Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to Home School Fun

We officially started our 2013-2014 school year yesterday.  What a big girl!  She's been so excited to finally start kindergarten.  There's not a huge difference in our routine from over the summer, except that we've added history, science, art/music, and PE, but we won't necessarily be doing all those every single day.  So far, it's been going well.  We're following the Easy Peasy curriculum still, which we both enjoy.  Ms Z is doing the "Getting Ready 2" program for language arts/reading (their version of Kindergarten following the McGuffey Primer), 1st grade math, and the Year 1 elementary level program of study. Click the link above to get most of your questions answered.  We'll be learning about the Egyptians for History and making connections in the Bible.  Today we read about Joseph and Mary escaping Herod with Jesus to Egypt and made a pyramid and learned what they were for. We also talked about why the Egyptians would set up a civilization on the Nile River.  We're building a lapbook as we learn more.  For Science we're studying many things.  Today we learned about what organisms need to live and learned to distinguish between living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) things.  We did a little observation game where we gathered several objects, both living and non-living (and previously living) and picked them from the bag.  About halfway through the game, we really got the idea of what was living (or had been living) and what was non-living.  For the purpose of our discussion, we considered something made from wood as non-living, even though it was previously a tree.  Here are our results. The non-living objects were a screw, a nail, some crayons, a clothespin, a block, and some rocks.  The living objects were some grapes, a carrot, some leaves, some flowers, and an avocado.  I considered putting a bug in the bag, but I wouldn't want to pick that up blind, so decided against it. ;)

 Some of the words in the online text are a little advanced for kindergarten, but I explain them on her level.  Even if the kids don't understand everything, frequent exposure to new words and vocabulary and an inviting conversation and relationship helps them learn a lot.  In math, she's been learning even/odd, skip counting by 2s, learning to write number words, and ordinal words (like first, second, third).  We were doing some school work through the summer and she's really been enjoying math, so we're a bit ahead in that area.  The music and art subjects are nice.  Yesterday, we explored some of the "first music"--nature-- and got to use a program to make our own music compositions from animal sounds, nature sounds, instruments, and everyday sounds.  We've done a bit of ballet each day, too.  It's been fun and instructive and is good exercise, so we'll see how it continues for us.  The girls usually stick around through the stretches and plies, then come back for some of the jumps.  It's cute and I get a nice exercise. ;)