Welcome! If you’re new to This Little Home of Mine, I’m Elizabeth. I am a former elementary school teacher who is now homeschooling my kids. In this post, I’m sharing all about homeschooling kindergarten!
Around here, we embrace a year-round family-style approach to homeschooling – a 365-day-a-year round-the-clock approach to living and learning together. I love how educational opportunities can so naturally be woven into our day-to-day life, and I’m excited to give you a glimpse into what that looks like in our house during the kindergarten year.
If you’ve visited me in this space before, you may have seen me share about homeschooling for preschool and elementary, too! I have put together age-specific posts to assist homeschooling families in their journey, and my hope is that as I share what is working well for us that you will be inspired to find what works best for your family.
- Two-Year Old Homeschool Preschool
- Three-Year Old Homeschool Preschool
- Four-Year Old Homeschool Preschool
- Homeschooling Kindergarten
- Homeschooling First-Grade
- Homeschooling Second-Grade
- Homeschooling Third-Grade
- Homeschooling Fourth-Grade
In this post, I am sharing all about Homeschooling Kindergarten! If you are considering homeschooling your kindergartner, I’m so glad you’re here. I’m going to share my favorite resources, teaching strategies, and planning tips – things that have worked well in our learning environment – let’s get started!
My goal for this post is to keep things as simple as possible – providing you with a glimpse in to what we’re doing, hoping you will feel inspired in our own way.
What Resources Do I Use?
(Let’s go subject-by-subject!)
There are lots of companies that offer great Bible Curriculum resources, but for Bible, we use simple resources I have collected over the years: The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name, Big Thoughts for Little People, and a variety of others that I’ve shared here.
We have made Scripture Memorization a part of our daily homeschool routine. For our three-year old homeschool year, we memorize Psalm 23 and portions of Luke 2 (around the Christmas holidays). For our four-year old homeschool year, we memorize Psalm 100 and revisit those same portions of Luke 2 around the holidays – continuing to review Psalm 23 as well. For our kindergarten year, we memorize The Lord’s Prayer, revisit Luke 2 again during the Christmas season, and periodically review Psalm 23 and Psalm 100.
We focus on one specific chapter each year. Not only does this give us the opportunity to truly meditate on the verses in the passage, but it also keeps us from getting overwhelmed. Scripture memory is also a focus in some of the outside programs in which my kids are involved, and I definitely want to ensure that Bible memory remains meaningful (and fun!) for them.
We are part of a local AWANA program – If you have an AWANA program near you, I would highly recommend it. It is a fantastic way to encourage your children to learn Scripture. My kids are wild about it!
Our Favorite Scripture Memory Practice Ideas:
Read Aloud – Read your verse(s) aloud before meals…before bedtime…while you’re sitting in the car…while you’re waiting at the doctor. For most kids, this alone will be enough for them to quickly memorize the passage you have chosen for them. This is all it took for our oldest to memorize Psalm 23…in less than two weeks…just after he turned three. It is amazing what kids are capable of doing – Don’t be afraid to set the bar high!
Perform – Our kids enjoy acting things out, putting on puppet shows, making videos of themselves on their tablet. We have started to incorporate Bible memory practice in to these activities, and they love it.
Share – Our kids are always excited to call or video chat with their grandparents! As they learn new verses, they love sharing them with their family in this way, and we enjoy watching them get to celebrate their accomplishments.
Our Favorite Scripture Memory Resources:
Scripture Music – While there are so many incredible resources out there, my absolute favorite is Steve Green’s Hide ’em In Your Heart Collection. Even as an adult, I will oftentimes find myself singing these that I learned when I was a kid.
YouTube/iTunes – There are so many great little songs/videos available on-line that are fun to use for Bible Memory practice. My kids especially like watching other kids recite a specific passage they are learning. Find something on-line that is a good fit for your kids, and put it to use!
Pinterest – Pinterest is full of creative ideas and helpful resources! While Pinterest can be helpful, it can also be overwhelming. So find a few things that you think will work for you – Be realistic, and remember to keep this fun for you as well!
For Phonics, we use Abeka, and for the Kindergarten year, we use their Letters & Sounds K5 workbook as well as all of their Phonics Charts, Blend Practice Cards, and Word Cards.
Throughout the four-year old pre-school year we interact with Phonics Charts 1 & 2, but as our preschooler grows in their understanding of phonics, we add additional phonics charts to our daily practice and we begin using the following Abeka products:
If you don’t get started with these until the Kindergarten year, no worries!
