By Ann Zeise
Many parents write me asking about what
to buy to start homeschooling a 5 year old.
I won't give you a pat answer about curriculum for kindergartners
because I do not feel a boxed curriculum is useful for a child
so young. Why waste a lot of money for some material that would
sit on the shelf?
I'm just trying to help you
to not fall for expensive, "one size fits all" packages
out there. You wouldn't go into a shoe store and ask to buy "Shoes
for a Kindergartner, please." You would wind up with something
that was just not right for your son or daughter. Custom fit
your learning materials to your child's needs and interests,
much as you would select walking shoes, cowboy boots, soccer
cleats or ballet slippers. This isn't something anyone else can
do for you. Send for some catalogs
to get an idea of what's available. Have fun going through them
with your children, having them circle items that appeal to them.
If you still want a packaged curriculum, I have some
Distance Learning Programs here. You may want to see what
each state will be expecting
of their kindergartners? You may find your child has already
mastered these skills.
Observe your children while
you spend lots of time just discovering the world with them:
play games, read books,
things, paint, sing
silly songs, garden,
visit the fire department,
spend time "pretending,"
talk about things, any things, to increase vocabulary; put magnetic
letters on your fridge and talk about the SOUNDS
each letter makes (This is different than teaching the names
of the letters, a rather useless skill, not terribly useful in
learning how to read.) Use numbers, simple
addition and geometry
in day-to-day life. A small allowance will help them learn about
money. A cheap watch will
help them learn to tell time. Join a support
group to get out and play with other children.
You may want to use the Montessori Method, the Waldorf Method or the Charlotte
Mason Method of teaching. These philosophies encourage getting
a firm foundation of skills and observations before an academic-type
education is attempted. Join an email list or message board to
correspond with others doing Kindergarten
You may be able to find some useful materials at a teacher
supply store in your city. Usually these stores have gobs of
manipulatives. Get ideas.
Go home and start saving small objects to use in similar ways.
are available cheaply at grocery stores, pharmacies and even
online. Some love them, some do not.
Time should be used to build up fine muscle coordination by
using crayons and
markers. Many a 5 year old really isn't ready to write much.
Spending a little time learning online can be fun
and teach computer skills.
More Websites to Help Homeschool Kindergartners
You Need to Teach Kindergarten?
"What curriculum do you suggest for Kindergarten?"
This is a question I am frequently asked by parents. It is also
a question I find particularly difficult to provide a quick,
easy response to. The truth is I do not believe that a curriculum
is necessary for Kindergarten, but that usually is not the answer
parents are looking for or expect. By Karen Gibson.
3 and 4 Year Olds
Paula's Archives of an email discussion about starting to homeschool
younger than 5 year olds. (A good answer as to why I don't have
a "preschoolers" section on A to Z Home's Cool!)
I am starting this list for parents who homeschool children under
the ages of 6 or 7. Or who may be just starting to think of homeschooling
their young ones.
Discussion list for parents homeschooling preschool and kindergarten,
ages 1-5. Topics include curriculum selection (whether necessary
or not), teaching tips, creative learning ideas, time management,
as well as others.
at Those Lessons
Your 4-year-old isn't wired for lessons. He's wired for play.
That's how he learns. Through play. By Carol Narigon, HEM N/D
Noah loves learning by doing. He's full of energy and is a happy,
busy kid. His current new interests are medieval history and
the violin. His facility with math and written language continues
to gradually evolve in a free-form way.
on the Value of Materials and Classes
We all come into homeschooling with some common preconceptions
of what the program should be - but many who have been at it
for a while or raised homeschool grads are likely to strongly
suggest not setting up a structured study program for young children.
This is where some misunderstanding can come into play. By Lillian
Tyger! burning bright
With Matthew we have so far chosen a hands-on, eclectic, delight-directed
learning path. As he grows, the path will change. For now, there
are some days when he teaches me, some when I teach him.