Can you believe kindergarten is around the corner? You may wonder, is my child ready to read, learn, and perform? Regardless of how ready your child is to dive into learning, your child needs your support and encouragement. All children blossom at different times. Don’t make this first year complicated!
Parents should adjust schedules according to (the) child’s maturity and ability. Some children may not be ready to write or read. If your child is not ready be patient. CLICK HERE for an excellent article on reading readiness. I am a teacher at heart. Now I stay home and home school my children. I have a desire to equip parents whether you homeschool or not.
CLICK HERE for an article to cover the areas that would benefit your child to know before starting kindergarten.
The following guidelines are taken from the The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise.
Take a deep breath and read on!
The First Year of Learning: (as your child is ready to read and write)
Reading: Spend time every day reading out loud, as much time as you can afford. Learn basic phonics for fluent reading. Begin with 10 minutes, gradually working up to 30 minutes. Practice with easy to read books.
Writing: Practice printing. Start with 10 minutes, and expand to 20 minutes as maturity allows. Copy short sentences from a model.
At first have have your child copy a letter of the alphabet , then a pattern of letters and then a sentence to copy and practice. I started with the capital letters then the lower case. Once the formation is mastered, move on. Progress to writing short sentences as your child is ready. Observe how he holds his pencil and how he forms each letter. Correct him when needed since you forming habits that are difficult to change later. Help your child practice correctly from the start. (Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes permanent.) CLICK HERE for a video demonstrating the proper pencil grip.
You can also use letter tiles and have them build words. Pairs inPears is a great game to use with a younger child.
Mathematics: Learn to count from 1 to 100. Use actual objects to understand what numbers mean. Be able to write the numbers from 1 to 100. Practice skip – counting by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. Teach about math as you go about life. If you use a kindergarten math program, plan on 30 minutes a day.
In addition to the above guidelines, I would like to also add hands on learning to the list.
Hands On Learning: The Younger years are a great time to be active and learning. Take time to observe nature with your child. Nature is a wonderful place to explore. Find critters, go home and learn about them, draw them, keep them in a cage to observe. You can also keep nature journals. Nature journals can be pictures or drawings of the things you find in nature!
Get out of your home while you can! (Our family outings include weekly park outreach, monthly assisted living program, iceskating, camping, Dewberry Farm, HEB field trip, theatre productions, Crater of Diamonds dig (as seen in the picture), and more!
Depending on your situation, you may have the freedom to go places. If your child will be in school, take time and plan some family outings on the weekend.
Harder days are coming. Enjoy this season!
As a former teacher ,what a relief to see how natural and easy teaching kindergarten can be. The reason there is so much
paperwork in a classroom setting is that the teacher must keep students busy. If you are homeschooling, do not copy what is done in a classroom. You have freedom to make it hands on and outside the building.
If you are sending your child to school, do not add additional pressure, but encourage your child and be aware of your child’s reading readiness. Be a part of his learning.
Many people fear the unknown. However, as you look at the above subjects, you have nothing to fear. My youngest of three is now completing his kindergarten year. As a parent, its natural to wonder if your child is learning enough. If you have ongoing dialogue with your child, read to him, and touch on the areas mentioned above, your child will have the basics covered.
My youngest has more workbooks than my other children did at his age. My youngest enjoys completing work, and he enjoys working. I would give him playtime, but he would rather work alongside his brother and sister. The learning journey is different for each child.
My purpose for this post is to relieve those that feel like they are behind after the first year of homeschooling and to encourage those who are dreading the daunting task of starting school or homeschooling a kindergartner.
Please do not feel pressured to purchase expensive curriculum or find additional work for your child to do after school. Remember the basics of what a kindergartener needs to learn. You are capable of teaching those things without curriculum! For those who would like to have curriculum use it, but don’t be a slave to it.
I have talked to many first-time home school moms who are overwhelmed with the choices and teaching their child perfectly from the beginning. Please keep it simple, and enjoy the start of your journey. There is no need for anxiety and stress. You will miss the joy of teaching your child in a way that is natural and peaceful. Harder days are coming. Enjoy this season!
If this has been helpful, let me know and pass it on to others who would benefit!
See the White house curriculum for more details about the curriculum we chose.