Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kindergarten and the Formidable List of Attainments

Olivia will be starting Kindergarten at home this year. Can it be I will homeschooling two children??

Thankfully, the adjustment will come slowly and gently, as Olivia's "school" won't take nearly as long. As many of you know, I'm knee-deep (neck-deep?) in Charlotte Mason research, and I was so happy to learn that she recommended no formal schooling before age six. That doesn't mean no learning, however. In fact, here is her "Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six":

A reprint of a curriculum outline from a CM school in the 1890's. from Summer 93 Parents Review pub by Karen Andreola

1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns
2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm
3. to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with dominoes or counters
4. to read--what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child
5. to copy in print-hand from a book
6. to know the points of the compass with relation to their own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows
7. to describe the boundries of their own home
8. to describe any lake, river, pond, island etc. within easy reach
9. to tell quite accurately (however shortly) 3 stories from Bible history, 3 from early English, and 3 from early Roman history (my note here, we may want to substitute early American for early English!)
10. to be able to describe 3 walks and 3 views
11. to mount in a scrap book a dozen common wildflowers, with leaves (one every week); to name these, describe them in their own words, and say where they found them.
12. to do the same with leaves and flowers of 6 forest trees
13. to know 6 birds by song, colour and shape
14. to send in certain Kindergarten or other handiwork, as directed
15. to tell three stories about their own "pets"--rabbit, dog or cat.
16. to name 20 common objects in French, and say a dozen little sentences
17. to sing one hymn, one French song, and one English song
18. to keep a caterpillar and tell the life-story of a butterfly from his own observations.

And NO, I'm not sure we'll get to some of that (um, French? Good idea, but this mama is not fluent in French). I'm not that good. The point is that instead of pouring over worksheets, the child should be outside as much as possible, exploring, observing, discovering nature up close and personal.

Since Olivia will be six in January, and since she is begging me to teach her to read, we will be using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, using letter tiles, etc. For math, I am not purchasing a curriculum, but we will be doing lots of domino/dice/counter math, reading living math books (great lists found here, even for little ones), etc. We will begin handwriting (manuscript) with some very short lessons.

We also will be following along with Ambleside Online's year 0 reading list, maybe doing some lapbooks for ones we want to spend more time with:

::Winnie the Pooh series by AA Milne and Ernest H. Shepard (Winnie-The-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six).
::Beatrix Potter series (Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, etc,)
::The Little House by Virginia Burton
::The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
::The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
::Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
::Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
::One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
::Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
::Ox-Cart Man by Barbara Cooney
::Stone Soup and other folk tale retellings by Marcia Brown
::Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
::The Story of Little Babaji by Helen Bannerman
::Brer Rabbit books by Joel Chandler Harris
::Poems and Prayers for the Very Young by Martha Alexander
::A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (illustrated by Eulalie, Jessie Wilcox Smith, or Alice and Martin Provenson)
::A good collection including classic stories and folktales such as "The Little Red Hen," "The Gingerbread Man," "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," "The Three Billy Goats Gruff."
::A good collection of Aesop's Fables, such as the one illustrated by Milo Winter
::A nice Mother Goose collection
::Illustrated classic poetry such as Poems for Young Children compiled by Caroline Royds
::A good collection of classic children's poetry such as A Child's Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa; The Golden Books Family Treasury of Poetry selected by Louis Untermeyer; The Oxford Book of Children's Verseedited by Peter Opie

As part of training in the habit of attention, I'll include Olivia in a sort of "circle time" with Carli, where we'll study the Bible, memorize Scripture and poetry, learn hymns and folk songs, and study artists and composers.

As far as foreign language, I'm still not sure if we'll be sticking with sign language or delving into something a little more, uh...foreign. I must admit, since I didn't study languages as a young one, I'm a bit intimidated by the thought. Carli will be doing Latin in a year or two, but somehow that is more exciting, and it will be more to learn the roots of the English language. I just really need to research options for a good curriculum that would be fun and effective. I've messed around with Rosetta Stone samples and LOVE it, but we just don't have the cash for that now. Ah well, I'll figure it out. :)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

We've made it through almost all the books on the list already, and they're good ones!

In my humble opinion, I think you should stick with sign language. You already know it, and if the girls become fluent, that is a VERY useful life skill. The Latin will be the basis for many of the Romance languages, so if they want to learn French or Spanish when the get older or whenever you can get hold of the Rosetta Stone, they will have a good foundation because they will already understand declentions and other things that English doesn't have. I know ideally, they should be exposed to other languages early, but moms can't be all things to all people. You know ASL, so stick with that. I wish I knew it.

We'll be working on some poems, but we're really concentrating on the Westminster Shorter Catechism with the Scripture proofs. They are doing great with it, and we got the CD's so they can sing the questions and answers, and that has made the learning even faster. Benj and I are even learning. Does CM have recommendations for the poems pre-schoolers should learn?