Back to liiiiife, back to reAlityyyy! School is back in session y’all, can you believe?
Every year I tweak our schedule. There’s always a few lessons learned the year before that influence the tweaks but also different kids in different grades. This year has quite a few tweaks though. A damn near overhaul.
There are a few reasons for the schedule shake up and the biggest one is the massive brain growth spurt of 6 year olds. This phase is sometimes know as the first puberty and for good reason. Brain development, physical growth spurts, and hormones are in full-effect at this point. In Finland they structure their school system in a way that compliments the developing brain. Kindergarten is for learning through play and discovery. Stations, physical activity, and following passions rule the 4-5 mind. It’s how they work. 6 opens new avenues in the mind. Broader concepts, intricacies, and details become clearer. They’re getting ready for the “sit down” work. Here’s the thing though, O and E were on the same track for a long time. He wasn’t ready for some things and she was ready for some things. That kept them fairly even and it was easy to have them work on the same books and projects, but that won’t fly this year. O switched over at the beginning of last year. We focused on his reading and writing and (what seemed like) over night he just “got it”. All of it came with more ease. 6 was long gone and he was a full blown 7 year old. Reading his first chapter book and loving it. E wasn’t ready. Her turn hadn’t come yet. She was in the throes. She’s ready now though. She’s already shown signs of readiness over the Summer. More willing to risk making a mistake in her writing (trust me, that was a big struggle last year), being more confident in her reading. That means it’s her turn to focus on reading and writing. That means he’ll be moving ahead into his Grade 3 work and she’ll be digging into reading and writing before getting into her Grade 2 work and they won’t be on the same track save a few subjects.
The second reason is that G enjoys the reading and writing aspect. I don’t force it in kindergarten but I do let them lead a little bit and try to explore their interests. She’s interested. She’s also in Sr. K this year so there will be a little more structure for her than last year.
Three. Jenson is 2.5. I’ll just leave it at that. Toddlers be toddlerin’!
We start school the day after Labour Day, so it’s a 4 day week and I think that’s perfect. We don’t do our main workbooks right away because I like to use this first week for review, schedule adjusting, team building, and fun stuff like crafts and planner decorating. Some of the things we’ll review are expectations, safety/emergency procedures, manners/hygiene, and this year I’m adding an online safety lesson as O will be learning new things and getting new responsibilities. My main focus is getting our daily schedule down though. I like to ease back in and keep it light because I think that sets the tone for the new year. Plus cupcakes on Friday!
When was your first day back? Today? How did you prep for this week? Are you making any changes to your schedule? How about the public schoolers, how did you prep for this new school year?
Wishing you all a spectacular year! Welcome back to (home)school!
OMG! This photo is from 2 years ago and she’s so tiny and cuuuuuute! *cries all over desk