Kindergarten … ready, set, go!

Oh, y’all, I’m so excited.  I am.  I am sitting here at our computer desk gazing lovingly at the kindergarten supplies I just ordered.  I honestly think one of the best parts of homeschooling is not feeling sad that my “baby” is growing up and going “off” to kindergarten, but instead I’m jumping up and down yapping, “When can we get started???”.  It’s lovely.  (It isn’t my intent to make light of anyone who does have to send their child/-ren off to kindergarten–I remember from my own kindergarten experience how hard that is for both mom and child–I’m just honestly so grateful that is a bridge that homeschooling makes a non-issue of, as I know I could not handle it nor could my child.  Genuine loving hugs to anyone who has or is facing this.)  As most Waldorf mamas already know, in Waldorf pedagogy, kindergarten is really just an extension of the home–no academics involved.  When I was in kindergarten 25 years ago, I think all we did were letter workbooks, some sort of play with math bears, paint, play house, and be told stories, so I don’t really mind not pushing Cecily to read or make change or reinvent Calculus.  Actually, for someone who has never been overtly taught anything, she is far above her age level in academics (she has taught herself to read a ton of short words, can do basic addtion/subtraction math, understands measurement and division through baking, etc.) and her verbal skills and logic rival most adults.  And I’m not saying that just from some sort of motherly devotion or anything.  So, I’m totally not worried, and very excited that having no overt academic agenda in kindergarten opens us up to some great “extra-curricular” learning. 

We’re going to keep doing what we’re already doing (I have a little booklet where I have composed my own weekly fingerplays, stories, festival information, and seasonal booklists) but we’re adding some great things.  First off, Little Acorn Learning.  Oh, I hope you have heard of Little Acorn Learning!  (Here are 2 free samples to look at: http://www.littleacornlearning.com/sampleweek.html )  Of all the collections of Waldorf-inspired kindergarten/preschool ideas, this is my favorite.  I have attempted to compose my own “curriculum” using a variety of resources (“A Child’s Seasonal Treasury,” blogs, “Waldorf Education–A Family Guide,” etc.) but the time one spends collating stories, fingerplays, handwork, songs, etc., is just too much for me.  Everything I have ever heard about Little Acorn Learning has been wonderful.  I have read A Little Garden Flower’s full kindy e-book and have looked at samples of Christopherus’ kindy book, and neither of these were as detailed as what I wanted but very general–establish a healthy rhythm, do mindful work together, etc.  LAL was precisely what I wanted–stories, crafts, baking ideas, BOOKLISTS.  I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that they have picture booklists!  I’m in heaven! Another source that I already have and am going to keep using is a seasonal curriculum called Seasons of Joy (http://www.littleacornlearning.com/sampleweek.html ) , which was written by an internet mama friend of mine.  It is a wonderful resource of crafts, poems, songs, stories, but just less detailed than LAL.  Her Advent e-book that we used this year was amazing and I cannot praise it high enough!  Added to both of these sources, which we will be using as the “spine” of our kindergarten will be:

Making our own modeling beeswax with colors for the season (tutorial here: http://wildculturecafe.blogspot.com/2008/06/waldorf-on-shoestring-early-years.html )

Dyeing playsilks with the colors for the season (tutorial here: http://www.make-baby-stuff.com/play-silks.html )

Great Charlotte-Mason approved read-alouds (we already do a lot of the original Winnie the Pooh stories, Beatrix Potter stories, and the anthology of children’s stories recommended by Ambleside Online, year 0 by Clifton Fadiman: http://www.amblesideonline.org/00.shtml):  Mr. Popper’s Penguins, The Raggedy Ann and Andy stories, Just So Stories by Kipling, Frog and Toad,  Reg Down’s Festival of Stones, and The Little Bear stories.  If we have time, we may throw in Stuart Little.  These books are in addition to our seasonal picture books that we have on hand or get from the library.

For math and logic skill practice, we’re getting the game Set and a Tangrams-inspired game by Thinkfun called Shape by Shape, along with an activity book I’m going to make with my new laminator (*ahem*) that will include mazes, hidden pictures, logic puzzles, dot-to-dots, etc.  I want to laminate the pages so she can work the same ones over and over because Cecily likes that sort of thing.

We already love and use Vol. 2 of the Come Follow Me seasonal song collection (http://www.amazon.com/Come-Follow-Lorraine-Nelson-Wolf/dp/B001F08D4E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1297550650&sr=8-1 ) but this year I’m adding Vol. 1 as well as Wee Sing Games Games Games (great songs for circle games: http://www.weesing.com/single_product.cfm?product_id=20&whereFrom=1&CFID=96401091&CFTOKEN=96422799 ), and the Waldorf Songbook by Brien Masters

We will continue doing wet-on-wet painting (as well as other fun things like fingerpainting and printing with Tempera paint) every Thursday and I hope to add a coloring time so we can try out our Stockmar block beeswax crayons.  Everyone raves about these so I hope we enjoy them.  I bought Coloring With Block Crayons by Sieglinde de Francesca to brush up on technique so I can be a good model for Cecily to copy.  (Of course, Ewww Yuck!–cornstarch and water–food coloring play art, and sidewalk chalk go without saying …)

For Science, we’ll still tend our garden, hatch caterpillars, take nature walks, and suscribe to the magazine “Your Big Backyard” put out by the National Wildlife Federation.  We also already have a book of kitchen science fun that I may pull out.  And every cleaning day we witness lovely toilet volcanoes.  What more could a kid want?

The total damage was $618.20.  I think that’s pretty awesome considering how many fantastic resources we’re getting.  Oh, are we going to have fun!  I’m so glad I get to go to kindergarten again!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Momma Aimee
    Feb 12, 2011 @ 20:09:45

    GREAT!!!! so exciting!!!!

    Reply

  2. hakea
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 05:47:17

    You sound so excited, I’m excited for you.

    I hadn’t heard of Little Acorn Learning, so thanks for all the links.

    Enjoy Kindergarten!

    Reply

  3. Allison
    Feb 13, 2011 @ 13:08:50

    Glad to be of help!

    Reply

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