Homeschooling Kindergarten

Tips and Suggestions for Teaching Kindergarten

Homeschooling Kindergarten
Mint Images / Getty Images

When I think of kindergarten, I think of painting, cutting, pasting, snacks, and nap time. I remember my experience as a kindergarten student, playing in the little wooden kitchen with the play food and dishes.

Kindergarten should be a fun, memorable time for both the parent and the child.

For my oldest child, I used a full-on curriculum from a Christian publisher for kindergarten. (It made the cost of homeschooling much more than it had to be.) And, we did everything in the curriculum.

My poor child.

It seems that your first  child usually suffers the most while you learn what you're doing as a new homeschooling parent.

Homeschool Curriculum for Kindergarten

For my next two children I used the following curriculum and programs that I put together myself.

Language Arts: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

We tried Sing, Spell, Read & Write first, but the songs were too fast for my daughter and she didn't want to sing and play games. She wanted to read like her big sister did. So I sold Sing, Spell, Read & Write and purchased Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

I liked this book because it was relaxed and easy to use. You just snuggle up in the easy chair together for about 15 minutes a day, and kids are reading at a second grade level when you're finished.

Teach Your Child to Read is an inexpensive book, too. I loved it so much that I have a copy saved for future grandchildren in case it goes out of print!

I always followed up Teach Your Child to Read with the Abeka 1st grade phonics book, Letters and Sounds 1, to ensure that my children retained what they learned. I had them reading in easy readers as soon as they were able. I found it best to have them read books that were a little easy for them so they would enjoy reading.

Math: MCP Mathematics K by Modern Curriculum Press

I liked this book because it was cute and efficient. I didn't stay with Modern Curriculum Press, but for Kindergarten, this was my favorite book. I always added whatever hands-on items were necessary to help my children grasp a concept or just to make the lessons more fun.

Fine Arts: Art Projects K by Abeka Books

I liked this book because most everything is right there for the teaching parent. There is no photocopying to do and the projects are appealing and colorful.

Science and history were covered using library books and other resources I had around the house. Gardening and cooking are great science and math projects for young ones.

There are many other programs and curriculum options out there. This is just an example of what I found that I liked and worked for me. I was able to teach kindergarten for about $35 for the year and only $15 for the second child.

Do You Need Curriculum When Homeschooling Kindergarten?

You may be wondering if you even need curriculum for homeschooling kindergarten. Not necessarily! Some parents and their children like having the guidance of formal lessons.

Other families prefer a more interest-led approach for the younger years.

For these families, providing children with a learning-rich environment, reading every day, and exploring the world around them through everyday learning experiences is plenty.

Continuing with the same concepts for teaching preschool at home is sufficient for most kindergarten children - read, explore, ask questions, answer questions, and play. Young children learn so much through play!

More Tips for Homeschooling Kindergarten

Teaching kindergarten should be fun and engaging for parent and child. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that it is:

  • Don't be a slave to the curriculum. Let it work for you. If it's not working, it's okay to change curriculum.
  • Little ones can only sit for about 15 minutes at a time. Try scattering your teaching times throughout the day.
  • Keep it fun. If your child isn't having a good day, put school off until later or even the next day.
  • Use play dough, paints, bubbles.
  • Have your child write his letters with his fingers in pudding, shaving cream, or sand. Kids also love using the white board. Don't limit them to the lines on paper this early. Just concentrate on forming the letters properly.

As homeschoolers, we don't have to leave behind the days of cutting, pasting, playing, and painting for kindergarten. Those are perfectly acceptable activities to engage the minds of curious youngsters!

Updated by Kris Bales