Homeschool Kindergarten – Plans and Curriculum
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We are in our first official year of homeschooling. It’s Homeschool Kindergarten – Yay! We did intentional learning – homeschooling – for Tot-school, Pre-school, and Pre-K. Pre-K was the only one that was structured with clear learning objectives and consistent learning times.
When I started planning for our homeschool kindergarten year, I was in way over my head. Mainly because there are so many great ideas out there. I would collect and research and think about all of them, then I would mentally toil wondering “what’s the best thing?”
After watching all the youtube Homeschool Kindergarten Curriculum videos and reading lots of blogs, I, finally, resigned to the fact that there really is not a “best,” and went with what felt good for our girl.
First, I chose the subjects that I wanted to cover in Kindergarten. I will warn you, when they are listed out it seems like a lot, but several are only done once every other week.
Logic and Games
We only do a few subjects daily. Most are on a loop schedule of every other day and some are only once per week – making them once every two weeks. I can go in detail of our schedule in a separate post.
• Scripture Memory –
• We are still working on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. When that is complete, I used Simply Charlotte Mason as a guide for how we will handle scripture memory.
• The verses we will be learning first – Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:27, Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:7, Psalm 23, Colossians 3:23, 1 Samuel 16:7, Psalm 51:10
• Bible –
• We use the Jesus Story Book Bible and a Children’s bible. We’ve read through both more than once already. Currently we read one story, and I try to have her narrate it to me. She is still a little young for narration. So, I just fill in the blanks if she’s unable to do it.
• I’m amazed at all the bible characters she is familiar with due to being faithful in this practice over the years. These children really do listen. 🙂
• Hymn Memory –
• My girl loves music! She loves singing and dancing. Sometimes making up her own songs. So, I knew that I wanted to include this in our Kindergarten Curriculum. I made a list of a few Christian songs/ Hymns that I knew she loved and a few that I wanted her to learn.
• What we are working on –
• Poetry –
• I do not have a set list of poems. Instead I have chosen a few books, and then just pick poems out that I like. Typically we re-read the poem 4-5 times in 1 week, then move on to another one. If I can find a poem that relates to what we are learning in History or Science, that a big bonus.
• Poetry Books we’re loving –
What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know (has a list of popular poems)
• Character Building –
• Building my children’s character is very important to me. Good character builds a much better life than book knowledge. Good character is something learned by a steady example. So, I wanted to find something that would benefit the whole family…mom and dad included.
• I had a difficult time picking out this curriculum. There are many options out there, and I wanted something that could grow with our children. I decided on Simply Charlotte Mason’s Laying Down the Rails. The price is a bit high for an “extra” subject. However, it is one that can grow with children throughout their schooling. So, we invested.
• So far, we are loving it. She doesn’t understand all of the speech used in the book, but I still read the words as written, then explain it to her in simpler terms. The lesson is only 5-10 min, and we are all more conscious about the choices we make on a daily basis.
The Big 3
• Phonics –
• We used All About Reading Pre-reading for PreK and really enjoyed it. So, it was only natural for us to continue to level 1. The pre-reading was very easy for Baby J last year, and I was afraid that Level 1 wouldn’t be very challenging for her. So, I did research other curriculums – such as Abeka. In the end, we decided to go back to All About Reading, and I’m glad we did. The skills from Pre-reading to Level 1 is a BIG JUMP. That jump was good for us, because she is right on target with the Level 1 lessons.
• As a side note: we bought our curriculum used and decided to opt out of buying a new activity book. The teacher’s manual has a small copy of the child’s work for each lesson. Allowing you to create the child’s lesson yourself, or to find hands on activities that work on the same skill. Such as beginning sounds, cvc word matching. There are lots of free resources for these activities. Also, the person we bought the curriculum from sent us her child’s used work. Some of it we have been able to re-use, which has been a time saver.
• Math –
• I chose this curriculum for 2 reasons.
1 – Several homeschool bloggers that I’ve followed for years use it.
2 – The focus on hands on learning. Using the manipulate blocks, creating a visual of the numbers and problems, these are things that my daughter enjoys. We’ve spent each homeschool year (tot, preschool, and prek) using manipulates. I didn’t want to take that away when she enjoys it.
