Creating a Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum: Tips and Resources for Success

Welcome to the kindergarten years, where children flourish in curiosity, develop their independence, and somehow are brimming with endless energy! This milestone year also marks the beginning of a new era for parents, as they start to make important decisions regarding their child’s education and what kindergarten homeschool curriculum to use.

Parents who are interested in homeschooling might find this year to be especially nerve-racking since this is when your child will develop a foundation of essential skills like reading and writing. It may also be their first glance at structured learning.

So what does a typical kindergarten homeschool curriculum look like? And what is involved in homeschooling at this age? Let’s dive in and explore what homeschooling your little one might look like this year.

How Do I Homeschool my Kindergartener?

If there’s ever a time to keep learning fun and flexible, it’s the Kinder years! 

I’m sure you have heard it a million times, but it is so true: little kids are like sponges. Even when you aren’t actively teaching, your kindergartener is soaking up knowledge from the world around them through play and everyday life. 

As such, learning at this age doesn’t have to be super structured with a laundry list of subjects to conquer. However, it is a good idea to slowly introduce some structured learning to help train their brains (and active little bodies!) for the years to come.

The first step in your homeschool journey is to research the homeschool laws in your state so you can be sure you’re set up for success and following all legal requirements. Some states are known to be lenient when it comes to homeschooling, requiring less documentation and record keeping than other states where homeschooling is monitored more closely.

The next step is to look at your budget and figure out how much you can invest when it comes to curriculum, supplies, and other activities. 

Then you can compare curriculum options. Think about how much flexibility you want to have in your child’s curriculum, your child’s unique learning style, and how much time you have to help them with their schoolwork. 

Do you want to build your own kindergarten homeschool curriculum, or mix and match from supplemental curriculum? What about online curriculum? Does purchasing a comprehensive curriculum help take the burden off your shoulders? 

Lastly, figure out a schedule that works for you. Part of the beauty of homeschool is you don’t have to follow a set schedule. That said, having a rough idea of when things happen helps keep you accountable and gives your child a better idea of what to expect. 

We tend to do school work in the mornings Monday-Thursday, leaving Friday open for field trips, learning life skills, or socialization. 

Is it Hard to Homeschool a Kindergartener?

Homeschooling a kindergartener is easier than you think, and even easier when you find ways to make it fun through play-based learning!

The hardest part, in my opinion, is creating structure, staying organized, and trusting that you are doing enough. Once you’ve got that down, it’s all about knowing where your child is at academically, so you can focus on the areas they need more help.

A few ways you can make homeschooling easier is to:  

  • Create a routine and stick to it as much as possible. 
  • Balance structured teaching with play-based learning.
  • Foster your child’s natural love for learning and let them set their own pace.
  • Help your child learn through everyday activities, like teaching math through cooking.
  • Take them to museums, field trips, the library, and other exciting, educational places.
  • Read to your child as often as you can. 

What is a Typical Kindergarten Curriculum?

Kindergarten is all about building a solid understanding of the three R’s, as they call them: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. 

Building a love of reading is important, and especially so for early learners. Reading opens so many doors, giving life to budding imaginations and increasing a child’s ability to do their schoolwork independently. Reading also helps build your child’s vocabulary, so be sure to read aloud to your child often.

In Kindergarten, your child’s reading skills should be on the rise, as they master letter recognition, develop phonemic awareness, and understand basic sentence structure, grammar and punctuation. 

When it comes to writing, Kinder kiddos will continue to fine tune their pencil grip and hone in on their fine motor skills to form letters, numbers, and short words that are legible and more controlled.

The math curriculum for a Kindergartener will work on skills such as counting, one-to-one correspondence, number and pattern recognition, shapes, and sorting. 

You can totally add in some basic science through nature exploration and fun experiments, and tie in social studies by learning about community helpers, the president, and important holidays. While these topics tend to be the fan favorites of Kindergarten, they aren’t really the focus at this age and you can work these types of lessons in as you see fit.

How Many Hours a Day Do You Homeschool a Kindergartener?

Many people are shocked to learn that homeschool days are much shorter than the typical 8-hour day in public school. 

New homeschool parents may initially think they need to homeschool their kindergartener for hours a day in accordance with the public school schedule, but this isn’t necessarily in your child’s best interest. 

In fact, the Illinois State Board of Education recommends that your kindergarten-aged child only have 30 to 90 minutes of formal instruction per day. This is in line with most homeschool families today, who report teaching their kindergarteners for an hour or hour-and-a-half each day, 3 to 4 days per week.

