Christian finished up his Kindergarten year, and is now officially a First Grader! This was my first year teaching two, and it went surprisingly well.
Wait. That's just summer talkin'.
It was actually pretty challenging. For over half the year, I had a babysitter come one or two times a week to watch Avery for me so we could get things done. That worked out really well! But it was only once or twice a week.
(July 2012 to May 2013. Where is that little boy I knew?)
I used My Father's World with Christian this year. I really love their approach, with lots of hands on activities combined with biblical application and lots of books. It was perfect for him! He is now reading short books, and is really ready to move on and start to read longer books and stories.
My Father's World incorporates Cuisenaire rods, which Christian thought was a lot of fun. We focused on one letter each week, and that letter had a corresponding subject that went with it. There was a book to read each week as well. For instance, for "A" we learned all about apples, and had lots of fun activities and books that went along with that.
(October 2012. Christian's lapbook on apples.)
I supplemented with different things here and there that I knew Christian would be interested in. He really took a liking to lapbooks, so we did a handful of those throughout the year. I also used several Lego printables that we used for measuring things, estimating, counting and sorting. He loved this!
I quickly learned that while Christian is an eager learner and picks things up quickly, he gets bored rather easily with most schoolwork. His eyes light up and he becomes a Model Student, however, when we start talking about math. Math seems to be his thing, and he has even picked up on multiplication this year because he's heard Ansley reviewing it so often. We had lots of fun math lessons with adding and subtracting, sorting, greater than, less than, and fractions to name a few.
Christian often listened in on Ansley's Science lessons about the planets and stars, and they both enjoying doing experiments together. He is picking up on a lot more than Ansley did at this age, simply because he gets to watch the older learner and observe her learning as well. He is practically a sponge, and he asks questions all day long. Most of them, I can't answer. (How long does it take to get to space? Let's go back and forth naming cities from the Bible. Does lightning really never strike the same place twice? Where does rain come from?) He's moved from "Mom I have a question" to "Can you type this question on Google please?"
The above picture is possibly one of my favorite memories from his Kindergarten year, even though I wasn't actually there. I was sick with a stomach virus, so John took the kids to co-op. Christian brought homemade cookies for his whole class and passed them out. Then his whole class sang happy birthday to him. John videoed it. It was so sweet! For a homeschooled student, it won't be often that his birthday falls on the one day a week he is in school, so it was a fun memory!
We also used Mind Benders during our school day, which Christian REALLY loves. They are logic puzzles, which I have to admit is not my strong suit, but he would beg for them every day.
Christian took one class at the co-op through our church, which was art. He really loves to draw and make things, so even though the class was technically for 1st-5th graders, he got permission to attend as a Kindergartener. He kept up just fine, and loved to inform me of the various artists they were learning about, as well as show me all his projects. It was so fun for him, and a really good, calm introduction to the classroom environment. Christian is a very sensitive boy, who prefers to be home with his family over just about anything else. Ansley was in the class with him, and he made some sweet friends as well, so he was definitely a pro by the end of the year, and very comfortable in the class.
Christian has an uncommon (at least in my opinion) love for all things biblical at the ripe old age of 6. He often wants me to read the Bible with him, and he is FULL of questions. He talks a lot about Jesus, and asks really good, heartfelt questions. I often say that I believe he will be a missionary or a pastor when he grows up, although he has never said this. It's like he just can't learn enough about Jesus, and I think at 6 it doesn't seem typical. I find it very endearing.
I made an ABC book for Christian this year, and each week as we learned a new letter, we worked on that page. At the end of the year, I had it bound (well actually Mimi did) into a Kindergarten book for him. I love it, and think it turned out so cute! He is very proud of his work this year!
I will say that I have seen so much growth in Christian this year. He started karate this year, and that has GREATLY helped his confidence! His season of baseball allowed him to learn about teamwork and make friendships. I used to be a little worried about Christian, thinking that he would always tend to be clingy and not make friends easily, but I was wrong. He makes friends very easily, and made several friends in art and baseball that were all on his own. He laughs and talks easily with others, and he is very funny. He is not a "rowdy" boy, and is a rule follower and a good listener. He is super silly, and always trying to make someone laugh.
We had such a fun Kindergarten year! I am looking forward to all that First Grade holds for my sweet, happy, fun-loving boy!