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Simple Kindergarten Homeschool: Daily Routines to Accomplish Big Goals

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These simple Kindergarten homeschool ideas will inspire you to add intentional routines to your day with your little one, regardless of your schooling choices! 

Simple Kindergarten Homeschool

It’s coming! The school year is about to begin –our first official year of homeschooling!

I have thought about this a lot, because I want our homeschool to be joyful and simple. I want a basic daily routine in place that will accomplish multiple goals within a few time blocks.

Our Simple Kindergarten Homeschool Goals:

  • read and write every day
  • complete a Math curriculum
  • explore a new science topic each month
  • have fun every day!

Our family life is a little different, since my husband works on the weekends (for our church), and has his day off during the week. For that reason, I plan to homeschool formally three mornings per week. In addition to that, my daughter will attend a private school for homeschooled kiddos one full day a week.

So, how will I develop a routine to meet my goals? Here’s my plan…

Writing: Mother-Daughter Gratitude Journals

During preschool last year, my daughter kept an “All About Me” journal. I loved this because it got her writing every single day.

In it, she wrote one sentence about herself and drew a picture. It is a precious keepsake, and she made a lot of progress throughout the year!

The rules of the journal were:

  1. only you can write in it
  2. you can only use pencil or colored pencils
  3. you must only do your best work

This daily journal concept worked out wonderfully well. So I’ve been thinking about how I would incorporate daily journaling into Kindergarten, and this week, I figured out what I want to do: Mother-Daughter Gratitude Journals!

This will accomplish two goals in one. It will give my daughter what I believe will be a motivating framework in which to practice her writing every day. It will also be a daily jumping-off point for us to praise God for who He is, what He has done, and all the good gifts He has given us.

I hope that these journals will cultivate a mindset of thankfulness to God in her heart (and mine).

Each morning, we will start by reading a bit of the Bible together, perhaps a Psalm or whatever I come up with to read. 🙂 She will work in a primary composition book, and I will work alongside her in a notebook.

I know that my daughter is very motivated by us doing things together, so I think this will be a success!

Reading: Continue Our Nap Time Routine

We have a stellar nap time routine going right now! As a result, my daughter is already reading simple books.

Each day, after the younger two siblings are asleep, we snuggle up in her bed. She reads me a book, and then I read her a book! This process takes about 30 minutes, and Clara LOVES it because she’s procrastinating her nap time. (For her, “nap time” is 90 minutes of quiet play in her room each afternoon).

This doesn’t feel like school to her, which is great! Rather, it feels like a treat. I want to keep it that way, so this will be our daily reading time, which we usually do seven days per week. This is a great way to conduct our simple Kindergarten homeschool.

In addition, I’ve discovered Hoopla, which is a free library-based audiobooks subscription. Check with your library to see if this is available to you! We plan to listen to audiobooks everyday during snack time.

Math: Math-U-See Curriculum

I felt I needed a curriculum to ensure I built a solid math foundation. I didn’t want to miss any pieces, and I wasn’t completely sure how to “wing it” with Math, even with a “simple Kindergarten homeschool” mentality. So, I ordered the Alpha curriculum from Math-U-See.

I’ll do a complete review of this curriculum for those who are interested once we actually get into it. I chose this one because it appears to be visual and conceptual, rather than based on rote memorization of processes. That’s my personal preference. I’m excited!

Science: Monthly Visits to the Library

Like most children, my daughter has lots of curiosity about the world. So, as topics come up, we will choose one per month to focus on. We will visit the library and check out an assortment of books on that particular topic as a jumping off point.

Other exploration will flow from there, which may include a field trip, an art project, or seeking out informational videos on the internet.

In this way, our Kindergarten Science will be interest driven and informal, but I think we’ll both learn a lot as her questions guide us!

Keep It Fun: Art Time Every Day

I want our simple Kindergarten homeschool to be fun and rich and creative and lively! So, to move us in that direction, I have decided to incorporate an extended block of art time into our day.

To prepare for that, I did a couple of things.

  1. I purchased an ebook called Invitations to Create: 30 Days of Art Prompts for Kids from The Art Pantry.
  2. I ordered some fun new art supplies from Amazon! using Meri Cherry’s recommendations in this post.
  3. And I bought a used kids’ art easel from of a mommy swap site for $5

Meri Cherry’s blog looks like a great resource! I recommend it if you’re looking for more elementary homeschool art inspiration!

Keep It Fun: Daily Challenge Questions

Each day, I surprise Clara with a challenge question on our dry erase board. I prepare it ahead of time, and throughout the day she finds it. Her challenge is to read it herself and write a response, as best she can.

This simple routine is encouraging her to attempt reading and formulating words on her own. If she is able to answer appropriately (and it’s decipherable), then she gets a prize! This has been fun and beneficial!

Our homeschool kindergarten challenge question process

Here she’s showing me that she couldn’t figure out how to write the numeral 5, but she remember it was written in one of her books. She looked it up, found the word, and copied it down!

Some of the questions I have used are:

  • What is your name?
  • Who is your brother?
  • What’s your favorite color?
  • What book do you like to read?
  • How old are you?
  • What does a bee say?
  • What do you smell with?

Keep It Fun: Cooking Lessons!

My daughter is interested in learning to cook with me. So, to help facilitate and formalize that process (since I’m not a natural in the kitchen myself), I enrolled her the Kids Cook Real Food online course! We are going to work through it together over the course of the fall semester as part of our simple Kindergarten homeschool!

She is beyond excited that she gets to learn how to use knives and cook with me as her teacher. I think this will be a fun way for us to spend productive time together.

Simple Kindergarten homeschool cooking class

This is a great resource regardless of whether or not you homeschool. Check it out here!

