Do you homeschool your children or are you new to homeschooling? If so, then this is the blog post for you. We are going to be discussing what a kindergarten curriculum should look like and how it can help with school readiness. Homeschooling has become more popular in recent years and there are many benefits of doing so. In fact, studies have shown that homeschooled students perform better on tests than their public or private school counterparts!
Why Homeschooling in Kindergarten?
The answer may surprise you. It’s not always about what the school systems are teaching, and it’s never too early to get a leg up on socialization for your child. In fact, many families find that homeschooling in kindergarten is an exciting time and an ideal way to set their children up for success through skills obtained from mastery of foundational material in both literacy (reading, writing, and spelling) and mathematics.
If you are considering homeschooling in kindergarten, here’s a list of reasons why it may be the best option for your family:
- Homeschooled children have more time to develop critical thinking skills due to not having direct instruction from one teacher every day. They can move at their own pace while being supported with their education.
- It’s never too early to get ahead in the game of life. Studies have shown that homeschooled children are more likely to go on and graduate college than those who attend public school, scoring higher in standardized testing like the SAT or ACT as well as being accepted into better colleges overall.
- Homeschooled children are more likely to have a close emotional bond with their parents, often attributing the success of homeschooling in kindergarten to this.
- The flexibility of homeschooling allows kids to spend less time sitting and waiting for instruction leading them on an academic path that’s much better suited for their individual needs.
What Should Be Included in my Kindergarten Homeschooling Curriculum?
There are many classroom-based programs available in every state for homeschoolers who want them. In addition, there are plenty of online learning choices from self-paced to live courses.
The best thing about homeschooling is that you can tailor your curriculum to suit the needs and interests of each child in a family or classroom:
These kindergarten homeschool curriculum options allow for:
- Hands-on activities
- Unstructured time where children learn by exploring on their own
In order to keep homeschooling kindergarten-age children safe and ensure they’re learning about the topics that are most important for their development, there are some things you’ll want to cover in your curriculum.
Core Subjects to Include in your Online Kindergarten Curriculum:
- Language arts: reading books of various genres from picture to chapter book levels; writing prompts; spelling exercises – there are many different types of spelling instruction you can use!
- Mathematics: counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication; reading graphs and charts
- Science: topics related to the natural world (weather changes)
- Physical development and motor skills: gross & fine motor skill practice, exploring space with movement, physical education (sports), outdoor playtime
Homeschooling kindergarten is a new adventure! You’ll have fun figuring out what works best for your family. Learning can be hands-on or through books, it’s up to you.
Why Use an Online Kindergarten Curriculum?
One of the key reasons to use an online kindergarten curriculum is so you can provide a more personalized education than what would be possible at a traditional public school. Many people who homeschool their children feel that this type of customized learning will help their kids grow up happy and confident and academically prepared for secondary schooling. Another big advantage is that it can be done at a flexible pace, and you’re able to break up the work into smaller segments as needed.
Some of the other benefits include having more opportunities for “hands-on” learning by doing projects in science class rather than just reading about them in a textbook, or even teaching your children skills like how to cook a healthy meal.
The online curriculum will also allow you to provide your children with more opportunities for creativity and personal expression than what they might have at school, where many teachers are pressured into teaching according to standardized testing formats that can limit their creative abilities as well as the students’.
Homeschooling is indeed a huge responsibility for the parent or guardian, but it is a rewarding one. And while many good online kindergarten curriculums can provide your children with an excellent education, you’ll want to research as much information as possible to ensure that what you select will work best in meeting their needs and also be compatible with your family’s values.
The Best Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Teach These Concepts
Combine these 5 core principles of reading in your homeschool curriculum. These activities will ensure your child’s progress.
See how Scholar Within organizes these activities in each lesson to teach students.
Language Arts Skills for Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
Language arts include the ability to read and write, use language effectively in speaking and listening, spell correctly (although some children may not be able to do this until later grades), understand the conventions of written English such as punctuation marks.
Children need to practice reading aloud since it helps develop their skills with oral communication. They should also have experience writing little stories that they can share with their family.
Language arts skills are developed by reading, writing, and speaking English. A curriculum that includes these elements will be the most effective for developing language arts skills in kindergarten children.
The best way to teach a child how to read is through phonics, which teaches them letter-sound associations (e.g., “A says /a/”).
Some kindergarten children may need to be taught the alphabet, which is necessary for becoming literate. You want to be sure the online kindergarten curriculum you choose has this built into it.
The best way for a child to develop writing skills is by giving them plenty of opportunities to write stories and identify different types of sentences (e.g., statements vs. questions). This can start by giving them a sheet of paper with sentences that they need to copy, then adding on by dictating more and providing sentence starters.
Why Use the Orton-Gillingham Method in Your Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum?
The Orton-Gillingham method is a respected English reading and spelling program that has been around for over 85 years. What makes it so much more effective than other programs? Why do experts recommend its use in kindergarten homeschool curriculums? Let’s break down the reasons why you should choose this method for your own curriculum.
