Homeschool Kindergarten Curriculum
One question many new homeschoolers have is whether or not they should use a homeschool kindergarten curriculum. While lesson plans and curricula are necessary in the conventional school setting they serve little purpose in a homeschool kindergarten. In fact, many experienced homeschoolers choose to wait to do any serious academics until after first or second grade.
Teaching Kindergarteners at Home
Your baby learned to walk, talk, and interact with you without any formal lessons at all. In the same way your five year old can learn what he needs to know just by daily activities. Since children of this age instinctively like to help their parents, and they have short attention spans, learning side by side with you is the best lesson plan possible.
Common Scope and Sequence for Kindergarten
While every kindergarten is a little different here are common things that kindergarten students learn:
- Know colors
- Numbers to 20
- Letters and beginning sounds
- Retelling (narration) of short stories; being able to tell you what the story was about
- Interaction with other people
- Sort items by shape, color, etc.
- Skip counting by 2, 5 , 10
- Sit in a chair throughout meal time (yes this is really in a REAL scope and sequence)
- Keep hands and feet to self
- Use the bathroom independently including use of toilet paper (I swear, this is from another scope and sequence)
- Know first and last name
- Know address and phone
There are some other things listed in a similar vein. You can probably see that most of what a five year old is expected to learn are things that he learns easily at home. Many of these things your child probably all ready knows.
If you would like to follow a good scope and sequence PBS has an excellent one.
Activities for Kindergarten
Kindergarten is a great time to read stories aloud to your child, bake cookies together, and go to the zoo, science museum, and other outings. The more that you introduce your child to at this age the bigger his world will be and the more open his mind will be to learning. Remember, at this point you are setting a foundation for the rest of his education.
Pushing a child to far too fast can cause him to hate school, resent learning, and become an underachiever for years to come. By encouraging your child to follow his interests, spending time with him, and encouraging a variety of experiences and activities your child will have more interest in educating himself later on; he will be on his way to being a lifelong learner.
This morning at breakfast my seven year old wondered what 'octopuses" eat. I explained that the proper term for more than one octopus was octopi and then encouraged her and her brother to go search on the computer to see what they found out about the eating habits of octopi. It wasn't too long before they came back and told me several interesting facts about octopi, squid, cuttlefish, and starfish. Science completed for the day!
At this point, allowing a child to observe nature closely, find answers to his own questions, and explore his world is the best education you can give him.
Resources on Amazon
Choosing a Homeschool Kindergarten Curriculum
If you really feel the need to have a set curriculum in your home you can find lesson plans for kindergarteners in many different curricula. The subjects that are taught in each one can vary a lot so research to find one that fits you and your child the best.
You should consider the readiness of your child. Some curricula like Abeka are quite advanced in the amount of work that they require and not all kindergarten students are ready for that intense amount of work.
If your child has trouble focusing for more than fifteen minutes, is not ready to read, or doesn't have fine motor skill development yet then choose a lower key approach to kindergarten. Some possibilities are:
- Ambleside Online, a free Charlotte Mason curriculum through 12th grade.
- Sonlight has a gentle approach to kindergarten.
Your time commitment is another thing to consider. How much time do you have to work with your child on school? Be realistic. Most curricula require at least two hours a day of committed school time, and that doesn't include any research or preparation that you may need to do.
Other Curricula that you may want to consider if you plan on using a prepared curriculum are:
Each of these requires a different amount of preparation on the part of the parent.
Kindergarten Lesson Plans on the Internet
You can find anything on the Internet, including kindergarten lesson plans. Choosing a lesson to do once in awhile is a great way to supplement what you are all ready doing and add a little punch to your homeschooling.
The following websites have some great lessons for kindergarten complete with crafts and themes.
- Kindergarten Lessons
- A to Z Teacher's Stuff
- Local School Directory
- Enchanted Learning
- Monthly Themes
Define Your Reasons
Before you go and buy a homeschool kindergarten curriculum, define your reasons why you feel that you need one. A curriculum can be a security blanket in one sense but it can also hold you back from getting the most out of your time with your child.
Make sure you really need a curriculum before you spend the money on one at this point in time. There is plenty of time for scheduled academics when you child is older.