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Ohmiword....Kindergarten

Every year it happens in mid March at my little school....Kindergarten Orientation. It's an evening that the upcoming Kindergarten parents are invited to. Parents receive a packet of endless forms and information, listen to details about registration, the district, and Kindergarten. Every year is pretty much the same. It's always exciting to see new faces and makes my heart happy to see families that are returning. I adore my school and our program. I absolutely love teaching Kindergarten. Every year is pretty much the same, except this year wasn't. When our principal asked the parents to raise their hand if this was their first Kindergartner, my hand slowly raised and the reality hit me like a truck.

Next year, my little guy will be a Kindergartner. ser.i.ous.ly, where has the time gone?











I look at Cooper and think "Wow, he's a pretty cool kid." I also find myself thinking, "Wow, he is more work than I ever could have imagined." He can be the sweetest little boy. He is very funny and sarcastic {I have no clue where he gets that from}. He's outgoing, can be charming, is smart, and sensitive. He also has a temper. He may be destined to be a lawyer, as he argues about most things. I'm often in wonder of his awesomeness.

I find myself being extremely hard on myself. I can't spend money on him, I work, a.lot.a.lot.a.lot. I've made mistakes, a lot of them.

I have been doing this...single parenting, since before he was one. I've worked full time, I've worked part time after teaching all day and on the weekends, as well as, during the summer. I've created things to sell online. I've provided for him financially with very little to no support. I care for him 90% of the time. I take care of his medical needs, his schooling, and his daily needs by myself. I barely scrape by most of the time, not just financially but in terms of myself. CFS kicks my ass virtually every day. More times than not, I go without for him. He is my everything. I'm not looking for applause because I know there are hundreds/thousands of people who are doing the same and probably better. But, I thought that maybe if I wrote it, I would believe it to be true. I am rocking this. Look at the awesomeness that I am raising alone.


I'm pretty lucky....but, I guess....so is he.

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Sorry about being MIA for a bit. To say that I have been stressed is probably the understatement of the year. Someone stole my husband's identity. If you have been through this, you know how horrible it is and I truly feel for you. If you have not, holy cannoli, all I can say is SAFEGUARD all of your important numbers like they are a child's life! Someone took his important info and has had a field day with it. Money Our entire savings is gone. Bank statements have been hacked into. The amount of time that has gone into the whole ordeal has been crazy. His bank has been, to say the least, less than helpful. We had to file police reports, close accounts, will have to hire an attorney to sort it all out, had to contact the States Attorney, put hold's on credit reports, and will most likely need a new social security number. To top it all off, his job is still rocky. (I crossed all this out on July 12th... I am not sure if I will ever know the truth about how my life fell apart.)

The only things that are keeping me from completely drowning right now are my cute lil' pumpkin's face

and all things school related! School is one of the best distractions for me. It gives me focus. I am ever so grateful to have a job that I love. I'm creating new things for the end of the year, working on wrapping up the end of year with a bang with my Kinder-Hoppers, and also, thinking about all the new and fun things that I will implement next year!

I believe that once upon a time I had said I would post what I do for homework in my classroom, so today is the day! I begin sending homework home in September. It's a HUGE packet for the entire month.

Here is the explanation of homework that I send at the beginning of the year.

Homework



The Homelinks are part of Everyday Mathematics. I cannot post the Homelinks, please do not ask me to post them or send them to you. They are copyright protected. Beginning in October, I have students practice writing a letter each week. I send the practice sheets home attached to the homework calendar. We use Zaner-Bloser Handwriting. These are also copyright protected, but I am sure you could find practice pages to use.

I've gotten LOADS of questions about how to get parents/students on board with completing their homework packets, and unfortunately, I have no miracle for you. I will tell you that each year is different. Some years I have wonderful participation and others are not so great. I give a very lengthy talk at Kindergarten Orientation about why homework benefits our kiddos and my expectations. I also give students incentives to complete their packets. If they return the calendar with 5 initialed assignments a week, they get stickers stapled to their calendar. When they turn in their family project, I usually will give them one Smartie (that's right...a single Smartie, lol, it does the trick). Their Book It count is also on the bottom of the calendar, which is a motivator, as well. I really try to make a big deal out of homework that is returned, but to be honest, I do not make a big deal out of homework that is not returned. I just don't believe that holding a five or six year old completely accountable is appropriate for my classroom dynamic.

Here are the calendars for next year, yipee! One thing I can cross off for next year, exciting!! I have attached the games and such that I have, some I haven't had the chance to adjust yet or create yet. I hope you find something that you can use for your classroom. I don't mind if you change them or just use pieces to suit your needs, but please, please, please, give credit when it is due and do not sell or post them as your own.

I love all the comments and emails, you all make me feel so loved. I truly appreciate it! If you download or use anything, please leave a comment. Thanks so much!

Shannon

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