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How to Homeschool a Kindergartener

Four Methods:

Whether you’re looking for a flexible curriculum or want to spend more time with your child, you might decide to homeschool kindergarten. Choose a homeschooling curriculum that feels right for you and uses age-appropriate strategies to teach your kindergartener. You’ll also need to research homeschooling laws in your area to ensure you’re meeting legal schooling obligations.


Performing Curriculum Research

  1. Check the subject requirements of your municipality.Go to in the U.S. to see if your state mandates specific course material in kindergarten. Internationally, contact your local department of education to determine any areas you must cover when teaching kindergarten at home.
    • Requirements vary from place to place. You may need to teach language arts, math, and social studies.
  2. Look at the scope and sequence of large curriculum providers.Get ideas for your personal curriculum by purchasing copies of kindergarten curricula from major curriculum providers. There are free kindergarten curricula online, but its best to seek out accredited curricula created by educators for homeschooling.
    • Some popular homeschooling providers are Classical Academic Press, Calvert Education, and Gryphon House.
    • You can choose to use one of these ready-made curricula or incorporate approaches from several for a custom curriculum for your child.
    • Search online for your state’s learning standards for your child’s grade level.
  3. Consult books that focus on homeschooling young children.Seek out homeschooling classics that cover the kindergarten years. These can help you select a homeschooling approach that feels right for you and your child. Your local home educator’s association can direct you to appropriate books relevant to homeschooling your kindergartener.
    • Cathy Duffy’s100 Top Picks for a Homeschool Curriculumis a top choice that covers kindergarten.
    • Search online to see if your state or has a homeschooling advocacy organization with books to recommend.
  4. Tailor your homeschooling approach to that of a conventional school if needed.Incorporate traditional routines if you’ll be transitioning your child mainstream 1st grade after homeschooling. You might perform rituals like taking attendance or doing show and tell.
    • In conventional schools, kindergarteners and 1st graders typically stay seated at tables or on the floor during instruction with periodic breaks for creative play.
    • Picture day is a fun tradition even if you’re homeschooling.
    • Use a rigid schedule for your school days. Make exceptions during special occasions, like field trips/
  5. Create social opportunities for your child.Build time into the school day for your kindergartener to socialize with other homeschooled children. Socialization helps your child bond with people their own age and is an important part of your child’s development.
    • Ask your local homeschooling association if there is a lunch or playgroup in your area for homeschooled children.
    • A local music class is a great place for your child to socialize with other kindergarteners.
    • Check for social opportunities at your local library or with parenting groups.
  6. Set learning objectives for your child.Create goals that you’d like your child to achieve over the course of the kindergarten year. Devise a framework to monitor their progress towards these goals to keep your teaching on track.
    • For example, if you want your child to read by the end of kindergarten, keep a weekly log of your child’s reading ability. Tweak your lesson plans as needed to achieve your goal.
    • If you notice your child is struggling with vowel combinations on your weekly log, for example, you could add phonetic exercises into the next week’s lesson plan.
  7. Incorporate additional subjects tailored to your child or family.Add elective subjects, such as religion, to reflect your family’s values or the child’s interests. Many people pursue homeschooling to have more flexibility in this regard.
    • If your kindergartener loves trains and cars, for example, you might add a unit on transportation to your curriculum.

Teaching Your Kindergartener

  1. Use visual cues to make concepts clearer.Create anchor charts or classroom decorations to help your child learn. These aids can help your child grasp concepts that are more easily visualized.
    • A poster with classroom rules can help remind your child to raise their hand if they have a question.
    • A chart where you record the day’s weather could be made more effective with illustrations of rain, sun, and clouds.
    • Refer to electronic media and make sure your child is able to use a computer.
  2. Incorporate learning into everyday chores and experiences.Use grocery shopping, bath time, and meal prep as learning opportunities for your kindergartener. Exercising skills outside the classroom can make your lessons more concrete and memorable.
    • Rather than simply reading about math, buy an apple at the store and practice paying with the appropriate coins.
    • Teach your child about shapes by serving a meal with circular food, for example, hot dog slices, crackers, and cucumber slices.
  3. Use music to make learning fun.Add structure to your day by using songs to punctuate your routine. You could even use themed songs to introduce different subjects.
    • A morning song can let your child know it’s time to start the school day, for example.
    • Singing the alphabet song might be a great way to kick off a daily reading session.
  4. Combine physical and cognitive skills for more impactful lessons.Refine multiple skills at once through combined exercises.
    • For example, placing stickers on a piece of paper could be a great way to practice both counting and fine motor skills.
    • Tracing a letter on a piece of paper could be a way to learn the alphabet and exercise motor control.
  5. Employ colorful, age-appropriate materials.Use brightly colored books with larger text and pictures to keep your child excited about learning. Kindergarteners are drawn to colorful patterns and photos.
    • Age-appropriate resources, such as Simply Kinder, have vibrant sight-word books and charts geared specifically towards kindergarteners.
    • Use colored construction paper to print any handouts. The fun hues can help your child stay organized and engaged.
  6. Use games to teach lessons.Play basic games like tic-tac-toe to learn about patterns or hopscotch to practice counting. Keeping learning fun and active will hold your child’s attention. Riff on familiar games or create your own.
    • Play a game of hot potato to practice new words. For example, take turns naming words that start with a given letter.
    • Fun learning games are also a great way to bond with your child.
  7. Take field trips.Get out of your home classroom for a richer learning experience. Homeschooling means you don’t need to be restricted to one space to learn. Libraries, parks, and aquariums often have discounts for students and may even have special experiences for young children.
    • For example, you could seek out your local zoo to learn about animals or a natural history museum to see fossils.

