Homeschooling Kindergarten the Simple WayLaToya Edwards
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Homeschooling Kindergarten is exciting, but it can also be very stressful. I remember trying to wade through the massive homeschool catalogs, deciding what I needed to teach my five-year-old boy. I ended up with a comprehensive curriculum that overwhelmed both me and my son.
Kindergarten should be a time of fun exploration when you and your child ease into a slightly more formal education. It took me a while to figure this out and accept it, but, boy, am I glad I did. My third child will not have to suffer like his/her big brothers did! I finally figured out that I just need to keep things simple, short and fun for Kindergarten.
There are only three subjects that I think are important for Kindergarten. (Actually these are the subjects that I primarily focus on for Kindergarten through second grade).
Teaching your Child to Read
Learning to read is one of the most important skills during an education at home or anywhere else. I always tell my boys that if they can learn to read and comprehend well, they can learn almost anything they want.
Learning to read takes a lot of effort on your child’s part and great patience on your part.
For Kindergarten continue to read with my children, but I also add in about 5-10 minutes of daily phonics instruction. I keep the lessons simple, short, and fun. For example, we use games and magnetic letters as my child learns to blend and read short words. Later, we use Bob Books so he can read on his own.
Learning to write can be a lot of fun as long as your child doesn’t have to slave over rows and rows of letters. I have my boys take their time to copy merely five of their best letters in a row and end the lesson before they get overwhelmed or stressed.
Using lots of hands-on activities like salt tracing, sandpaper letters, and playdough help your child practice forming letters without having to put pencil to paper all the time. Plus those activities are great for strengthening their fine motor muscles!
After suffering through a few math curriculums, I realized that I just need to relax when it came to beginning math. Everyday life presents lots of moments to work on math skills without pulling out flash cards and worksheets (unless your child loves those then godspeed).
- complete patterns with wooden blocks
- practice sorting by putting the silverware away
- count the number of apples we bought at the store or the number of socks we pulled from the dryer
- go on shape hunts during drives in the car
Find what works for your family and make it fun! By the end of the year, they will have all the tools and basic skills they need to jump right into a more formal math program or you can continue with living math for as long as it works for you.
The only other subject that I might add to this list for a Kindergartner is nature studies. Children need to spend lots of time outside, exploring, running, playing, and getting dirty. My guys loved digging for worms or hunting for bugs on our nature walks or while playing at the park. It spark lots of conversations about the world around us.