Introducing homeschooling as an education option for a kindergartener can be daunting. Questions may loom about what courses and curriculum are best for a child’s development. Worrying if you are providing enough to meet the academic needs of your student, or if the courses are too advanced (or not advanced enough) can be overwhelming.
In this article, we discuss the courses necessary for a homeschooled kindergartener’s academic growth, helping parents make the best decisions for their student.
What Are the Core Subjects for a Kindergartener?
The core academic subjects taught in kindergarten are mathematics, language, reading, and handwriting. Mathematics involves developing number sense and operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), counting, number recognition, and understanding money. Language skills include alphabet recognition, phonemic awareness, reading simple words, spelling, and verbal communication.
Handwriting focuses on fine motor skills, such as writing letters appropriately, practicing proper letter formation, and learning how to use writing tools like pencils. Reading skills are an important part of kindergarten, and topic areas may include listening to and understanding stories, recognizing sight words, and early literacy.
What Classes Should Be Added to the Core Subjects?
Depending on the home school curriculum chosen, additional classes may be included in the homeschool lesson plans for a kindergartener. Science and social studies can be taught in the home for younger children.
Science may consist of activities, such as observation and exploration, sense-making, making predictions, and collecting and recording data. Social studies can include introductions to geography, map skills, cultural differences, and basic history. A great way to supplement social studies is to take family trips as a unit and engage in interactive dialogue about the places that are being explored.
Some parents may add Child Development and/or Physical Education to the homeschool curriculum for their kindergartener. However, Research has shown that physical activity can improve academic performance and mental health.
How Can Parents Introduce the Course Material?
An important aspect of homeschooling education is to demonstrate an enthusiasm and passion for the material that is being taught. If the parent is engaged and interested in the course material, then the student will be naturally drawn to it. Involve your kindergartener in duties such as organizing, assembling, and setting up projects that involve the various subjects.
Once your student has become involved with the preparations of the lesson, they can proceed to apply the knowledge that is being taught. Teaching through activities and games is an effective way to captivate the student’s attention.
For example, language arts and reading can be taught through word search games and word games such as Scrabble Jr. For math, try creating a game with measuring cups and measuring spoons, or counting coins, to practice basic arithmetic abilities.
Students can also benefit from creative approaches, such as role playing and creating stories. Creative writing activities can develop communication, composition, and creativity, and arts and crafts can help build fine motor skills and refine hand-eye coordination.
How Can Parents Create Course Plans?
One of the best ways to create a course plan is to utilize the resources that are available to parents. Depending on the homeschool curriculum chosen, parents can consult the course outlines provided by the publisher. Additionally, online resources like websites and blogs may offer helpful knowledge and research on the various topics that can be taught in kindergarten.
In addition to the course plans created by the publisher, parents can design their own activities and worksheets to supplement the lesson. For example, while some curriculums may provide a few science activities, parents can explore online resources and develop their own topics and activities to extend their student’s knowledge.
Parents can also research educational toys and programs that can be used to help their student understand the course material more efficiently.
Are There Any Online Courses for Kindergartners?
There are many online resources available for homeschooling kindergartners. A great way to supplement the homeschooled education for your student is to utilize the resources available on the internet. Online courses and groups can provide additional insight and knowledge on core subjects that can help build your student’s academic skills.
Online classes can be purchased from various educational websites, and many provide additional activities or worksheets that can be used to expand the course material. Engaging in online social media groups or forums can also provide helpful knowledge.
Such groups can offer tips, ideas, and best practices to support your student’s education. Additionally, having older homeschoolers or experienced parents share their knowledge and insights can provide valuable resources for the student’s learning process.
How Can I Assess the Progress of My Homeschooled Child?
Assessment tools can help parents determine the progress of their child’s learning. Some homeschool packages include Progress Reports, but they may not be as specific as a parent would like.
Tests or online language tests can be used to assess the student’s academic progression. Generally, these tests measure the student’s achievement and/or mastery of the subject areas that were covered. Depending on the results, a parent can determine if the student is on track or if additional instruction or resources are needed.
Parents can also assess a student’s advancement by paying attention to the student’s responses and interactions while they are learning the material. By knowing the student’s interest in a certain topic or subject, a parent can determine if the student has progressed or if additional instruction needs to be done to meet their requirements.
What Resources Can I Use to Improve My Student’s Learning?
There are a variety of resources available for parents to help build upon their homeschool schedule. Parents can seek out resources from public libraries, school districts, and other local homeschool programs. Libraries offer books, videos, and DVDs on a wide range of topics and subject areas that can help supplement the instruction.
Additionally, homeschool programs, such as local and state homeschool associations, offer support and insight regarding various homeschool topics that assist parents in meeting the academic needs of their student. Online resources are also abundant and easily accessible.
Teaching websites, such as Khan Academy or Scholastic, provide interactive activities and videos that educate students on specific topics. YouTube, too, can be a great resource for parents to teach their students the core subjects. As they search, parents will be able to find a wide range of educational channels that may provide the extra instruction their student needs.
Homeschooling can present a variety of challenges for parents to ensure that their student is receiving an adequate, yet challenging, education. By researching the subject material and using the resources available to homeschoolers, parents can create and design appropriate course plans for their student. With a strategic plan and the implementation of creative activities and experiences, a homeschooled kindergartener can complement their educational needs to be successful in their journey.