Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome to Kindergarten

Welcome to Kindergarten!
SharkMan's first words on Monday morning, "I'm a Kindergartner."
Here's a glimpse into our first week of school:
Instead of a new backpack and lunch box, SharkMan had first day of school surprises waiting for him - new chalkboards and a dry erase board, plus some new playdough.  Here he is reading his Morning Message.  Papa Shark or I write him a note each morning about his upcoming day.
I have lurked on blogs for the last few months learning more how to make my blog manageable.  In the process, I found some great calendar ideas for SharkMan this year.  Here he is Making the Date with coins.
SharkMan and I both love math.  This year, we will continue on with Singapore 1A and 1B.  We did KB last year and loved it.  However, we will also be adding RightStart to our curriculum this year.  The abacus has been great fun.  In addition, we will have a problem solving activity daily.  Right now, we are using Problem Solver 1.
For reading, we are using book lists from Sonlight, Honey for a Child's Heart and some of my favorites.  We started the year with Ramona the Pest, a little girl starting Kindergarten also.  We are using Explode the Code and we will add Writing Road to Reading later in the year.  We do a daily reader.  I really am enjoying using the Veritas Readers.  In addition, I found these great sound sorts from jmeacham's website
In addition to reading and math, I have created a weekly literature rotation that includes poetry, nursery rhymes, fairy tales and Aesop fables.  We also do centers and art/fine motor work daily.
For Science and Social Studies, we follow a unit study approach.  For the first few weeks of school, we cover patriotic songs and the pledge.  We will be studying The Farm for science with lots of books about animals on the farm.  Next week, we are going to visit a farm.

For extra curricular activities, we will do Choir and AWANA at church, piano and gymnastics in the fall.
I love that Kindergarten only takes about 2 hours. We usually start around 9 with breakfast and Bible and end around 11:30 with a couple of breaks thrown in the middle.

I can't believe that the first week is already over!  (We only school four days a week.)  School was so much fun for both of us.  I hope this is just a glimpse of what is to come.

Our Classroom

Our School Room
We homeschool everywhere, but our main school room is our breakfast room.  Papa Shark has completely supported the transformation of this room into a great learning room.
Speaking of Papa Shark, check out these awesome shelves he built.  They are similar to Ikea but fit our space perfectly.   We use them as our workboxes. 
I also was inspired by several beautiful art areas I saw on the web.  So I created an Art / Center area.  All of our daily art supplies (crayons, pencils, markers, chalk) sit on the top in glass containers.  It makes it easy to just grab what we need.
The shelves on the left house our curriculum and the ones on the right are weekly centers.  During Center Time, Sharkman can choose any of the 6 activities on the shelf.  For the first week of school, centers will include Perler Beads Ocean Friends Bucket, Letter and Ocean Stamps, Slamwich card game,  Shape Builders Learn To Draw, 10 x 8 Inches, 21 Count (48040), Bendaroos 500 Piece Mega Kit, Alphabet puzzle.  

I wish I could remember all of the links I used to create our calendar center.  My three favorites were JMeacham's Calendar and Homeschool Creations and Tot School
Here are SharkMan's First Day Surprises.  New Chalkboards and Dry Erase Boards, Play Dough Bus, and new pencils that say "Best Kindergartner" on them.
I am looking forward to many happy days in this room.