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An Ideal Day at Whimsy Way: Kindergarten

17 Jul

I thought I would share what a typical kindergarten day is like at our house. This is a day without any interruptions, appointments, illnesses, etc. We don’t manage everything everyday, but this is how we like, in general, for our days to go (I also have a need for change, but this is the basic outline):

I’m usually up by 7:00, but I would like to be up by 6:00. I find, though, when I get up that early for several days in a row, I begin to feel really drained, so 7:00 is ideal for me. I like to go online for a little while while I eat breakfast. I check my hotmail accounts, my Yahoo mail, log in to blogger and read my internet friends’ blogs, check the weather, and have a look at a book or website or whatever.

Stiggy is usually up between 7:30 and 9:00. I get him some warm milk and cereal. I read to him while he eats, which usually takes 30-45 minutes as he’s a very slow eater, especially in the morning.

We then get dressed, brush teeth, wash faces, and do a few chores. We make beds (I like to have the beds turned down as this allows a good airing of the sheets which cuts back on allergens since I have hayfever [I suspect Stiggy does, too] and my husband has asthma). I spray the orchid, tidy up a bit, and wash dishes. Stiggy makes his bed and puts his pajamas away. I begin a load of laundry and we hit the books. (See here for our Kindergarten year 1 curricula)

We will usually do a reading lesson with some dictation using a movable alphabet. Stiggy will do a phonics workbook page, too. We will do some handwriting, sometimes a page from Handwriting Without Tears, practice on the slate, or tracing sandpaper letter cards. On Friday I like for Stiggy to write out all his numbers and letters that we’ve covered so we can compare his progress each week.

We may have a break here. I will get Stiggy a fruit snack and while he eats I will read him some poetry or a story of my choice (he chooses all the other read alouds). We then move on to math. We do not have a formal curriculum just yet; we prefer to use the living math approach, so math is different every day. It may just happen incidentally, or I may have something planned such as counting practice using manipulatives such as marbles or an abacus. We may toss a bean bag back and forth while Stiggy counts to 100, or counts by 10’s. We also like to tie math to literature and will read poems about math, or stories that have a math theme. We also play lots of games involving math and make up little math senarios. Or, we may do an activity from one of our books.

We’re also working on skills such as safety. Stiggy has learned his address and phone number, so we will often review a previous skill before working on something new. Stiggy loves memorising.

At least one day a week, we do yoga. Stiggy is very active, so I don’t have to worry about him not getting enough exercise.

Art is usually done a few days a week, if not every day. It is quite unstructured and delight-driven. We were doing some more structured lessons with colour, which has really piqued Stiggy’s interest in art; he was pretty uninterested prior to that. He now loves to mix colours. We will often listen to classical music while doing art. Stiggy has access to lots of art supplies including temperas, water colours (palette and tubes), pastels, markers, coloured pencils, stamps, crayons, glitter, glue, stickers, finger paints, and others. He also attends a pottery painting session once a month.

For nature study, we may have a look at our plants, work on our gardening journals, read a nature story, take a nature walk, or some other activity. This is usually done 3 to 5 times a week (not counting weekends)

At noon, we usually stop. That’s tea time for us, so I’ll usually brew us a pot of mint tea in a pot and cup set I painted during our pottery painting classes. Stiggy is then free to play while I get a few things done (I used to go online, but I’ve managed to cut back on that).

One o’clock is lunch time. During lunch, we put on an audio story. He loves Roald Dahl stories and we have many of them on CD. I like to read during lunch.

After lunch I like to have some quiet time. I’ll get Stiggy some warm milk and read him a story or 2. He can then either look at some books, listen to an audio story, or sleep (which is what he often ends up doing) upstairs. I like to sit down and read, knit, or go online (ahem). Since the weather has warmed up, we usually go outside.

After about an hour and a half, Stiggy gets up and is free to play. I will usually cook and do a bit of housework. In the evenings, we sometimes go out, if need be, or go into the garden. Some evenings we will put the tv on for a while, and Stiggy will watch a bit of Top Gear while we have dinner (I will read). My husband will often take Stiggy upstairs to work on Arabic and learning about Islam. He may read him an Islamic story. He also often takes him to the mosque to pray. Other times they play (trains, wrestling, cars, a game)

Between 7 or 8 I take Stiggy upstairs for a bath (if he needs one) and to prepare for bed. I’ll read to him for a while, then we sit and chat. We talk about our day, I’ll ask him questions, and we just have a nice chat and cuddle.

I then go downstairs to tidy up the kitchen, have a shower, go online again, and read until bed. I’m usually in bed by 10:30.

On Fridays, after lessons, I log what we did for the week. I check off each thing on my lesson plans sheet, so this is an easy job. I also make some comments about how the week went, improvements Stiggy has made, or things we need to work on. I then print out a blank lesson plan sheet I created on Excel, and fill it in for the week. This takes quite a while for certain subjects because I don’t have a set curriculum for some. Math, for example. I need to check several books, websites, games, etc, to draw up a plan for the week (I’m not very good at just choosing something on the day). I have an general idea of a concept I want to work on with him, such as ‘double’ or counting to 100, and I go from there. I also like to work in a little review. I also do any printing for the week.

On the weekends, we often go out to do a bit of shopping. If the weather is nice, we’ll go out into the garden, go to a park, or maybe even the Lake District. On Sundays, we clean the whole house and then usually go to my Father-in-Law’s to visit with my husband’s family. There are a few other women my age with children (and one spinster 😉 ), and it’s a nice time to catch up on things and have a good gossip while the children play. We don’t do any formal lessons, but I still read to Stiggy quite a bit.

Some of this has changed since I first wrote this out a few months ago, but I’ve left it since this is how our year pretty much went. I’ll write a new one each year.

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2 Comments

Posted by on July 17, 2009 in About Us, Family Life

 

2 responses to “An Ideal Day at Whimsy Way: Kindergarten

  1. Suji

    August 1, 2009 at 3:55 am

    You are SO organized! He he he. I really wish I could be half as good at it. I love that idea about reading to him while he's having his breakfast. I used to try to do that but often let it slide because there always seems to be so much to do in the mornings. But I know it's something DS would love. He likes having the company while he's eating and I feel so torn sometimes that I am doing something else.

    Life is almost getting back to normal for us after our move and I missed reading all my friends' blogs. Slowly catching up now 🙂 Take care M!

     
  2. Michelle

    August 1, 2009 at 7:40 am

    It's good to see you back, Suji!

    Thanks, Suji. The organising is all part of the fun! 🙂 Well, I'm not always so organised, and some days, despite the organisation, nothing goes to plan. Although sometimes that's for the best.

     

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