I think it is fairly we known at this point that we, as a family, plan to home school our children in the primary grades. I think it is commonly well known that we do not support the “rush to school” that is so over-whelming these days. I think it is rather clear that even if we were choosing to enroll in public schools we would not be using pre-school. I will further state, and I doubt this is a surprise, that we are very troubled by the push to make compulsory education laws start younger and younger (as states like Iowa push to make preschool mandatory). I will further state I personally feel a mistake was made in making Kindergarten 1. Mandatory and 2. Academic. Note: Kindergarten is NOT legally mandatory in all 50 states, though few want to tell you that and none make such a fact a “well known fact”. Actually it is only mandatory in 14 states. 14 states, bet you didn’t know that, I didn’t.
I have stated before, and I will state again that the rush, the push to cram academics younger and younger is not only sad it is dangerous.
That all being fact, I am a lover of check lists and do function, once in a while, in the reality populated by the majority of the rest of the population. J So when Big Brother turned 3 I sought out a solid check list of “things that should be accomplished in pre-school”. Nothing overly academic, nothing ‘advanced’, just the basics.
I found this site, a world book site: http://www.worldbook.com/typical_course_of_study.htmlorld
Starting when Big Brother was 3 I printed this pre-school list out a couple of times a year and crossed off things he has mastered, noted what he had some skill out and noted to myself to look for opportunities to introduce or work on things he has no mastery of at all. I did this mainly to have some outside resource to be sure I was not missing something obvious. For example: you can not blame a 4.5 year old for not being able to use scissors when momma never gave him a pair to use.
In October, in preparation of Little Brother turning 3 I will print the list out for him too. J Sad huh, my baby, is going to be 3? I am more amazed that my big boy, my first baby, is going to be 5!!!!!!
So my point here, many family members and friends read this blog to “know” the boys; to keep up with the boys. So I decided this time, when I updated the accomplishment check list, this past week, that I should share it here for others to see who do not see the boys very often and may not really know how they are learning and maturing.
I have to say, each and every time I go though this list, checking off what Big Brother has mastered and looking at what it is apparently I am not giving him he opportunity to master, I am again and again amazed how God has created them to learn from life. Big Brother asks to sit down and “do school” some, and we do – a dot-to-dot or a maze or 2. But the vast majority of what my boys learn they learn without formal lessons. And as you will note, while Big Brother is not “kindergarten aged” according to this state till fall of 2011 (so 13 or 14 months from now) you will see that he has mastered almost everything on the list now.
Big Brother: As of July 2010 (4 y 8 months)
|* Understands big and little.
* Understands long and short.
* Matches shapes or objects based on size.
Colors and Shapes
|* Recognizes and names primary colors.
* Recognizes circles.
* Recognizes rectangles.
* Matches shapes or objects based on shape.
* Copies shapes.
|* Counts orally through 10.
* Counts objects in one-to-one correspondence.
* Understands empty and full.
* Understands more and less.
|* Remembers objects from a given picture.
* Knows what a letter is.
* Has been read to frequently.
* Has been read to daily.
* Looks at books and magazines.
* Recognizes some nursery rhymes.
* Identifies parts of the body.
* Identifies objects that have a functional use.
* Knows common farm and zoo animals.
* Pronounces own first name.
* Pronounces own last name.
* Expresses self verbally.
* Identifies other children by name
* Tells the meaning of simple words.
* Repeats a sentence of 6-8 words.
* Completes incomplete sentence with proper word.
* Has own books.
* Understands that print carries a message.
* Pretends to read.
* Uses left-to-right progression.
* Answers questions about a short story.
* Tells the meaning of words heard in story.
* Looks at pictures and tells a story.
* Identifies own first name in manuscript.
* Prints own first name.
Position and Direction
|* Understands up and down.
* Understands in and out.
* Understands front and back.
* Understands over (on) and under.
* Understands top, bottom, middle.
* Understands beside and next to.
* Understands hot and cold.
* Understands fast and slow.
|* Understands day and night.
* Knows age and birthday.
Listening and Sequencing
|* Follows simple directions.
* Listens to a short story.
* Listens carefully.
* Recognizes common sounds.
* Repeats a sequence of sounds.
* Repeats a sequence of orally given numbers.
* Retells simple stories in sequence.
|* Is able to run.
* Is able to walk a straight line.
* Is able to jump.
* Is able to hop.
* Is able to alternate feet walking down stairs.
* Is able to march.
* Is able to stand on one foot for 5-10 seconds.
* Is able to walk backwards for five feet.
* Is able to throw a ball.
* Pastes objects.
* Claps hands.
* Matches simple objects.
* Touches fingers.
* Able to button a garment.
* Builds with blocks.
* Completes simple puzzles (5 pieces or less).
* Draws and colors beyond a simple scribble.
* Able to zip a zipper.
* Controls pencil and crayon well.
* Cuts simple shapes.
* Handles scissors well.
* Able to copy simple shapes.
|* Can be away from parents or primary care givers for 2-3 hours without being upset.
* Takes care of toilet needs independently.
* Feels good about self.
* Is not afraid to go to school.
* Cares for own belongings.
* Knows full name.
* Dresses self.
* Knows how to use handkerchief or tissue.
* Knows own sex.
* Brushes teeth.
* Crosses residential street safely.
* Asks to go to school.
* Knows parents’ names.
* Knows home address.
* Knows home phone number.
* Enters into casual conversation.
* Carries a plate of food.
* Maintains self-control.
* Gets along well with other children.
* Plays with other children.
* Recognizes authority.
* Shares with others.
* Talks easily.
* Likes teachers.
* Meets visitors without shyness.
* Puts away toys.
* Able to stay on task.
* Able to work independently.
* Helps family with chores.