I’m learning along side Rose. Although I’ve been homeschooling for 24 years, this is my first year with Rose. My first year ever homeschooling an “only” child. Moving from teaching a senior in high school to kindergartener has been a challenge for me – both mentally and physically. So, I knew I needed to evaluate our year and make changes where needed.
This year I’ve discovered an awesome little downloadable book, which has helped me break down (with an amazingly detailed check list) where Rose is at, how she has developed over the last semester, and what we need to work and concentrate on this spring.
“Developing the Observing Eye, Teacher Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education” by Cynthia Murphy-Lang is a great read, and a handy little tool. http://www.waldorflibrary.org/books/3/view_bl/97/social-skills/190/developing-the-observing-eye-teacher-observation-and-assessment-in-early-childhood-education-ebook?tab=getmybooksTab&is_show_data=1
I actually downloaded the Common Core Check List for Kindergarten – and it reminded me why I have chosen Waldorf methodology. At this point in a child’s life, I feel developing the brain, the body, and the spirit is so more important than learning knowledge. I ditched the Common Core Check List.
What I’ve discovered:
1) Increased Peacefulness
Decreasing the amount of time away from home, and decreasing the amount of people coming in and out of our home has increased the level of peacefulness.Creating, and for the most part, sticking with a weekly and daily rhythm has increased the peace.
Because of this, Rose is having less melt downs than she has in the past.
2) Increased ability to play by her self
Rose has become more independent, and more able to entertain herself for long periods of time.
3) Increased ability to relate to peers Rose has always struggled with relationships with other kids. She has started enjoying time with others and can play for longer periods of time with them.
4) Increased physical abilities I’ve seen improvement in both her big motor and small motor skills. Rose started skipping – a great sign for brain development. She can also string small beads.
1) Can’t count to 10.
I count everything, but Rose just doesn’t seem to pick it up. She says numbers, she repeats when I count. She can’t seem to recite from 1 – 10 by herself – either when counting objects, or just recitation.
1) Obsession with screen time
I’ve done a poor job of cutting screen time. We have tried to use screen time in moderation, but Rose is obsessed. Once she picks up a phone, ipad, or watches a show – she refuses to do anything else. She has more melt downs, is irritable, and unable to play by herself.
2) Challenges with transitions
Rose has a very hard time moving from one thing to the other if the first is not finished, or has not been cleaned and organized to her liking. She completely loses it. We have a visual schedule, but sometime I think it is a hindrance, because if for any reason we have to go off it – melt down. There is no flexibility. I try to give time between activities but it never seems to be enough – she gets stuck on one thing and doesn’t want to change to do something else – she even refuses to eat if she is into the activity before a meal.
3) Sensory Issues
I thought cooking our own catsup would be exciting. Rose thought otherwise. After having her peel the poached tomatoes, she was seriously traumatized by the texture and has been scared to cook with me since.
She also hates the woods. She hates the dirt and screams when she sees a bug. She cries and begs to go home.
4) Doesn’t sleep well
Rose has always had sleep issues. Lately, she just doesn’t go to sleep. She says she is scared to shut her eyes. Even though bedtime is 8:00 – she often does not fall asleep til well after midnight. I have responded by allowing her to sleep later in the morning, which throws off all our morning routine.
The Changes are coming:
Be more consistent in sleep routine. Play outside at least two hours. No screen time. Wake her up in the mornings by 8:00. Check with doctor if the problem does not stop.
2) Eliminate Screen Time completely during the week.
Nothing else needs to be said.
3) Increase the amount of activities on our daily rhythm.
Add story time, circle time, and daily craft time to our daily schedule. This will help with the elimination of screen time.
4) Work on Transitions
Give more time for transition. Use songs to transition.
5) Be intentional with teaching counting
Have counting rhymes and songs in circle time. Count in
6) Modify Cooking Day
Cook things that Rose would enjoy cooking. Think about textures when planning what to cook.
7) Modify Forest Day
Have more planned activities in the forest. Think about what Rose does like – and use them to my advantage (collecting things, taking pictures).
I’ll let you know how it goes. What changes are you making in your spring semester?