Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Focused Elsewhere

Once I finally made the decision to homeschool, my attention has been completely focused on homeschool planning and my blogging has predictably decreased. I will try to find more balance. Of course, we've also weathered two stomach bugs, 4 colds, one case of croup, one episode of pink eye, and an ear infection that was only detected through a failed hearing screening at an annual checkup. I feel like I've been handling administering multiple doses of prescription and over the counter meds every day to multiple children for a solid month.

On the homeschooling front I've been busy. I decided that if I was going to homeschool kindergarten I should familiarize myself with the Missouri State Standards for kindergarten. I found them here: Missouri State Standards. One thing led to another and in my usual obsessive way I ended up making my own checklists. I'll post them for anyone who happens to be interested in a couple of days. I've created a printable checklist for Communication Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Art, Music, and Dramatic Arts. I spent way too many hours working on this, but I feel good about being familiar with the standards for kindergarten and having a checklist to make sure we cover everything over the course of the year.

I also made my own homeschooling planner, printed it, and will be binding it as soon as Amazon sends me binding combs of the proper size. Again, I'll be sharing process and pictures shortly.

I will be continuing to use RightStart Math Level A. I continue to be extremely happy with the program. Ava will start at the beginning and Michael and I will continue where we left off at about 1/3 of the way through the level. I've reviewed about a month worth of lessons, making notes on the lesson plans and preparing the printables/consumables to go along with them.

I will continue to work with the Usborne Very First Reading Set (read about it here, here, and here), but for a time I will take a break from those. I want something that teaches phonics and decoding in a more organized fashion and I've chosen All About Reading Level 1. I love this program. I've done several of the beginning lessons with Michael and I really like the program. He's ahead because of the work we've been doing with the Usborne books and so we're doing two lessons at a time right now. When the All About Reading program catches up with his current abilities, we'll slow down and take things at his pace. I've reviewed and prepared the supplementary materials for approximately the first month of All About Reading lessons. I'll do a more thorough review of the All About Reading program soon.

I'm still working on science, social studies, and related arts planning. I figure the first month or more will be experimental in nature. We'll have to find the right balance of structured lessons, pre-school style activities, life and chores, and free play.

And that brings you up to date on what's been keeping me busy these days. I am about 3/4's finished with the /f/ speech therapy kit. I will admit that I haven't touched the file for about two weeks. I'm about done (I think) with homeschooling preparations for the time being, so hopefully I'll have some more free time to pick up that project again.

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