The time is upon us. I am starting Athena with Kindergarten. We’ve spent the last 2 years doing some preschool things and at this point, she is ready for some more intentional material.
In Pennsylvania, Kindergarten is not compulsory, homeschooling is an age thing, but we are using this year to be an intentional and serious practice year. Though I’m toying with the idea of registering anyway.
Morning Board & Morning Basket
We will be starting with the incorporation of our Morning Board time and Morning Basket in July as our gentle start for the first week or 2. Our Morning Board time is actually 2 parts. The first part is our Calendar Board. We’ve been using it for 2 years now and love it. We also sing our months of the year and days of the week songs. Though we’ve had our Responsibility Board for a few months, we haven’t been super consistent with it. I’m excited to make it part of our real routine. I also really like that it has things like, “Say Please & Thank You,” and “Stop Whining.” Cuz… #we’re4.
Morning Basket will be a completely new concept for the girls. I had snagged a great cloth basket at Target last year that has become our Morning Basket. This is a very Charlotte Mason concept. Morning Basket is generally not “classically academic.” This is a perfect time to do something like learning our hymn, art study, our Bible verse for the week, or even just our fun reads. I’ve also collected some fun resources that will go along with our topics that I’ll be able to cycle out. Along with flash cards, one of the really fun items that I’ve found is these magnetic busy kits from Target. Just something fun to cycle through for either of the girls to play with.
Before we launch into our official curriculum for the fall, we are starting off with the Sea Turtle Life Cycle Nature Study from For the Love of Homeschooling. This was their featured freebie a few weeks ago and we are SERIOUS turtle people so I knew I had to jump on it! I also snagged the unit on Frogs for us to do next! We love trying to spot the frogs when we got to Hershey Gardens and this year we’ve been able to see the tadpoles, so we are READY to jump into frogs. From there we are doing a bugs unit. This should generally surprise no one. I have a bunch of books, activities, and bug-themed stuff we’ll do for this week. One day will be all about FIREFLIES! My great friend Kristin has a wonderful Fireflies resource that already includes YouTube videos too! It’s also a great intro to doing butterflies and caterpillars. Most people do butterflies in the Spring, but the truth is, in most places, butterflies aren’t in the area until Summer. My peak butterfly/caterpillars are end of July to August!
August through October
In August we will add in our actual curriculum and the rest of our academic pieces. This year I am using a LOT of really good stuff. I’d been following Lyndsey from Treehouse Schoolhouse on Instagram for a good while now. I have been oogling her Nature Studies since the first time I saw one in person. I have a friend who brought one of her copies to a W+F event for me to look through, but she had already convinced me before I even saw it. I purchased the Fall Nature Study for us to start in August. The only real adjustment I’ve made so far is I switched the Apple week (wk 1) with the Moon week (wk 7) because I wanted to be able to do our apple picking along with apple week in September. And in August, it will likely still be warm enough for us to be outside in the evening to observe the moon!
Week 12 of the Fall Nature Study is Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils. OF COURSE this means that we will be going ALL out on Dinosaurs. My children, both of them, are all about dinosaurs. So I will be throwing in various dino resources that I’ve also collected to supplement that week.
November to January
The 13wks Tree House, will take us right through October and we will transition to the we will be transitioning over to FTLH and the MyMegaBundle Winter Bundle. Last year when I purchased it, I paid the few extra dollars to get Winter Bundle I and II, which was worth every single little penny, even after paying to have it printed. We will go through their Thanksgiving sheets, and go right into the extensive collection of Christmas through December. There will definitely be days where it is more gentle and more along the lines of Morning Board & Morning Basket than everything. January will be Winter Birds, Winter Animals, and Snow.
The Questionable Zone
In February we will do the 14 Days of God’s Love and as much as I’d like to take a break, the reality is, in the dead of winter sticking to routine and having plans is when it’s most important. haha I’m honestly not quite sure how we’ll fill the rest of the month here.
March we will pick up the Garden Journal from my friend Danielle at The Farmschool Co. Weather permitting, we will start to spend a lot of time outside around March. I have the Spring MegaBundle– you can preview what it’s included in the past in that link. Though I have a sneaking suspicion the Spring Nature Study may be joining us at that point. We’ll also be doing my unit on St. Patrick, the Life, Legacy, and Legends of Saint Patrick.
My goal is to be done by a little after Easter. At that point, I am transitioning to scheduling end of year evaluations here in Pennsylvania, and all chaos breaks loose.
At this point, all of our main curriculum is above. I am working on a separate post about what we’ll be reading and then another for using my Anna Vance Paper Co. products for the upcoming school year.