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Old 07-17-2012, 06:17 AM   #1
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Question Kindergarten questions

1. Do you use grades in kindergarten? I was thinking of just using Excellent, good, satisfactory etc.. Kindergarten isn't a required grade so i'm not sure you have to actually keep a grade book other than for your own knowledge of how the child is doing.

2. How long do you HS your kindergartener? Schools around here have switched to all day kindy 3 days a week instead of every day for 1/2 day. Just wondering if you do all day or not. I was thinking of doing school 3 days a week for a couple hours and then on the off days do Art, Music, PE, and other hands on learning experiements and crafts. I also have a 2 year old that will be participating in those extra ciricular things too.

3. Work Boxes: i'm interested in starting work boxes for DS and I'm just trying to get an idea how to set it up and how often he does something from the work box each day. How do you do your work box system? I was thinking for a kindergartener I would put things in it like dot to dots, play dough, trace and write, color by number etc. i'm looking for ideas. (photos of your work box system would be great too!)
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:58 AM   #2
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Re: Kindergarten questions

I don't grade my kindergarteners' work, if he did a great job I tell him...praise and a sticker go a long way! If he did something incorrect we go through it and he usually figures out what he missed or did wrong.

I'm still trying to figure out how I want to do workboxes too, I think they are a great idea. My setup will probably be something like this: http://wvurbanhippie.blogspot.com/20...ox-system.html

My kindergartener loves workbooks and worksheet(free ones from internet) so that will be in his workbox. Also fun activities too like you were saying(play-doh, dot-dots, mazes, etc.)

My children do their work throughout the day instead of in one chunk. They will do some seat work, then play with our dogs, then more seatwork, then maybe some legos, and so on.

I hope this helps some!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:20 AM   #3
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Re: Kindergarten questions

I do not grade any work, at all, ever, not even for my 13 year old (when he was homeschooled, he is in public school for now). I honestly do not feel that grading is needed in a homeschool setting. We are right there, we know when they get something and we move on then, we know when they are not grasping something and we can sit put where we are until they get it. There in no pass or fail in a homeschool, at least not one that makes any sense to me.

The amount of time? I am a firm believer that MAX time should be 30 minutes per "grade" starting with 30m for K. You can very easily cover the typical K necessities in 30 minutes, and I would break them up over the day. Now, I'm not saying if your kid is into spiders and wants to spend 5 hours today looking up spiders on the internet and reading books about them that you shouldn't do that. I'm also not saying that I never go over my "max time", but for the core subjects and the basics in the content subjects (core is LA and Math and content would be like social studies, science, art, music, pe, health). If we get involved in something or we watch videos on a topic, of course we can go all day on whatever it is, but I don't go that far unless my kids are interested after I make sure that we have covered the basics. I let them lead our "bunny trails".

Workboxes, We have tried various variations of them over the years, they are ok, but we don't use them any more. Each kid has a dish pan tub thinggy that has their own work in it (the only thing on their own is LA and Math), then I have a bin that is our together work (which is the content subjects).

My best advice to give you is to relax. Homeschooling does not have to be school at home. For my family I have learned the less it looks like school, the more they thrive and learn.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:34 AM   #4
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Re: Kindergarten questions

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Originally Posted by fawnlovesjasper View Post
I do not grade any work, at all, ever, not even for my 13 year old (when he was homeschooled, he is in public school for now). I honestly do not feel that grading is needed in a homeschool setting. We are right there, we know when they get something and we move on then, we know when they are not grasping something and we can sit put where we are until they get it. There in no pass or fail in a homeschool, at least not one that makes any sense to me.

The amount of time? I am a firm believer that MAX time should be 30 minutes per "grade" starting with 30m for K. You can very easily cover the typical K necessities in 30 minutes, and I would break them up over the day. Now, I'm not saying if your kid is into spiders and wants to spend 5 hours today looking up spiders on the internet and reading books about them that you shouldn't do that. I'm also not saying that I never go over my "max time", but for the core subjects and the basics in the content subjects (core is LA and Math and content would be like social studies, science, art, music, pe, health). If we get involved in something or we watch videos on a topic, of course we can go all day on whatever it is, but I don't go that far unless my kids are interested after I make sure that we have covered the basics. I let them lead our "bunny trails".

Workboxes, We have tried various variations of them over the years, they are ok, but we don't use them any more. Each kid has a dish pan tub thinggy that has their own work in it (the only thing on their own is LA and Math), then I have a bin that is our together work (which is the content subjects).

My best advice to give you is to relax. Homeschooling does not have to be school at home. For my family I have learned the less it looks like school, the more they thrive and learn.

I think a lot of what you talked about is un-schooling. we are more traditional in our way of teaching. we like to have a schedule and school type setting. we have a room dedicated just for school that we decorate and he has a desk etc... we sometimes end up doing work on the couch or kitchen table but for the most part. my son likes to do work sheets so seat work is a great fit for him.

it seems like 30 minutes a day for a homeschooler is not enough. I get that they learn through playing and exploring, but I think we will probably do a bit more than 30 minutes. I'm thinking like an hour to an hour and a half a day broken up throughout the day is our goal. It's kindergarten so i'm not totally set on that. we'll see how he does and go from there I guess
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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Re: Kindergarten questions

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I think a lot of what you talked about is un-schooling. we are more traditional in our way of teaching. we like to have a schedule and school type setting. we have a room dedicated just for school that we decorate and he has a desk etc... we sometimes end up doing work on the couch or kitchen table but for the most part. my son likes to do work sheets so seat work is a great fit for him.

