What do you need when you are homeschooling Kindergarten? This is a common question parents have when they are just reaching this age with their first child. When my oldest first turned 5 I was raring to go. I thought she needed the best books, and lots of them! I was so ready to teach that I wanted to jump right to the multiplication tables!
After awhile, however, I calmed down and realized what a 5 year old is ready for. After a few children, I realized what is really necessary at this age and pared down considerably.
Of course, every child is different and you know your child better than anyone else, but here is what I recommend for a homeschooling your kindergartner:
1. Basic math and phonics program ONLY if they are interested and seem ready for it. If you try something and they just aren't catching on, drop it and try again in a few months. At this age, it is not necessary to force them to continue on in something that isn't working.
2. Hands-on experiences. This is a great way to explore science related topics. Take nature walks, do fun experiments, build things. The more hands on the projects are, the more fun you'll all have. Let the kids participate, don't just "show" them how it is done.
3. Let them participate in your life. By this I mean, let them help you do household chores, let them be there to help, within their means of course, with household projects. Get them in the kitchen and let them help with age-appropriate tasks. Teach them as you go about your daily duty. They are old enough to do many tasks, so make sure you let them.
4. Take a lot of field trips. You can go to museums (make sure to check for free days!), take tours of places in your community (library, post office, police and fire stations, etc.), participate in acts of service through your church. These are great ways for kids to learn.
5. Take advantage of the low level of book work and teach them art and music. Once they get older and get more into the hard-core curriculum, these subjects tend to take a back seat.
6. And last, but certainly not least, READ, READ, READ. Develop a relationship with your librarian and have him/her help you find all kinds of books for you to read aloud to your child and for them to read once they are able. Reading aloud can cover so much learning, it should be a big part of every day!
Most states don't start compulsory education until 6 or 7, so don't worry about having your kindergartner enrolled in a program or even have a stack of workbooks. Let them lead you in directions they are interested in. Have fun with them.
Hopefully you can see that homeschooling kindergarten can be a time of fun learning and bonding with your child. Don't make it harder than it needs to be. Save that for the later years :)