Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy Not-Going-to-School Day!!

Today is the first day back to school in our county. Nugget is 4, not old enough for Kindergarten. But in our state, we have Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK). It's offered through preschools and private schools and is free if you want to do it. Every 4 year old we know who will be going into the school system goes to VPK; anyone who's left plans to homeschool for the early years.

So the questions have started -- we went to the (quiet) grocery store this morning and the cashier asked, "Your kids aren't ready for school yet?". I passed it off to Nugget ("Nugget, do you go to school?"), because I've found those questions are best defused by an extremely verbal child expressing her excitement at homeschooling.

Here's how our "first day of VPK" is going to go.

1. Calendar and weather at breakfast (including graphing how many days of each weather per month).

2. Fine motor skills through dressing and undressing stuffed friends.

3. Library storytime for listening to and following directions from someone other than a parent as well as paying attention in a group setting.

4. Baking cupcakes for practical life (measuring, mixing, following directions).

5. Arts and crafts through decorating for our Not-Back-to-School Party.

6. Academics:

a. Writing -- finishing up our preschool handwriting workbook and preparing to move into the Kindergarten one.

b. Reading -- done with Kindergarten level Hooked on Phonics and moving into first grade level phonics, reviewing sight words and word families, reading lots of early reader books.

c. Math -- halfway through Kindergarten level RightStart (level A), working on mental math such as breaking a number into parts (what are all the parts of 4? 5? 8?) and the concept of getting change for a purchase.

I know that homeschooling isn't for everyone. I know that logistics or finances or simple preference mean that we're in a small minority. But I feel very lucky and oh so happy that we've been able to make this work. It really feels like the right choice for our family, and as Nugget gets older and into real school age, I'm more and more sure that I want her home with our family.

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