Want a little more detail about how we use these resources? Check out: How We Use Abeka Phonics
Abeka’s curriculum allows you to start with the most basic concepts and grow from there as your child moves along in their learning and you become more comfortable with their program.
If you are new to Abeka Phonics, know that their parent resources will be a great resource for you.
In addition to the Letters & Sounds K5 workbook, we use the Writing with Phonics K5 – Manuscript workbook for handwriting (and additional phonics practice). Some families choose to begin with the Abeka’s Cursive workbook option, but my personal preference is to introduce cursive during the second-grade year.
Shapes Chalkboard Available Here
If you are interested in a different handwriting program altogether, Handwriting Without Tears offers several great options for beginning writers as well as a variety of sensory activities that complement their program. I have seen fantastic results with both their manuscript and older-student cursive programs. Their company also offers Keyboarding without Tears which has been an excellent addition to our Kindergarten year.
Other great Language Arts Technology Options:
Supplemental Readers You Might Want to Check Out:
As your kindergartner is ready, supplemental readers can be great for reinforcement.
Here are some we’ve used:
- A Beka’s Basic Phonics Readers
- One Sentence Bible Storybooks by Focus on the Family
- I Can Read Books
- Bob Books
- Dr. Seuss Books like this one (Lots more fun for us than Bob Books!)
For Math, we also use Abeka, and their Numbers & Skills K5 workbook is excellent – bright, colorful, and includes a great variety of activities! My goal with each math lesson is to – when it all possible – make whatever is on the page come alive in real life using resources/hands-on activities I have on hand.
Actually, that is my goal with all subject areas – not just math! (For more insight in to what this looks like for us, visit me on Instagram!) Abeka’s workbooks are fantastic guides for our learning, but I always, always, always encourage what I like to call 5 Senses Interaction: How can I see, touch, smell, hear, and maybe possibly even taste what I’m learning?
Moral of the Story: Around here, we eat a lot! ha!
My curriculum orders to Abeka don’t include all the additional charts and flashcards and such – I use comparable options we already own or cheaper options I find elsewhere that will accomplish the same goals!
Throughout the summer months – before and after each official “school year” around here – we use Kumon workbooks for a few minutes of extra reinforcement and enrichment each day. Kumon offers a great selection of activity books for both Language Arts and Math – all incredibly interactive! My kids have always been big fans.
Science, History, and Creative Arts
When it comes to science and history, I do not order a specific curriculum for the K5 year. For kindergarten, I simply glance at the key themes included in many popular faith-based kindergarten textbooks and then build a few units that would work well for us using this very simple method – Yes, the same approach I use during the preschool years!
Want to print your own three-page planning pack?
Click here to grab yours!
At this point in our journey, we do year-round homeschooling, and summer months have been the perfect opportunity to spend some extra time with these easy, peasy science and history units – and I use the word units quite loosely.
A weekly science experiment throughout the year is a great way to incorporate science learning into your family’s rhythms and routines. I have loved using this book for ideas: Science Experiments for Young Learners is a book I’ve had for years, but the experiments are effective while being incredibly simple – using mostly objects we already have around our house. With my preschoolers learning a letter-a-week, it has been fun to choose an experiment that somehow connects with the letter for the week. For example, the week they are learning about letter W, we might do a water experiment. Get the idea? This is a great way to once again bring everyone together instead of always separating activities by age.
Overwhelmed with tackling science experiments on your own? I hear ya! There have been many times when I’ve waited until the evening (or the weekend!) to do things like this, because I know daddy will be around to offer an extra set of hands.
For art, music, and physical education, our kiddos are involved in several different activities and local programs. We also keep an eye out for any age-appropriate opportunities being offered at our museums, libraries, theaters, etc. There seem to be loads of great resources right in our backyard, and many of them are free! Some areas have local Facebook groups dedicated to connecting homeschooling families to amazing field trips – Be sure to check out what is going on in your town! One of my favorite things about homeschooling is all of the additional opportunities you are able to provide.
If you’re in the Carolinas, I highly recommend the following:
- Children’s Theater of Charlotte
- Little Otter Swim School
- Stewards of the Game
- Learn Music
- Melodies in Motion
- Cornelius Arts Center
How Do I Stay Organized?
While I would encourage some level of organization and consistency in many of your routines, please also be willing to embrace the flexibility homeschooling gifts your family. It’s one of the most beautiful things about learning together at home.
My Favorite Planner Available Here – SIMPLE & Inexpensive!
I typically plan out 1-2 months at a time (in pencil!) – leaving room for any holidays, out-of-town trips, etc. that would take us away from our usual routine.
