Do you need a kindergarten homeschool curriculum ?
Yes & No
This post will go over what kindergarten looks like depending on your homeschooling philosophy.
This year is my 3rd time homeschooling kindergarten, and each time I’ve used different resources and done things differently.
There tends to be two thoughts on kindergarten- some people love to introduce sight words, get kids to learn how to read and write and do basic math. Others want to allow kids this age to enjoy play and art and let them be little.
How you homeschool kindergarten also depends on your child
Some kids are ready and very interested in learning to read at a young age.
Others need another year or two to crave the desire to learn words. Certain homeschool philosophies advocate delayed academics and enjoying the K year with songs, play, art, outside time and community.
Often kindergarten is full of crafts, songs and art, but what if your child doesn’t enjoy any of these activities?
I’ve had two polar opposite children and taught K differently based on my child’s interests.
My first just wanted to do art and play. I was focused more on Waldorf inspired homeschooling at the time, and took things very gently. My second daughter loves learning with worksheets, loves books, and almost taught herself to read.
Why delay her is she wants to read?
Why force my other to read when she’s not ready?
That’s the joy of homeschooling
This post will go over some great kindergarten curriculum, resources and tips.
I’ll also share our 2020/2021 Kindergarten curriculum choices
Kindergarten is often the first homeschooling experience for moms.
If this is your first year homeschooling, take a breath and know that it’ll also be a year of learning for you too. You’re getting to know how your child learns, what homeschool philosophies might suit your lifestyle and you becoming comfortable with teaching.
There are even homeschooling parents that have a bachelor of education, but doing it at home is a different experience.
You can buy homeschool kindergarten curriculum as all in one packages, or create your own, or buy parts. You also don’t need kindergarten curriculum, but many enjoy the guidance. Others like schedules, others don’t. Many start using curriculum then feel it too time constricting, which is why I love using them as a guideline.
Remember, Level K kids have short attention spans and all develop at their own pace.
Kindergarten curriculum can follow a more traditional approach of public schools, and others that are more gentle.
In my personal opinion, the K year should be full of
- Outside time and nature walks
- Arts and crafts
- Hands on skills like scissor practice or modelling clay
- Listening to stories that are fun and engaging
- Beautiful picture books with good messages
- Songs to help learn memory retention or things like the alphabet
- Basic math counting (without workbooks) using hands on manipulates such as beans, counting rods etc
- Optional- learn the basics of phonics to learn how to read
- Also optional – math curriculum to practice writing numbers and shapes.
- Potentially handwriting practice with workbooks. This can also be done in sand or salt boxes, or dry erase boards, many kids aren’t ready to write at the K years and are forced too early.
- Extra fun – gardening or growing something inside, other easy fun science projects like making slime or playdough
All in one Kindergarten homeschool curriculum packages
These homeschool packages include everything you will need to teach your kindergarten. These all in one subjects packages cover your math, manipulatives (these help young kids learn math concepts) , writing, stories, spelling, reading, crafts, arts, science etc.
Often these kindergarten curriculum offer an introduction to the world or focus on great books
There are SO many homeschool curriculum out there that it’s hard to list them all. Here are some that I am the most familiar with. Some are secular, others Christian.
Remember some can seem expensive, but many of the resources can be re-used with other kids or sold afterwards.
- BookShark is a literature based kindergarten curriculum that offers an introduction to the world. Customize elements like math, or extras. We used the level 1 a couple of years ago.
- Sonlight is a Christian literature based kindergarten curriculum that offers an introduction to the world.
- Timberdoodle offers a large package with some STEAM education inspiration depending on whether you get the basic or elite. I really appreciate the fun hands on board games or logical puzzles. You can also buy parts or the complete package.
- Oak Meadow this curriculum is Waldorf inspired, focusing on crafts, arts, and health and well being. I’ve been curious to try this one out as we enjoy a lot of Waldorf inspired learning.
- Abeka is Christian based, and has been around for a long time. Offering a traditional approach.
- Master Books a gentle Christian based curriculum, inexpensive and Charlotte Mason inspired. We’ve tried the Math Lessons for a Living Education and the Language Lessons for a Living Education. Offering bible studies, phonics, and more. I’ve purchased the level K math for this year.
