Addie has been actively reading since before her 4th birthday, as evidenced by this video (e-mail subscribers may need to click through to see the video):
As well as this video, taken 9 months later, when Addie was 4.5 years old:
So, as you can imagine, traditional Kindergarten curriculum just wouldn't work for Addie, who is advanced in reading but still weak in fine-motor skills required for writing. And she is very young--she turned five in June, but her original due date would have put her in Kindergarten NEXT school year.
We started Kindergarten back in June, when it was 100 degrees outside. I knew fall was bringing a trip to Disneyland and nice cool weather to entice us outside, so I wanted to get a head start on the year.
Yesterday was our 86th day of school. We're hoping to reach the end of the first semester before Christmas, and it looks like we're on track to reach that goal! (Our local public school's first semester ends two weeks after the holiday break--and we're not planning on taking a whole two weeks off in December.)
**Every family homeschools a little differently, and no two school days in our family are the same--not with a 2-year-old in the house! :) **
But here is a peek at yesterday's schedule (note: any and all downtime usually involves the 5-year-old holding things over her sister's head while the toddler screams bloody murder--or sometimes dancing; it's a toss-up with girls):
- 8:00 a.m.: Our day starts when my husband leaves for work. (If the girls are up beforehand, as they usually are, they spend time with Daddy while I have alone time planning for the day/paying bills/answering e-mails, etc.) I throw a load of laundry into the washing machine and grab anything left in the dryer from the night before. The girls eat breakfast while I do chores in the kitchen (load the dishwasher, sweep the floor, gather trash) and then I run the vacuum.
- 9:00 a.m.: Everyone is dressed and ready for the day. The girls sit down to watch 30 minutes of Signing Time. I finish e-mails, print off copies for signing class, and do a general tidy of our classroom area.
- 10:00 a.m.: Signing class! (Music, story time, centers, social time)
- 11:15 a.m.: All of our friends have left. I turn on our Classical Conversations playlist while we clean up. Despite doing a craft the night before, both girls want to paint. So they do. :)
- 11:40 a.m.: Lunch. I'm tired and we missed our morning snack time. Early lunch, early nap!
- 12:15 p.m.: Girls down for nap. Addie's in my room with a huge pile of books, while Kate is quiet in their room. I sit down with my lesson plans and the computer to write a blog post. I also eat my first meal of the day.
- 1:30 p.m.: I can't keep Addie quiet any longer. She comes into the living room with me and plays Stack the States while I wrap up my writing.
- 1:45 p.m.: Everyone up from naps/quiet time. Snack time. I grab the laundry to fold and start a second load. Today seems more like a HOMEschool day than a homeSCHOOL day. Hoping for a productive learning afternoon.
- 3:30 p.m.: We finally make it to designated "school" time! The girls have played well together this afternoon; I haven't really wanted to stop them.
- Calendar. We're using Saxon math, which is very homeschooling-friendly. I like that they assume we aren't going to "do" calendar everyday, but it's nice to review the months of the year and days of the week every few days.
- Math lesson. Today's activity is a "pictograph" (bar graph) for eye color. This is our third graph this year and she really seems to get the concept.
- Skip-counting 5s (CC review): We listen to the song many times in a row and she puts number cards in order. Then she highlights the 5s (up to 60) on a hundreds chart. This is getting to be pretty simple, as we did 3s and 4s last week.
- What are seven types of biomes? (CC review): This is basic rote memory work. I have a handwriting page for her to trace while she listens to the review song.
- Handwriting/language arts: review how to write the letters a, c, and d and practice on the chalkboard before getting out our workbook. Phonics lesson (review) on beginning/ending sounds d, m, and s. She also completes a maze and matches up sight words.
- 5:00 p.m.: She's stayed pretty focused today, so I let her get back to playing (blocks, train, kitchen).
- 6:00 p.m.: I turn on White Christmas. We checked it out from the library, but can't seem to finish it. We eat dinner and get ready for bed.
- Once everyone is down for the night, I sit down to write and look through pictures/videos to include in the post. It's so quiet and the Christmas tree looks so pretty, I stay up later than I should. :)