04 September 2008

We're doing the fun stuff

I attended the orientation session for PJ's preschool this morning. I like the co-op aspect of it, and I like that it will give her a chance to rely on herself and not on me. She'll decide what activities to participate in, she'll follow someone else's directions and rules, she will experience success and failure and then come home and tell me all about it.

TJ's preschool teacher was there this morning too. I like talking to her, and she has a real interest in TJ's homeschool experience. She asked how it's going ... which is a question I've been getting from a lot of people ... and what is there to say? We haven't changed much about what we do at home except that we have a bunch of activities that are starting up with the school year. I told her that I didn't think there was much to do, school-wise, for a kindergartner. "What do they do all day there, anyway?" I asked. "Mostly just move the kids around," was her offhand remark.

I know that isn't true, exactly, but that is one of things that I sense about a kindergarten classroom of twenty-seven children. And that's another one of the reasons why we're homeschooling. TJ's peers have spent much of the week learning how to sit at their desks, raise their hands to visit the restroom -- or not, as I understand that there were a number of kids who got home and the first thing they said was, "I have to go potty!" -- and other new behavioral rules. TJ played, played, went on a field trip, and played some more. With friends, for anyone about to use the S-word.

There are many academic expectations for kindergarten, according to the Virgina Standards of Learning. Not that I am following the SOLS! I refer to them in the moments when I doubt myself and wonder if I really can homeschool. The document reassures me that I can so do better than what is expected.

Of that long list of objectives, the set that interests me most is for social studies. TJ can count to thirty, count backwards from ten, and pretty much do the math that is expected by the end of the K year. (To see the Virginia SOLS for all subjects and grade levels, click here.) Same with the reading objectives ... so that leaves us to pursue the fun stuff.

The next time someone asks, I guess I can say just that. "We're doing the fun stuff!"


serenity said...

That sounds fun. TJ is definitely the smartest 5 year old I know. When I worked in a summer school for kids about to go into kindergarten, the trainers kept stressing how teachers waste a lot of time moving kids about - lining them up to go outside, go inside, sit down for story time, etc.

Wish I could visit soon! Maybe I can, now that I'm making some real money. :)

- u.

Jennifer Breseman said...

I'm a little concerned that you're relying on me and my kids for "socialization." It seems like a big responsibility. I don't know if we're up to the job:)

Angela said...

I'm happy to help with the geography recognition part of school :)!!

We can send all kinds of cool things from Poland, and from Mexico next year... ;-)

Louisa said...

We DID see you guys a lot this week. It was fun!