These simple Kindergarten homeschool ideas will inspire you to add intentional routines to your day with your little one, regardless of your schooling choices!
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:
- only you can write in it
- you can only use pencil or colored pencils
- 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!
Eeek! This whole #homeschool thing is getting real! We got our kindergarten @mathusee curriculum in the mail! This is the only curriculum we will be using next year, since I feel comfortable teaching all the other kindergarten skills organically with lots of reading and writing. I am so excited, and so is Clara! I also put in an order of really cool art supplies on Amazon today, and told Clara she would be getting cooking lessons as part of her school. 😀 #thisisawesome #wedowhatwewant
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.
- I purchased an ebook called Invitations to Create: 30 Days of Art Prompts for Kids from The Art Pantry.
- I ordered some fun new art supplies from Amazon! using Meri Cherry’s recommendations in this post.
- 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!
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.
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.