As a mom who has homeschooled two children for kindergarten, I have found it to be one of my favorite grades to homeschool. Both of my children have loved the experience at the same time. Here are some tips on how to homeschool kindergarten!
I didn’t know if I was cut out to homeschool or if kindergarten would go as planned, but each time it I found myself saying “I’m so glad we chose to homeschool kindergarten this year.” As my oldest got older, I certainly did not feel that way about other grades, but I would go back and do kindergarten again in a heartbeat!
How to homeschool kindergarten
If you have ever wondered how to homeschool kindergarten, this is a simple guide to get you started. If you are thinking of homeschooling but aren’t quite sure if it’s a good fit for you, take a look at this list.
Look at your local requirements.
One of the first things to do when looking into homeschooling for kindergarten is to find out about the local laws. Some states require a specific number of hours of homeschooling with documentation while others don’t require anything at all for children who are under seven years old. Do some research about where you live and ask questions of other homeschoolers too. Homeschooling parents usually have lots of knowledge about the legal aspect of homeschooling, and a simple Google search will turn up lots of great information too!
Figure out your style.
There are so many ways to homeschool. A big part of having a successful homeschool kindergarten year is to find a method that works for you! This will take a little bit of trial and error, but there are ways to pinpoint what will generally work beforehand.
If you are a Type-A personality, a more structured, well-organized curriculum would probably be the best fit for you. If you are a Type-B personality, you will want a schedule and curriculum with a lot more wiggle room. I am a blend of both, and I found that making monthly homeschool goals was just right for us instead of daily or weekly.
If you want a more child-led kindergarten year, then you may choose to use some curriculum and allow for the child to have lots of opportunities to choose. Homeschooling is definitely a partnership though, so make sure to keep your little one in mind.
Use your child’s strengths and interests as a guide.
It is no secret that children learn differently and have different interests! There are children who are active, hands-on learners. Some children love writing on worksheets and working on projects all day. And then there are lots of learners in-between!
If you have an active child, make sure to find learning activities that involve movement and hands-on learning. Some children want to learn by being outside often, and there are lots of ways to incorporate learning while in nature. And other children may need extra social interaction, so belonging to a co-op or homeschool group would be beneficial to him or her. Follow your child’s lead and find activities that they are interested in.
Make fun events part of your curriculum.
Homeschooling for kindergarten definitely doesn’t have to be boring! One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling in kindergarten is being able to incorporate zoo trips, visiting museums, taking a trip to the library, and meeting up with other friends or homeschoolers as part of school.
Sometimes it feels like the weight of homeschooling rests on the adult. But that’s not true at all. Children learn from nature walks, outings to the park, and even a picnic. Sometimes we even use fun events to make activities that are less exciting feel so much more enticing. It’s much more engaging to learn about science when you are using a microscope or brushing a horse than just reading a book about one.
Make everyday life count!
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with homeschooling if you are trying to bring in all new materials and learning activities. Use everyday opportunities as part of your curriculum. Here are some common activities that can count as part of a homeschool day:
- Feeding and caring for a household pet
- Doing chores around the house
- Going to the grocery store
- Eating out at a restaurant
There are learning opportunities all around! Have children pay while at the store to help learn about money. Work on manners and etiquette while at a restaurant. Talk about the fruits and vegetables while grocery shopping. The possibilities are endless!
Connect with other homeschoolers.
Homeschooling is fun and exciting, but if you are doing it without the support and friendship of other homeschoolers, it starts to feel lonely very quickly. Having someone to encourage you on the hard days can make such a huge difference. It is also really helpful for children to have other friends to play with! Plan a trip to a pumpkin farm with a group of homeschoolers. Find a Facebook group for homeschoolers in your area. Or plan a holiday party such as a Valentine’s Day party with other homeschoolers so that children can exchange valentines.
Homeschooling for kindergarten can be a wonderful experience! Sometimes all we need is a game plan or an encouraging word from someone who has already been there.