Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The 3 D's of Kindergarten

Don't judge him for his Jar Jar shirt.  He's a smart boy, I promise.
This year I promoted my third Kindergartner.  I believe Kindergartners need to still be doing most of their learning through play and exploration.  They should not be sitting at a desk for several hours, staring at a whiteboard.

But also, if your child is ready and capable for more academic school work, by all means, let them have it!  When it comes to language arts, there are three things that I always do with my kinders.  And conveniently, they all start with D's.  So here are my 3 D's of Kindergarten

This is a reading program also known as "Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons."  I've written several times before about why I love this reading program.

Some children are just not ready to read in Kindergarten.  They may not start until 7 or so.  And that's fine too.  I've read enough studies that show these kids are not behind academically for the rest of their lives.  But for me and my kids so far, starting to learn to read at 4 works for us.  And Distar is a fabulous way to do it.

My personal philosophy is that if a child can read, then they can learn anything!  Independence is very important to me in our family and especially in our homeschool.  Being able to read the instructions on your math page by yourself makes it possible for you to teach yourself many things while Mom is occupied elsewhere.

Once my child completes Distar, then we move onto phonics readers and Dolch to further their reading skills.

Dolch is a group of 11 lists of sightwords.  I expect my kids to be able to read each word properly on three separate occasions (without sounding out) before they get the word passed off.  That link I shared has free printable flash cards, record sheets, and games.

When it comes to handwriting, I still think it's important to learn cursive.  I hated cursive writing as a child and only use it today to sign my signature and to help the girls practice their own cursive.  But I'm still glad that I learned it.

I think it's easier to learn cursive if you learn D'Nealian Manuscript first.  This is the type of writing where all the letters have little "kicks" or "monkey tails" at the ends.

We do only a little bit of writing standard block letters in preschool.  In Kindergarten is when I finally give formal instruction on how to form letters on paper.  And we start immediately with D'Nealian.  By the end of second grade, my girls were both eager and ready to learn true cursive.  It has been a smooth transition for them because they already see how each letter can easily link to the next because of those little kicks.

What are your favorite curriculum choices for Kindergarten?

No comments:

Post a Comment