Why homeschool kindergarten?
One of the scariest times in the life of a parent is getting ready to send their child off to school for the first time. This could be the perfect time for you to consider homeschooling your child.
Now for many the thought of homeschooling can also be just as scary as sending them to school, but could be the year that you take ‘a test drive’ on homeschooling.
Education is important and the education of your child a priority. Take a look at kindergarten homeschool curriculum so that you can get a feel of what to expect.
What to Expect
There are a few things that you need to know as a parent when looking at materials. It is also important to understand that what is learned this year lays the foundation for first grade. With that being said you also need to know that the skills that are taught are really skills that are just being enhanced. Many skills that are taught this year are really just the extension of skills they pick up from play and socialization.
Know How Your Child Learns
To developing their skills, you must understand the stage your child is at. Kindergartener’s grow quickly in terms of their thinking, intellectual and social abilities. They like to explore things hands-on and be an active part of what they are learning.
A sense of wonder often blends with being puzzled by the world around them. A kindergartner might know a globe is the planet they are on. It might confuse them why they’re not standing on their side or upside down. This is an age where you can expand knowledge of everything that surrounds them.
Children at this stage start to focus for longer, so incorporate lessons and activities. Short scientific experiments also help them build knowledge. They’re also better able to work in groups, so invite other children over and allow them to work together.
The next step is for you to find out what your state guidelines your state has issued for what needs to be accomplished in this year. Every state is a little different, so it is important for you to know yours because you are building the foundation for what they are going to be expected to know and use to learn in the next grade.
What Kindergartners Need to Learn
The materials this year cover the three Rs. When you are homeschooling, there are a number of ways for you to teach your child Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. You also have the resources from various home school educational activity books, publishers and programs.
These are indeed the basics in kindergarten. By starting with these three learning principles, you can establish a complete homeschooling curriculum that meets standards and your child’s learning needs. Here’s where to start.
- Language: Words are everywhere. Children quickly notice this and begin to express their curiosity in words. They may do so by making up their own. While this may seem strange, it’s an important part of a child conditioning their brains to read.
The letters and sounds forming words are learned and experienced through stories. Books help children learn the letters of the alphabet and their appropriate sounds. In the process, they create nonsense words or even make up rhymes of their own.
- Writing: Kindergarteners are often assigned their first poem, so you may want to try the same at home and see what you end up with. Their minds are constantly changing with the information they receive. Once your child associates words and sounds, they’ll want to communicate. Encourage them to create stories and share their experiences.
In this capacity, each child develops at their own rate. Some learn faster than others or start making word associations, writing letters/numbers or their name a little later. To get here it is essential to expose them to literature and the connections between letters and sounds.
- Math: Does arithmetic give you anxiety? Relax, this is not algebra, or even trigonometry. Kindergarten age children are first learning to count. Use common materials such as cubes, pencils, or designated math materials to teach addition and subtraction. They learn to identify numbers, count, see patterns, and to start understanding time, calendars and money.
What Else Do Kindergarteners Learn?
Children are curious about the world around them. Their minds need to be stimulated. The three Rs need to be covered, but by no means limit their experience to just these. Here are some other subjects to incorporate into your homeschool kindergarten curriculum.
- Science: Many kindergarteners are in a constant state of exploration. The clouds and the sky above them are fascinating, but just what is a cloud and why does it rain? How does it get warm and why is it sometimes cold? Do simple experiments to explain how condensation works. If they play with toy animals, have them separate land animals, fish, or those that fly or hatch from an egg. They’re memory and ability to make connections is expanding quickly, so immerse your child in the world around them.
Social Studies: Learning how to socialize is just the beginning. Children play games together and sometimes one friend or classmate does not have a turn. People need to get along and need to vocalize when something’s not fair to them. Expand these concepts by talking about family structure, cultural traditions, and different peoples and religions in your community.
Top Homeschool Kindergarten Curriculum Options
Some parents like to purchase programs to help cover these basics. Our favorites are:
Homeschool Complete – Created by a homeschooling mom of three with 27 years’ teaching experience in both public and private schools at all levels, you can find quality year-long curriculum, reading curriculum, and unit studies.
Horizons Phonics & Reading Set- This is a top-notch colorful program that both effectively teaches a child pre-reading and reading skills and also has a lot of fun activities. It also give suggestions for handwriting skills and activities.
Hooked on Phonics – This one of the easiest and most effective ways to start good readers. We have tried others and always come back to include this one!
Alpha Phonics – A progressive reading program for young children, it offers a simple approach to learning phonetic sounds, syllables, words and then sentences. You can spend as little as 10 minutes a day on these and there’s little preparation, making it great for homeschooling.
Horizons Math – Like the phonics and reading choices, Horizons Math is a great way to start! Lessons are clearly planned out in a parents guide to help even the first time parent become a successful teacher.
EarlyBird Math is another favorite complete, activity-based program designed to a strong foundation in mathematics.
Phonics programs are great resources for homeschoolers. Like with any homeschooling curriculum, they come in different formats. Which you choose depends on your child’s learning style and individual abilities. Some activities incorporate simple text. Others include flashcards, games and writing and spelling lessons. Many progress from sounding out words to reading and forming complete sentences, giving your child a progressive learning experience.
Other Things to Remember:
- Small children ones can only sit for about 10-15 minutes at a time. It is best to teach in small increments throughout the day.
- If one type of program is not working, try another. This is a great age to experiment!
- Keep it fun!
- Use fun things to enhance learning like playdough, finger paints, bubbles!
- Start simple and progress based on how ready your child is.
Although this year becomes the foundation for the rest of the academic process, it is mostly an extension of things your child has learned through play.
Why Homeschool a Kindergartener?
Homeschooling gives you leeway because young children adjust and learn at different paces. In a public school, you can’t choose the curriculum. This can be a challenge if your child has a shorter attention span than most or does not grasp standardized concepts as quickly.
At home, you can proceed to more advanced levels with subjects your kindergartner is good at. Subjects they are behind in you can teach at a slower pace. You can change the curriculum according to their needs; if it’s not working, you can change this curriculum at any time.
Also, a five-year-old is typically not good at following a predictable schedule. Schools can sometimes be too demanding. Your child may fall behind or be punished just for being a kid. Homeschooling lets you choose the best times, pick a subject or take a break whenever the time is right.
What they learn now will help your child continue to develop and excel academically. For now, it might be best to go at their pace. A homeschool kindergarten curriculum may be just the right answer at this critical stage.
If you are concerned about sending them off to school, perhaps this is the time for you to give homeschooling a test drive.