Welcome back to this year’s final post in my annual Homeschool Curriculum Choices series! Whew! It takes a long time to write and publish homeschool curriculum choices for 5 children!
I hope these posts have given you a few ideas for your own homeschool or teaching environment.
As I type this, we have just finished up our 6th week of our new homeschool year. It is quite bittersweet, Mamas, that I am teaching all 5 of my kids altogether for the last time. I try pretty hard not to think about that!
This is also the final time that I will teach Kindergarten, since this is my youngest child. This year is certainly the most “boxed curriculum”-type year I have ever planned, and for the most part, it is going well. I mention in the Kindergarten video below that I always feel a little guilty that I don’t have enough creativity bandwidth to plan lovely unit studies and the like for my youngest boy.
I do have to be honest with myself and the amount of time I have available. Because I don’t have as much time to plan homemade activities as I did when all of my children were younger, I chose to go with a more boxed approach where books are chosen for me and the ideas are already there. I just must implement.
I’m working on trying to like this approach. 🙂
I teach my children a classical education in our homeschool, so you will see most of my choices are guided by this teaching method. In fact, my youngest boy will be my most “classically educated” homeschool student, since we didn’t implement this approach 100% until 4-5 years ago.
Browse through all of the homeschool curriculum posts here at Mama’s Learning Corner.
Mama’s Learning Corner uses affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Aside from my affiliate links, I’m not presently affiliated with Memoria Press, BJU, or any other curriculum provider in any way. I’m just a very grateful and satisfied homeschool mama!
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Choices on You Tube
If you would rather watch the video about our Kindergarten homeschool, you can watch that video here:
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Kindergarten Daily Calendar Notebook
Each day, my son and I start out with his Daily Calendar Notebook. This is a notebook that I have updated many times over throughout the years. My son completes the calendar, weather, feelings, and time pages most every day.
Every week or so, I change out the shapes, money, tracing, color words, and other pages to keep them fresh.
We spend 5-10 minutes on this each morning, and in just 6 short weeks, he knows the months of the year, days of the week, and knows many ordinal numbers just by reviewing these basic facts each day.
✔ Click here to see all 160+ pages of the Daily Calendar Notebook
Kindergarten Handwriting Practice
As we start out the school year, my son is using Kick Start Kindergarten from Handwriting Without Tears. I have written many posts through the years about the importance of handwriting and the many mistakes I made with my oldest boy, so take some time to read through those if you have handwriting woes in your homeschool.
Kick Start Kindergarten has been a great fit so far for my 5 year old that is quite handwriting resistant. He has two older siblings that were similar, so I knew the signs to look for.
This purple HWT book is the bridge between the Preschool and Kindergarten books, and it is just right for him! I paced it to use over 8-10 weeks (or so), which requires us to do 2-3 letters per day. We will then move on to the orange Kindergarten Student Book after he completes this Transitional Kindergarten book.
➡ This post and video shows you how I taught both of my little girls handwriting at the same time: How I Use Handwriting Without Tears in Our Homeschool
Kindergarten Phonics and Reading
For his main phonics curriculum, I am using First Start Reading from Memoria Press this year. While I have never used the Kindergarten level, I have used the First Grade level with my youngest girl and I fully attribute it to helping her learn to read well.
I use the Teacher’s Guide to teach me how to teach him each day. It is packed with phonics ideas such as oral training and appropriate questions to ask.
My son completes the assigned pages in the First Start Reading Student Workbooks and the extra assigned pages in the Core Skills books. More often than not, we do these pages together orally since he still has very little stamina for the physical act of writing.
I have to be very choosy with what and how much he writes each day. If I want us to practice writing a short sentence in his phonics work, I tailor other math writing or handwriting to work this in.
➡ Browse through all of the resources I used to teach myself how to teach phonics and spelling to my children: How I Teach Spelling in Our Homeschool
We will use the First Start Reading Readers as they are assigned in the Kindergarten lesson plans. These readers use the words that are practiced in the daily phonics work. We will also use the others pictured, as they are such sweet, wholesome books that are perfect for the beginning reader.
I have a multitude of phonics activities here at Mama’s Learning Corner that don’t involve using a pencil (matching cards, cut & paste, etc), so we are also using those most days as well.
You can look in the Phonics and Reading section for a variety of different activities for your early readers.
