Generally, us homeschooling mamas over complicate things. With our child’s whole education on our shoulders, we want to make sure we are giving our kiddos the absolute best. With a vast array of curriculum and homeschool programs to choose from, homeschooling can seem all but simple…not to mention costly!
I have comprised an easy plan for you that answers the question, “So what does my kindergartner need to learn this year?”
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links for your convenience.
If your child already knows there letter sounds, you can jump right into reading (if they don’t I highly recommend Meet the Phonics.
Then find an easy guide to fit your teaching style. There is no need for big expensive curriculum containing 4 inch thick teacher manuals. All that stuff can get so overwhelming. Check out my post The Ultimate Free Curriculum List or my Free Curriculum page to find a free phonics program that you like. If your child is more fidgety and hands-on like my daughter, then I highly recommend This Reading Mama Blog. Packed with lots of free hands-on games and activities, this site will add some pizzazz to your everyday reading lessons.
There are also other super cheap guides if you can’t find anything you like that is free. Here are a few I am familiar with:
Read to your child. Point to the words as you read to them. Reading out loud introduces your child to vocabulary and topics that can strike memorable conversations you would not think about having in everyday doings. It allows your child to hear good literature, sentence structure and word flow.
Find simple books for your kiddo to read to you as soon as they are able to. This will increase their confidence in reading. I have written down little stories that I came up with on my own using words I know my kid knows or needs to practice. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Example: The fat cat sat on the mat. The mat was red. The fat cat likes red. The mat was the fat cat’s bed.
I use the Charlotte Mason approach to teach my kids to read. I love the idea that you can basically take any book and use it as a guide. Refer to How to Use McGuffey Readers Part 1 on how I go about doing this. Here are a couple videos to explain this approach:
Disclaimer: I have never used the Delightful Reading Kit and though I am sure it is lovely, my point of sharing this video is for you to capture this brilliant concept, not to sell you on a product.
Along side doing a reading lesson everyday, have the child practice handwriting. This is the very first step in learning to spell and write. Print is the traditional choice but you can introduce cursive whenever you feel fit. If you have neat handwriting yourself, write letters, numbers, or words in a light colored ink marker for the child to trace.
Or here are some free printables:
There are plenty of math workbooks out there. And honestly, at this age, the concepts are very basic. If you are looking for an open and go type of curriculum, workbooks are the way to go.
If you are looking for free options, again go to my Free Curriculum List. Everyday Number Stories is very cute if you like more of a literature based arithmetic. First Year in Numbers is a neat vintage book with adorable pictures, ideal for learning to count. There are also many websites on my list that have free worksheets and whole workbooks! Simply print them out and bind them to make up your own workbook.
Basically here is the overview of what a Kindergartner should learn in math:
(This is not common core aligned. I choose not to introduce various math concepts such as geometry, time, money and measurements until 1st grade.)
- Number Recognition,
- Counting to 100,
- Skip Counting
- Counting Backwards,
- Basic concept of Adding and Subtracting.
If you are looking for another cheap alternative, I have put together a kindergarten lesson plan already for you! Here is a simple guide with suggestions that I personally use:
1) Number Recognition: In earlier years, number recognition started in Kindergarten. Now, it is in preschool. The beauty of homeschooling is deciding when to start academic learning. If your child doesn’t know number recognition, I recommend Meet the Numbers or simply take a bunch of index cards and a sharpie and make flashcards. Draw dots on one side and the number on the other. Practice until the child understands that that 1-2-3 dots equals to the symbol 3. There are also many picture books you can buy or borrow from the library. Our favorite is One Foot, Two Feet.
2) Counting to 100: Counting to 100 and recognizing the larger numbers out of order is the next step in kindergarten arithmetic. You can simply get a one hundred chart and point to the number or you can make flashcards from index cards. One of my absolute favorite tools is the one hundred dance video on YouTube. My kids love dancing to it!
3) Skip Counting: Once counting to 100 is mastered, skip counting by 2, 5 and 10 is introduced. Explain to your child that it is much faster to count by 2, 5 or 10’s then it is by 1’s. This skill will later help them tremendously in multiplication. Use things around the house for manipulatives such as Cheerios, buttons, popsicle sticks, legos etc. Here is a video from Fun hands-on learning to explain how to teach your child to skip count. Also here is are the booklets she mentions.
Here are some more videos for dancing!
4) Counting Backwards: The whole one hundred chart should be mastered, forwards and backwards. Learning to count backwards will help your child later in subtraction. Play simple games like hide and seek counting backwards. Teaching your child to count backwards uses the same method as forwards- repetition, repetition, repetition!
5)Basic concept of adding and subtracting: Adding and subtracting very small numbers like 1+1=2, are the last concept to be taught in Kindergarten. If your kiddo doesn’t quite get it, don’t worry, first grade will catch him/her up. I like to use a basic notebook and write down 5-6 simple addition problems a day for my kiddo to complete.
I use manipulatives in the beginning but as the math facts get larger, I quickly switch to the touch point method. The touch point method is easier then always having manipulatives on hand. Confession…I still use this method myself! (I wasn’t very disciplined at practicing my math facts as a child.)
Here are a couple of videos to explain this neat method as well as touch point cards and worksheets:
It should be no surprise by now how much I love Preschool Prep. I recommend the Meet the Math Facts Level 1 – Coloring Book for independent learning and the Meet the Math Facts – Addition & Subtraction Level 1 (or the free YouTube Video!) The idea is for your child to eventually learn math facts quickly. Don’t be like me (haha!).
This looks like an insane amount of information so let me recap:
- Find a reading program that fits you and your child and work on it everyday. Every child is different. One may take off reading quickly while others take a little longer. No worries! As long as you are working on it, your child will eventually get it.
- Practice handwriting. (Especially the child’s name, individual letters and numbers)
- Read aloud to cover all interesting subjects. History and science is unnecessary at this age but reading various things will introduce your child to new interests and expand their vocabulary. ( Have fun going to the library!)
- Teach the 5 basic math concepts. Whether it be by workbook or dancing in the living room to a YouTube video, these 5 basic concepts are the foundation for more complex math problems later.