Since I’m Graduating….

Avery is officially done with her year of Pre-K and they hosted a cute graduation ceremony, complete with caps!  All day before the ceremony, Avery kept saying “Since I’m graduating….” and then followed it up with all sorts of super grown up ideas and propositions.  Basically, she graduated Pre-K and is now about ready to leave for college!

prek graduation.jpg

Her teachers made really nice scrapbooks for each student.  Pictures that we had never seen from all of their different events throughout the year.  Projects that highlighted their growth (physical and development).  Avery had a good year here and really came to love her teachers.  I am glad that we decided to put her in a Pre-K program this past year but I am also very happy and very confident in our decision to homeschool next year.

On the way home from the graduation ceremony, Avery said “Since I graduated, can we start on kindergarten tomorrow?”  I laughed and said “Of course!!”  And her dad laughed at both of us and said “You guys are such nerds!”  All true.

 

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Bored to Tears!

We are one month into our pre-K school trial. If you are just tuning in, you can read this post to read about why we are doing a in-school trial.  I figured I’d give an update on how it’s going.  A has adjusted fairly well.  She cried at drop off for the first 2 weeks when mom dropped her off (but no tears on daddy drop off days).  After 2 weeks, she got used to the idea, knew when we would pick her up and now no more tears.  She does occasionally cry for a minute or two during the day but is always easily redirected.  She has 4 friends in the class that she already knew from the exercise-playgroup that we have attended since she was a baby.

One day last week, her teacher told me she cried for a couple minutes during the day because she missed me.  I asked A on the way home why she had been crying.  She said “I was just SOOOO bored!!”  Oh my gosh, she had me laughing so hard with that….she was literally bored to tears.

That brings me to the academic portion.  I do not really feel like she is learning anything new.  She goes to school 3 days a week and so far, they have worked on one letter each WEEK and the 4th week was a review of the previous 3 letters.  A already knows her letters so this is a very slow pace for her.  It took 3 weeks for her teachers to realize she already knows how to write her name.  The teachers write everyone’s names on their papers in yellow highlighter for the kids to trace.  A doesn’t like to make waves and likes to please people…so she just kept tracing her name even though she can do it herself.  In the third week, she drew a picture during free time and labeled “Mom, Dad, Avery, Kaylee”.  Her teachers had no idea that she could write her own name, let alone her entire family’s names.  I was/am trying not to be “that parent” so I planned to wait until open house (beginning of Oct) before I brought up challenging her more.  I am hoping that now that they know, they will challenge her more but I totally understand that they have something like 18 kids in the class and may not have the resources to be changing materials for 1 student but I’m hoping we can figure something out.

Stay Tuned….

A’s PreK Year Overview

We started our official homeschool journey in the fall for A’s 4 year old PreK year.

Philosophically, I think 2-3 days a week is more than enough for a PreK program.  Because A was always asking for school work, I planned 4 days of actual school and then we often ended up doing science experiments or art projects on the off days.

We were very lucky to find a homeschool co-op for A to join as well.  It was once a week and the moms rotated who would teach that week.  Unfortunately, it petered out halfway through the year and the co-op won’t exist next year.  I think co-ops are a great way for homeschoolers to enrich their school year.  For the students, it gives them the great opportunity to interact and learn from adults who aren’t mom or dad. A made some great friends in that class and while she struggled with the weeks that mom wasn’t in the classroom, she talked about co-op all week.  The naysayers will be so glad to hear our homeschool kids DO actual socialize (woohoo!).  A huge bonus for me was that mom got to talk to other adults during the day!!

Our days at home were broken into the following sections: Character, Letters/Literacy, Theme, Physical/Play, Math/Science, and Craft.  It was about 2 hours per day and we did not do it straight.  We did some in the morning, some when K was napping, and some before bed.

For our character curriculum, we used Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue by Kathie Morrissey.  She focuses on one character trait per week and gives activities for each day.  It is Christian/bible based but very easy to adapt if that isn’t your thing.  I think she covers about 25 character traits.

I tried to relate the rest of our sections all back to that weeks theme.  For the fall theme, we did the letter “L” for leaf, collected leafs (a challenge since we live in the desert!), talked about why they change colors, etc.  I did very well with our weekly theme and planning our week ahead of time….for the first few months.  Actually, it was probably a whole ‘semester’.  After Christmas and the holidays, we kind of slowed down.  I wasn’t really doing themes anymore nor were we doing as much school work.  It was around January that we started talking about putting A in school in the fall so I think that was kind of a blow to me and caused my slowdown.  We did still do several days of school work but it was more workbook type stuff or just whatever we thought of that day (instead of preplanned, prepared).

It is difficult for me to determine what A learned this year because she knew quite a bit before we started too (I have records but that would require me getting up and digging them out).  She knows and can write all of her letters and knows their beginning sounds.  She can write her name, her sisters name, mom, and dad.  She knows numbers and can do single digit adding/subtracting.  She isn’t reading yet but I think she is very close….I’m just waiting for a sign from her and then we will jump into that!

(I started this blog on another forum and am transitioning to wordpress. Post was originally published on June 16, 2015.)