And really, I don't think "kindergarten" is essential. A lot of other countries don't start formal schooling at age 5, and personally I think that's a good idea. Kids have so many years of school ahead of them, why not let them just be kids as long as possible?
The one formal thing I will be doing with Benjamin is teaching him to read. I think he's ready to learn, and because reading is such a key foundation, I think it's a good starting place for us. And, since it's the only thing we're doing formally, I think we'll be able to really focus on reading and do it well. I plan to spend 15-20 minutes a day working through Alpha-phonics with Benjamin, probably in the afternoons, which feels weird to me, because I feel like I "should" be doing school stuff in the morning. But I try to get most of my housework done in the morning, and it's hard for me to focus on other things when the house is a mess and I have chores hanging over my head. Afternoons at our house are much more open and laid back, so for me it is the ideal time to sit down and work on reading. I'm open to change if necessary, but for now that's the plan.
I feel so much more comfortable and relaxed now that I have my plans figured out. This feels like a very gentle and doable transition into our schooling years, and I'm confident we'll have a great year! In fact, I'm getting kind of excited about it, as long as I don't think too hard about the 20 or so years of school we have ahead of us! =)