The Ultimate Guide To Homeschooling Kindergarten (2021)
Homeschooling kindergarten is one of the best decisions we made, but it wasn’t without some bumps in the road!
We started the school year with such high hopes and dreams but what did we actually get done? I am here to tell you it was not what I had planned a year ago but that is okay!
This is everything you need to create a vibrant and creative homeschool for your kindergartner, and is based on our real life, interest-led learning.
Table of contents
- Curriculum Choices For Homeschooling Kindergarten
- Kindergarten Books to Read Aloud & Independently
- The Best Games for Kindergarten
- Yes, You Can Homeschool Kindergarten!
- Related Blog Posts
I am glad that homeschool allows us to switch curriculum and ebb and flow with our children’s needs. It’s truly one of the greatest gifts of choosing to homeschool.
First, let me say that we are curriculum dabblers!
That is not to say we do not finish what we start, but I am not a strict planner nor do we have a schedule.
We have a routine that is do the next thing until I see my daughter has an interest in something. I then plan a unit study around that for her.
I think kids learn more and retain more when they are interested in what they are learning.
Curriculum Choices For Homeschooling Kindergarten
Kindergarten Language Arts
Emily completed Hooked on Phonics Preschool and Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten last year so we continued with Hooked on Phonics First Grade this year, we do not use the DVDs we just use the workbooks and the readers.
We love the Brave Writer Lifestyle so this year I chose the Jot it Down curriculum for writing. We did the Fairy Tale Project which was so much fun, reading fairy tales, watching movies, and rewriting your own version. Whats not to love about that?
Handwriting was hard for Emily, she is a perfectionist and could not make herself happy with her writing because she wanted it to match the example perfectly and it would upset her that she could not no matter how hard she tried.
We used Zaner-Bloser K for half of the year before I dropped it in lieu of copy work.
Math For Kindergarten
Emily reluctantly started the year with Horizons Math, she fought me tooth and nail everyday.
Even though she was learning and doing fine I do not wish for our days to be a fight if there is no reasons for it so I decided to look for something else.
Finally I stumbled upon Life of Fred and a child who hated math and cried almost daily over it quickly proclaimed that math was her favorite subject.
She loves Fred and Kingie and their antics and I love that she is in love with math.
Unit Studies For Homeschooling Multiple Subjects At Once
For everything else we did unit studies.
We started the year with Space because of the Solar Eclipse in August. The main book we used for this was Discovery Kids Blast Off on a Mission to Explore Space.
Next we did an Around the World unit study. The three main things we used for this unit was Discovery Kids Atlas: Explore and Discover the Wonders of Your World, A World Full of Animal Stories, and Our Continent Boxes.
The last and biggest unit study we did was our Zoology one.
For this unit I used Sassafras Adventures Volume 1 Zoology as a spine combined with Discovery Kids Travel through the Amazing World of the Animals.
For each unit study that we did I tried to use the Draw-Write-Now books because they were a great way to get Emily to practice her copy work happily and they are a great way to learn how to draw. I did these with her and I enjoyed them as well.
Kindergarten Books to Read Aloud & Independently
Reading aloud plays a very crucial role in our homeschool. Most of our days begin and end with me reading aloud to Emily.
I want to share a list of kindergarten books to read aloud in your homeschool that we enjoyed, but before I do, please know that not every kindergartner will be ready for chapter books and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Also on a side note, yes I did read Wonder aloud to Emily in kindergarten. I don’t necessarily recommend it as a read aloud for that age but I was reading it myself and she asked me to read it out loud for her to hear too. She either did not seem bothered by the content so we enjoyed it together.
A very large portion of what we read was book series. We tend to get invested when the story keeps going and we were more excited to race through a book knowing there was another one waiting.
It seems like there is a mourning period (at least for us) when a book ends. So maybe we just like series because there is less mourning that way.
Dragon Masters – A magical Dragon Stone chooses a few lucky kids to live at King Rowland’s castle as dragon trainers, then carefully matches the right dragon to each trainer. But as the dragon masters discover, that match is just the beginning.
Sophie Mouse – Join Sophie Mouse and her forest friends in Silverlake Forest as they make a new friend, learn to swim at Forget-Me-Not Lake, find an unlucky four-leaf clover, and more!
Flat Stanley’s World Wide Adventures – Follow along as Flat Stanley mails himself around the world on exciting adventures.
Hilde Cracks the Case – Hilde and her sister/photographer, Izzy, must interview witnesses and follow the clues. Can Hilde crack the case in time to post her news story online?
Tales of Deckawoo Drive – Dive into a spin-off series starring favorite characters from the Mercy Watson books. Whether it’s bumbling cowboy Leroy Ninker getting his first horse, Animal Control Officer Francine Poulet wrangling raccoons, or sweet Baby Lincoln striking out on her own, the characters of Deckawoo Drive are sure to enchant.
