how to homeschool kindergartenWhen parents decide to homeschool their kindergarten-aged child, they may not know just where to begin! It is all new! They have made the decision but are easily discouraged as to how to implement it. Or they are overwhelmed with all that is “required” of them.

When I think back to my kindergarten days, I recall not the things we learned, although I’m sure plenty of learning happened. Instead, I remember the time I spent in the play house, the story time on the rug, and the crafts I did standing at my desk. I remember my teacher and the student teacher (who I adored). I remember walking to the bus and thinking I was the luckiest girl in the world because I had such a wonderful teacher.

That is what kindergarten is about. Kindergarten is about beginning a journey of learning and learning to love it.

We live in a different era now. Public schools have a long agenda of things that “must” or “should” be taught. Some homeschoolers are required to meet similar requirements. Even those who are not required to meet the requirements may feel the pressure to do so. They compare their children to other similarly aged children.

But when we make homeschooling kindergarten into a stressful situation, it only puts a negative connotation on education for the young child. As a homeschool parent, one can approach kindergarten from a much more fun perspective. Here are three ideas for an inexpensive, informal kindergarten year.

A Literary Approach

Visit the public library weekly. Check out as many books as you are allowed the check out. Return home. Every day of the week, read five different books with your child. You can repeat books from day to day and from week to week, but each day you or your older children should read at least five different books.

As you read, discuss the pictures, the content, and the story’s development. Make predictions about what will come next. If your child particularly loves a book, seek out books by the same author or about a similar subject. Find connections between books and life. For example, if you read about a child who loves pancakes, learn to make pancakes together and then have your child draw pictures of the steps involved in making pancakes. Make videos of your child telling about his or her favorite books or things that he or she has learned.

Call it kindergarten.

A Topical Approach.

Select a topic for each month off the year to coordinate with the seasons, such as community in September, apples and pumpkins in October, and Thanksgiving for November. Visit your library a few times a month and find books on the subject. Read them together.

Plan some field trips together, such as walks in the community or visits to the fire station for a community topic, or a visit to an apple orchard or pumpkin farm for the apples and pumpkins month. Experiment with something that relates to the topic, such as cutting open an apple and tasting it. Make a learning notebook full of sketches and your child’s dictations about what he or she has learned.

Call it kindergarten.

A Phonics Approach

Select a letter of the alphabet for a week (or more than one week), and make a list together of things that begin with that sound. Make sure to include additional sounds for those phonograms that have more than one sound (for example, A is for apples and apes). Cut out pictures from magazines of advertisements.

For each week or weeks that you dedicate to a letter, visit the library and find books on the subjects that begin with those sounds. Read the books together, and discuss what you read with your child, emphasizing the letter and sounds of the week. Find excuses for field trips to coordinate with the sounds of the week as well. Keep a phonics journal with pages for each letter or sound.

Call it kindergarten.

What did you do for a kindergarten homeschooling year? What suggestions would you give to someone just starting out?

I’m linking up with List it Tuesday at Many Little Blessings and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

image from LadyHeart

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