I know it’s only February, but I’ve got Kindergarten on the brain. If Aamina was going to public school, she’d be headed to Kindergarten in the fall. My big girl, mashaAllah!
Since we don’t plan to have Aamina go to public school, this Kindergarten year is on me (and remember, I didn’t homeschool Kira until 4th grade). And it has me thinking:
What are my goals for Kindergarten?
The more we take a relaxed approach with preschool, the more I see how much benefit there is in learning on her terms and on her schedule. When she wants to learn how to read, she asks for it. When she wants to learn more about math, she asks for it.
Somehow we stumbled into an unschooling approach, and so far I’m seeing the proof in the pudding.
Now, we don’t have any real goals for preschool other than to learn that “school” is fun, but it’s amazing how much they pick up from having great resources around them.
I should also mention, too, that my husband leans more toward gentle schooling in the early years rather than rigorous curriculum to get them started on the academic road. He might be uncomfortable if I asked the kids to sit down for an hour a day to work on book work.
Still, that’s preschool. How does this small experience translate to Kindergarten?
Our Kindergarten goals
1. Create a routine
This is more for me than the kids, but it’ll help all of us. I realize that a big frustration in our days is when the kids don’t know what we’re doing next. Hours and hours of free play time can get boring for them, and Aamina and Amatullah will tend to fight more often if they have to play with each other for indefinite amounts of time.
We need a flow to our days.
For the last couple weeks I’ve been trying to be a bit more consistent in how our days work. So far it is working pretty well to fit in going to the gym after breakfast and work on preschool activities (if requested) after lunch, followed by housework. Previously, Aamina would ask to do some schoolwork when I’m in the middle of something else, which was frustrating for both of us. Now, using a time slot in which to do book work that requires my help does two things: 1) break up the day, and 2) create opportunity to start a school routine.
2. Learn responsibility
We’ve started on this already, and our Easy Peasy Chore system has helped to get us going in the right direction in terms of taking responsibility for your own tasks.
I want to sow the seeds of responsibility now, so when school work takes a more formal tone, she already feels a drive to complete things that are assigned.
3. “Do school” 4 days a week
Again, we are taking a more delight-directed approach to school this Kindergarten year, and I imagine book work only taking 30 minutes to an hour.
Some subjects I plan to have ready for Aamina are:
- Copywork – To practice handwriting
- Islamic studies – Qur’an tafseer, du’a, virtues
And some subjects that will be covered in a story time format:
- Perfecting the pillars series (basics of tawheed – Oneness of Allah)
- Science – Using Magic School Bus, Usborne Beginner books, and Let’s Read and Find Out series
- History – focused on Islamic history and stories of the prophets at this time
I’m still muling over how Kindergarten will look, but I’m realizing as time goes on that I don’t need to fill half the day with lessons for her to learn. Since we have a wide array of awesome non-fiction books, my kids are learning all the time via simply reading and exploring our own bookshelves!
Since getting out of the house is still a giant struggle with her two younger sisters, I don’t see us signing up for year-long weekly classes, but we’ll see how the year shapes up, in sha Allah.