As you know, Brooke started kindergarten this year. It obviously is a big milestone to start elementary school, but on top of that, it also marked the transfer from a private school to public. We were blessed to have her in a wonderful preschool that set her up with a great foundation for her academic career, as well as help shape her socially. With such a positive pre-k program, I had some trepidation as to how public kindergarten would stack up. I knew the student to teacher ratio wouldn’t be able to compare, but I was hopeful that living in a good school system would make for a varied, stimulating curriculum.
Now that we’ve completed five months of the school year, I feel I can make a rather fair assessment now. Though I don’t particularly mind the curriculum, and activities provided (we, the PTA, have actually put on some great events so far), my main concern stems from the inability to challenge her. She loves school in general, but has exhibited signs that she gets bored in the classroom. In her own words, “I’m not really learning anything new.” I have talked to the teacher on multiple occasions, and she has said that Brooke is very bright, and should be doing first grade work, but there isn’t very much she can do. With that being the case, I have decided to take it into my own hands. I have implemented what Brooke calls “Mommy School” at home.
What is Mommy School you ask. Well, it is my way of supplementing my daughter’s education. After she gets out of school, I give her some play time (whether at the park, or at home), then she does her kindergarten homework (2 worksheets a night), then we have Mommy School. Mommy School consists of one-on-one time with her, doing activities covering a variety of subjects. It only lasts for 30min to an hour, and we do art, math, sight words, writing, science, and more. She loves it, and it is a nice way for me to bond with her as well. Below is a sample schedule of what we do:
Mommy School Schedule
Monday – Math Monday
We have worked on coin recognition, coin values, adding/subtracting money, and work pages from Summer Bridge Activities. We have used a lot of different workbooks since she was in preschool, and this one is my favorite.
Tuesday – Art
Wednesday – Science or General
We currently do science experiments from the Mind Blowing Science Kit. For general, we go over her phone number, address, tying her shoes, etc.
Thursday – Writing
For writing, we use the book 50 Month-by-Month Draw and Write Prompts. I love how this book has month specific prompts, and it leaves room for her to illustrate a picture of what her words are trying to express.
Friday – Culture
Prior to February, we were learning about a Brooke picked topic, but starting now, we will cover Culture. For culture, we’re going to learn about a new country each month, by reading books, doing activities, and cooking meals. She has expressed an interest in China, so we shall start there first.
In addition to these topics, each day we do Sight words (both Fry and Dolch), and I have her read to me at bed time, followed by me reading a story or two to her. She loves to read a variety of books, but lately she completely loves me to read The Magic Tree House early chapter books to her.
Life does get busy sometimes, or we stay much longer at the park, or she takes a dance class, and we don’t have mommy school, but I figure something each week is better than nothing. It does take effort to plan projects, or get the materials, but I know it is worth it. I want her to continue to grow that brain of hers, and I hope a love of learning is something she will carry with her for her entire life.
Please note that I am not a teacher, nor have I ever been a formal teacher. I’m just a parent who is invested in fostering a love for learning in my child, and have chosen to supplement with things that would interest her, as well as cover important concepts. This will continue to evolve as she grows, and I will add in new concepts that are age appropriate and challenging based on her skills. If you are looking to supplement your child’s education, and don’t plan to go the homeschool route (I personally don’t plan to at this time), then this is merely a simple guide to what we are doing. Hope it can be of help!