Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Well I had my phone meeting with my 'advisor' from STAA today and am excited to start soon. For kindergarten she told me to go really easy and gently. In fact, right up until the end of grade 2 she is still just my little girl and we don't have to be too 'academic' until grade 3.

These are some of her reccomendations:

  • for this year, the only really important thing to do each day is a little reading and a little penmanship. For reading, I will continue to do Ordinary Parent's Guide to teaching Reading, and gently move into Little Angel readers/workbooks. For penmanship, handwriting without tears is a good program to do 2-3 times a week and the other days just practice writing stories, drawing, trace-overs etc...
  • She had a good idea of her drawing a picture and then having me write her story down, and then her tracing over my letters with a crayon or a highlighter etc...
  • keep her best work of the day/or week in a nice frame on our wall to show it off.
  • have a folder of her work of each day to show daddy at dinner time
  • have a daily or weekly 'report card' for her that we put stickers next to her subjects that she did good in.
  • her natural attention span for something that I ask her to do at this age is from 5-10 minutes... keep this in mind!!
  • if she starts getting cranky, grumpy etc... then this is a sign she might be getting overworked etc.. and to lay off a bit.
  • we don't need strict schedules, but i need to start gently introducing a 'routine': i.e. we do these 3 things today.
  • try to get our work done in the morning time. We need about 1 1/2 hours of work per day, but this should be stretched out over 3 hours. 5-10 minutes of lessons at a time.
  • aim for 40-45 days of school per quarter... but going to the dentist, park days (PE), clay classes (art), phoenix, etc.. are all school too
  • keep a portfolio of her work and her attendance, and her course of study.
  • for my toddler: have a box of stuff that only comes out during school time, or have a plastic swiming pool that is a 'learning centre' for him where he has a specific activity he can play there (blocks etc...or the tent set up with his cars etc..)
I need to sort out a routine for the following:
-Religion: 2-3 times/week bible stories, 2-3 times/week catechism
-Reading: 2 to 3 times/day, 3-5 days a week
-Penmanship: 3 days/week formal instruction, 3-5 days a week practice
-Big thoughts for little people (composition): 20min, 2-3 days a week
-Writing stories: 1-3 a month
-Health/science (from Five in a Row)

The rest are all just casual fun stuff that don't really have to be regimented or scheduled.
-art appreciation: for one quarter use FIAR or child-size masterpieces
-music appreciation: for one quarter: classical kids
-art/drawing: for one quarter: ed emberley is good! i should buy this book
-science: for one quarter: FIAR

We have decided to start our 'first day of school' on monday the 29th of august. I think we will have a party just for the fun of it and take some first day of school pictures etc...

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