Our Simple Kindergarten Homeschool Daily Schedule

Wondering how all this is going to fit together practically? Well, here’s the plan!

  • 8:00 AM: wake up, eat breakfast and complete morning chores
  • 9:15 AM: leave to take Matthew to preschool 
  • 9:45 AM: Gratitude Journals
  • 10:15 AM: Math-U-See Lesson
  • 10:45 AM: Snack and Recess 
  • 11:15 AM: Art Time!
  • 11:45 AM: Lunch
  • 12:15 PM: Science Discovery
  • 12:45 PM: leave to pick Matthew up from preschool
  • 1:45 PM: Reading Time
  • 2:15 PM: “nap” time!
  • 4:00 PM: Kids Cook Real Food lesson
  • 4:30 PM: Start dinner with my little helper

To keep up with what else I’m doing this year as part of our simple Kindergarten homeschool, follow my Pinterest Homeschool Board!

The Younger Siblings

You might be wondering, what will I do with my 3-year-old and 1-year-old while all this is going on?

Well, in my case, I am sending my 3-year-old to an awesome preschool at a local church two mornings per week. That will be a big help and probably when the majority of our focused work will get done!

On the off days, I hope to engage him in learning activities and/or let him play during our school time, whatever he seems to need or want to do. It will probably be a combination of both! He enjoys quiet, “de-stimulating” play time, which is a hot commodity for him as a middle child, so I could see him spending a lot of time running trains around on his train table during our school time.

As for little Emily, I’m really not sure! She is good about toddling around and entertaining herself, and she also benefits greatly from quiet time in her crib when she gets agitated. Because of that, I think it will work out, but I’ll let you know! 🙂

Creating the Routines of My Day As Mom

This simple “routine-based” Kindergarten homeschool is ultimately made possible by the morning and evening routines I have developed for myself personally. These keep our home on track and ensure that my priorities match how I spend my time!

If you’d like some help getting good routines established heading into a new school year, whether or not you homeschool, I recommend the Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings online courses.

I have gone through both of these courses personally, and they have been very helpful. Processing through and sticking with morning and evening routines is a complete game changer.

 

9 Comments

9 Comments on Simple Kindergarten Homeschool: Daily Routines to Accomplish Big Goals

  1. Angela Fennell
    September 21, 2017 at 12:11 PM (2 days ago)

    Wow! This has been so helpful and encouraging for me! I just start homeschooling my oldest daughter for first grade (she has been in a private christian school the last two years) and I was so overwhelmed. I, too, have two younger girls, Olivia (3.5) and Lena (1) and I didn’t know how to do it all. Along with working from home, supporting my husband’s ministry as a pastor, and keeping up with my role of running and keeping the home, i thought I was going to crumble from the pressure and stress. This blog has been an encouragement to me to not have to “do it all” to be a successful homeschool mom. Thank you! <3

    Reply
  2. Sarah
    August 21, 2017 at 2:11 PM (1 month ago)

    Thanks for the post, it is great to see what someone else in my position is doing. I am currently beginning homeschooling for my 5 year old and I have a 3 and 1 year old as well. It has been hectic so far because we have had a lot of sickness in our house but I’m hopeful for the future of our homeschooling.

    Reply
  3. Natania
    April 29, 2017 at 4:55 PM (5 months ago)

    Love this! I am about to start homeschool kindergarten with my youngest of 4, and it needs to be simple since the others are in junior high and high school doing more intensive studies and their schedules are hard enough to keep up with! You reminded me that life/school can be simple!!! 🙂 THANK YOU! Thank you for posting this. I love the challenge question a day. Is there a way to see your list for the entire year?

    Reply
  4. Meredith
    November 13, 2016 at 2:09 PM (10 months ago)

    I love your approach to homeschooling kindergarten! My oldest son is only two, but we do a very laid-back approach to preschool at home, and I sorta can’t wait for him to be old enough to do more! I look forward to being the one to help him learn and watch him grow…so special to have them at home with us 🙂

    Reply
  5. Lisa Burns
    August 19, 2016 at 1:51 PM (1 year ago)

    Love this Katie! I love how calm and relaxed you seem about homeschooling. I agree that so much learning takes place organically, and this is a great way to enjoy learning together. Less pressure, less stress!
    I love the gratitude journal idea as well. I think I may institute something like that with my boys, but only once a week.
    And the challenge question is such a fun idea! I can see us trying that before long.
    Lisa Burns recently posted…A Peek Into Our Homeschool SpaceMy Profile

    Reply
    • Katie Bennett
      August 22, 2016 at 7:23 AM (1 year ago)

      That is so fun! Thanks Lisa. I am actually getting nervous! I hope my daughter will cooperate. At least I am confident this is where God has us this year, which was further confirmed with the overwhelming sense of relief I felt when my friends’ kids started public school last week. I know every situation and every year is different, but I’m so grateful God has guided us in this decision so clearly so far!
      Katie Bennett recently posted…3 Truths to Teach Your Emotional ChildMy Profile

    • Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life
      August 22, 2016 at 9:05 AM (1 year ago)

      My son took some time (and some tears) to get into the swing of school last year. My advice is just to be patient with her and yourself. Keeping the lessons short is really helpful for good attitudes and attention spans. Also, I have been loving the At Home podcast. It’s six mothers talking about motherhood and homeschool. They did a back-to-school series recently that you should check out. 🙂
      Lisa recently posted…4 Things Every Mom Needs for Back-to-SchoolMy Profile

  6. Megan @ The Art Pantry
    August 16, 2016 at 1:17 PM (1 year ago)

    Great post. Thanks for sharing my Invitations To Create e-guide! We’re starting homeschool with my 8 yr old this year (after she has been at public school). I think it will be amazing!

    Reply

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