With more schools heading toward full-day kindergarten, I cringe.
As a former public school educator and a mother of two, I cannot ever get on board with this.
For the love of all things childhood, this is one big reason why we adore homeschool (even on our rough days).
You’ll see this shine through (hopefully!) in my curriculum choices for our Kindergartener.
First, you should know we have a more relaxed schedule I modeled after my time student teaching.
You can learn more about it here.
So keep in mind that we aren’t doing every one of these every single day.
Also, please know that we don’t use these books every day.
It leans much more into my six-year-old child’s natural physicality to do games and to be flexible with my teaching style.
It was really hard to find a Kindergarten History curriculum!
Bede’s History of ME is a timeline made to only be one very short lesson once/week.
It’s a winner in our book.
Fun, quick (maybe 20 minutes tops?), and informative, this usually leads to my son asking lots of questions and digging deeper into his learning.
While we learn much more with hands-on ideas and experiments I grab from Pinterest, I did get a Science textbook this year.
While we do teach Christian curriculum for the most part, I decided to go with Pearson’s Kindergarten Consumable Science textbook.
We like that it goes along with the 3rd grade version in most cases.
This means he and his older brother can learn together easier, and it’s more fun for them.
The 3rd grade book also comes with lab ideas that my six-year-old will do to expand upon the Kindergarten book that I just couldn’t find in any other curriculum out there.
Handwriting Without Tears has been there for us since my third grader was in Kindergarten.
It’s such an amazing book series to continually practice handwriting just a few minutes at at time.
We don’t have a traditional curriculum for Spelling, but he learns a ton of spelling words with our Words Their Way book.
I happened to find the one we’re using in an antique store where homeschool moms drop off all of their old stuff they didn’t use, so I linked the one my former first-grade teacher friend suggested I get for Kindergarten. It’s the more updated version.
Learning to Read
I’m a huge believer in Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop right from the start.
I believe with my whole heart that reading often throughout every day with your child is the best way to teach him/her a multitude of things about life, language, and how to read.
I like how both approach reading with a whole language and phonics-based approach.
I fully believe we cannot use only sight words and expect children to read.
Nor can we expect excitement and drive to learn when they have to painfully sound out every single word.
These resources have been great tools paired with Workshop, and I’m watching my little reader grow every day!
Writing in Kindergarten, from my small experience, has to be driven by learning and choice.
I want the beginning of his craft to be steeped in excitement right from the start.
This is why I ask him every couple weeks when we head back to the library for another huge haul what he’d like to learn.
He’s written books on spiders, the ocean, and about trips we’ve taken as a family to name a few.
All in an effort to continue Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop since I have a strong belief that this way of teaching is huge in developing lifelong writers and readers.
We also have a Math book from Lifepac. The books linked are a set.
Lifepac is a company we enjoy because they’re Christian-based, and they have a placement test on their website to help you fit your child.
The very best part is that each of their grades (other than Kindergarten) comes in a set of 10 books labeled.
For example in first grade, 101 is for the first book in the series, 102 for the second, and so on.
Their placement test is sectioned to reflect the material in each book.
This was especially helpful for my third grader, who needed only a few fourth grade math books before moving into the fifth grade series as a whole.
The boys love this Bible Study because it’s set up to have fun activities, a story from the Bible, and a practical application piece.
We highly recommend it.
Can I just add this in because it’s a huge part of my belief system as an educator?
Especially when they’re little.
Never feel bad about their little developing brains taking lots of breaks to play, climb, run, and imagine.
We don’t let them have tablets or phones, but we do let them play Minecraft at 3:00 for a half hour if all their schoolwork is finished, and they do, of course watch TV and movies from time to time.
They especially love their slow mornings where they get to groggily chill in front of PBS Kids’ Molly of Denali or Wild Kratts before heading upstairs to make beds, brush teeth, and get dressed for the day.
Other than that, we’re just such believers in outdoor play, and goodness isn’t it great when they’re bored?!
What a great skill for them to learn to overcome.
An amazing opportunity for them to have to think outside the box (or inside a box, which is one boredom buster in our home!).
We listen to every genre I can think of.
Watch videos of BB King and Eric Clapton playing live.
Learn music notes and draw them.
Beat out rhythms.
Play instruments and practice songs on the piano.
Have sing-a-longs and dance parties most every single day.
And we’re going to try this book next. Doesn’t it just seem like something my ole barefoot mama self would love?!
If you’ve ever seen me draw, you’ll realize I’m barely even functioning in the art department.
I think it’s things like this that make non-homeschoolers wonder how in the world I think I can teach my children everything forever.
And they’re right.
I don’t plan to.
That would be straight crazy, y’all, and if you saw me cry every day in Junior year Math (Functions, Statistics, and Trigonometry….shiver), you’d know I have a healthy understanding of my limitations.
So, we have found different art classes locally like pottery and glass mosaic plate making.
There’s an amazing class at the local Hobby Lobby that runs for six weeks and covers famous artists while the children study and create masks, impressionistic paintings, and more.
I’ve also found this guy and his family who my children are crazy about.
He’s so laid back and his teaching is thorough and slow-paced.
The boys have made some seriously fantastic art following him!
My boys play sports. Baseball, basketball, swimming. Pretty much anything with a ball or some sort of physical activity, and they’re on it.
However, we also get outside and play. A ton.
It’s so important for them to be physical and taking care of their bodies.
With all of our time hiking, canoeing, biking, running, taking family walks, bouncing on the hippity hop all over the house, having water balloon fights, or even just jumping on the trampoline out back, we’ve more than got Phys. Ed. covered!
Kindergarten is FUN!
Between reading aloud, running around like crazy, random wrestling matches in the kitchen, and working our way through this curriculum, our homeschool is full of life that has become the heartbeat of our home.
I can’t think of a better way to spend this time in our lives together.