Now, for my #1 homeschool organization tip: On Sunday night, I lay out most of my supplies for the week.
Depending on the situation, some supplies come out the night before we do the actual activity, but I do try to be a head of the game on this somewhat in order to make sure the activities will actually happen as I hope.
What Do My Lesson Plans Look Like?
Each day begins with our Morning Time:
Free Printable: Click here to print your own Morning Time Printable!
These are all daily practice activities we go through each morning and then we walk through the worksheets/activities planned for each day, and please, please, please edit the printable to make your Morning Routine look like YOU want it to look – and then don’t be afraid to edit and adjust throughout the year.
Our Morning Time has definitely evolved over the years and it adjusted as needed throughout each year of homeschooling. During this time, everyone is together! Yes, even the little ones. They may be sitting on my lap or crawling around all over the place, but they’re invited…and included as much as possible…and it really helps to cut down on some of the frustration that can come with “Go over there and play quietly while Mommy does school with the big kids.”
My suggestion? Find as many ways as possible to do as much as possible TOGETHER! This can be a little trickier if your children are farther apart in age, but there are some fantastic programs out there (especially for Bible, Science, History, etc.) that are specifically designed to bring a variety of age groups together! I have several homeschooling friends doing an amazing job making this happen in their home, and I so appreciate learning from them.
Where Do I Find My Ideas for Hands-On Activities?
I like to brainstorm ahead of time about what kinds of activities my child will enjoy doing as I seek to introduce and/or reinforce the concepts in their workbooks. Does your child love board books? Puzzles? Do you own any educational toys/games they especially enjoy? Is your little one artistic? Musical? Consider these kinds of questions and then tailor your activities to their interests. Another beautiful thing about homeschooling is you can plan your lessons specifically for your child, so don’t hesitate to do just that! Doing so guarantees they will enjoy learning with you which is most definitely the number one goal!
If you find an activity isn’t working well (and there can be a variety of different reasons why this might be the case), don’t stress. Simply stop what you’re doing and redirect. No worries!
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your little one, I have one word for you: Pinterest! Hey, even if your creative juices ARE flowing, I would still suggest checking out Pinterest.
Want to see the kinds of things we’re doing? I am always sharing snapshots on Instagram, so if you love inspiration through photos, come join the fun! While there’s no way to blog each and every activity we do, it’s easy for me to snap a photo and post it to IG: my favorite place to hang out during the week.We also have a new Instagram account that is dedicated to all things homeschooling:
Where Do I Find My Supplemental Resources:
Most of my educational supplies/toys have come from yard sales, thrift stores, and consignment sales! You can even find great resources at the dollar store/in the dollar spot! You do not have to spend a lot of money to provide great resources for your children.
Now for some questions I’ve received and answers that I hope will encourage you!
Questions and Answers:
How do you accommodate therapy appointments for your daughter? Therapy mornings for Little Miss mean we shift our school activities to later in the day. We’ve settled in to a good routine with this, and I love that it teaches my boys about flexibility…and that the world doesn’t always revolve around them…and that we’re a family working together to help each other – and on days when everyone behaves, we stop for a donut on the way home. ha!
How do you homeschool kids of different ages? For me, the answer to this question is always changing! I think this will look different for each family – depending on the ages, stages, of your kids as well as the vibe of your family life, but currently, here are a few examples of how things flow around here:
(1) You know that Morning Time I mentioned earlier? That is a great time to do our Bible reading as well as other read-alouds that might be part of our science and history learning – We are all together during that time…learning together.
(2) Once a week, the piano teacher comes to our house and does individual music lessons with my three oldest kiddos. While one of them is in their session, I do learning activities with the others. This has been a great time to work on specific concepts with either younger or older kids.
(3) All of my kids have a rest time. The younger ones nap while my older ones use this time to complete independent work, read silently, etc. This is also a great time for my older kids to listen to audiobooks, etc.
How do you juggle outside commitments? Honestly, I don’t have many outside commitments. I really work hard to limit my Yes! so I’m able to be focused at home.
How on earth do you have time to blog? My kids have an afternoon rest time and then we put them to bed at a set time most evenings. This is when I tackle my to-do list and at times, blog. Most of my social media posts are automated which means they are scheduled ahead of time and posted on their own without me actually being on social media. The ability to do this makes a blogger’s world go ’round!
Want to read more about our family’s Lifestyle of Homeschooling? Our daily schedule? A look at our week? I would be honored to share with you how we have adopted a lifestyle of living and learning together and how you can do the same with your own family: