So, here's the thing.
The whole homeschool thing means that labels like "kindergarten" don't really mean anything, but here's why I'm calling it kindergarten. At the beginning of the 2014 school year...
- She can recognize all her letters, both lower-case and capital.
- She knows all her phonemes. She knows all the sounds each letter makes, including long and short vowels and hard and soft g and c.
- She can write all her letters and numbers.
- She can replicate and extend patterns.
- She can count to 30 (alright. Mostly she can count to 30. "eleventeen" still sneaks in there, despite my best efforts)
- She does legitimate math. She can add any two single-digit numbers without breaking a sweat.
- She can tell you about an author and an illustrator.
- She knows a bunch of sight words and can sound out CVC words.
- She knows about the "helper letter" (e) at the end of words that makes vowels say their own name.
- She can use scissors and glue effectively (age appropriately, anyway!)
After a little research on kindergarten standards, it's pretty clear to me that this is the level she's functioning at. We very seriously debated sending her to kindergarten this year, just to give me more hands and more time to do everything since we knew there would be a tiny baby in the house. But, after a lot of discussion and prayer, that just wasn't in the cards. Homeschool is our calling around here, and so we got to it.
And the truth is, we all love it! I couldn't be more pleased or excited to get to spend this precious time with my oldest daughter. She is just amazing, and so very, very capable. Her love of learning is one of my greatest joys in life.
We chose Classical Conversations as our curriculum for the year, which is program that I absolutely adore beyond words. It puts young children's natural abilities and proclivity for retention and memorization to amazing use, which is one of my passions from a brain-model perspective. Beyond that, though, we also have the gift of a wonderful community environment. Leah's class meets once a week for three hours. Here is my little goofball on her first "official" day of school (though we started the week before):
Every week, in addition to our history, geography, English, math and science lessons, the kids also give a presentation in front of the class.
Here was Leah's for the first week. My little doctor in the making.
Of course, when you work hard, you can't forget to play hard, too!
I love those two.