I have some regrets when it comes to how I chose to homeschool kindergarten with my oldest. I was strict and expected at least 1 full hour of K5 seatwork every school day from my 4-year-old!
And all of it required handwriting – not exactly an easy task for a little boy! Now I am not claiming to be an expert by any means, but I have relaxed quite a bit and I don’t believe in forcing handwriting at a young age.
Homeschool Mom Book List
The Unhurried Homeschooler: A Simple, Mercifully Short Book on Homeschooling
Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace
Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with Confidence
The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids
Home Education (The Home Education Series) (Volume 1)
Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started.
How To Homeschool Kindergarten
In addition to character training (Bible) and life skills, these are the main things that should be considered important for a 4 to 6-year-old to be taught:
(be sure to check with your state’s requirements)
- alphabet and numeral recognition
- introduction to phonics
- counting to double digits & beyond
- awareness of God’s amazing creation (science)
- advanced colors
- continuing gross motor skills development
- nurture a love for HIStory through living books
How does that list translate into everyday life? Most of it is considered fun for the child because playing is learning and learning should be fun!
Here are several ways that some of the subjects from the above list can be accomplished easily and simply:
- encourage a LOT of time outdoors and bring attention to all of the things found in nature
- allow a lot of creative time (coloring, drawing, gluing, painting, etc.)
- experiment with paint and blending colors to make new colors
- teach your child to use scissors safely and master the skill (this is always fun for the child!)
- provide your child with a lot of building materials (such as Lego sets)
- read to your child every day (living history books for young children are a great educational option)
What about the more “academic” things listed? Even alphabet and numeral recognition, phonics, and counting can be taught without seatwork.
- count your child’s snack with them each day and then help them form the number with the food (fish crackers, raisins, almonds, etc.)
- tell your child what letter their snack starts with, the sound it makes, and then help them form the letter with their food
- use a whiteboard or chalkboard to write letters and numbers and let the child practice in the same way
- play fun games where you write the letter or number and have your child name them or what sound they make
If you desire to have your child do seatwork and feel they are developmentally ready, then you can easily buy an affordable Kindergarten workbook or find printables online to place in a binder to create your own workbook. Seatwork should not be the focal point of their day and I would highly suggest doing less than 1 page each day with your child, perhaps alternating between number and letter worksheets each time.
The most important thing you can do as your child’s homeschool teacher is to spend time with them, talk to them and listen to them talk, play with them, read to them, ask them questions and answer their questions, provide a creative outlet for them, and just ignite their interest in learning.
I know that when you have several young kids, you may not be doing all of the above things all day or even every day, but purposefully encouraging their desire for knowledge and gently guiding them towards meaningful activities can make all of the difference for them.
Our goal at this age is for our children to love to learn. Be gentle, be intentional, put in an effort and watch what a few minutes here and there of “homeschool kindergarten” each day can do for your child!
Sidenote: being prepared as the teacher to teach phonics as an introduction to reading means that you can gently incorporate phonics without a lot of busy work or seat work but through oral prompting & instruction. You can learn more about how I teach language arts (from PreK through elementary school) HERE.