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Posts Tagged "Kindergarten"

Public School, Homeschool, or Private School: What Not to Do

January 16, 2015
By Tracy Carrin

When our first child was four years old my husband and I found ourselves in a sea of choices about his education.  Adrift on uncharted waters, we researched and prayed.  Public school? Homeschool? Private school?  Questions did not always lead to answers, but more questions.  Eventually, we did discern the will of God in order to begin educating our firstborn, but after three children and many years of educating, we still frequently re-evaluate the educational needs of each child.

Are you trying to discern the best educational path for your child?  Consider the following:

We must not let our child decide.

Children do not have the wisdom to discern which educational choice is best for them.  Their opinion should be heard and valued but not solely relied upon.

We must not let our friends decide.

Making choices because of peer pressure rarely yields a wise decision.  We may have to swim upstream to do what we think is best for our child.

We must not let our extended family decide.

Family members often have strong feelings about choices in education.  If Aunt Sue was a public school teacher, there may be pressure to go that route.  If your sister homeschools, there may be an expectation to choose that route.  While we should consider their opinions, the privilege and the burden of the decision rests on us.

We must not let our anxieties decide.

Remember God’s instruction in Philippians 4: 6-7.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We must not let our finances decide.

Homeschooling and private education sometimes come with hefty price tags.

Consider God’s promise of help and provision.  Finances factor significantly in our plans, but let’s not forget that God can provide a way for us to follow our convictions.

We must not let our own educational experience decide.

Just because we were educated one way does not necessarily mean that way is a good fit for our child.  Each person has a unique personality, unique gifts, varying levels of intelligence, and a special path God has ordained.

We must not let our fatigue or discouragement decide.

How many times has our exhaustion caused us to lose heart?  During those times of parental fatigue and discouragement we may look for an “easy way.”  Beware.  We may need to stay the course through the tough time rather than altering our path due to difficulties.

Each of these may be a factor in decision-making, but beware of allowing one of them to steer the ship.  We can trust the Master of the sea to guide us. Remember that He says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go.  I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8). Let’s pray and listen for His instruction.  After all, He loves our children even more than we do.

 

Three Reasons to Get Married at Five

December 19, 2014
By Megan Bundy

Students lined the hallway. Parents waited at the mouth of the aisle. Our Headmaster stood in his best. To the right of his knee stood a little groom wearing a tuxedo with the letter Q pinned to the fold of his coat; he was awaiting his bride. The violin pierced the hum of the crowd and one by one the rest of the kindergarten class walked down the hall. First the flower girl, then the bashful bridesmaids and the giggling groomsmen, and finally came the bride. Her face was sweet and elegant, as if she were imagining what her real wedding would be like one day. Tied to her white bouquet was the letter U. Vows were exchanged, and finally the wedding ended with a resounding “kw”! Yes, it was our annual Q and U wedding.

 

This Cornerstone Academy tradition, started by former kindergarten teacher Hope Walker, is an excellent window into what we try to accomplish through classical education. This is an education where students are not simply told what to learn, but where they celebrate it, experience it, and integrate it with life.

 

1. To celebrate learning

Learning is not meant to be a passive experience where kids are simply told what to do and remember. The Q and U wedding shows kindergarteners that learning is a privilege, not simply a requirement. While every lesson cannot be turned into a party, it sets a tone for the children that learning can and should be celebrated.

 

2. To experience learning

The Q and U wedding allows the students to actively experience an idea using all five senses. The kids are not simply told that U always follows Q; they become Q and U, and take a familiar concept like marriage and use it as a lasting reminder of the forever union of these two letters.

 

3. To integrate learning

Traditionally our kindergarteners bring a “wedding gift” to the Q and U wedding. The gifts that would normally be for the bride and groom are instead given to a charity. Through this, students begin to understand that learning is not simply meant to be self-serving, but it should be shared, used to give back to the community. We especially emphasize that what we learn should always be used to glorify God.

 

In conclusion, marriage at five is not too young, but just the right time to celebrate, experience, and integrate learning!

One Man's Trash is a Kindergartener's Treasure: 5 ways to use trash as a tool for learning

November 13, 2014
By Megan Bundy

One Man’s Trash is a Kindergartner’s Treasure:

5 ways to use trash as a tool for learning

 

As I watched the kids pack up to go home, I could tell by their squirmy bodies and glazed-over eyes that it had been a long day. I inspected the tidy classroom and gave the okay to play until it was time to go home. I was certain they’d jump straight to the toys and bask in their freedom. However, to my surprise they chose to pull out empty food containers and recycled Wal-Mart bags and recreate the math lesson from earlier that day. Who would have thought one man’s trash could be a kindergartener’s treasure! Making learning fun for your kindergartener does not have to bust the bank account; here are five creative ways to use your trash as a tool for learning.  

1. Busting the Bubble Wrap

Hand over the bubble wrap and let your child destroy it! The key is using fingertips to pop the bubbles. This activity will build your child’s fine motor skills, giving them a stronger grip on their pencil and control as they write.  

 

2. No Way! A Use for Junk Mail

Finally there is a use for junk mail! Let your kindergartener tear it up, cut it into pieces, or role play as a mail carrier and then cut it into pieces.  Using scissors on thick packets and envelopes will make your child’s fingers stronger and cutting on the lines in school easier. Don’t forget to remind your kiddo that demolishing things with scissors should only be done with an adult’s permission. It would not be fun to see their next art project cut into pieces.

3. Pretend Grocery Store

Old boxes of cereal, pasta, and Little Debbie snack make a great pretend grocery stores. This activity encourages creative play and will enrich your child on several different levels. Using coins is a great way to review counting, addition, and coin values. Handling coins with finger tips will also develop fine motor skills.  A grocery store is a great platform to teach manners. It is important to teach your child how to play and act out the customer and cashier first and then watch them run with it!

 

4. Old Egg Carton

Use an old egg carton to sort or count small objects. Label the bottom 1-12 and have your kindergartener fill it with dry beans according to the number. When you’re finishe,d cut it up and make a caterpillar train or boat!

5. Creative Play

Create an art space in your home. Kids love making things out of “junk.”  Time and again I’ve watched my kindergarteners create crowns, walkie-talkies, and space ships out of scrap paper and old boxes. On a small table, set up scissors, glue, crayons, and a basket designated for scraps, containers, and junk mail. You will be amazed at what your child can come up with! Using trash for creative play teaches your kindergartener to be resourceful and think outside of the box, or should I say inside of the box!

 

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