Trying to homeschool but don’t know where to start? try this free kindergarten curriculum guide. If you have not considered homeschooling your kindergarten-aged children before the global pandemic may force you to reconsider this option.
I understand homeschooling is not for everyone. You might feel overwhelmed by the idea and that is understandable, but unnecessary. If you are feeling anxious about homeschooling checkout the 8 ways to deal with anxiety as a first time homeschool mom.
Am I homeschooling or just bonding with my child?
The question is, do you even need to call the time you spend with your toddler homeschooling? Just think of it as spending time with your child exploring things like reading, counting and coloring in a fun way.
I think of this time as play a bonding time because we are playing and having fun. And for those of you who you do not have what it takes to do this let tell you you do. it’s a lot easier than you think.
Do you actually need a curriculum when homeschooling your toddler?
Well, not really. What you do naturally with your small child is most probably a learning experience. Think about it.
Every time you point to something and say what it is, you are teaching; every time you answer a question, you are teaching. You are already doing it.
To homeschool kindergarten you just need to formalize the process somewhat. It’s nice to have the backup of formal lessons so you know what to cover and see your progress as you go.
However, this process is not the same for every family. Some families simply learn by regarding their environment as a learning opportunity, exploring the world around them. Actually, any simple activity can be a learning experience.
Just keep in mind there are certain skills that your child must master before entering school, like reading and writing and basic math.
Also, keep in mind that homeschooling has evolved quite a lot over the past 20 years. There is a lot of resources and support available online, including a wide range of curricula to choose from.
It’s likely that other parents in your area are also homeschooling. You can meet up and support each other.
Find out about the legal requirements in your state
One aspect that other homeschooling parents will be able to help you with is what the legal requirements are for homeschooling in your area.
Different states have different requirements. Some prescribe proof of a certain number of hours of homeschooling and others don’t.
Some states require parents to have a certificate to teach kindergarten. Do some research to make sure you comply with local legal requirements.
You can find find out the law for your state here HSLDA website
Tips for successful homeschooling kindergartens
Allow enough time for play
Play is an important way for children to learn and develop. It is their primary means to learn about their world, themselves, and those around them. Play teaches important things that a child can’t learn in any other way.
Play encourages a sense of wonder and supports exploring. When they enjoy an activity children can become very absorbed in what they are doing, which helps to develop their powers of concentration.
What children learn through unstructured play
- Communication skills
- A sense of their own abilities
- Social skills
- How to deal with conflict
- To be creative
- How to share
- How to regulate their emotions
Unstructured play means the children are allowed to play on their own with no adult interference whatsoever. This can happen inside or outside the home.
Work out a plan for every day and communicate it with your child
Most children respond positively to a routine; it gives them a sense of security because they know what is coming. Educators say consistency is important for young children.
This doesn’t mean that you have to have a set routine according to a set schedule for every day. Nothing so formal, but toddlers should understand that they are “in school and learning”.
The best thing is that you are forming habits, expectations that later on in life are priceless.
It’s easy for children to settle into a routine if they know what is happening when. They must know when school will start (after breakfast or another time), how many lessons they will have and when school ends. Try to keep it as consistent as possible.
Designate a workspace exclusively for school and school activities
If you have a big house or apartment, this can be a room that’s dedicated to the kindergarten. Don’t worry if you don’t have the luxury of a separate room, a corner in any room will do.
I use a corner in my husband’s office and work there for an hour or so and then move to the kitchen table. You do what evers works for you.
All you really need is a table to work at and a bookshelf for books and school materials like stationery, paper, scissors, clay, etc.
If you don’t have a dedicated space, at least find a space where the school books and supplies can be stored out of the way.
Schedule 15-minute bursts of learning time
At this age, children have a very short concentration span. Don’t expect them to sit still and do one thing for more than 15 minutes at a time.
You should scatter 15-minute class time throughout the day. Use the time to cover the work you need to cover and to give your child time to do the necessary classwork.
At this stage, you are doing well if your child works 15 to 20 minutes a day on each subject.
Every Kindergarten curriculum should include outings
Do you have fun memories of trips you went on when you were at school? Your kids will enjoy it too.
Museums, the library, the fire station, and the zoo or even an art gallery can offer great learning experiences for small children. Many of these places offer specials for school children, including homeschoolers.
Find out what trips the local kindergartens take their students on and find out if you and your children can go too. It’s a different learning experience that your children will benefit from.
What is the best kindergarten curriculum for me?
This depends on your learning teaching style and your child learning style. But to be honest in kindergarten is where you learn how your child learns.
Many parents opt for buy a full blown expensive curriculum that does not even get use because it does not meet their expectations.
Since you are starting just use a free curriculum and see how you do with it.
What subjects should you teach?
Math and language arts are the major focus of kindergarten. Other subjects include science, social science, music, health and safety, art and physical education.
Teach Your Monster to Read is a great resource online. It was designed by academics and covers learning letters and sounds and move on to reading full sentences. And the computer version is free!
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Has also been used by parents with great success to teach their children to read. You just need about 15 minutes a day and by the end of the book, your child should be able to read at second-grade level.
Starfall is a well-known resource for homeschooling parents to teach their children to read. If you have a child with special needs and learning difficulties, this is the program for you. Starfall offers a free online phonics/reading program and offers a low-cost reading/language arts curriculum that covers Social Studies and Science content.
Reading Bear has received rave reviews form education experts praising the curriculum for, amongst other things, sounding out words for the children, which helps them to understand how the sounds match the letters.
To be ready for school, kindergarten children should be able to recognize numbers and write them. They should be able to count by rote to 20 and count backwards from 10 to 0. In preparation for geometry, they should recognize basic shapes.
All the hard work is made easy for you by Math Salamanders, a website that offers a huge resource of printable math worksheets for kindergarten. Children will learn numbers and sizes up to 10.
While worksheets have their use, they need not be your only resource to teach numbers and geometry. Look around you and teach your child the shape of things in your home: a ball is a circle and a window is a square, etc.
There are loads of opportunities to count things and practice subtraction and addition. You can say: “If I take one of your two apples, how many do you have left?”. This way of learning makes math practical and fun. Don’t let your child associate math with boring worksheets.
Science teaches us how the world works. You have a great opportunity as a homeschooling parent to introduce your child to the wonderful world of science.
For this exciting journey, you and your child can make use of Teach Preschool Science. This free Science Discovery Curriculum for Early Childhood comprises 75 science-related learning experiences with coordinating lesson plans. The curriculum is age-appropriate for children 3 years old to kindergarten.
Best free kindergarten homeschool curriculum
Of course you could decide to simply go for a kindergarten home-school curriculum that covers all subjects. Here are a few for you to consider.
Little House Kindergarten
Little House Kindergarten is a free printable PDF full year kindergarten curriculum for home schools, childcare centers. It is used by small schools around the world. The Little House curriculum is used by 3,000 education centers and homes in 130 countries. It covers all the necessary subjects.
A good choice would be Easy Peasy all-in-one homeschool curriculum, which is a free online Christian homeschool curriculum. Easy Pease is a comprehensive online homeschool resource that runs from preschool through to high school.
If you want to, you could homeschool your child from preschool right till the end of school. You could use Discovery K12, a free online homeschool platform and curriculum for students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The curriculum covers Language Arts, Reading/Literature, Math, Science, History/Social Studies, Visual/Performing Arts, and Physical Education.
There are many reasons why parents decide to homeschool their children. Whatever your reason, homeschooling has developed so much over the last 20 years, that there are loads of high-quality support materials available. You don’t need to develop your own curriculum and many of the resources are free.