Welp, my Frannie has been in Kindergarten now for about a month and a half and so far so good. I like her teacher and especially like the way the staff works together as a whole. Everyone is really friendly and I feel like they care about the kids. Frannie is enjoying school and everyday I get to hear about some silly thing that happened on the playground.
Deciding on where to send her to school or to homeschool was a very difficult decision for me. For now I'm happy with my decision because I can see that she is learning and that she is getting enough activity every day.
Although I'm not homeschooling I guess I still think of myself as a homeschooling parent. I like that the school is providing the curriculum and the pacing for what she learns. (I had a tendency to push her too hard with things and then back off completely. I was never very good at doing just a little every day.) But I still feel like her education is my responsibility and it is my responsibility to supplement what the school is doing with lessons geared toward her specific needs.
For example part of her homework is to trace her name 3 times a day on a laminated paper. Through watching her do this activity I can see that she often forms her letters in wonky ways, even though the end result looks pretty normal. So in addition to her writing her name, I have her practicing writing the letter of the week that the class happens to be working on. I can see that this is helping her to learn to trace the letters in the right direction and order so that she doesn't have a problem later on when trying to learn cursive.
The other thing we've been doing is making little books using her sight words. Since Frannie likes to take pictures I developed a bunch of pictures that she's taken. Then we take two of her sight words to make sentences. Her first book was I See (I see my baby sister, I see my mom.) and the second was This Is (This is my hula hoop. This is a flower. etc..). When I did the first book I just had her tell me what to write, but in the second one I had her write the sentences herself and just do her best with the words. There are lots of misspellings but I'm really proud of her because I can see that she's spelling phonetically and that's an important part of learning to write.
Here is a link to the tutorial where I learned how to make the paper books.
Anyway, I'm actually having a lot of fun helping out with her school activities and doing other projects. The school schedule has definitely provided a structure to our day that was pretty badly needed and it provides her with a lot of activities that I don't have to think up myself.