Showing posts with label Wyatt's 6th Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wyatt's 6th Year. Show all posts

A "PJ Masks" Birthday

I was not aware until recently that PJ Masks is a new show, but in our house, we are all in.  My kids know the theme song.  They come up with PJ Masks stories to play out.  Even Derek will sit down and watch an episode with them in the evenings and chuckle at it!

Last week was Wyatt's 6th birthday.  I cannot believe that my baby is six years old!  I still remember that surreal moment when he was born, with his tiny little cry, and the tears that were streaming down my face.  This kiddo is something special, and I love him so much.

Kindergarten Goals (With Grit & Grace)

This week we are starting kindergarten with Wyatt!  What? Didn’t I just write his birth story two days ago?

I can’t believe my big boy is starting on his school journey already, and I am so excited about homeschooling!  I was homeschooled, and I have so many good memories associated with homeschooling.  I am excited to start on this stage of life with my own sweet family.  I have a big post tomorrow coming about my homeschool educational philosophy, but today I thought I would keep it simple and share a few of our goals for kindergarten this year.

My main goal for September is to get into a homeschool routine.  Developing good habits is going to be important for the kids to learn what to expect, but let’s be honest, good habits are going to be huge for me as a homeschool mom!  Up to this point our days have been largely unstructured.  We do whatever strikes my fancy that day.  This month I want to get into a routine, and that is going to require me to be consistent with our daily tasks.  It’s also going to require me to learn to say no, not just to outside events and requests that will mess with our schedule, but to my own impulsiveness too.

But if there is a year to work on this, it’s kindergarten!  People who do not have a background in homeschooling sometimes don’t realize right away that just because your child will be in a public kindergarten for 4+ hours a day, that does not mean it will take that long to do your schoolwork at home.  Everything that truly needs to be covered in Kindergarten can be done in about an hour a day - in a school environment a lot of time is spent just organizing children, distributing snacks, play time, rest time, etc.  I will share an update and give you more specifics on how much time we end up taking for school each day, but even if it takes us a couple hours, we will hopefully have at least half the day where we can still get out of the house if cabin fever hits.

So beyond the initial goal for the first month, my goals for the entire year include the things below.

Homeschool Kindergarten Goals

1. Teach my son to read (or at least get him well on the way to reading).  I am pretty flexible on this - if he isn’t reading independently by the end of the year, I’m not going to fret.  I have no doubt he will pick it up at some point, and a major goal for me within teaching him to read is to present reading as fun.  I love to read, and it’s very important to me that my kids learn to love reading as well, so I’m not going to push to the point that it’s no longer enjoyable for either of us.

2. Teach him to write his letters and spell his full name.  Writing comes after reading, so I’m not concerned with anything but his name at this point.

3. Number recognition (hopefully up to 100), telling time, and basic addition and subtraction.  If we cover all this for math I’ll be pretty happy.

4. Learn three Bible verses per month.  I would love to cover one Bible verse a week, but I am giving us a little wiggle room.  This is a prime age to work on memorization, and I’m looking forward to helping my kiddos hide some Bible verses in their hearts!  We will be doing this as a family, so the younger kids will participate too.

5. Read one chapter book together a month.  I want reading aloud to be a big part of our homeschooling, so I am hoping to get through one children’s chapter book a month.  If we read a chapter a day I think this is entirely doable.

6. Do one simple craft a week.  Maybe.  This is purely because my kids enjoy crafts, and I am not a crafty mom, so I need to set goals.

These goals are all flexible to me - if we don’t accomplish something, we’ll just work on it again next year.  That’s one thing I love about homeschooling - teaching your child is not a checklist, it’s a continuum.  There are great advantages to having the same teacher (me), because we can make sure we don’t inadvertently skip anything he needs to learn.  We will cover everything over time, and nothing will ultimately fall through the cracks like it potentially could if Wyatt had a different teacher every year.

Some of you overachievers may be thinking that your child has known how to do many of these things before Kindergarten - and that’s great!  But I will tell you that Wyatt doesn’t do all of these things now because of an intentional decision on my part.  

My Preschool Philosophy

My preschool philosophy is really simple - let them play.  

I have heard some kindergarten schools these days want kids to be practically reading when they start, and I don’t mind telling you that I think that’s ridiculous.  

I don’t push kindergarten skills on my kids when they are preschool aged for a few reasons:

1. There is very little time in childhood for children to play with no expectations.  I don’t want to put expectations on my children too young and steal that precious time from them.

2. Kids teach themselves a lot through play, especially in the early years.  And if my kids express an interest in learning something in the preschool years, I’ll do what I can to help them.  Wyatt has often asked about different letters or animals, sang the abc’s, and requested crafts or books before now, and I oblige; but mainly I just let my kids explore through their own play, and we learn as we go.

3. An early start doesn’t ensure excellence later.  We like to think it does, but kids who develop some of these academic skills early don’t necessarily do better than other kids when you look the course of their entire academic careers.  Things have a way of evening out.

4. It’s more important to me in the preschool years to focus on the Bible and character.  This doesn’t stop at kindergarten, obviously, but most of my teaching during preschool is about Bible stories, right and wrong, memory verses, and who Jesus is.  In the long run, having a strong foundation on those things is much more important that getting a jump start on reading.

So there you go, my preschool philosophy in a nutshell and our kindergarten goals!  Check back tomorrow for my post on different homeschooling methods and what we will probably be doing, and keep an eye out over the next couple months for posts on our curriculum choices and schedule.

Also, if you have any questions for me about homeschooling - now is a great time to ask!  I’ll incorporate some of my answers into future posts!


My August goal was to get everything ready for Clarice’s first birthday party - and I think I am pretty prepared!  I just need to send out invitations and work on the menu - and take her one year pictures.  So I guess that sounds like alot, but trust me, it’s all under control.


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