with countries around the world so it’s easier to tie in the social studies. After reading some of the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (specifically the one about how the kangaroo got its big bouncy legs and long tail) I thought it would be fun to start with Australia. I’ll write more on my plans for that later once I’m ready to start the unit.
In the meantime, I have gone through the NH kindergarten standards, and some other resources. I’ve type up myself a document of guidelines based on that. It has really helped me get some ideas, one of which I put into use right away. We are doing amazingly with reading and phonics (my 5 year old surprised me by reading “queen” today without any help or sounding out, and automatically saw the word “jar” and said “Ohh, jair” without needing to sound it out. Soo so close.) However, I have learned after going through some of the kindergarten math standards that I need to be careful that we don’t get behind there. This is where my most recent activity came into play.
A while back I had planned a nature hunt bingo activity that Katie seemed to have some fun with. I drew a grid and some pictures of things she would find in nature. Her and her sister then went and put a sticker on the square once they saw one of that item. Stickers are always a hit in this house.
The bingo activity led to the next activity that I planned for our day trip to the a forest park yesterday. This was about data collection, and representing numbers in different ways. There were 5 rows, and each row had a picture of an item (bird, cloud, sun, car, butterfly). The first column in that row was where she could put a sticker each time she saw one of those items. The next two columns we worked on together today. I had her count the stars, and make tally marks for that number in the first column. Then the second column was for writing the numeral. It didn’t occur to me when I first made the activity, but I think it will be a good idea to fill a few of these sheets out on different activities, and look at them to discuss the different amounts that she finds. For example, some days we may see a lot of birds, while others we might see few or none.
In the future I might structure the sheet to fit a place to write out the word of each item herself, but I didn’t have the space. It took her very little time to do, and I think she had fun with it. Her sister of course loved putting stickers all over her sheet. I’ve included a PDF of the worksheet we used to share. Right click on the image below, and click save.