Plans for Kindergarten and the First Day of School

Of all the ways I had imagined the first day of kindergarten for my child, never once did I imagine it would NOT involve dropping him off at a school that no matter how close to my home would feel a million miles away with people who no matter how nice, would still be strangers in charge of my child’s welfare for the better part of his awake hours for most of the week.  I certainly NEVER imagined it would be anything like today.
But what a beautiful,
                      fun-filled day it turned out to be.
I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect first day of kindergarten for my kid.  Thank you, God, for speaking to my heart and giving me an overwhelming sense of what you wanted from me (and for not letting me be too stubborn to listen), and thank you for my husband and my family who have made the decision to homeschool so easy and have been so supportive.  I’d do it even if no one else thought it was best because I believe it is the right decision for Alex, but it sure helps to have that support when things get tough.  
Like when you suddenly realize (five minutes before school starts) that you forgot to buy the phonics program.  
Or when you suddenly realize that after going on and on about how important the Fine Arts are, you forgot to schedule them anywhere into the week.
Yeah.  ‘Cause I do stuff like that.
So before I forget anything else, like say, my mind, I’m going to jot down what we are doing this year. If you feel so inspired, take a little peek and see what’s in store for my kiddo in the wonderful land of homeschooling.

Plans for Kindergarten 2014-2015

For our literature, field trips, activities, art and poetry, we are using Wee Folk Art as our primary source of plans.  We’re adding a few extras here and there and our book list is always growing, especially now that Alex reads so well and so frequently on his own.  From time to time we love to throw in a craft from Catholic Icing too.
I’ve mentioned before that I absolutely adore Charlotte Mason’s approach to education, and I am just in love with her habit-training program, Laying Down the Rails.  It is much more structured and thorough than many others out there, and I think the time and effort will pay off as we see his character taking shape.
For math we will still play our math games from Right Start Math, but we are trying out Miquon Math for a change.  Aunt Stacie introduced us to the Stuart J. Murphy MathStart series of books so we’ve added those in too!
For part of our geography and part of our science we are using Expedition Earth and Expedition Earth Animals Unit Study and we are in love with how hands-on it is!  (If I had more than one or two kids I think this would be pretty time-intensive, but one of the benefits of homeschooling just one is that I have only one to focus on so we are doing this in its entirety.)
We’ve moved on from Get Set for School to Handwriting Without Tears and while he still struggles a bit with holding his pencil and writing letters, he LOVES the activity book and I think we’ll make some good progress this year.
Remember that little bit about forgetting to order the phonics program?  Seriously – who does that?  Poor planning aside, it just so happens that I had Saxon Phonics sitting on my shelf (because I’m kind of a homeschool materials collector) and we’re going to give it another go, mostly because, well, we have IT and not something else I’d rather use.
For the other part of our science we are doing a year of nature with Charlotte Mason’s Outdoor Secrets Nature Study.  It’s so beautifully written and so charming – the early years go by so fast, and I want him to enjoy the beauty of what’s around him in nature.  And…he loves nature, so it’s a win-win.
For our Catholic education this year we are using Allelu! and again, if I had multiples to educate this would be a bit harder in a homeschool classroom because it is a bit time-intensive to fully use the program, but it is fun, interactive, and presented in a way that I think will interest him.
On our shelf for this year we also have:
And a number of things I’ve probably already forgotten or haven’t thought of yet.  I like to add stuff in at random.  (Apparently I leave stuff out randomly to, but I really think we have so much, we won’t miss what we don’t know we don’t have this year.)  And the great thing is, there is always next year!

First Day of School

Homemade vanilla bean ice cream in the making- to celebrate the first day of school

A little glimpse into the schoolroom

First Day of Kindergarten for Alex!

A few pictures of Alex’s first day of school

The best part of the day?  Daddy’s vanilla bean ice cream (recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman)

It was to die for and I’m not even an ice cream fan!

Last of Summer

I think it finally hit this week.  Summer is almost over.  Wait, what?
Hold on.  I need a time-out.  Or a drink.  Preferably the fruity kind with a little umbrella that I can drink poolside because that’s where it’s all at these days.  These nice, hot, long SUMMER days.
It’s been a whirlwind week of getting ready for school next Monday, running errands, and trying to fit in everything we left out, thinking we had plenty of summer left.  I felt pretty sad about the whole idea of another summer disappearing into the past, until this morning when I reminded Alex that school starts Monday.  His sleepy little eyes lost their good -morning look and he bounded out of bed, yelling at the top of his lungs with such excitement that I suddenly realized that I’m pretty darn excited about it too.  
Good-bye summer!  See ya next year.  But before we go…
…if you’d like to see a little peek into what our last few weeks have been all about, take a look.