No Harm Done

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kindergarten Open House

Welcome to our Open House! On good days we call our homeschool the "Cherry Creek School For Boys." On bad days we refer to it as the "Cherry Creek Correctional Facility."

I always love hearing about what other homeschoolers use, and I know that friends and family clamor for more details about our school. Okay, "clamor" might be overstating things. "Mildly interested" might be closer to reality.

A more organized person could put together one of those "Day In The Life" entries (You expect me to keep track of a notepad and paper all day long in order to write everything down?), so the Open House is the option I'm left with.

Brogan's kindergarten regimen is fairly lean when compared to his older brother's. But here is what he's doing at the "Cherry Creek School For Boys:"

Brogan's reading is humming right along. We began the year using "Sing, Spell, Read, and Write" (just the workbooks. Not the curriculum) in combination with "Phonics Pathways." For variety we'll pull out the Bob Books and read a bit about the thrilling adventures of Mat and Sam. At this point in the year, Brogan can read any word you throw at him in which there are :
a) only short vowels, and
b) no diagraphs or silent "e" words.

Brogan sounds out more and more words he sees while we're out of the house. He desperately wants to be able to read the Garfield comic books by himself, so he works hard to sound out words. We've learned that his reading skills aren't at a point where he can read much of the dialogue, but he can read all sorts of sound effect words like "bang," "smack," "plink," and "thwack."

By far Brogan's favorite subject, math usually begins our school day. We use Singapore Math's kindergarten level books. They have 4 workbooks for kindergarten. We started the workbooks books this summer, and Brogan's now about halfway through the last book. We'll move on to the first grade books as soon as he finishes.

Last week Brogan started learning about addition and doing additions problems written vertically and horizontally. (Trying to understand that they're the same problem, even when written differently.)

For Bible we use Bob Jones Bible Foundations three days a week. We've used these books since Braden was in 1st grade and really like how they're laid out. The early grades work through the major Bible stories chronologically and emphasize personal application. We began with Creation, and this week we read about Cain and Abel. We also learn hymns (and their history), Bible skills, catechism questions, and about strong Christians of the past.

Brogan would really like to have piano lessons with a "real" teacher, but for now he's stuck with me. He's working his way through the Faber piano series primer. When he finishes the primer, he can have "real" lessons. We're about one-fourth of the way through the book and he's just beginning to learn the names of the notes and where the corresponding keys are on the piano. He's very proud of what he can play, and you can listen to him here.

Co-op: (FIAR, Fitness, Choir)
One afternoon a week we attend classes for homeschoolers. Brogan's first class is "FIAR" or "Five In A Row." In this class the teacher leads the children in activities related to a story they've read. This week they read "Billy and Blaze" and did activities related to pets.

His second class is "Health and Fitness, "and blends fitness activity with discussions about health and nutrition. His teacher has a passion for teaching children about healthy eating, and talks a lot about God's best plan for our diet as laid out in the Bible.

The last class is choir. It surprised me that Brogan picked choir, because in other settings he's mostly a "listener" when the class is singing. But he wanted to try, and last semester he joined the choir. He was somewhat ambivalent about the class until the Christmas program. He had such a blast in the Christmas program that he was eager to do it again this spring.


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