Remember the post How a homeschooled dreamer does preschool math? A year later, here is a rough breakdown of how my kindergarten homeschool schedule with Caroline might go on any given day.
Calendar time: 10-15 minutes
Five minutes of actual learning and five to ten minutes of adding color and embellishment to everything we do. It is not enough to cross off the number on the chart with a single color. It must be filled in, striped, or otherwise colored with three to ten different colored markers.
Bible and Prayer: 10-15 minutes
This pretty much goes as is. I read a Bible story and pray.
Reading: 10-20 minutes
We read a couple of small readers and/or do other reading/phonics related activities. Every other page is a request for “Make the dog say something” or “Make the bear talk to me” or “Make the turtle tell me something” or “The zebra told me about the time when he…” or “Yesterday Big Bear went to see this squirrel and they…” Somewhere in the midst of all of it, reading instruction happens. She constantly surprises me with how many words she has already learned on her own via Starfall.com, Leapfrog videos, reading to her, looking at books, etc. (Update: I discovered she’s a right brain, visual-spatial learner which explains a lot.)
Math: 10-20 minutes
We do a math activity and/or page or two. Every other problem provides an opportunity for “Make the cat say something” or decorative embellishment of whichever number she last wrote.
Handwriting: 5-10 minutes
This usually goes pretty normally except when she wants to first make a dotted line outline of the letter or number so she can trace it. Or there is a picture on the page which provokes “Make the horse say something” or “Make the pig talk to me.”
Storytime: 10-20 minutes
I let Caroline choose a book or two from a basket of books I would like us to read together. This usually goes pretty normally. (Here is a list of classic kindergarten picture books I put together.)
Craft time: 1-3 hours
I set her free with her craft supplies and whatever else she is interested in doing. She lives for getting the other stuff done so she can draw, color, paint, cut, glue, etc.
I’m really okay with most of it. The thing that gets to me is the “Make the xxxxxx say something.” Truth be told, I’ve reached my max with it. Keeping a creative dreamer focused is like adding a part-time job to the homeschooling.
To be fair, I remember just wanting to get my work done so I could read. And David remembers just wanting to get his work done so he could draw. So the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
But all in all we are having a good time. I’ve learned to adjust my times to what works for Caroline. She isn’t ready to do school until much later in the morning. Sometimes we do some before lunch and some after. I always thought I would get school done early in the morning to get it done, but she isn’t wired like that at all. So I’ve made adjustments and it works fine. (See update on scheduling here.)
The good thing about the craft time is that she’s perfectly content to do her own thing as long as I’m nearby. So I work on planning and organizing my things while she’s doing crafts. We turn on Mozart or Songs for Saplings and have a nice time together. 🙂