Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kindergarten do-over

No, I don't get to do kindergarten over. Not my own or my kids'. But right now all the homeschooling moms are talking about curriculum; I love reading their lists and plans. In particular, the moms with little ones. They are just starting and they are excited!

When I was just starting out, I was so excited too. I had so many plans. Too many. I learned, quickly, that I was trying to do too much with my little ones. I ended up worrying too much, getting too frustrated, and not enjoying my kids enough.

So if I could do kindergarten over with my kids, I would (in no particular order)...

- play more music, and dance more.

- play more games with numbers and letters and fun.

- collect more magazines that we could cut up for collages.

- be more diligent with learning and memorization of Bible and Catechism, with books like Leading Little Ones to God (which we used, but not enough).

- not buy a full math curriculum that cost a lot of money. I'd buy a cheap little workbook and more manipulatives. More beads, more things to count and sort and mess with. Maybe I'd even skip the workbook.

- get into Five in a Row, a wonderful literature-based curriculum, sooner. We used it for too short a time.

- rely on the library more and not buy quite so many books that were not truly keepers. Oh, we would still buy books. But I would be more selective and not buy so many cheap paperbacks that we read only a few times.

- not try to teach grammar, except by speaking properly myself and reading aloud.

- have more playdates.

- not spend any less time reading than we did. I don't regret a minute I spent snuggled up with my kids and books.

- have more treasure hunts in the house, yard, or sandbox.

- spend more time outside puttering around.

- plant more flowers.

- not worry, or fret, or wonder "am I doing enough?"

Enjoy those kindergarten years, Mommies! Have fun with your kids and let them be little.

It's easy to say now that I'm well past those years. If anyone had said these things to me back then, would I have listened?


wayside wanderer said...

This is a wise post. I agree with all you said here. When I first started homeschooling I also had a teaching degree I had to overcome and very schoolish ideas. I remember once trying to work on phonic sounds with my son and his gaze kept wandering to the kitchen window where there were cardinals on the fence. I shut the blinds! Can you believe it? Thankfully I learned quickly that wasn't the sort of atmosphere I really wanted.

MamaChi said...

Thank you. It was lovely to read this. I'm juggling homeschooling a 10,9 and 3 year old and I often feel like I'm not "doing enough" with my toddler and it is great to remember to have fun with him!

Pamela said...

It's wonderful that you are sharing this, especially for all the new homeschooling moms. I recently found a notebook where I had planned out my daughters preschool at home schedule, and it was hysterical to look back at. I think it only lasted about 2 days, but even now, years later, I get into phases where I feel we need to do more. In my heart though, I know the most important thing is enjoying each other and making the most of the blessing of the time we have together. This is our only shot at their childhoods, and I want us all to look back on it with smiles. They learn so much more when they are having fun too.
Enjoy your family!

Kayluray said...

Oh wow! Thanks for the reminder. You are so right on so many levels.

Infant Bibliophile said...

Thank you for this very well timed post! I'm just starting to get excited about homeschooling, even though my son is only (almost) 3, and it is hard not to want to jump right in with the formal stuff. But he learns SO much from our games and puzzles and everyday activities, that I probably should just keep doing what I'm doing for awhile longer. Love your list of ideas.