HSF: Discussions between Homeschoolers

Refining Kindergarten Plans


I am planning my 5yo's course of study for next year. My problem isn't what to teach, but what not to teach! How much actual "school time" is appropriate for a 5 year old boy? Currently, we are fairly informal. Though, I have started teaching him to read with Jessie Wise's book. So far I am planning to spend about 1:15 hours a day on Language Arts (15 minutes in a penmanship workbook and 3 twenty minutes sessions in phonics, reading practice, & literature) and 1 hour a day on a monthly theme (currently trying to cut that list down). I plan to keep reading aloud 2-3 times a day to both boys. This is around 3 hours of daily instruction. I am debating about adding a math halfway through the school year. The homeschool group at my church may have spanish classes again next year and he will be old enough then. (This is a rare opportunity as we have several native speakers in our church who help out). Plus he will be starting a Christian scouts-type program at church. I also have been looking into sports programs and/or swimming lessons as a non Church activity to do once a week. Then, there is a playgroup we attend AND...AND ... AND ... AHHHHH!!!!

How do I know I am not burning him (or me) out?
What do feel is appropriate amount of time to "do school" and what is your extra activities cut off?

Thanks -Jill
I think it would take about an hour (at the most) to do our lessons each day.
We did K work in about an hour--some days more and some days less. It was never sitting at the table for an hour. Usually we broke it up into 10 minutes sessions for most things and breaks to run around the house in between. I would just add some math work with manipulatives to what you are doing right now and just read lots of different books as interest is shown. smile.gif Add some fun crafts and you'll be good to go.
I would not neglect math completely. It is such an important skill, and something that takes time to build on. For Kindergarten math we did some of the following activities which only take a few minutes each day. (You can always use cheerios, marshmallows, m&ms, pretzels, coins, buttons, etc.)

counting objects in sets
sorting, 1:1 correspondence 5 = o o o o o
recognize, name, and draw basic shapes 2-D (square, triangle, octagon, etc.)
recognize, name, and id objects for 3-D shapes (cone, pyramid, cube)
which sets are bigger/smaller which have more/less/equal
how many would there be if we added one more or took one away (beginning add, sub)
sidewalk number line (if we start at 3 and jump 2 spaces, what # are you on)
patterning using colors & shapes & sizes
using pattern block to create shapes, animals, pictures and extend a pattern
tangegram patterning
measuring stuff using kitchen cups, spoons, sewing tape, ruler, lego blocks, etc.
weighing things using a small kitchen scale and a cheap school store pan scale
Counting to 20, then 30, then 100 by 1s
Counting by 2s to 30
Counting by 5s to 50
Counting by 10s to 100
practiced writing numerals
learned number words to twenty
match numerals to number words
color by number
missing numbers i.e. 2, 3, ___, 5 what number is missing?
recognizing coins by name, then by value

N ow we are doing adding and subtracting, first we did it with objects, now she is learning to memorize them.

Hope that helps.
We only did an hour or so a day for my daughter and it was broken up into little chunks of time throughout the day. I am not including documentaries watched, books listened to, or field trips because those are all just things we always do for fun. laugh.gif She also went to Sunday school, ballet and karate, and every so often, she attended a homeschool art class.
We spend no more than one hour of sitting down "paperwork" a day, usually less, but about 2-3 more hours of her "play" is guided activities (arts, crafts, science experiments, nature study, ed games, etc). Plus we read at least 1.5 hours a day.

Regarding your themes and having to cut down ... the more experiences, the better!

Why not reduce the time you spend on each one? Our basic themes run about two weeks each. We discovered that this amount of time is about as much as either of us can take of some topics, but we will often repeat or extend a favorite topic.

You can also incorporate several topics at once that are related: for instance in January we did winter, but that included studying the colors white, silver, and blue (as winter colors), snow, snowmen, polar bears, penguins, Antarctica, North Pole, South Pole, winter sports, winter clothes, winter weather, making snow cones, experimenting with instant-snow stuff, observing changing states of matter with ice, water and steam, observing salt's effects on ice, making N/S pole magnets and testing them, and doing lots of wintry crafts. It all depends on how broad your themes are.

I'd love to hear what themes you have on your list before you cut it down!

Thanks to all for the suggestions. I haven't had time to respond.
Work had me going stunned.gif this week with the bosses out of town.

"I'd love to hear what themes you have on your list before you cut it down!"

One ongoing theme that I plan to start in June is a children's literature based theme. I'm using a book that I purchased at a used book store for $3 called Picture Book Activities by Trish Kuffner. My mom gave me another book called The Preschooler's Busy Book, which I love. It gives 50 kids' books and learning suggestions

The Monthly Theme is more of a Unit Study
Here's the starting list

My Country (about USA/patriotism in June/July to tied in to Flag Day and the 4th
Around the World (beginning world geography)
Native Americans
Famous Americans
volcanoes and earthquakes (he liked this)
My five senses
the human body
habitats (a two month study studying a different habitat every two weeks)
growing a garden/ plants
weighing and measuring things (graphs and charts included)
counting to 100 (includes skip counting)

These are the just subjects I really like but there is too much to cover in one year. So what do I cut out?
Plus I am planning to add outside activities next year.
Thanks for any input.


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