This week my kids started their kindergarten year, so it's time for me to get my plan in place for their afterschooling as well. I've done a 180 on this issue. I originally thought I'd just fly by the seat of my pants, but last year I read Learning to Read and Write In The Multilingual Family (US) and that convinced of how important it is to have a plan for afterschooling my kids.
My first plan was September to June, going along the Canadian school year. I don't think that was working for us. First, I discounted summer, which I think will be prime learning time for us, as it was last year. Second I want to closely mirror what they learn in school so I can give them vocabulary and cultural cues about what they are learning in Japanese school. So I recently decided to change my year-long plan to April-March to match their own school year.
My main goal is to have my kids at grade level in Language Arts (ie, English) and social studies. I don't expect us to be moving back to Canada suddenly while they are in school, but I do think there is a good chance they might be in school in Canada eventually, even if it's for post-secondary, and I do not want them to be behind. But I also don't want this to take over our lives. Hopefully I will be able to achieve my goals with a maximum of 20 minutes of afterschool "classes" a day, plus book reading.
The main thing for me is that I found a fantastic guide in the British Columbia kindergarten curriculum which is posted online. In fact, they have curricula for kindergarten to grade 9 on their website, which is a fantastic resource, certainly the best in Canada. I wonder of there are other countries that post their curricula online? Please let me know if you know of any!
I have divided my plan into three sections; one for Domba (first year of preschool), one for Spinky (kindergarten), and one section for things they can do together.
Preschool I Afterschooling Plan
Literacy: Letter recognition including symbols and numbers, rhyming, song & dance, pre-writing skills, holding a writing utensil properly, finish the Big Preschool Workbook, and more
Social studies: Associate marks with countries/places (including but not limited to flags), understand that there are more languages than just Japanese/English, understand that there are countries called Japan and Canada, understand difference between rural/urban, identify areas in neighbourhood, and more
Kindergarten Afterschooling Plan
Literacy: Finish Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, story prediction & analysis, work on proper use of verb tenses, letter/postcard/email writing, understand difference between nonfiction and fiction, syllable counting, use oral language for different purposes (self-maintain, report, reason, predict, project, and imagine) and more
Social studies: Map skills, look for differences and similarities between cultures, memorize address and phone numbers, giving directions, and more
Both Preschool and Kindergarten Afterschooling Plan
Understand life cycle of plants, increase English vocabulary for those words covered in school, work on empathy, origami in English, play through "what if" scenarios, emergency preparedness (location of fire extinguishers and meeting spot, and stop, drop, and roll), seasonal holidays, make a story together (kamishibai), role play, and more!
I think that most of these could be adapted to whatever one's minority language is, just with different materials. This is my first full-year plan so it will need adjusting along the way as I figure out what the heck I am doing. But hopefully I will be back here next March with a report, using the prescribed learning outcomes and suggested achievement indicators of the BC kindergarten curriculum to evaluate how my kids are doing.
Are you afterschooling? Do you have a plan? Please share if you do (or don't)! I would welcome any comments on my plan, I am feeling a little overwhelmed and underqualified at the moment.