Thursday, July 2, 2009

Kindergarten and a Half

DD#2 and I have been planning her school year for this coming year, which will begin for her no later than August (just after she turns 6).  Although she would be old enough to officially begin formal school this year, so that we could start AO Year 1, I think she will benefit from a more gentle and relaxed year of working on skills before starting in on the more difficult work of Year 1.

To that end, we’ve planned out a year’s schedule with books that are not on the AO list.  I expect this schedule to be adjusted as we go along and see what works and what doesn’t.  We may end up beginning Year 1 in January, or we may wait until our new school year begins next summer.  Officially she is going to be in first grade this year, but the material we’re using I’m calling Year 0.5.

Here is our booklist for this year, keeping in mind that this list reflects where we are and the materials we have around, not necessarily the best list that could possibly be made in preparation for Year 1, and also that we read many other books that aren’t scheduled.  I did not intend to create a formal list that others should follow, but I hope our schedule will help you in creating your own if you find the need.
To all of this we will add planning and cooking a weekly supper, learning household cleaning tasks, regular nature study, and possibly drawing lessons if I can manage to get them together (using Mona Brookes’ Drawing with Children).

Having now completed the school year (over a month ago, actually), I know I will make major revisions to our schedule the next time I do a Year 0.5 with one of my children.  Our reading load will go way down.  Burgess Flower Book will be an every-other week experience or less.  Little Lord Fauntleroy will be out.  Animal Stories will be every other week or less, and I’ll read ahead and select key stories.  We ended up using Handwriting Without Tears, which I think I’ll use again.  A couple of years of that may be a good intro to handwriting, after which we can move over to italic.

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