The Orton-Gillingham method was created by a team of professors and speech pathologists at the University of Iowa in 1932. It is based on an understanding of how children learn language. The program has been refined over the years to provide effective reading instruction for students from ages three to 21 with dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and other reading difficulties.
The Orton-Gillingham method is based on the notion that language skills do not develop in a linear fashion, but rather as a complex circle of development. To teach children how to read English, we first need to give them instruction in three key areas: phonology (the sounds of speech), morphology (the word structure of English), and syntax (sentence structure). The Orton-Gillingham Method focuses on oral language skills before introducing children to written words.
The program is designed in a way that allows for mastery through repetition, with each lesson building on the last. Lessons include plenty of sound production exercises, practice reading aloud, and a lot of writing.
The Orton-Gillingham method is designed to work for struggling readers, children with dyslexia, or other reading difficulties because it teaches them how words are structured in English. It may be used as an alternative to traditional methods that rely heavily on memorization skills or phonics rules once the student has mastered basic sounds.
- It is based on an understanding of how children learn language
- It teaches sound production exercises
- Practice reading aloud
- It is designed to work for all children, including those with dyslexia or other reading difficulties
- It may be used as an alternative to traditional methods that rely heavily on memorization skills or phonics rules once the student has mastered basic sounds
Scholar Within’s kindergarten homeschool program uses the proven Orton-Gillingham methodology in its online language arts curriculum.
Reading and Spelling Concepts Kindergarten Level Students (5-year-olds) Learn
Kindergarten students learn a variety of reading and spelling concepts. These skills are the foundation for all reading and spelling skills that follow. Once a child masters these concepts, they will be able to read with fluency, understand long texts, comprehend what they are reading and write sentences containing vocabulary words found in the text.
- Letters: Letter recognition, letter sounds, capital letters vs. lowercase letters
- Phonics: Combination of phonics skills needed to decode words
- Text features: Paragraphs, sentences, punctuation (commas), word spacing
- Vocabulary: Expand on the meaning of unknown words using
Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, and Spelling for Kindergarten
- Learn and apply phonemic awareness
- Learn the sound-symbol relationship (phonics)
- Learn the phonemes – letter recognition
- Blending Sounds to Read Words Together
- Learn to read and spell:
- basic sight words
- short vowel words: sit, on, that
- long vowel words: bake, ride, hide
- vowel plus l words like fall, tell, hill
- word families
Reading Fluency and Comprehension for Kindergarten
- Reading fluency
- Learn to read short sentences and short stories
- Reading Comprehension in Context
- Identify what happened at the beginning, middle, and end of a story
- Describe the characters in their stories
- Answer comprehension questions
- Thinking skills
Scholar Within’s Reading Program includes detailed lesson plans, parent/teacher’s guide sheets, video lessons, printable puzzles, and fun games. Everything you need to teach basic concepts of reading and spelling. Also includes some writing activities, specific activities for visual learners, auditory learners, and tactile learners.
Kindergarten Math Curriculum
Math skills in general help us to have better problem-solving skills, even at the kindergarten level. They help us to think, analyze, and reason out answers. Math skills are more than just rote memorization. And, kids learn a variety of math skills every day, whether they are measuring out their cereal, choosing the size of a cookie they want to eat, or sharing a candy bar.
The kindergarten homeschool curriculum includes being introduced to number recognition and counting. They learn how to add a number. They also begin learning about shapes and sizes. As a homeschool mom, you will be able to design exactly what is in your curriculum. The following lists are specific guides for you. Remember to keep in mind that you can playing games and singing songs can be part of your math curriculum.
Number recognition and counting is the most important aspect of a kindergarten curriculum. You will teach your student how to count from one through ten, recognize numbers on paper (or with their fingers) in order by number, help them learn what each numeral looks like when they write it down, and so much more! Keep practicing adding and subtracting and the children will have a grasp on how to do this by second grade.
Different shapes, sizes, colors are important for your kindergarten student to know as well. You can introduce them with basic shapes at first: circle, square, rectangle (or long shape), triangle (pointy). It helps to use shapes that are different colors, for instance: red circles, blue squares, or green triangles. In your kindergarten curriculum choices, you can also teach your student how to read shape words with their name like “square” or “rectangle,” as well as naming shapes. This will combine math concepts with some simple reading skills.
Activities can include:
- Counting to 20
- Identifying shapes and colors
- Identifying patterns
- Sorting objects by color or shape
- Counting the number of items in a group
- Counting and sequencing numbers
- Measurement activities using their foot or hand to measure the length of a variety of objects
These types of activities are critical to learning what is called Number Sense. Number sense is to math what phonics is to reading. Number sense should be taught at multiple grade levels, so you will continually do number sense activities as your student progresses through the grades.
