Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homeschool Kindergarten


"Raise [your children] with great care in the holy fear of God, because on this depends their health and blessings for your house." 
~~ St. John Bosco

Below you will find resources I have used with my children - the good and the bad - for each subject for kindergarten. Kindergarten does not have to be complicated. Your child does not need to be doing x, y, and z by the end of the year. Feel your child out. Are they excited to learn numbers, letters, letter sounds? 

Read to them. Read, read, read. Go for walks. Explore the world around you. Basically, keep on doing what you have been doing but gently introduce reading, handwriting and math. Keep progressing. Love God. Share your faith. The rest all follows. Truly.

**There are many resources listed. I have used all of these ideas, but never with just one child!**

School Reviews/Plans that include kindergarten: 2012-13 (plans), 2012-13 (review), 2014-15

Religion:


Math

  • In the beginning, I used MCP Math for my kids but will be switching to Horizons for future children.
  • Use manipulatives (anything you have around the house to help show math concepts).

The Alphabet Path

I use the name coined by Elizabeth Foss, and she certainly has a wonderful Alphabet Path to follow, but I like to go through the alphabet with each child as individuals. With some, this path is followed later, and others, earlier. In the end, I have some kind of book memorabilia to remember our time on the path. Things I like to include:
  • Reading the story of Michael and the ABC fairies from Elizabeth Foss (see link above) - this includes reading An Alphabet of Saints.
  • ABC Saints by Catholic Icing (my daughter is really enjoying these).
  • Handwriting without Tears wood pieces.
  • Letter Hunts (look around or print off a number of free pages you can find online - like these).
  • Letter handwriting practice (will vary by age/skill what you use and do).
  • Make a collage of the letter (for example, glue buttons on for the letter B).
  • Have letter food snacks.
  • Do a letter craft (for example, P is for painting.)
  • Confessions of a Homeschooler has a lot of ABC resources.
  • Make a photo book at the end to have a personal ABC book or make a book as you go along.
The beauty of an Alphabet Path is that you can tailor it to your child and your energy and time. Keep it simple, keep it consistent, and by the end you will have a wonderful keepsake.

Reading

  • Reading is definitely at level - whatever interests them, gets them going into reading (if not already a strong reader). The items below are all things I have used, but not necessarily with each kid. I have had one child not reading at all until spring of his second grade year and another reading by the end of kindergarten. It is highly individual. I can't stress this enough!
  • Hooked on Phonics.
  • Little Stories for Little Folks (Catholic Heritage Curricula) - I like these better as a supplement than a stand-alone.
  • Starfall.com
  • ABCmouse.com
  • Word ball for recognizing new words -- use an inflatable beach ball and add sight or CVC words. Toss back and forth, reading the word your right thumb lands on.
  • Audio Books - great for non-readers.
  • Read to your children.
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons (I hated this book with my first but it helped my struggling reader with blending.)
  • Read aloud using Seton's Faith and Freedom Readers (I love these books, and so do my children.) This would be for advanced readers.
  • Memoria Press has a nice First Start Reading program that puts together phonics, reading, and printing so as long as you child has no difficulties with handwriting, this could be a possibility.

Language Arts

  • Printing handwriting practice. (My kids all seem to do better with Handwriting without Tears, no matter their inherent talent or struggle.)
  • Sit by your child and correct immediately.


Science

Science is definitely a fun bonus for this age. Do as little or as much as your child is interested.

  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Zoology 3: Land Animals. (See science page for more detail.)
  • Exploring Creation with Astronomy. (See science page for more detail.) **This is definitely my favorite!

History

I do history as a family, using Connecting with History. At this age, the child listens in on lessons, occasionally doing some kind of paperwork assignment or copywork. The best part is participating in time period activities. See history page for more detail).

Other Stuff

Naturally, plenty of other learning goes on - dance class, karate, homeschool group activities, faith extras, cooking, drawing and painting, how-to-draw books, etc. Specific blog posts below: 

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