Choosing How To Homeschool Your Kindergartner
By Ann Zeise
Many parents write me asking about what to buy to start homeschooling a 5 year old.
I won’t give you a pat answer about curriculum for kindergartners because I do not feel a boxed curriculum is useful for a child so young. Why waste a lot of money for some material that would sit on the shelf?
I’m just trying to help you to not fall for expensive, “one size fits all” packages out there. You wouldn’t go into a shoe store and ask to buy “Shoes for a Kindergartner, please.” You would wind up with something that was just not right for your son or daughter. Custom fit your learning materials to your child’s needs and interests, much as you would select walking shoes, cowboy boots, soccer cleats or ballet slippers. This isn’t something anyone else can do for you. Send for some catalogs to get an idea of what’s available. Have fun going through them with your children, having them circle items that appeal to them. If you still want a packaged curriculum, I have some Distance Learning Programs here. You may want to see what each state will be expecting of their kindergartners? You may find your child has already mastered these skills.
Observe your children while you spend lots of time just discovering the world with them: play games, read books, make things, paint, singsilly songs, garden, visit the fire department, spend time “pretending,” talk about things, any things, to increase vocabulary; put magnetic letters on your fridge and talk about the SOUNDS each letter makes (This is different than teaching the names of the letters, a rather useless skill, not terribly useful in learning how to read.) Use numbers, simple addition and geometry in day-to-day life. A small allowance will help them learn about money. A cheap watch will help them learn to tell time. Join a support group to get out and play with other children.
You may want to use the Montessori Method, the Waldorf Method or theCharlotte Mason Method of teaching. These philosophies encourage getting a firm foundation of skills and observations before an academic-type education is attempted. Join an email list or message board to correspond with others doing Kindergarten at Home.
You may be able to find some useful materials at a teacher supply store in your city. Usually these stores have gobs of manipulatives. Get ideas. Go home and start saving small objects to use in similar ways.
Simple workbooks are available cheaply at grocery stores, pharmacies and even online. Some love them, some do not.
Time should be used to build up fine muscle coordination by using crayons and markers. Many a 5 year old really isn’t ready to write much.
Spending a little time learning online can be fun and teach computer skills.
More Websites to Help Homeschool Kindergartners
Do You Need to Teach Kindergarten?
“What curriculum do you suggest for Kindergarten?” This is a question I am frequently asked by parents. It is also a question I find particularly difficult to provide a quick, easy response to. The truth is I do not believe that a curriculum is necessary for Kindergarten, but that usually is not the answer parents are looking for or expect. By Karen Gibson.
Homeschooling 3 and 4 Year Olds
Paula’s Archives of an email discussion about starting to homeschool younger than 5 year olds. (A good answer as to why I don’t have a “preschoolers” section on A to Z Home’s Cool!)
I am starting this list for parents who homeschool children under the ages of 6 or 7. Or who may be just starting to think of homeschooling their young ones.
Discussion list for parents homeschooling preschool and kindergarten, ages 1-5. Topics include curriculum selection (whether necessary or not), teaching tips, creative learning ideas, time management, as well as others.
Looking at Those Lessons
Your 4-year-old isn’t wired for lessons. He’s wired for play. That’s how he learns. Through play. By Carol Narigon, HEM N/D 2002.
Noah’s Kindergarten Year
Noah loves learning by doing. He’s full of energy and is a happy, busy kid. His current new interests are medieval history and the violin. His facility with math and written language continues to gradually evolve in a free-form way.
Reflecting on the Value of Materials and Classes
We all come into homeschooling with some common preconceptions of what the program should be – but many who have been at it for a while or raised homeschool grads are likely to strongly suggest not setting up a structured study program for young children. This is where some misunderstanding can come into play. By Lillian Jones.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
With Matthew we have so far chosen a hands-on, eclectic, delight-directed learning path. As he grows, the path will change. For now, there are some days when he teaches me, some when I teach him.