it seems like 30 minutes a day for a homeschooler is not enough. I get that they learn through playing and exploring, but I think we will probably do a bit more than 30 minutes. I'm thinking like an hour to an hour and a half a day broken up throughout the day is our goal. It's kindergarten so i'm not totally set on that. we'll see how he does and go from there I guess
I agree ^

Once you start homeschooling it gets easier to decide how to do things. Watching how your son reacts to certain things will help determine how to modify(if need be) to fit his learning needs/style. That is what I love about homeschooling.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fawnlovesjasper
I do not grade any work, at all, ever, not even for my 13 year old (when he was homeschooled, he is in public school for now). I honestly do not feel that grading is needed in a homeschool setting. We are right there, we know when they get something and we move on then, we know when they are not grasping something and we can sit put where we are until they get it. There in no pass or fail in a homeschool, at least not one that makes any sense to me.

The amount of time? I am a firm believer that MAX time should be 30 minutes per "grade" starting with 30m for K. You can very easily cover the typical K necessities in 30 minutes, and I would break them up over the day. Now, I'm not saying if your kid is into spiders and wants to spend 5 hours today looking up spiders on the internet and reading books about them that you shouldn't do that. I'm also not saying that I never go over my "max time", but for the core subjects and the basics in the content subjects (core is LA and Math and content would be like social studies, science, art, music, pe, health). If we get involved in something or we watch videos on a topic, of course we can go all day on whatever it is, but I don't go that far unless my kids are interested after I make sure that we have covered the basics. I let them lead our "bunny trails".

Workboxes, We have tried various variations of them over the years, they are ok, but we don't use them any more. Each kid has a dish pan tub thinggy that has their own work in it (the only thing on their own is LA and Math), then I have a bin that is our together work (which is the content subjects).

My best advice to give you is to relax. Homeschooling does not have to be school at home. For my family I have learned the less it looks like school, the more they thrive and learn.
Love your view on homeschool!! This year will be our first year Starting K with my older two kiddos.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:11 AM   #7
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Re: Kindergarten questions

Grades in K - Nope. I don't know when, if ever, I'll start grading. I don't see the point yet. So, for now, we aren't. My oldest is in 1st.

Amount of time for K...we do 1-1.5hrs depending on the day. Sometimes a little less, sometimes more, but usually at least an hour. Remember that in school there are many other things like bathroom breaks and breaks for the teacher to deal with some behavioral issue or the kids have to take turns doing an activity. It's one on one and doesn't take nearly as long to go through it.

Workboxes - I don't do them. So, I know nothing about them.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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Re: Kindergarten questions

We spend about an hour- an hour and a half on kindergarten each day, sometimes a little more if we're doing an extensive craft, cooking, gardening, etc.

I don't grade Kindergarten and I don't know when I will start (my oldest is doing kindergarten right now). I have a checklist of things that I hope she will master and I just mark them off as she does.

I love the idea of workboxes, but we haven't tried it yet, so I'm no help there!
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: Kindergarten questions

We started out looking like a school room many many years ago now. It was fine, but as we grew and learned together, my idea of what our homeschool was to look like. We are very very far from unschooling. We are not child led. I set our direction. If the kids are interested we do go into child led mode, and we can stay there until they have found all that they feel they need. When they are on a wild bunny trail, we can spend litterally 12-15 hours a day on a topic, reading, drawing, looking things up online, playing games, making games, etc.

In K my main focus is on math basics and phonics basics. I prefer a better late than early approach to deliberate education. This is what works for my kids. They are always learning things, the learn so much just from living life and even watching cartoons/movies (they love things on PBS and the like), they love to play games that have educational elements to them (both board and computer).

The beauty of homeschooling is that there are as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. I bet no two homeschooling houses look exactly the same.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:09 PM   #10
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Re: Kindergarten questions

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Originally Posted by fawnlovesjasper View Post
We started out looking like a school room many many years ago now. It was fine, but as we grew and learned together, my idea of what our homeschool was to look like. We are very very far from unschooling. We are not child led. I set our direction. If the kids are interested we do go into child led mode, and we can stay there until they have found all that they feel they need. When they are on a wild bunny trail, we can spend litterally 12-15 hours a day on a topic, reading, drawing, looking things up online, playing games, making games, etc.

In K my main focus is on math basics and phonics basics. I prefer a better late than early approach to deliberate education. This is what works for my kids. They are always learning things, the learn so much just from living life and even watching cartoons/movies (they love things on PBS and the like), they love to play games that have educational elements to them (both board and computer).

The beauty of homeschooling is that there are as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. I bet no two homeschooling houses look exactly the same.
This is how I feel about it also. However, we have only been doing it for one year. So, I can't say we started out a lot different than we are now. But, I tried to push my oldest to start sooner (since he only misses the K cut off in our county by 2wks) and learned very quickly that I'm totally a "better late than early" mom. Pushing was not the right thing to do for us. I want to let my young children learn in a relaxed way.

I'm exactly the same with my K focus being basic phonics and math. We do more than 30 minutes, but I don't push it. Honestly, if we didn't get interrupted by other kids and he was more focused, it might not be much more than that. We do have a curriculum, but other than the math and phonics, it was just a guide. One of the reasons we school year-round is so that we can be relaxed and take breaks and go slow. Some days when my K'er didn't feel like we didn't do it. I also suspect that I'll get even more relaxed with K with my younger kids. He was my oldest and got all my focus. I'll be interested to see how things change over the next several years.
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