Homeschooling kindergarten - How to help your child succeed at home
Homeschooling kindergarten or preschool children is a natural way for them to begin learning about science, math, reading and other subjects.
Don't worry if you have feelings of inadequacy as an educator. As a parent of young children your love and concern for them will be a great incentive for learning what you need to know to have a happy, productive homeschool experience.
A few homeschooling teaching tips...
- Familiarize yourself with the basic skills your children should learn. Find them in this homeschooling kindergarten easy to read list or under each of the subject headings above.
- There are many different and creative ways to teach basic skills. Some parents prefer to follow an educational curriculum while others teach without one.
- As your child learns his/her ABCs and 123s, educate yourself on child development and on how children learn.
- Reinforce hands on lessons with an online or other curriculum to guarantee your child doesn't miss any skills. If you prefer to purchase one, take a look here for ideas.
There's more than one way to teach math...
Here is a sample of skills to teach for a math lesson on repeat patterns:
- The student will create patterns at various difficulty levels (red, yellow, red, yellow, repeat... or red, red, yellow, red, red, yellow)
- The student will copy patterns that others have made
There are many kindergarten type workbooks available where kids can color patterns in the book ...ho hum, not too interesting ... OR... you could go for a walk on a warm autumn morning and kick some colored leaves and practice the same skills.
- Gather the leaves and place them in rows - yellow leaf, yellow leaf, red leaf, yellow leaf, yellow leaf, red leaf.
- Try AB AB patterns or AAB AAB. Not sure what this is about? Read for more information on teaching patterns.
- Play games with your child.. "I'll make a leaf pattern and you copy mine, then you make a leaf pattern and I'll copy yours.
Get your kids outside!
- If you are a parent homeschooling kindergarten or young children, you have the advantage of going on field trips everyday, even if it is just to the backyard or park.
- Use everyday objects to teach math, science and reading skills.
- Teach basic skills with games, puzzles, toys or math and science equipment.
- Use the outdoors as your classroom as much as possible when homeschooling kindergarten or preschool age children.
- Teach skills with real objects that your children can touch and discover and encourage problem solving and creative thought processes as your children explore their surroundings.
One day when my daughter and I were walking home we found a giant caterpillar on the sidewalk. Because there were so many crows pecking the ground close to it we took it home, researched it on the internet and created a habitat for it in the backyard.
We learned that some caterpillars build their chrysalis under the ground!
My daughter learned skills of observation, research, measurement, how to take care of living things and more during the whole process of finding, researching and documenting her observations in an easy to make science journals.
Easy ways to teach outdoors...
- Go to a park and count the rungs on the monkey bars, the steps on the slide, the number of swings
- Write numbers and letters in the sandbox with a stick
- Start a leaf collection - classify them by shapes
- Observe and draw - teach children how to label parts of their picture
- Create letters with twigs
- Go for a "letter walk" down a neighborhood street...look at signs, mailboxes, and house numbers. Can you find some Rs? the number 4?
- Let your children organize mini-trips. They will learn to be responsible as they plan, print lists, and pack. Each time they will learn from what they forget and plan more carefully.
There are so many opportunities to teach when you cook with your children.
They learn to follow directions, to sequence activities, to follow ordinal language (first we, second we, third we...). They learn math and science vocabulary, to ask questions and how to investigate the answers.
Ask - what did you notice when...? Why do you think the dough formed bubbles? What happened to the sugar when we stirred in the hot water? They experience quantities and fractions- Fill the cup to the 100 grams, use half of the apple.
Children also learn about hygiene as they cook and they begin to understand the importance of washing their hands, not sneezing near the food and keeping their hands away from their faces.
Hands on activities first,
recording sheets second...
- When homeschooling kindergarten, use worksheets and pencil and paper type recording sheet activities after children have had lots of practice with hands on activities
- Read to find out how to teach children to record their observations and discoveries.
- Invest money in science, math and art and craft equipment and materials rather than thick workbooks.