Welcome! If you’re new around here, I’m Elizabeth.
I am a former elementary school teacher who is now homeschooling my kids.
If you’ve visited me in this space before, you may have seen me share about homeschooling preschoolers. I have put together three age-specific posts to assist homeschool preschool moms:
I had so much fun putting those posts together that I actually ended up writing a book called
but in this post, I am sharing all about Homeschooling Kindergarten! If you are considering homeschooling your kindergarten kiddo, I’m so glad you’re here. I’m going to share my favorite resources, teaching strategies, and planning tips for kindergarten homeschool, so let’s get started!
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 simply use The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name and Big Thoughts for Little People. During breakfast each morning, we read a story from one of those, and it serves as the perfect way to kick off our morning. All of my kiddos are included in this time – instead of it being something separate I do with the older ones.
We have made Scripture Memorization a part of our daily Home School 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.
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 Skype 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.
You Tube/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!
*If you have an AWANA program near you, I would highly recommend it! It is a fantastic incentive-based Scripture Memory program for kids of all ages, and my kids love at as much as I did as a kid.*
For Phonics, we use A Beka, 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 A Beka products:
If you don’t get started with these til the Kindergarten year, no worries!
Want a little more detail about how we use these resources? Check out: How We Use A Beka Phonics
If you are new to A Beka Phonics, know that their curriculum guide is a great resource for those who are new to their approach. A Beka’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.
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 A Beka’s Cursive workbook option, but my personal preference is to introduce cursive in a later grade.
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.
While daily practice with this program is great, we currently use it as a weekly activity – every Friday morning! KWT isn’t the only site my crew likes to visit on Fridays. They are also big fans of Starfall and Teach Your Monster to Read.
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:
One Sentence Bible Storybooks by Focus on the Family
For Math, we also use A Beka, 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!) A Beka’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 A Beka 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, Social Studies, and Creative Arts
When it comes to science and social studies, 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 and feel free to edit yours to say Kindergarten!
At this point in our journey, we do year-round homeschooling, and summer months have been the perfect time to do these easy, peasy Science and Social Studies Units.
September-May includes a heavier math and language arts focus, but a weekly science experiment throughout the year is a great way to incorporate science in to that time as well. 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 preschooler 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 he is 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:
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. For our crew, I plan for four-days a week – allowing for Friday to be wide open for reinforcement practice and enrichment activities.
My Favorite Planner Available Here
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. While we currently homeschool year-round, the summer months are more flexible with my kids attending various camps and us traveling a bit.
September – May: Math & Language Arts Focus
June – August: Science & Social Studies Focus
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 routine.
Free Printable: Click here to print your own Morning Routine!
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.
In fact, around here, our Morning Routine has now become known as “Carpet Time”. ha! Why? Because I gather all my kiddos together on the carpet, and we do our Morning Routine activities together. That Bible story I mentioned we read together at breakfast? Well, sometimes that’s how we kick off Carpet Time. We’ve settled in to a really good routine with this. During this time we might also:
-review our Scripture memory (AWANA verses, too!)
-practice our phonics charts
-interact with lots of read-alouds (Sometimes mommy reads aloud – Sometimes my kindergartner reads aloud.)
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, Social Studies, 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.
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 Carpet Time I mentioned earlier? During that time, we chat about my preschooler’s letter-a-week and some of the read-alouds, activities, etc. associated with his letter are oftentimes done during this time when all of us are together. Sure, my older kiddo already knows his letters and sounds, but he doesn’t mind the chat. Sometimes I even let him be the teacher! For some of the other things I want to do specifically with my preschooler (Details can be found here.), I do them while my older kiddo is working independently on his activity pages.
(2) Once a week, the piano teacher comes to our house and does individual music lessons with my two older kiddos. While one of them is in their session, I do learning activities with the other one – and vice versa. This gives me some great one-on-one time with each them. (Usually, it’s baby snack time in the high chair during this time! #containment ha!)
(3) All of my kids have a rest time. The younger ones sleep, but my older one uses his time for independent work. He goes to his room just like the other kids – but instead of sleeping, he will read silently, complete his handwriting page, draw, build with Legos, play a math game, work a puzzle, all kinds of things – and if you’ve been around here long, you know I see rest time as I great time for my kids to listen to stories, music, phonics cds, etc. What plays on their 1999 cd player during rest time is totally up to them, but the choices are all educational – because their mother is the way she is! ha!
How do you juggle outside commitments? Honestly, I don’t have many outside commitments. My husband and I teach together at church on Sundays, but other than that, I really 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 early. 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!
Got a question for me?
Send it my way, and I will update this post as we go – There may be someone else wondering the same thing you are! Let’s learn together~