Kindergarten Literature and Poetry
We are readers here in the Hill House, so of course our Kindergarten year will be filled with many of the classic picture books on my shelves. I am thankful to have shelves of children’s books that are memory makers!
Some days we read several picture books, and other days we read out of one of our poetry books. I don’t have a set schedule, as we choose whatever strikes our fancy that day.
In addition to the picture books we choose each day, my son and I use the Kindergarten Enrichment from Memoria Press. It chooses one classic picture book each week, and then provides talking points and vocabulary related to the book, as well as other history, science, music, and art lessons associated with the title.
It is very unit study or Five in a Row-style, which I love!
While I have created dozens of unit studies through the years, I chose to go with Memoria Press’ Kindergarten Enrichment simply because it was all planned out for me. I do add a few things here and there, since I have used some of these same books before for unit studies and already have the materials.
In addition to the book ideas and suggestions provided in the Enrichment guide, we also choose one of the activities in The Book of Crafts. Two crafts are suggested each week, with one craft that goes with the book of the week, and the other craft is similar to the artist that is studied for the week.
The crafts are very thoughtful and do not require a lot of supplies. My son loves them!
I have never found a Kindergarten Math program that I absolutely love, so I am pulling from the many math resources on my shelf.
I am loosely (very loosely) following the Math program for Memoria Press, which includes the first section of Rod and Staff Math Grade 1. It does involve quite a bit of handwriting, so I have to do many of the exercises orally. Memoria Press also has their own workbooks that go along with their math lesson plans: Numbers Book 1 and 2.
We’re currently doing number bonds and very simple addition equations on the small white board using bear counters most days.
Kindergarten Bible Time and Copybook
Our school day and our daily family life includes many opportunities to talk about God and read His Word. Because of that, I don’t put a huge emphasis on a separate Bible time with my son each day. He attends Bible Plus One with us each morning before our school day starts, so he hears the Bible read during that time.
We also have a short family devotion after supper each evening and we often read Bible stories at bedtime. So there is no shortage of Bible education for him.
In the Kindergarten Curriculum Manual, Memoria Press includes a reading plan for The Story Bible, and we make sure we do that each week. Those plans also included memorizing a Bible verse and practicing it in Copybook.
The Story Bible is a beautifully illustrated Bible, and the vocabulary words and extra talking prompts in the margins are excellent! This is a great Bible for Kindergarten through early 2nd grade.
Memoria Press has a nice Christian Studies Enrichment book that provides guiding questions and answers, in addition to vocabulary helps. If you have not done much of this type of questioning about books or Bible stories with your children, this is a helpful resource to point you in that direction!
I give some examples of this type of questioning in the Kindergarten video at the top of this post if you want to see what that looks like with my children.
Since my son is still working on handwriting stamina, I have postponed the Copybook writing until after Christmas. We read the Bible verses each week and loosely practice them. My son does Awana at our church, so he memorizes ample Bible verses each week!
My non-negotiables for a normal Kindergarten school day include Handwriting and Phonics. My goal for math is 3-5 times each week while reading is still so difficult for my boy. Once it gets a bit easier, we will do math each day as well.
On days where we do not have to be out of the house for any reason, we do at least one “extra.”
Some days, we read the animal from the Christian Liberty Nature Reader that corresponds with the letter he is studying in phonics. Since some of the pages are text only, I make sure he can see the animal in one of our Animal Encyclopedias while I read aloud. He really loves this and we have learned some amazing facts already!
During our Bible Plus One time each morning, our Plus One is often the Art cards and posters that are assigned for the Kindergarten week. While they go along with the Kindergarten book of the week, I choose to do them right after our Bible time in the morning. We could all use a little Truth, Beauty, and Goodness to start our day out well.
You can find all of the pertinent information for the Art cards in the Kindergarten Enrichment author. It includes the backstory of the author and all interesting and pertinent details about the piece.
Are you teaching Kindergarten this year? What curriculum are you using? What books are you reading? I would love to read any comments, so please share!
Here’s a quickie recap of our Kindergarten homeschool curriculum choices for this year:
→ Calendar Time: Daily Calendar Notebook
→ Phonics – First Start Reading Set from Memoria Press, First Start Reading Readers, Core Skills workbooks, a multitude of hands-on printables from the Phonics and Reading section here at Mama’s Learning Corner
→ Extras – Art Cards and Posters