homeschool kindergarten

My youngest daughter just turned 5 in November.  Most days I am so caught up in getting her older siblings through their school that she doesn’t get much that looks like ‘official’ school.  However, she is a champion ‘joiner’.  Anytime a sibling is doing something interesting, she’s there watching and participating to the best of her ability.  Every day I’m grateful for her happy little presence bopping contentedly around during the school day. Here’s what she spent time doing in just one day:

  • Said the Bible memory verse with siblings at breakfast– she’s got it memorized as well as anyone
  • Practiced guitar with her 12 year old sister.  They sing and play together, following instructions on a  Marcy Marxer video— actually, her older sister follows the directions– she just strums randomly and sings along
  • Made a tent with her 7 year old sister and sat inside eating Cheerios
  • Practiced phonics with her 7 and 12 year old sisters
  • Listened to a story read by the 7 year old, and another by mom
  • Ran in the back yard with the dog
  • Played Barbies with the 7 year old
  • Practiced counting while playing ‘Sequence’ with the 7 year old
  • Practiced her writing –she writes ABC’s randomly, and  laughs at me as I sound out the gibberish for her
  • Played outdoors on scooters in the driveway– she rides a mean scooter and can keep up with any of her brothers
  • Went for a walk with mom and siblings

I think the child is doing just fine!

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  1. That looks a lot like our 5-year-old’s days! I love that “school” and “life” are the same in her world. I also love sounding out her bold, capital-lettered gibberish…if I could bottle that giggle…

  2. My five year old is my oldest and her days look very random at the moment as I am in the midst of full blown nesting before I get too big. She always amazes me how much she learns on the days we don’t do ‘school’!!

  3. I agree that homeschooling has a lot of advantages, but it would also be useful reminding at least some of the public school’s advantages: it teaches children to learn in a more organized manner, they benefit from the knowledges of special-educated people like the teachers are and they balance the subjects. All in all, weighing the pro-s and con-s is an interesting subject for debate.

    • Just some notes:
      *Those “specially educated” people only have a four-year college degree, often, with less than two years spent in “teacher training” type classes. I would vote that a mom, “schooled” in understanding her child from birth to five, could do leaps and bounds better educating a child with only a) a willing, loving spirit and b) a library card.
      * That “well-organized” and “balanced” day (hogwash) is actually spent lining up, sitting down, being quiet while others are punished, waiting in line, and for about 1-2 minutes— getting some individual time from the teacher.

      Kudos to you, Mary, for knowing that life is a curriculum and learning something that happens every single minute. Enjoy that girl!

  4. We’re a little more regimented with our kindergarten here (but my kindergartener is #3 of 4 children, so I have WAY more time than you, probably! lol). Still, our actual bookwork only takes around 30-45 minutes (it includes math, handwriting, phonics, reading, catechism, science, journal, and story-reading), which means my 5 year old has plenty of time to run around outside and just spend time playing (LOVE the efficiency of homeschooling!). I think people underestimate how important it is for children to have free time to play and to just be 5.

  5. Sounds like a great day for a five year old to me!

  6. YES! This is awesome! Sounds just like the day my 5 y.o. had yesterday. Today …. the Circus!!!

  7. Yay! I read your blog often and I think you’re a great mom and teacher. My daughter is only 22 months, but I’m happy to know that I’m doing similar things with her. She’s learned to count to 10 and recognize the letters of the alphabet just from some of her books that I read to her, and from singing the alphabet over and over while in the car – at her request. She also loves to write (scribble?) with my pens/paper or her magnetic doodle board, so I write letters for her to recognize – she knows all 26. And it’s all been while we were playing together. There’s been no pressure or boredom. She loves it, and also loves playing outside with me, taking walks, and “helping” in the garden. Even though we aren’t planning on homeschooling her when she’s older, I’m glad I have the opportunity to unofficially be doing some home education now. And I think you’re doing a great job with the homeschooling – both ways can be great! I think it depends more on the person doing the educating than anything.