• So far she loves it. We bought the work book used at a deep discount. The down side is lessons 1-8 are missing. The remainder of the activity book is unused. So, the $10 price tag was well worth it. Similar to All About Reading, I create her lessons for the ones that are missing. To do this, I watch the videos and find hands on activities that focus on those skills or create my own worksheets. It can be a little more difficult, because the Teacher’s guide does not show you examples from the child’s workbook. For the cost savings, it has been worth it though.
• Handwriting –
• This program had so many good recommendations from other bloggers. I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure I’m a big fan. The Kindergarten book seems more of a pre-k book. So, the lessons are a bit boring for her. She knows how to write almost all of her letters and numbers already. She does have difficulty with reversal sometimes or having to look at a chart as a guide. So, I’m hoping taking her handwriting to a basic letter by letter focus we can correct those bad habits. Also, the lessons are very short, which she is excited about.
• We did not buy the chalkboard or the manipulatives. We found a similar chalk board at Walmart for $3.00. Also, we already had some small magnetic alphabet builders that we use as our “blocks.” They are working well. We identify them the same as the program.
History and Science
• History –
• Unit Studies
• I used the “What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know” book as a guide to identify topics that I wanted us to cover this year. I am created a unit study based on each topic. We study each topic for a 5 week session.
• Our Topics of Study:
1 – Community & Community Helpers
2 – Geography – Maps – Start learning 50 states (2 states per week)
3 – Native Americans
4 – Early American Exploration
5 – Early America
6 – Famous Presidents and US symbols
7 – Continents & World History
• For each Unit Study, we set objectives for the things we want her to know on each topic. Find books related to the objective and hands on activities to go with them. Either, worksheets, u-tube videos, puzzles, maps, etc.
• Science –
• Unit Studies
• Again I used the “What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know” as a guide to create topics for the year.
• Our Topics of Study:
1 – Seeds & Plants
2 – Land Animals
3 – All About Me – The Human Body
4 – Ocean Animals
5 – Seasons & Weather
6 – Survival Skills & Magnetics
7 – Taking care of the Earth
• For each Unit Study, we set objectives for the things we want her to know on each topic. Find books related to the objective and hands on activities to go with them. Either, worksheets, u-tube videos, experiments, printables, etc.
Extras – Rotating Loop Work
• Art Study & Music Study –
• The main resource is “What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know.” I then supplement the information with things I find on-line, pictures of art, activities mixing colors, U-tube videos, classical music. Whatever the objective is, I scour the internet for something to supplement.
• Nature Study –
• My girl loves birds. So, we are focusing on birds during our nature time.
• We use:
The Burgess Bird Book for Children – This book is great! It is a chapter book focusing on stories from all different types of birds.
Utube videos showing the birds and their calls. Also, we go on frequent walks around the neighborhood trying to ID the birds and making conversation about them.
• Logic/ Games –
• Baby J loves playing games, and I knew if I didn’t put it into the rotation we would never play any. So, we play games for school sometimes. 🙂
• Some of our favorites:
• Art –
• Another one I knew we would never do if I didn’t put into the rotation. First, I’m not artsy. I don’t like the mess, and it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. These are my thoughts. My daughter’s thoughts, however, go something like this “PAINT, GLITTER, GLUE, SPILLING THINGS EVERYWHERE – YES!!! BEST DAY EVER!!” So, I do it for her. haha!
• Simple resources we love –
1 – Home Art Studio
2 – Utube – ArtHub – this is a father drawing with his children. Step by step. It’s amazing!
• Science Experiments –
• What can I say? I don’t like mess, but I do love a good experiment. So, I make sure I schedule this so I don’t skip it…aka skip the extra work/ mess. lol.
• My daughter absolutely loves this! My only regret is we didn’t start it sooner.
• Our Library offers Mango online for free. We haven’t started it yet, but will be this week.
• Other than the books we read aloud with all of our unit studies, we also work on one chapter book at a time. An excellent resource for book list is from Read Aloud Revival.
• Books I know we are going to read this year: (more will be added, I’m sure)
1 – Winnie -the-Pooh
Wow – that’s a lot! That’s everything I’ve got. I love looking at other people’s curriculum posts. It gives me so many ideas for my own homeschool room. I hope that you found some ideas and inspiration here!
Be on the lookout for a posts on our homeschool kindergarten schedule. How do we fit all of this stuff in?! I promise it’s much easier than it looks. We sit down for school for about 1.5 hr – 2 hours per day, not including read aloud and morning basket time.
Put your favorite Homeschool Kindergarten Curriculum in the comments below.
What homeschool posts would you like to see? What do you struggle with most?
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