Assessments 2014--H4

Starting at the easy end--H4, for whom I did not anticipate needing to write an assessment.  But she begged to start learning to read this year, so we dove in to kindergarten early this spring.

Language Arts:
She's whipping through Sonlight's Language Arts K at double speed, finishing the activities for two weeks every week.  She's reading the simplest of phonics readers slowly and carefully, sounding out each word as she encounters it.  She's not developing fluidity yet--even the same word in the same context in the same book has to be resounded out each time she sees it, but I'm not worried as she's still quite young, and that skill will come with time.  She knows the sight words "a" and "the."

She gets all of the math she needs in her daily life--one to one correspondence is learned as she sets the table for family meals or passes out treats to share with her siblings.  She counts when there is something to count.  She adds quite naturally, sometimes surprising me by answering a question for an older sibling before the sibling does.  She loves to give her siblings math quizzes in the car, soaking up their answers even though she has no idea whether they're right or not.

I opened Khan Academy accounts for my older kids.  These math activities so fascinated my littles that I opened accounts for them as well.  H4 loves to log in and "do math."  I set her up to work in the "Early Math" section, and she happily works her way through counting, geometry concepts, simple addition, measurement, and patterns.

H4 is simply surrounded by good literature.  We read picture books here and there.  She stays up and listens with the big kids to all of our evening read alouds--all of those good books listed in the side bar of this blog.

She participated in our science club--about which I will post after our end of year celebration.  She's also gone on nature walks with us and read about animals, plants, and the human body.  I guess this has been a biology year.

She's listened to stories about family history and scriptural history.  She's participated in whatever historical/geographical conversations have come up in family conversations.  She's looked at maps and asked questions here and there.  We've done no formal studies.  She knows about left and right and the directions of the compass.  In fact we'll be using our compasses this summer as we take hikes and nature walks.

H4 attends church with the family weekly.  In addition she participates in family devotionals and is memorizing The Articles of Faith.  She has #1 and #5 down perfectly, and has parts of all of the rest memorized.  We'll continue to work on these through the summer and into next year until she knows them all.  Her sweet personal prayers show the simple but profound faith that is special to the very young.  She listens as Daddy reads aloud from the Book of Mormon, often asking comprehension questions that show she's trying to understand.  I'd like to pull a Bible storybook off the shelf to be part of her curriculum this coming school year as she was practically still a baby the last time we had family Bible stories as part of our curriculum (the older kids have been reading from the KJV Bible, but the little ones have been left out of that.)

H4 has learned how to make her own bed, empty the dishwasher, dust, and scrub the bathroom sink.  She sewed a dolly from a kit this spring.  She draws and crafts whatever she sees her older sisters draw and craft. 

H4 has had no musical instrument lessons.  She plays at the piano, recorder, and (when her big sister is willing) the violin.  She enjoys singing songs and dancing freely.  She participated in American Rhythm this year, learning songs and dances and performing 4 times to different audiences in our community.  She also learns songs in church and sings them with the other children in congregational meetings.

Physical Education:
She plays outside and participates in family discussions about good nutrition and caring for our bodies.

Foreign Language:
She asks how to count and say words in other languages, so sometimes we watch free instructional videos online.  Writing this is making me realize that this is something she's quite curious about.  I will have to consider figuring out how to nurture this potential talent.

In General:
She's thriving as a young kindergartener.  We'll probably drop formal school for her to 2-3 days each week over the summer, letting her set the pace at which she learns.  She'll be participating in our family botany study, so her world will be full of plant collections, nature walks, crafts, and drawing.  If she happens to want a "real" reading or math lesson I'll indulge her.


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