If you are one of those parents researching homeschooling options for your kindergartener, you are in the right place. The current global scenario has forced many parents to consider homeschooling and with that arise basic questions like, what a kindergartener should know? How to select a homeschool kindergarten curriculum?
I get it, it’s overwhelming when you first start researching. In fact, I can guarantee, most of us feel like our child knows nothing as we read these blogs and education websites.
Calm down, these thoughts are all beginner’s anxiety. Today I will take you through the skills your kindergartener should be equipped with and a glimpse at how our homeschool kindergarten curriculum looks like.
When I started, I went through the same confusion and anxiety, but in time I realized that most of the expected skill sets are already practiced in our day to day and others can be easily included in our routine without much need for expensive curriculum, activity sheets or books.
Kindergarten years are the years just before the start of formal education, which is ages 3-5 in most countries around the world. These years are more of a preparation stage and don’t require too many tools and resources. They in-fact require adults who are interested in guiding the child and being a partner in the child’s learning. This simple shift in the way you perceive your home education can help you feel at ease and confident in your capabilities as a teacher and guide.
John Holt (author of How Children Learn) once said: “ Any child who can spend an hour or two a day, or more if he wants with adults that he likes, who are interested in the world and like to talk about it, will on most days learn more from their talk than he would learn in a week of school.”
WHAT A KINDERGARTENER SHOULD KNOW
These are skills you start working on from age 3 until 5. By the end of 5 years of age. Just before 1st grade, most children have these skills.
- They must know the alphabet and learn to write both big and small letters.
- Can write their own name and short sentences by age 5 (for e.g. I sat on a mat).
- Readout common sight words and short sentences.
- Must know numbers 1-30 in written and 1-100 orally.
- Identify common colors and shapes and draw a few basic shapes.
- Can narrate a story from start to end sequentially.
- Solve puzzles (start with 2-piece puzzles and add more complex varieties of puzzles as the child takes interest).
- Understand the meaning of addition and subtraction. Addition meaning adding to a group and subtraction meaning taking away from a group.
- Learn to read time and temperature.
- Complete simple origami crafts on their own(for e.g. how to make a sailboat, or how to make paper monsters).
- Brief understanding about the following topics – Country they live in, helpers and members of the community around them, seasons, days and months, birds, animals, insects, fruits, vegetables, different modes of transport, about the solar system, life cycle of a few insects of interest like a butterfly for e.g., water cycle, where and how food grows.
Look through the resources listed below to get an in-depth understanding on how you can explore each of these topics.
References : Scholastic.com
Other than these academic skills your child must be able to :
- Participate in groups, take turns, and cooperate.
- Help around the house and do age-appropriate chores. Here is a list of age-appropriate chores for kids.
- Play with a variety of open-ended toys. I listed some of our favorite open-ended toys for preschoolers here.
- Help with cooking and make simple snacks like energy balls, sandwiches for self. Here is more on how to cook with toddlers.
- Hear a lot of stories through books, audiobooks, storytelling which improves vocabulary and language skills.
- Engage in at least 2 hours of outdoor play.
Here is a look at our homeschool kindergarten curriculum for age 4.
Related reading : Our homeschool supplies list.
LOWER KG HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM
- Identify and write alphabets both big and small letters.
- Alphabet sounds and phonics songs.
- Blending 3 and 4 letter words.
- Introduce common sight words.
- Start with reading short sentences.
- Learn and listen to nursery rhymes.
- Practice narration and re-telling a story in sequence.
- Reading a variety of books: storybooks, non-fiction books, magazines, picture books, fold-out books, flap books.
- Continue work on fine motor skills through cutting and pasting activities, beading, sewing, lacing, sand tracing, and play-doh.
- Pattern writing: standing line, sleeping line, slanting line, curly C, bumpety bump, zig-zag, wave pattern, and castle pattern.
- Tactile writing practice.
- Written numbers 1-20.
- Oral numbers 1-100.
- Use of ten frames, before and after numbers, and subitizing.
- Introduction to fractions.
- Shapes: circle, triangle, square, rectangle, oval, diamond, star, and semicircle.
- Skip counting by 5’s and 10’s.
- Concepts like heavy and light, above and below, near and far, high and low, more and less, empty and full.
- Activities like the odd one out, sequencing, spot the difference, maze, etc.
- Solve different types of puzzles. (tangrams, jigsaw puzzles, build by design using LEGO)
Arts and Crafts
Continue self-expression through self-led drawing and painting, coloring, try origami crafts, build simple crafts for festive celebrations and special days.
Topics of Interest
I chose the following list of topics for our homeschool year based on our son’s current interests and some that I felt are a good time to introduce at his age. This list can change as the year progresses and his interests expand.
India study: Will include different seasons of India, the types of fruits and vegetables available each season, learning the National Anthem and a few patriotic songs, Flag of India, where we live on a map, special facts about our city, and family history in the city.
Nature study: Plant life cycle, water cycle, different types of flowering plants in our location, volcanoes, the life cycle of butterfly and frog, how to keep surroundings clean, and why it is important to conserve energy and water, waste management and recycle.
Vehicles: Study of different vehicles, we will dig deeper into the topic of different construction vehicles, how they are used, how buildings are built, and more.
Solar System: Recently he has shown interest in space rockets and space missions. Which brings us to discuss on our planet and the solar system we belong too.
Heavy and Light (Density) experiments
Colors: Primary and secondary colors
These are the topics I wish to cover this year. As the year progresses this list may change based on his interests and as I understand his interests more. Currently, the list is more of a structure that we can use to start with our homeschool year.
When I sent my email subscribers a mail on this topic I had many requests for more details, especially about how we are planning the homeschool year. I hope this post has been helpful to you as you consider homeschooling your kindergartener.
If you have any doubts, leave me a comment in the comments section below. I am happy to help in anyway possible.