Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Unit Studies

Unit studies can be adapted for any intensity of study, so don't be afraid of this type of homeschooling just because your child is "only" in kindergarten, There are as many methods and styles of homeschooling as there are homeschoolers, but unit studies is one of the more popular these days. There are several brands of curricula that focus on unit studies, like Five in a Row and Konos, but even without a prearranged program, unit studies are easy for moms to set up, fun to teach, adaptable to different ages, and kids love them.

You’ve probably even done a unit study without knowing it. Have you ever read a book to the kids and enjoyed the illustrations so much that you taught the kids a little about oil pastel drawings? And maybe the story was about a little boy at the beach, so you checked out some books from the library about seashells and seagulls, to go along with it? And taught the kids the tongue twister about seashells on the seashore? Or made the kids fish or clam chowder for lunch, since it was mentioned in the book? If you’ve done anything like this, you’ve already laid the foundations for a unit study!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Making kindergarten math fun

There's not much to math at the kindergarten level besides basic counting and understanding the relationships between numbers. Sometimes place value and basic addition are addressed near the end of kindergarten, but if you find your child isn't ready, there's nothing wrong with waiting. Just make the foundation of math fun as you go along!

Interactive games are sometimes helpful, especially online, but there’s nothing like holding something in your hand to help you understand it. A great example of this is the quasi-holiday of the 100th Day of School, widely celebrated in elementary classrooms everywhere. It’s fun for kids, but also a great learning tool. One of the more popular activities is for each child to collect 100 items, such as pennies, bits of cereal or candy, sunflower seeds, etc. Seeing, feeling, and touching the number 100 in this way really drives home the concept.