It’s that time of year again! I really can’t believe that it is time to begin another school year, can you? Although we’ve been doing school informally all summer, we officially started on Monday. Today I am sharing what I have planned for our homeschool in the coming months.
I’m not a huge advocate of a lot of structured learning for young children and appreciate Charlotte Mason’s idea of waiting until a child is six to begin formal lesson. However, Claire (4) has been begging to do school almost daily and most everything geared toward Preschool/Pre-K is too easy for her. (I’m not saying this to brag on my child, I’m just stating a fact). Because of this, I’ve decided to stretch Kindergarten over two years as I have read about other homeschoolers doing and officially start Kindergarten (K-4) this year. We are going to slowly ease into doing school on a daily basis–at least Bible, Reading and Math.
My main goals in homechooling our children have not changed. I desire to instill a love for God and His Word (the Bible), His World (all of creation, especially people) and cultivate a thirst for life-long learning, as well as encourage godly character. My homeschool teaching philosophy and methods continue to be pretty eclectic, however they align most closely with the Charlotte Mason method and have begun to lean a bit toward unschooling for the early years of learning. For Kindergarten, just as with Preschool, that basically means we play, explore and read a lot. I like to call it Purposeful Playtime. 🙂
Last year, I created my own preschool “curriculum” using a variety of free and purchased resources. However, a few months into our school year, I found some things to be too easy or uninteresting to Claire and I personally felt a bit overwhelmed. I decided to simplify my plan and weave “school time” into our everyday life. I found that this approach worked much better for both of us, so we are sticking with it for Kindergarten.
Our Homeschool Focus & Kindergarten Curriculum
Below are the main subjects we are focusing on for the school year as well some of the resources I plan to use.
- Bible – This is always the most important part of our homeschool day. If we don’t get anything else done, I really try to make sure the Word of God has been read and/or heard. I plan to incorporate Circle Time into our morning breakfast routine. During this time we will read and discuss a Bible passage, study doctrine and godly character, as well as memorize Scripture. Some of the resources I plan to use for this includes a catechism that I complied and The ABC’s for Godly Girls.
- Language Arts & Literature – Our main goal here is to continue to cultivate a love for good literature and to develop reading & writing skills. Claire has already been working on letter recognition and phonics using homemade alphabet flashcards and she is beginning to sound out simple words. I plan to use the guidelines and activity ideas from Discover Reading, a free resource from Ambleside Online, to continue developing her reading skills. For penmanship we will simply be writing words that she is working on in her reading lessons. We will also have daily read-aloud time to introduce good literature and poetry.
- Math – We are continuing to use a lot of play to work on these skills. We play several games as well as use math manipulatives to encourage early math skills like counting, number recognition and even some addition and subtraction. We will also learn about the calender and reading a clock during Circle Time in the mornings.
- Music & Art – I still don’t have much of a formal plan for music and art. We often listen to scripture verse songs or other favorite CDs throughout the day and will continue to do so. I will also turn on classical music during meals, snacks or bathtime and always sing hymns as part of her bedtime routine. Art is usually free-hand drawing, painting, playing with Plah-Doh or making a simple craft. When my artist brother visits, she sometimes enjoys an informal “art lesson” with him.
- Science & History – This is where unit studies come into play in our homeschooling. For science we will read books, collect and study things we find on our nature walks and outdoor explorations, and perhaps keep a simple nature journal. History will usually be reading and crafts centered around a holiday to teach the reason we celebrate. Most of our studying in these areas will happen when we find something we want to investigate or know more about. I will be using information and ideas from the MFW Kindergarten curriculum, books from our personal and public library, and free printables online to create our unit studies.
- Spanish – This is one subject that is new this year! Over the summer I came up with the idea to create a fun little tradition of Family Fiesta Friday. Basically, I make an easy Mexican dish (like my tasty quesadillas, nachos or enchiladas) for dinner on Friday nights and we learn and practice Spanish together. We are going through 52 Weeks for Family Spanish. Along with this, I will review and add additional words/phrases that go along with our unit studies during our Circle Time in the mornings. (Join me on Instagram every see what we’re eating and learning each week!)
- Social & Life Skills – Just about everything else we do is lumped into this category: dance lessons, MOPS, homeschool co-op, storytime at the library, field trips, playdates, doing household chores, helping with food preparation in the kitchen and learning how to play kindly with her sister! 🙂
I think we will have a fun and fulfilling school year this year! I look forward to making memories and learning together through purposeful playtime and intentional, everyday moments.
What resources and activities do you recommend for Kindergarten? Share in a comment!