How to plan a homeschooling curriculum that will suit your child?
When I started homeschooling I had no idea what I was doing. And to be honest, sometimes I still feel like I don’t. There are so many options and programs out there you wonder what you should choose. You have done a search for the best homeschooling curriculum as I did.
It can be overwhelming and lead you down a black hole. But I discovered that homeschooling my kindergartener worked best by taking his lead. I would have a base on the concepts we would be learning and what I wanted to teach each week. But allowed my son to guide me as we learned.
I want to start off by saying that kindergarten is still more of an exploring year. Kids need a looser structure because learning through play is still a huge part of your day.
Don’t expect your child to still for long periods of time.They still need lots of play. Especially outdoor play.
We did not buy an entire homeschooling program. Instead, I used a kindergarten assessment test. I used the test to tell me what benchmarks my son should be reaching for.
I also asked questions of friends who are kindergarten teachers for guidance.
What areas of kindergarten development should your homeschooling curriculum Include?
According to the state that I live in I am required to cover the following subjects.
- Language Arts.
- Biological and Physical Science.
- Social Science (Social Studies)
- Fine Arts.
- Physical Development and Health
Ok, so this list doesn’t break it all down for you. But when you are considering homeschooling in your area search for it by your state. Each state has its own laws and provides a legal document you can read for some ground rules.
You should be covering phonics and learning how to read. Site words and letter recognition.
In Math, there are a few options that you can go to. We choose to teach common core math. Your child should be able to count to 100. Recognize the numbers. Begin writing their numbers. Then you can move on to teaching counting by 10’s and telling time.
Social Science is a fun one and easy to do. Because it is your child learning all about the world around them. For example, the different jobs that people hold and how important they are. Also, you start to teach children about different cultures and countries. You also start learning about geography and landforms.
Biology and Physical science is something my kids took a liking to. Doing science projects and getting messy while learning all about plants and animals. We loved building volcanoes and getting mad science kits to mix chemicals.
As a part of our daily routine, we talk about the weather and seasons as they change. Mixing in art projects with coordinating holidays.
As we moved into the arts we also talked about patterns, 2D shapes, and 3D shapes.
When it came to arts we used all sorts of mediums and I encouraged my children to explore. Having them explore on their own. And do craft projects that are required to follow directions. Step by step crafts projects help kids practice reading and following directions.
What are the methods of creating a homeschool curriculum?
Trying to figure out my homeschooling curriculum I discovered several different options.
There are complete homeschooling full year-round curriculums you can buy. These curriculums will provide printables and all the resources you would need. Including a master schedule, you follow.
There are faith-based programs you can buy as well as online programs you can invest in. The amount of homeschooling curricula out there is so vast. And a complete list would be overwhelming.
So what I found was finding a method that worked for my family. Which is the best route you can do. You know your children best.
We chose this method in part by understanding the type of learner my son was. Focusing on our faith and our family lifestyle. And building in daily outings and travel adventures.
Some of the other c
oncerns are the cost for some of the curriculums. Some can cost upward from 200 to 400 dollars. So it would be an investment. But for kindergarten, we felt that investment was not necessary. And would be something to consider for the later years of schooling.
Some of your choices can also depend on your daily schedule and preferences. This is one of the best reasons to homeschool. You create it around your life, family, and beliefs. And you have the freedom to choose how your daily schedule works.
Planning your homeschool day
After deciding what different curriculums I wanted to piece together. The next hard part was planning my day.
Planning your day can look however you want it to look. Also, the more children you have you will have to take this into consideration as well. Especially the age differences and learning skills needed to learn.
Some examples of homeschooling days I found were plenty as well. Some people do school hours from 8-9 am until noon, some alternating subjects each day. There are school schedules with 3 weeks on and one week off. And 4 days on and the 5th day reserved for field trips or other learning activities.
Again these options are limitless.
My typical homeschool day starts at 9 am and goes until 12pm. We eat lunch and then I put my youngest down for a nap. During her nap, I will do quiet reading time with my kindergarten or other activities for 30 mins to an hour. Then allow him free time. Then switch to my homemaking duties. At least once a week I take the kids to special learning outings and activities.
The rest of the day the kids get more free play and then we focus on our faith learning. Which is a program we enrolled in at our church called Awana.
My days are pretty full and packed with homeschooling two little ones.
When it comes to planning your homeschool day. Take into consideration how well your child can sit to do independent work. Think about how you will be using the curriculum you will use. If there are parts that are online, printables, and how you will incorporate art and science.
Also, understand that it takes a bit for you to figure out what the best plan is. And that changing it is ok.
Some people chose to do units each week, or particular subjects on certain days.
I like alternating subjects each day. And I prefer to move at the pace of when a concept is mastered then we move on to the next one.
There are options as well to follow homeschool planners or making your own. This is when you plan out all your subjects and topics you will cover and date when they will happen.
Again because this is the only kindergarten. Less structured works best for us.
You may be wondering what I chose for each of the subjects.
For preschool vocabulary (like numbers, colors, animals) we use Speech Blubs.
For reading we chose 4weekstoread.
For Math, we are using Singapore Math.
For Science, we use a mix of books one of them is The Dad Lab.
For social studies, we are using a workbook from Savvas Learning company.
For Art, I love to use Pinterest and a general Google search for ideas. But one of my favorite websites to get tons of quality homeschooling products is Teacherspayteachers.
Final conclusion on choosing the best homeschool curriculum
The homeschooling curriculum of a kindergartener is one of the less structured schooling years. It’s building foundations and helping your child to learn how to problem-solve. Learning facts and how the world around them worlds.
Remember kindergarten preparing for advanced levels of elementary school. Learning through play is still a high priority and you don’t need to follow a strict daily routine. Allow room for your child to guide you through things they are interested in learning. Watch for signs of their strengths and weaknesses.
When you discover weak areas, tailor your curriculum to help your child master them.
Be sure you are covering all the areas of development or required subjects based on your area. Do an assessment of their skills each quarter so you can plan. I have found assessments in the teachers pay teachers site and a general Google search. And don’t forget to have fun!!