Learning Important Concepts

  1. Teach your child the alphabet.Help your child recognize letters by both their names and sounds. You can use colorful handouts, encourage letter-tracing activities, or have your child circle letters in a word jumble.
    • Label items around your classroom to familiarize your child with the alphabet.
    • Point out letters your child encounters over the course of their day. Signs are a great source of inspiration.
    • Use songs and art when you teach to help stimulate different parts of your child’s mind. For example, use alphabet stampers to incorporate art.
  2. Practice early math skills.Count backward from 10 with your child and practice counting rote at least to 20. Counting the dots on dominoes and incorporating play into number learning is a fun way to keep your child’s attention.
    • More advanced children can start tackling the basic principles of addition and subtraction with small numbers. Pennies, raisins, and other small items are a great way to visualize adding and subtracting.
    • Use computer games or videos that focus on math skills.
  3. Teach your child to differentiate shapes.Practice looking for shapes in your everyday life. Street signs, your neighborhood, and your home are all great places to point our triangles, squares, circles and more.
    • Create a shape scavenger hunt where your child needs to identify different shapes around your home.
  4. Practice language arts.Ask your child to trace the letters of the alphabet on tracing paper, and set time aside daily to read to your child. If your child has begun to sound out words, practice sight-reading some simple books together.
    • Minimizing screen time in the classroom can help your child develop their language skills.
    • Ask your child to make up a story and narrate it to you.
  5. Begin teaching social studies such as geography, weather, and history.Explore geography with your child by drawing a map of your neighborhood. Alternatively, explore your country’s history by learning basic facts about its founding fathers or influential historical figures.
    • Holidays are a great way to teach about important people and events. You could teach your child about Abraham Lincoln on President’s Day, for example.
    • The seasons are another great social studies topic for themed activities. You could have your child trace their hand on colored pieces of construction paper to create “leaves” for fall.
    • Use seasonal and weather patterns to teach children about how weather affects them.
  6. Teach your child early science skills.Make science learning fun by planting some seeds. Keep a daily log to track watering and seed growth. If you grow something edible like peas or tomatoes, you could even teach your child to prepare a snack with the food you grow.
    • Another fun option is to create a baking soda and vinegar volcano.
    • Or, you could collect flowers and press them in a book.

Fulfilling Legal Obligations

  1. Determine when your area requires children to attend school.Look up homeschooling laws in your municipality at . Search for the age cut off at which you’ll need to notify your local school district of an intent to homeschool.
    • Some states require you to notify the local school district you’ll be homeschooling your kindergartener, whereas others do not.
  2. File a notice of intent to homeschool.Fill out a notice of intent to provide home instruction for your child. You will need to list your child’s name and age. You will also need to confirm certain basic qualifications on your part, such as having a high school diploma.
    • You can find notice of intent forms on the website of your local department of education.
    • Qualifications for homeschooling teachers vary from place to place.
  3. Send your notice to your local school superintendent.Fill out your notice of intent completely. Enclose any additional requested materials, such as a copy of your kindergarten curriculum. Send your materials by certified mail to confirm that they have been received.
    • Make note of any requirements the district outlines for the school year. Some districts require that you make your teaching portfolio available for their review upon request, for example.
  4. Set up any necessary testing at the end of your homeschool year.Contact your local school district to determine what tests (if any) they require to prove your child has completed kindergarten to their satisfaction. You may need to send in test scores or even get a professional evaluation.
    • In some strictly regulated homeschooling states, a home visit may even be carried out by local officials.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How do I chose a sport?

    Childcare Center Director
    Catherine Valadez Lopes is a Childcare Center Director in New York. She received her M.S. in Elementary Education from CUNY Brooklyn College in 2010.
    Childcare Center Director
    Expert Answer
    Sports can be chosen based on our child’s interests. Expose the child to a different sport a week and when they seem to enjoy one in particular or a few, then continue with those lessons.
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