  8. It all sounds good to me.

  9. Sounds like a great day for a five year old! 🙂 I miss those days. 🙂 Can I ask what dvd you use for guitar?

  10. Oh, tell me more about the guitar video. Our 9 year old wants to learn guitar but I’m afraid we just can’t swing regular lessons right now. A video would be fun and it would also help us see how serious she is before we make a bigger investment. Would love details on what you use.

  11. Couldn’t get a finer Kindergarten education in the finest schools! 🙂

  12. Thanks for posting this. Sometimes I feel like we’re not doing enought “school”, but then I read this and feel so encouraged. Our day is very similar to yours and it works for us.

  13. Hi Mary!

    I popped over to say hello. I found your blog from reading “To Love, Honor and Vacuum” today. I have to admit that I just finished reading your book (…Sane Woman’s Guide…) and loved it! Thanks for being transparent, real and encouraging. May God bless you and your family.

  14. I love the way little ones absorb like a sponge all the info floating around them. Homeschooling is such a wonderful journey.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  15. How refreshing is that! Loved it!

    Ack! I just wrote a paragraph asking what DVD, then I read your reply above! Thanks – this might just be the thing my children need. They have desire to learn and a guitar but no one to teach them! WooHoo!

    Thanks for the post and the link!

  16. What a fabulous education you are providing! =) Keep up the great work!

  17. love this…xo

  18. I’m so jealous you can homeschool…if I weren’t the breadwinner…I would have my children here with me all the time…especially since they need the one on one attention they are not getting at their public school. I love reading your blog…keep up the good work 🙂

  19. Homeschooling is the best of both worlds… Ioana’s comment looks at what she sees as the ‘advantages’ of the government schools: regimentation, special knowledge, and breadth of subject matter. My view (from my own experience) is that the regimentation almost guarantees mediocrity, the ‘special knowledge’ is very frequently simply special propaganda (soft science, such as sociology, psychology, biased history, even unexpurgated darwinism), and the ‘breadth’ of subject matter is often an illusion which excludes the masterworks and classics which have enriched and made possible much of modern life in the American Republic.

    Homeschooling, on the other hand, enables parent and student to tailor education to interest, need and skill level, while at the same time allowing for exploration in new and exciting areas without the tsk, tsk of standardization and worry about what the Philosopher-Kings’ think is “best for society.”

    • SO true, Jack. I agree.

      Sounds like your five year old had a great day to me, Mary! 🙂

  20. Heather from Knoxville says:

    What a beautiful pictures of the two girls. A great post, too, but a truly marvelous picture!

  21. The proof is pretty much all in for me. Sorting laundry, playing in the yard, “helping with the cooking,” lots of stories, and the like are mostly what young kids need in addition to lots of time with Mom and Dad.

  22. Just found your blog…great job! I agree, she is doing great. I like your relaxed approach, and would go back to those days in a heartbeat. You can read samples of our daily schedule duing the preschool/K years at http://www.susanlemons.wordpress.com .
    Blessings,
    Susan

  23. I have to agree with KS mom remarks.

    The public schools here in CA are overcrowded and the poor teachers are just trying to maintain some kind of order with a group of unruly kids. Sadly our school system here begins at the first grade level to teach that two dads is normal and some schools pass at condoms in first grade. Of course, the kids probably think they are water balloons. Values are being taught at school by teachers and peers. Education happens about 100 minutes in a school day and they are at school approximately 350 minutes a day. Then these kids come home to work on homework which should be getting done in class. In a full day, they probably only spend 120 minutes with their family which does not include homework time. Most of this time is spent eating dinner, watching TV, playing on the computer, and very little interaction with the family.

    It begins to make me wonder why we even have children? We send them to free childcare all day and allow others to instill value and worth or lack of it in our precious children. Homeschooling is more than just teaching from books. Even teaching our children to have responsibility doing chores will instill work ethic in them. I am discovering that most homeschool families have chores. Maybe this is because they have time during the day vs. kids that spend most of their day at public school with little time left by evening. I have met quite a few adults that were home-schooled. Their work ethics often outshine their colleagues.

    This is all just food for thought and my own personal opinion. Homeschool was never an option for us until we begin having kids and knew we could not afford private education. I have embraced homeschool fully and am glad I didn’t think public or private was the only way.