Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting Ready for School

Today was a special 20% off all educational supplies at my local Mardel store.  I decided to get there when they opened, but was naively surprised to see a full parking lot.  It was wall-to-wall people, no shopping carts, and for one panicked moment I relived my most recent Black Friday experience.

And let me just say that Kindergarten teachers are piranhas.  They look all sweet and innocent, but heaven help if you’re going for the same morning meeting book as them.  Or magnetic letters.  Trust me.

Anyway, miraculously, I managed to get everything I needed with the exception of a Saxon K-3 math manipulative kit.  (I’m keeping an eye on EBay and Craigslist for that.)  I set a budget between $200-$250 for my curriculum and I got out of the store with extra things not on my list for only $186.00! 

Grace was so excited to see everything I bought, and she wants to start Kindergarten NOW.  We’re going to wait to start the curriculum, however, until August.  I need more time to plan and get things ready!

Today, I bought our language arts curriculum.  We decided to use Alpha Omega Horizons.  I originally wanted to use Sonlight, but we just couldn’t justify the cost.  I’m going to supplement what I bought with some Hooked on Phonics and Scott Foresman materials I already own.  For math, we are using Saxon.    My sweet friend Julie Williams is letting me borrow her Kindergarten curriculum for this year!  I just need to find the required manipulatives.

For science, we will make frequent visits to the science museum, planetarium, and zoo.  We will check out science books from the library and learn about the human body.  For history, we will learn about different states in our nation and explore basic geography with our interactive globe and puzzles.  We will check out books from the library that describe other cultures and lands.  

We have signed Grace up for a weekly class with the Travis Academy of Fine Arts.  She will be so excited to begin ballet again!  Once she turns six years old, she will be eligible for other classes like drama, art, music, and bible study.  If there is room, we would love her to begin a couple of extra classes in the spring. 

We will start our school days with devotions and catechisms.  I have not been as faithful in teaching her the Westminster Catechism as I should have been, and I’m looking forward to getting into a routine of adding it back to our bible time in the mornings.  We will probably focus on one question per week. 

Even though this seems like a lot, I don’t expect our school days to take more than 2-3 hours total.  I hope to be done before lunchtime.  We are able to eliminate classroom hassles (i.e. bathroom breaks, learning rules and procedures, discipline issues, P.E., walking up and down the hallways, lunchtime, recess, and crowd control) to have a shorter day!  This leaves the afternoons free for field trips, shopping, library, playgrounds, and learning household skills. 

I spent the better part of today setting up our little classroom in our dining room.  I still have some things to laminate and hang up, but I’ll take pictures when I’m finished.  Grace watched in awe and wanted to play with everything I bought.  But, I told her it was only for kindergarten with mommy…gotta give her something to anticipate!


Anonymous said...

That is so cool, Mrs. Joanna! I'm glad you will be homeschooling. I loved it. I really like the Saxon math, though I'm a little biased... I like math. :)

- Kathryn

Mimi said...

I am very thankful for and proud of you! You will do a wonderful job and it will be just what Gracie needs!

cindy said...

It was pleasure reading your Article. Very Informative. Thanks for the share.

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