Homeschooling a Kindergartner, as a High School Teacher

I wanted to take some time today to talk about how I have approached teaching my kindergartner at home the last three weeks, and will continue to do so for the rest of the school year. First of all, a few several disclaimers, in no particular order:

- This is what works for us; there is no one-size-fits all approach and I'm not here to tell everyone what they must do, I'm simply providing ideas if anyone wants them
- I am a high school teacher; I teach IB English to 12th graders. I am also credentialed to teach high school biology, and also elementary grades, which is where I started out. I have never taught lower than 4th grade, though (I student taught 3rd and 4th, and taught 5th grade for three years and then 4th for one). 
- My son is an eager student and is on track, if not a little ahead, in language arts and math. I don't get hung up on Lexile levels (confession: I hate them as a high school teacher) and I am not formally assessing him.
- I make up a lot of things on my own, but I also look at things online (especially Pinterest for crafts), have gotten things from Teachers Pay Teachers, and also have some workbooks that I've picked up over the year
- I am constantly working on my own classroom work throughout the day. I instruct him a lot, by modeling, but once he is released to independent practice on a new concept or reviewing something I jump onto Google Classroom or am planning. I plan out his lessons each night and I really try to be strategic so that I am delivering instruction to him and my students. Basically, between Sawyer and my job I am busy with those two things from about 8:30-4:30 every day, and then I work at night after he is in bed on planning for his next day and doing more work for my students. I have less free time now than ever! But it's okay.
- Sawyer didn't get a spring break, since I didn't want to ruin our newly established routine, and I didn't stop working myself. It's fine. Really! 
- I only have one child. For this, it is definitely easier, but also remember that I am his sole companion, so this can be tough at times when he wants to play or show me things constantly. 
- His teachers sent home nothing; he goes to a private kinder and they are under no obligation to do so, at least this month, since they waived tuition.
- We get fully ready and dressed before the school day starts (fine, I don't really put on a full face of makeup or curl my hair, but the idea of not being in our pajamas and starting "the day" is a good transition).
- Our day is structured and there is a lot of learning and practicing going on; this might not work for everyone, but I really do think it's important that there is an attempt to keep kids learning is essential. 

That was a long disclaimer, but what can you expect coming from me? 

Here's a general run down of our schedule:

8:30-9:40 (Sight Words and Phonics)
- 10 minutes of independent reading for him (I help as needed)
- Sight word practice (we go through the ones he has on a ring and then either come up with sentence that he writes from them or do some review worksheets). We spent the first two practicing what he already had and then I added two new ones this week. Sometimes we use Bananagrams, Scrabble, or Upwords, to also practice.
- Lately we have been working on digraphs- ch, sh, and th. There's a lot of brainstorming of words, doing worksheets, drawing pictures to go with the words, etc...
- Twice a week he does penmanship, writing each upper case and lower case letters from memory
- He reads a phonics book to me; we have tons of the boxed collections that I kept ordering from Scholastic (now I am so glad).

9:40-10:00 Snack break and a scooter walk around the block

10:00-10:15 We usually read a story and do a comprehension activity that's based to some sort of broader mini-unit we are doing for the week. The first week it was Iggy Peck, Architect, last week it was The Nowhere Box, and this past week it has been camping books. 

10:15-11:15 Math
- Number fluency chart, 11-20 
- Addition and subtraction practice- for this we use worksheets, dice, objects, and whiteboards
- Some sort of other skill- shapes, graphing, inequalities, etc... 
- I am trying to make this a mix of worksheets and interactive activities (like hiding dinosaurs with math facts all over the house that he has to solve)

11:15-12:15 PE (aka one hour walk around our hilly neighborhood)

12:15:12:45 lunch

12:45-1:30 Science
- The first two weeks we continued learning about bugs, since that was what he had been doing in school and was excited about continuing. Now we are doing dinosaurs (his choice... I am not the hugest fan)
- Usually I do two things, choosing from quick youtube videos, part of an episode of The Magic School Bus, books that we already have, and crafts

1:30-2:00 Independent coloring or "centers" (aka play while I do more work)

2:00-2:10 Share time- We share with some friends of ours on Instagram video, which gives the kids a chance to talk, ask questions, and see people who don't live with them

2:10-3:25 rest time in his room alone (this isn't really homeschooling, but I think it's important that parents are giving themselves a formal break in a safe way that allows their child to sleep, rest, or play independently).

Fridays have a culminating project from whatever little unit we are doing; the first week he was an architect and built his own city, the next week he got to decorate a large box like the character in the book, and this week we set up a tent in the backyard to go camping.

Once a week we read a poem and he does his own drawing based on it- he loves this and asks to do it daily. 

Things I need to work on:
- I need to stop planning the night before, like a rookie, haha. I hope to sit down this weekend and plan the entire week out, including printing everything I need. My students at work are back from "spring break" on Monday, so I feel like I need to even be more structured and organized to juggle all of this and give everyone what they need
- I need to let him do more dot-to-dots and color... that's what he loves and it's fine
- I need a more systematic approach to math, which I hope to plan this weekend as well
-  Taking a look at the standards a little more carefully

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