|Posted on June 28, 2014 at 8:45 PM|
When sharing the how-to’s of homeschooling I tend to start at the beginning or how to start homeschooling kindergarten.
Oh sure we start educating our children from the time they are born but homeschooling kindergarten is really the grade we think of as formal homeschooling. Even if you are not homeschooling kindergarten, stick around, because I will slowly eventually get to the grades you’re homeschooling. Plus, you know I can’t ever do short posts here so you may pick up a tip or two about something you may want to go back over.
How NOT to start Homeschooling Kindergarten
Because Kindergarten looked different with each one of my sons as my teaching ability morphed from new to seasoned, I think it’s better to first share something that I wished I would have done differently.
- Avoid Using Your Strengths To Sabotage Your First Year.
You may be wondering, “Why or how would anybody ever do that?” Well, they certainly don’t do it intentionally. Taking a more realistic view of what you can accomplish or what your strengths are can head off frustration and tears by both you and your child when you set the bar too high. I know because I did it. Eating humble pie here, I knew my strengths were organization so I just assumed (and oh how wrong I was) that I could organize all of my son’s learning themes for early childhood. How hard could it be, right? After all, fussing was just for unorganized folks was my thinking. Ouch, so ugly! About 30 binders later of junk fluff, a burned out printer, a couple hundred dollars of print cartridges, one husband who was ready to sign up Mr. Senior 2013 for public school himself and stress so paralyzing that I was hardly able to move, I was ready to quit for good when I just got started. Guess what? I almost did because I sent Mr. Senior 2013 to public school for part of Kindergarten.
Are You Making These Mistakes in Teaching Kindergarten?
While I was attempting to be an overachiever in kindergarten, let me tell you what I changed and did right with the other two kids.
- Don’t worry about whether you use a boxed curriculum or not. It is not really important at this stage to do what your best friend who has been homeschooling umpteen years is doing. Do what is best for your circumstance. I wished now that I would have taken time to read more about homeschooling and educating myself and less time “teaching”. I should have bought something laid out so that I could be freed up to learn about how to homeschool, how to teach young children and research curriculum.
I learned that curriculum is not going to teach ANYTHING, I was!
I was so worried that Mr. Senior 2013 would get behind in kindergarten, never mind the fact that he was already reading beginning chapter books, that I focused on the wrong thing. Later at public school, the teacher told me that he was ahead of grade level. Restraining my tears until I got to the car, I cried my heart out because of the peril I put my family through the first year. Horrible, just horrible. Please, do not do that!!
- If you use a boxed curriculum, please remember that learning takes place for this age through PLAY. It does not happen while you make them write on lines or color in lines or drill more math facts.
Learning happens through natural play. It is hard to think that learning should be so much fun because my view of learning was limited for sure. I am a fan of the Montessori method in the early years though I practiced the Nazi method not so gentle method on Mr. Senior 2013. I did make up though with my next two sons.
- A globe, puzzles, learning apps, lots of crafts and paints, music time and dance ended up being valuable parts of our homeschool day.
With our short experience in public school, I learned a few things like adding what was called “opening” to our kindergarten day. Though the beginning to my homeschooling kindergarten day wasn’t exactly like the public school, it taught me the valuable habit of forming a routine. Then, I recorded all the music that I had purchased and arranged it in a way that we could learn and move throughout the day. By the way, I promise I am not dinosaur old but putting music on CDs was the only way we recorded music then. Even the younger ones joined in every day as we learned the ABCs, recited the shapes, and I extended my opening to memorization of the continents and other facts. It certainly was easier teaching the next two kindergarten because they had a head start. Though time has gone by, Dr. Jean's music and the music of Greg and Steve are two time tested providers of music that you can’t just keep sitting still when you hear. I love the tone of Dr. Jean’s clear voice for young learners and the fact the music and words are just catchy. Look at some of the videos by Dr. Jean and Greg and Steve that we listened to every day. I am telling you, you have to get up and MOVE to learn!
Young children learn through moving not sitting for long stretches of time. It is like feeding them when they were babies. One or two bites of solid food and they turn away to play because something else caught their attention. Learning needs to be served up the same way at this age.
I have had some moms tell me, “But my kid is different, she wants to sit there and learn for hours.”
In Part 2 of this post, I will share why the thinking that kindergarteners should sit for hours could be harmful, share some curriculum options for teaching kindergarten and time tested tips like scheduling, setting up a learning area and the basics of teaching. Okay, okay, this might expand into part 3 and 4.
Too, don’t forget if you have questions you can share them at the Google Plus Page. Are you ready to start kindergarten?
Hugs and love ya,
Check out these other articles!