- The Good and the Beautiful Offering in-depth phonics instruction, art studies, geography and other subjects. I’ve personally found the level K to be a little advanced for Kinder, but still very good. Many use a level below the grade level, for example level 2 for grade 3. You can see my review of their language arts. I did purchase the Level K, Pre-k and Level K Primer for my current pre-schooler.
- A Gentle Feast – Christian Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum.
- Habitat Schoolhouse offers a fun and beautiful level K curriculum, as well as preschool. Optional print or PDF files. She also offers some wonderful freebies that you can check out here.
Kindergarten curriculum (PDF files or websites)
These options can be less expensive, and are often created by homeschoolers for their own kids.
- Torchlight K Wordly Wisdom is a secular introduction to the world. Beautiful books are suggested as this is a literature based program that includes global cooking, arts and science. I used this one with my bigger kids and they loved it, and I plan on using it with my kindergarten after we finish pre-k. Read my Torchlight review here.
- Build your Library a secular curriculum full of books as its a literature based program. Level 0 offers around the world. I’ve purchased the level 0, but haven’t used it yet.
- Gather Round Homeschool – is a multi-age Christian unit study based curriculum.
- Little Oak Learning – offers beautiful illustrations, nature studies, seasonal stories and more! I love that she offers Northern and Southern Hemisphere options. She just started a live Instagram circle time community too.
- Blossom and Root is a nature based secular curriculum that also includes great book lists.
- The Kindergarten Toolkit is a fun kit to learn letters with a whiteboard.
- Chickie and Roo offers Flower of the Month club and many other wonderful printable resources.
- Wilder Child has a fun yearly moon club. We did it with other grades, but it would be fun for level K too!
- Exploring Nature with Children – is a year-long nature inspired curriculum we used in previous year (read my review here)
You can also buy kindergarten curriculum that’s broken into subjects
- Handwriting – We’ve used Handwriting without Tears before and enjoyed it. You ca get a large kit, we just got the smaller chalkboard and the first book.
- Phonics – Phonics are taught to kids K-4 to teach kids how to read and decoding of words. There are many great phonics programs out there, and most of the all in one curriculum include it. All About Reading is a fantastic multi sensory one that educators love. I’ve also really enjoyed the Explode the Code series. Dash into Learning is a beautiful collection of early readers with parent guides.
- Math there’s a lot of level K workbooks you can find, even at your local Costco or bookstore. In my opinion, you don’t have to spend a ton on math curriculum at this age. Manipulatives help as kids this age like holding something in their hand for counting.
- Spelling– We’ve used Spelling You See before for our older kids. I have the Level A for my kinder, however, I may delay her using it until later in the year or grade 1. In general kids this age are learning hand dexterity and reading sight words. Spelling can feel overwhelming to many K kids.
What we’re using for homeschool kindergarten curriculum in 2020/2021
These likely won’t be all the resources we use as K is months away, however, here are some I have in mind for the upcoming year.
Our kindergarten curriculum choices:
- Master Books Level K math and then Level 1 (we’ve started level K in preschool as many say that it’s light.
- The Good and the Beautiful Level K Primer ( I also have the older version of level K for later in the year)
- Many Waldorf Inspired books for seasonal crafts, celebrations and food.
- Dash into Learning Dash into reading books. We’re also going to borrow All About Reading pre-reader from our homeschool coop.
- Continue with Pre-K Torchlight slowly. The goal is to use Level K in grade 1 (or combine Build your Library 0 and Torchlight K like we did with Level 1 & 2 for older kids).
- Art Lab for Little Kids and other hands on crafts and art.
- Form drawing is done in Waldorf schools in grade 1, as is the introduction of the Alphabet. As we are not Waldorf homeschoolers (they delay things about a year, and we did with our first), but we pull inspiration from Waldorf resources, I will be using the Alphabet cards and story introduction to letters and use form drawing before writing letters.
- I’m creating my own nature studies for my kids for next year and they will be for multiple ages. They’ll be for sale in the shop soon!
Do you have a favorite homeschool kindergarten curriculum?
I’m happy to add any that I missed if you think they belong here 🙂