Remember that just because your child isn’t sitting at a desk all day, they are still living in a world of learning opportunities. 

Everyday tasks like cooking, gardening, or going on nature walks are all great opportunities to develop life skills and learn organically. You can incorporate lessons into almost any activity, which helps your child view learning as a fun experience.

What is the Best Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum?

You can poll a thousand different homeschooling parents and you’ll get hundreds of different answers to this question. The key to finding the best homeschool curriculum for your kiddo is understanding their learning style and figuring out what approach you want to take. 

So, we will take a look at some of the front runners when it comes to just getting started, but keep in mind, you know your child best and what’s best for them might look totally different!

Yep, you read that right. My top, all-time-favorite resource for teaching children to read is a 15-minute Youtube tutorial! 

Stay with me on this one. When we first started our homeschool journey, we were knee deep in the How To Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Lessons workbook, trying to make lemonade out of lemons. I hated it, my kids hated it… we were struggling. Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people who love this book. But it wasn’t working for us. 

That’s when *trumpets sound* a dear homeschool friend suggested this video. Her four children were star readers from an early age, so I knew she would point me in the right direction.

Within a week, my littles were understanding phonics, sounding out words, and grinning in delight as they would read to me. 

I didn’t even do the big chart she shows in the video, just lots of repetition, reading together, and patience. 

If you give it a try, I would love to hear how it works for you!

Abeka K5 Child Kit

If you are looking for a curriculum that has everything spelled out for you, Abeka has you covered. The Abeka K5 child kit includes books focused on handwriting, phonics, and reading, along with math concepts like counting and basic addition and subtraction problems. 

Parents also love the Lesson Plan guidebook that is available for purchase on the Abeka website, to help guide your child and keep them on track throughout the year. The website also has countless supplemental learning tools and games you can add on to your kit for a more customized learning experience.

The Abeka educational kits help take the guesswork out of planning your day, and alleviate the stress of making sure you are covering all of the Kinder basics. 

While this set does cover some basic math, you may want to supplement with additional math resources for extended learning.

Math U See

The Math U See Primer for kindergarteners is a great first introduction to math for your child. You can also buy an instruction manual for parents, and an instructional DVD with video lessons your child can watch. The DVD is especially helpful if teaching math isn’t your strong suit!

The Primer teaches concepts like:

  • Counting
  • Place Value
  • Reading, writing, and recognizing numbers
  • Addition and subtraction
  • Time, shapes, and measurement

The workbook is organized in a simple format, with only a few problems per page so that your child can stay focused without getting overwhelmed or distracted.

The Moffatt Girls

The Moffatt Girls website is an online resource for all things homeschooling, developed by an experienced elementary school teacher. The site offers math, grammar, reading, and writing curricula for preschool through third grade. 

The materials are made available through Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT), meaning you’ll purchase a file and have to print the pages at home or through a copy store like Office Max.

But don’t let that scare you. This is a great resource that can make homeschooling your child much less stressful. There are lots of options available, from individual unit studies to more comprehensive learning bundles. 

Five In A Row

Five In A Row (FIAR) is such a great curriculum for so many reasons, but the reason I love it is it really doesn’t feel like school at all. 

With FIAR, you read the same classic children’s book to your child each day for a week (five times, hence the name), diving deeper into the literature each time. The lesson book shows you how to pull lessons from the book you read, such as literary devices, geography, culture, math and science. 

You’ll want to supplement with writing and phonics activities, since FIAR does not expressly include these from what I remember. But, there are so many activities and lesson extensions you can find on Pinterest and TPT for each of the books, which is my other favorite part of this curriculum. Think about all of the freedom you will have to customize lessons for your kiddo!

This is a great curriculum that allows you to cuddle up on the couch and enjoy learning together. One thing to note is the lesson book is available through the website but you are responsible for finding each of the children’s books a la carte (be sure to check your library or resale store).

Bob Books

And, what better way to round out a post than a shout out to our old pal, Bob, who makes learning to read simple and fun. 

While not really a curriculum, per se, Bob Books are an incredible learning tool that should be on every homeschool parent’s book shelf at some point or another. 

Some people have griped about the simplicity of these books, but really, when your child is just learning to read, Bob knows best. 

Now my kids like to read the books in silly voices, color the pages, and staple paper together to make their own version of their favorite Bob Books.

Final Thoughts on Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

Homeschooling your kindergartener is a fun, rewarding experience that can really strengthen the relationship between you and your child. 

There is no perfect homeschool curriculum; what makes your child’s learning experience perfect is YOU. So keep it fun and flexible, and rest assured that you are uniquely qualified to teach your child! 

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