Additional Math Skills Become Life Skills
- Number Sense: your sense of what numbers mean and what value a number represents
- Beginning addition and subtraction
- Skip Counting
- Place value and number sense: understanding the concept of a base-ten system, comparing numbers in that system
- Counting by tens (reading by multiples of ten)
- Numbers up to 100
- Number pattern recognition: recognizing patterns such as odd/even or sum = difference
- Learn and count to 100 in a variety of ways: without objects, by counting on fingers, with an abacus
- Addition Facts from 0-12
- Subtraction Facts up to 20
- Simple problem-solving skills
- Measurement Concepts for Kindergarten Students (ages five and six)
- Lengths: inches, feet, and yards; centimeters/meters
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum for Science:
Why teach science in kindergarten education?
Science provides the basic knowledge of our world. Understanding science helps us to interpret and understand current events, weather patterns, etc., evaluate new products before purchase or use, make informed decisions as consumers, and it just plain makes kids smarter!
What are some kindergarten homeschool science curriculum ideas?
A beautifully illustrated guide is called Pete the Cat’s World Tour. Pete travels all over the world and learns about different cultures, animals, and habitat types! This book can be used for geography studies.
Another fantastic resource is a curriculum called “Science Discovery Series: Science Experiments with Everyday Stuff.” It includes experiments that are easy enough to do at home
Homeschool Curriculum Topics for Your Kindergartener for Science
- Wind vanes of different shapes to show how wind moves objects across the ground
- Rocks with holes drilled into them or ones that were broken in half with one side cut off
- Rocks are great for demonstrating erosion by water and are related to the natural world (weather changes)
Other Science Topics:
- Insects and arachnids
- Baby animals
- Plant and animal life cycles
- Life cycles of living things
Physical development and motor skills for kindergarten
Homeschooling families often don’t think about learning skills in conjunction with the mind-body connection and movement. However, the mind-body connection and movement are very important to your ability to learn and master reading skills.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children get at least sixty minutes of physical activity every day. This includes walking, running, and playing games outside for fun. Older kids can also participate in sports during school hours to meet this daily goal.
In addition to getting your child’s heart rate up with exercise, make sure that they are keeping their bodies active by doing simple tasks around the house. This will keep them from becoming lazy and inactive, which is important for continued physical development in addition to being a good habit.
Mind-Body Connection and Physical Development & Motor Skills for Kindergarten Homeschoolers
The brain is like a sponge and kindergarten students are very eager to learn. By the time your child enters kindergarten, he or she will have learned many of their basic motor skills such as walking, running, jumping on one foot, catching a ball in mid-air, kicking off shoes with one hand at a time, and more complex tasks like tying their shoes.
Physical development is not just about the ability to walk or run; it also includes developing motor skills in your fingers and hands, building strength by climbing stairs, or lifting objects such as a backpack. Young children will learn these skills through playtime with you at home while they follow instructions from an adult to do things like stack blocks or build a tower.
The brain and body work together as a machine, one designed to move through space efficiently, walking, moving, and maintaining balance. Physical development is just as important for the mind and body. The connection between muscles, nerves, bones, and other organs helps children think better in school. It also lets them express themselves more clearly through writing or talking without struggling to do so.
These skills are a great foundation for elementary education.
Physical development is just as important for the mind and body. The connection between muscles, nerves, bones, and other organs helps children think better in school. It also lets them express themselves more clearly through writing or talking without struggling to do so.
Children will learn how to run, jump, hop, skip and swing on swings. They’ll also be able to dress by putting on a shirt or changing their clothes. Activities such as stretching exercises strengthen muscles that children may not use often. These skills help children become more independent and self-sufficient. These skills are a great foundation for elementary education.
Movement directly impacts your ability to receive and interpret words, sentences, paragraphs, and stories.
Movement allows you to see the shapes, sizes, and positions of letters in space. Additionally, it helps you visually scan words across a page in order to read fluently and accurately.
Movement Activities for Kindergarteners:
- Place a beanbag on the ground and have children jump to it. Jump back away from the bag, but bring your feet together as you land so that they are close together in front of you (rather than having them spread wide apart).
- Sit like a frog with arms around your knees. Use one hand to push yourself up and down.
- Jump rope
- Hopscotch – you can use sidewalk chalk to draw a hopscotch board on your sidewalk or driveway
- Ball activities – throwing, catching, rolling, dribbling, kicking, and aiming for a target
- Animal walks – pretend to be an animal and move a designated distance (10 to 15 feet) like a specific animal would
- Hula hoop – hold onto the hula hoop in both hands and spin it around your waist by twisting your hips back and forth so that the loop of fabric goes up to above head height before spinning around again to your waist.
- Skipping – place a skipping rope on the ground and hop over it with both feet, making sure not to trip on the other end of the rope.
- Jumping jacks or jumping in place – jump up from either standing position or sitting position, extending arms out straight at shoulder height when you are in the air, then land with feet together and hands at your side.
- Move around as much as you can during class time to help promote learning! Movement affects concentration
Scholar Within’s Reading Program includes specific mind-body movement activities that improve not only reading skills but also your overall learning experience.
Get started with the basics! Your curriculum will be dependent on your child, their abilities, and what they are interested in.