Homeschooling Kindergarten can be a time of fun and learning. I have 9 kids that I have homeschooled for over 20 years and I have successfully homeschooled my eldest son into the U.S. Air Force Academy. I love each and every grade, but Kindergarten is a time full of wonder and learning like no other grade. A lot of people ask me how I homeschool, so I am sharing how I homeschool Kindergarten in our large family with you today.
I have an eclectic style of homeschooling. I pick and choose which curricula I would like, instead of purchasing an all-inclusive package that has all the subjects and everything you need. One isn’t better than the other, I just prefer to pick and choose. I also have a pretty laid back style of homeschooling Kindergarten. I feel that it should be a time of discovery and a time to develop a love for learning. We have a set schedule everyday, but that’s because I am a schedule kind of person. Homeschooling doesn’t need to happen on a schedule. I just find it easier to get the kids’ school done everyday if I am on a schedule.
I don’t do sit down, scheduled pre-school. I have found that pre-schoolers tend to learn through play. So, Kindergarten is the first time we actually sit down at a table to learn. Kindergarten is all about learning the basics. If a child hasn’t learned their alphabet, then that is what comes first. I teach them the alphabet song and then work on letter recognition. We then match lower case letters to upper case letter. In the photo above, my boys are play the Muffin Top Game from Happy Phonics that I purchased at www.LovetoLearn.net. I have one daughter who pretty much taught herself to read after a few lessons in the book, Alpha Phonics, however, the rest of my children did not learn to read so easily. Numbers are equally as important as letters, so number recognition is learned at the same time as the letters. Colors, shape, and other basic skills are usually already learned by the Kindergarten year. If not, these are best learned through play and daily conversation. A lot of kids learn to read and write before they even enter Kindergarten, and that is fine of course. I prefer to focus on their gross motor skills first, and then their fine motor skills. Life skills are taught on a daily basis when a child is homeschooled, so they need not be taught in the scheduled class time.
Basic things that children should learn in Kindergarten besides learning to read, write, and do math facts are:
Tying their shoes
How to write their full name
How to write their address
Telephone number and how to use a phone
How, why, and when to dial 9-1-1
Basic safety (fire safety, earthquake, etc.)
Basic physical education (kick ball, jumprope, walk on a beam, etc.)
How to count from 1-20 and backwards (at least)
Basic reading and writing
How to share
How to take turns
Holding a pencil correctly
Using scissors correctly
Below is a list of curricula that I like to use in Kindergarten homeschool:
Explode the Code for learning letters, sounds, and reading
Alpha Phonics – reading
Singapore Math (I use this in Kindergarten only)
Saxon Math, which I use through Middle School
Apologia Science (this is actually for the older kids, but the Kindergarteners listen and do some of the activities)
Christian Liberty Press books for history, beginning science
Italic Handwriting Series by Getty & Dubay
Apps on my iPad for learning math facts
Apps on my iPad for spelling
Apps on my iPad for learning Geography
Large maps in the hallway (1 of the U.S.A. and 1 World)
Happy Phonics from Love To Learn
Below is our current homeschool schedule:
7:00 a.m. – Wake up and do chores while mom cooks breakfast
8:00 a.m. – Eat breakfast. Teens start lessons. Little kids run around outside if weather is good, mom exercises.
9:00 a.m. – Prayers, reciting & learning 10 Commandments, Bible Story, and 4 Chapters of Bible Reading (1 Chapter Old Testament, 1 Proverb, 1 Psalm, & 1 Chapter New Testament)
9:30 a.m. – Teens go to rooms to do school. K – 5 graders do Science & History together.
10:30 a.m. – K – 2 take turns doing math facts on iPad. Kindergarteners do their handwriting, play phonics games or go outside again. Mom sits down and does math with 4th & 5th grader. 2nd grader does Explode the Code, educational apps on iPad.
10:45 a.m. – 4th & 5th grader do their math problems, mom does math with 2nd grader, and periodically helps with phonics games for little ones.
11:00 a.m. – Kindergarteners do math & Explode the code while 2nd grader does her math problems.
11:30 a.m. – Mom starts 4th & 5th graders on their Language Arts lessons. Mom does Language Arts with 2nd grader.
Lunch at 12:30 p.m. with Daddy who is home for lunch.
Kids do keyboarding, art, other subjects after lunch on their own time while teens are finishing up their lessons. Mom works at home on her business.
Our schedule is not as hectic as it sounds. It actually flows quite well. As you can see, the kindergarteners sit for Bible reading, etc. for approximately 30 minutes. Then they sit through our science and history lessons with the older kids for an hour. They can get up and move around if they like while we are going over our science and history. Then they just take turns playing phonics games or doing educational games on the iPad until I have time to do the rest of their school. If it is really nice outside they just go play outside and do the phonics games & iPad games later in the day. At about 11:00, the kindergarteners sit down for book work in their Explode the Code and their Singapore Math. This takes about 15 minutes.
I have successfully homeschooled my eldest son through High School and then he was accepted into the Air Force Academy. So, don’t think I am too laid back in my homeschooling. The Academy has very rigorous standards and is difficult to get into. I miss my eldest son now that he is grown and gone. One of the best things about homeschooling is that I am able to spend my days with my kids. I never thought I would have the patience to homeschool, but God has given me the patience and has rewarded me with more time with my children. If you have any questions about homeschooling kindergarten, please ask them in the comments below. Also, I would love to hear your homeschooling experiences, so please share your kindergarten homeschool ideas in the comments below.