Homeschooling Update: Over Halfway through Kindergarten

Core P45 IGA belated update, as we’re well past week 18, but for future reference here’s our thoughts on the second quarter of homeschooling Kindergarten with Sonlight’s P4/5 core. This nine weeks took a lot more than nine calendar weeks, thanks to home renovations, house guests, and especially adding a new baby to the family and the recovery that comes along with a c-section. I’m very glad I started it “early” so the routine was well-established, and it made it much easier to get back to it once I felt up to it with the baby.

Overall, I’m still really happy with this core, and using it as the framework for our year. I’ve added to it in an attempt to stretch things out a bit more, to change the approach, and to round out the curriculum.

I shared our thoughts on the books we were using for the first quarter already, and overall his opinions are generally still the same. He still loves the Developing the Early Learner books, and the The Berenstain Bear’s Big Book of Science and Nature might be the biggest hit for the entire year. Things People Do is finished, but he likes to look through it on his own still.

The Children’s Book of Virtues is very hit-or-miss. Some stories he likes, and I like. Others… well, the illustrations are all beautiful at least! We’re doing better with 101 Favorite Stories from the Bible, and will finish it. Maybe it was just a developmental thing for him, or maybe it was just a rough stretch there with some of the earlier stories?

New this quarter were three titles:

What's Under the SeaG *loved* What’s Under the Sea – I know some families don’t like Usborne titles because of the way they are formatted, but my kids adore them. We finished this book in maybe three days, and G would have been happy to finish it in one session if I’d have been able to keep reading it.

Stories from AfricaI wasn’t sure how well Stories from Africa would be received – there aren’t that many pictures, and the ones that are there are black and white and very simple (they look like coloring book illustrations, and if G liked to color I’m sure he’d have been adding his own touch to them all). I’m so glad I didn’t let the blah appearance keep me from trying the stories with him however – he really enjoyed most of them! They were surprisingly engaging, and he would ask to hear the week’s story whenever he’d see it in the stack of options. The one exception was the last story in the book – it was much longer than the others, and didn’t have the same compelling storyline. We got through it, but I’m glad it wasn’t the first story in the book, or G would never have wanted to try a second.

The Year at Maple Hill FarmThe Year at Maple Hill Farm was so-so. They both listened to it, and we talked about the illustrations and concepts, but G had no interest in reading more each day, or in revisiting it after we finished it.

Adding All About Reading (AAR) has been very successful, and I’ve got some Bob books that I use for practice as well. Those are so easy for him, but it’s nice having something that is easy – it helps show him how much progress he’s made. All About Spelling Level 1 has been super easy as well – the spelling concepts have all been reviewing things he’s learned in AAR.

The one aspect that I’ve been underwhelmed with has been Sonlight’s Language Arts. I’m using LA K, but since we’ve been using AAR the phonics instruction and readers have been too simple. I’m unimpressed with the Learning and Thinking for Young Children book (maybe because I’ve read Ruth Beechick’s The Three R’sThe Three R's by Ruth Beechick, and Barbara Curtis’ Mommy, Teach Me: Preparing Your Preschool Child for a Lifetime of LearningMommy, Teach Me: Preparing Your Preschool Child for a Lifetime of Learning by Barbara Curtis and Mommy, Teach Me to Read: A Complete and Easy-to-Use Home Reading ProgramMommy, Teach Me to Read: A Complete and Easy-to-Use Home Reading Program by Barbara Curtis books as well as others; nothing in this book seemed like new information or ideas). We do the copywork from it, and follow the handwriting schedule. We mostly skip the creative writing assignments.

Math deserves it’s own post, so I think I’ll save that for next month’s update. 🙂

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