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What to Do for Homeschool Kindergarten

Are you wondering what you should be doing for your kindergarteners? Are you working them too hard? Not hard enough? How much sit-down work should a kindergarten student do? None? A little? A lot? Keep reading to see what advice veteran homeschooling mom, Lisa Pennington, has to offer.

Thoughts from an older mom on homeschool kindergarten

I get asked so many times, “What do you need for Kindergarten?”

When you first start to homeschool, it can be intimidating.  How do you know what they need?  What curriculum do you buy?  How much time each day should you spend on school?

I am here to tell you after graduating 5 of my 9 children, you don’t need to load them down in Kindergarten.

Relax.

Do what comes naturally and save your money for the older years.  I don’t recommend buying much in the way of curriculum until around second grade, and even then you don’t need a lot.

Kindergarteners need to learn simple math, which you can teach with what you have around the house.  They need to work on their reading and writing, which you can teach with paper and books.

Those workbooks you can buy at the superstores are a great tool for knowing what you should be working on, and they are very inexpensive.  Plus they often provide busywork for your younger kids, which is helpful if you have a houseful.

And your kindergarteners need to learn basic life skills like cleaning, taking care of their rooms/personal space, helping others, following instructions, etc.

This is a great time to give them small responsibilities like making their beds and clearing their places at the table.  That doesn’t cost a dime!

Take it from an older mom who has wasted money on plenty of curriculum…..this is a time to save and prepare.  Let your 5-6 year old learn and develop simple skills that will prepare him for when school gets more challenging.  Learning to sit still for 15 minutes and listen to you read, then repeat back what you said, is a great skill and doesn’t require any special purchases.

A general plan for the day might look like this: working on cleaning before breakfast, reading aloud some Bible verses during breakfast, helping clean up, coloring while Mommy takes care of a few things, half an hour of a simple school lesson like a math manipulative story or a page from an activity book, playing with some educational toys (that are reserved for school time only) for an hour, helping with lunch and clean up, school day finished.

Let them be little, embrace their natural curiosity, and work on their life skills, and your child will be just fine.

About the author

Lisa Pennington

Lisa and her husband have homeschooled their 9 kids from the beginning. Her oldest three are graduated and with only 13 more years of teaching to go she declares, “It’s all downhill from here!” Her family lives on a hobby farm in a small Texas town where she is constantly in the middle of a DIY project or scheming up new ideas. She writes at The Pennington Point and runs Shop24 on etsy with her daughters. There’s always something exciting happening around her place!

4 Comments

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  • I have a four year old and an 11 month old. I’m starting to get things around for my oldest to start homeschooling next year as I plan on staying home with both children until they are much older. I was homeschooled from 6th grade to 12th and I loved it! I’m so scared that I’m not teaching my four year old enough. She’s learning to read but struggles sometimes. When we take a break, we go back to it and she does much better. This is a great article and I will definitely be sharing it. I know others who are homeschooling that are going through the same thing. Thank you for this reassurance!

  • This is our first year homeschooling our son. He just turned 6 in October and has been doing kindergarten curriculum. I am very nervous about the evaluation and portfolio. A lot of my family are teachers and constantly belittle me about choosing to home school my kids because I didn’t go to college. I am worried that the teacher doing the evaluation will not think we did enough or that I am not prepared as a mother, Did he learn enough? I am constantly in turmoil about this situation. He is so smart and well behaved I just don’t want to get to the evaluation and them tell him he didn’t learn enough or he isn’t where he needs to be. He is so sensitive that if someone tells him that I feel it will hurt his self image. Am I panicking for nothing? Any advice is welcome.

    • I’m very sorry to hear that your family members don’t support you! That’s very hard to deal with–especially for a brand new homeschool mom. If it makes you feel any better, there were several family members who did not support my decision to homeschool (though some did, thankfully), but I did it anyway. After about 5 or 6 years of homeschooling, one of those folks came to me and said she was sorry and that she could now see that it was a good decision. So it may be that those who don’t support you now will eventually see that homeschooling was a great option for your son. I would also suggest that you contact HSLDA (the Home School Legal Defense Association) and become an HSLDA member. They can help you understand more about the homeschooling requirements in your state, and they can help you make sure that, when your son is evaluated, his evaluation is fair. You do have to pay to become a member, but they now have the option of monthly payments instead of a lump sum. I absolutely believe it’s worth the money and I highly recommend that you (and all homeschooling families) become members. You can contact them here: http://www.hslda.org/a/5387589 {aff}. Also, please take a look at these articles. (https://hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2013/01/if-your-husband-doesnt-support-your-desire-to-homeschool/ and https://hiphomeschoolmoms.com/2015/01/dear-homeschool-mom-whos-criticized-for-homeschooling/) It may be something you can share with those who don’t support you in order to help them better understand about homeschooling and how effective it is. Also, there is NO evidence that the parent needs a college degree in order to do a good job homeschooling her children! Research proves that even parents who do not have a college degree can very effectively homeschool their children. It makes sense that, even without a college degree, parents have a much smaller teacher to student ratio, and parents are very motivated to be sure their children learn, so please don’t let their lack of confidence cause you stress! You can do it! And we are here to help you however we can!

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