Zoey & Sassafrass – With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure — the Zoey and Sassafras series has something for everyone!
Who Was – Learn about a famous persons past and what they did to become famous in these non-fiction books. Emily calls these “big headed” books and loves them so much that we make unit studies to go with them.
Wild Robot – When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive.
The Littles – The Littles live in the walls of the Biggs’ house. But when the Biggs go on vacation a messy family comes to stay, the trouble begins. Mice! Cats! How much can one small family take?
The Matchlock Gun – When his father was called away to watch for a raid from the north, only Edward was left to protect Mama and little Trudy. His father had shown him how to use the huge matchlock gun, an old Spanish gun that was twice as long as he was. But would Edward be able to handle it if trouble actually came?
The Tale of Despereaux – A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in this extraordinary tale.
The Hundred Dresses – Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly.
Please keep in mind that not all children this age are reading yet. In fact most of these were not read until almost the end of our homeschool year.
Keeping Track Of Books We’ve Read
If you are looking for a way to easily keep track of the books you read in your homeschool, I highly suggest the GoodReads app.
GoodReads let you have as many “shelves” as you’d like. I have one for every homeschool year so far. You can scan the books and add them to your shelves with ease.
The Best Games for Kindergarten
To say we play a lot of games in our homeschool would be an understatement.
We are what you would call gameschoolers for sure. I make it a point to incorporate games into our days as much as possible. One way I do that is to use them in place of busy work.
Instead of let’s say having Emily do a math worksheet with 10 to 20 problems on it that for us would be sure to cause tears and frustration. I’ll pick a game like Sum Swamp to play for math.
While playing Sum Swamp she would be rolling dice and adding or subtracting, counting the spaces she moved, and working on odd and even numbers too. Plus while we play we’d be connecting and there would most likely be no tears.
Because I know we’re not alone, and many of you would love to add games to your days as well, I have put together a list of our most played games during our kindergarten year.
Our 15 Favorite Kindergarten Games
Pop for Sight Words – Kids will practice and learn their sight words with this fun, face paced popcorn themed game.
Zingo Sight Words – Zingo Sight Words is a bingo style game that was developed by educators to create a great play and stealth learning experience. Kids will love learning their sight words with this game.
Cheese Dip – Practice spelling in a fun way with Cheese Dip. Roll the die to see who gets to use their mouse tail to hook the cheesy letters, but be careful not to drop them! It’s a sneaky race to see who will spell their word first!
Silly Sentences – The perfect game to practice grammar skills learned in the first three years of school, and developed in association with early learning consultants, this educational tool uses fun puzzle pieces to help children construct sentences—no matter how silly their meaning.
Tall Tales – Tall Tales brings back the classic magic of imagination. Players draw random story elements from a bag and twist their best tale using each piece.
Pop for Addition and Subtraction – Students practice basic math facts with this fast paced game. Keep the gumballs for the right answers, draw a POP and loose your gumballs.
Sum Swamp – Math becomes an adventure with this addition and subtraction game that takes children on a journey through Sum Swamp. They’ll make their way over the crocodile shortcut and through the swamp to the finish by adding and subtracting the numbers on the dice.
Clumsy Thief Jr. – A hilarious game of give and take where kids develop confidence and solid math skills to sums of 10. Every player has fun as cards are constantly changing hands!
Dino Math Tracks – Dino Math Tracks provides multiple levels of play for a variety of ages. At the simplest level, kids use only the place track for the 1s. Later, cards with simple problems are introduced (“Stuck in a tar pit! Move your 10s dino back two spaces!”). At the most advanced level, players might encounter a question like this: “Your 10s dinosaur forgot its pants, so it went back 15 to get them. Then it hurried forward 25. How far did it get? Move that many.”
Tiny Polka Dot – With 16 easy-to-learn games that playfully teach math, from counting & early numeracy to arithmetic & logic, Tiny Polka Dot is the perfect way to nurture your child’s love of math, through play!
Outfoxed – Mrs. Plumpert’s prized pot pie has gone missing and it’s now a chicken chase to crack the case! Move around the board to gather clues and then use the special evidence scanner to rule out suspects
Race to the Treasure – Build a path with your team and collect 3 keys on a race to beat ogre to the treasure! It’s a game where everyone plays together, no one is left out, and everybody has fun!
Sleeping Queens – The Pancake Queen, the Ladybug Queen and 10 of their closest friends have fallen under a sleeping spell. It is the players’ job to wake them up using strategy, quick thinking and a little luck. The player who wakes the most queens wins.
Lion in My Way – Lion in My Way is a journey along a path of hazards and barriers which are overcome by the collective cleverness of the players.
Yes, You Can Homeschool Kindergarten!
The reality is that I questioned myself all the time during our kindergarten year. Most homeschooling moms do!
But, I want you to know that homeschooling kindergarten is not only an educational option, it’s a wonderful approach to you child’s education.