Or, less pretentiously:
What should a kid learn in kindergarten?
I’m taking a swing at home schooling the Princess*– she’s just a bit too young to go into kindergarten, and I’ve got enough qualifications legally allowed to be a home educator by the state.
I know that I want her to be reading and diving in to self-guided research that I can supplement with what she isn’t interested in, but I really am looking for a realistic expectation in general.
- reading basic words– “Hop on Pop” as a test.
- being able to draw a connection between math problems and real examples– 2+2 is the same as two apples plus two apples
- writing print legibly in military style all-caps, and basic progress in upper-lower case block-print
- trace a standard coloring book– depending on small motor control, color inside of the lines and fill it out
- recognize and match colors and basic shapes, both two and three dimensional; possibly recognizing a pattern and copying it
- recognize basic classes of animal– land mammal, reptile, bird, fish, sea mammal
- recognize basic plant categories
- growth stages of plants and animals
- master the ASDFJKL; of the keyboard, demonstrate ability to both double-click and click-and-drag, plus understand which you should do in a specific instance
- safety related science– germ theory, electronic theory, very basic physics; why you wash your hands, why you don’t touch that wire, and why you don’t jump out in front of a car to yell “boo.”
- basic scientific theory
- basic skepticism– “what’s another way to look at this?” “is this person trying to make me think something that isn’t quite right?”
- memorize basic prayers– Our Father, Hail Mary, possibly how to pray the Rosary
- basic theology; Trinity, angels, life after death, salvation, caritas, the Saints, some of the ideas of expressing love as wishing-another’s-best-interest
So, those expectations: too high? Too low? What am I missing? No idea what kind of metric to put on history– trying to build a basic understanding of our family history, and of world history, but it’s rather tough with someone who doesn’t consistently grasp the difference between “today” and “last week.”
We have a phonics book that both girls love (yes, the two year old knows her letters and is connecting them to “making words.” Yay, older sister leading by example.) and I subscribe to an OK online school called Starfall, plus a lot of concepts are being introduced by Dinosaur Train, My Little Pony, Guess with Jess and Boo!, as well as Good Eats. I don’t have any good specifically Catholic “edutainment,” although the Scriptural Rosary from Rosary Army is rather good for car trips and I try to catch some ETWN radio shows when I can.
After hearing some horror stories of the utter lack of basic control in classrooms, my husband is pretty supportive of home schooling if I can get this year to work… so please, feel free to suggest!
*Please, don’t bother to “correct” me that it’s not homeschooling– yes, parents are responsible for teaching their children. I noticed, my folks did a great job– I learned more science from my mom than from school, and the only thing they didn’t do well on was what they were told they weren’t qualified to teach. (Religious education.) That doesn’t change that there is a difference between getting one’s formal schooling at a gov’t facility and getting it at a private school, or at home. It’s a matter of specifying what formal schooling a kid gets. I get the world-view statement being made, but I value communicating clearly over Making A Statement when it’s a social nicety like “where do your kids go to school.”