Category Archives: Kindergarten

How to Start Homeschooling a Kindergartener

How to Start Homeschooling a Kindergartener

Are you thinking about homeschooling your kindergartener? Congratulations! Homeschooling can be a very rewarding experience. So what do you need to know about how to start homeschooling a kindergartener?

If you feel overwhelmed or even a bit anxious, that is totally okay! It’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when taking on a new challenge. But starting in kindergarten is a great opportunity to get to know your child and yourself with very little academic pressure.

I’ve compiled a list of posts and articles I’ve written that I hope will help you think through some of the aspects of homeschooling. Our … Read more »

100 Early Elementary Printables You Don’t Want to Miss

100 Early Elementary Printables You Don’t Want to Miss 2

I asked some of my online friends to share their best and favorite early elementary printables with me. I also spent several hours looking online to find great resources. Below you will find a selection of both free and paid products that cover a wide variety of topics. I hope you will many helpful ideas below!

(P.S. If you like what you see here, would you please spread the word and share this post so others can find these resources? On behalf of all the product creators listed here, thank you!)

December Notebooking Pages

To start with, here is a new … Read more »

How we ended up relaxed homeschoolers and what it looks like

How we ended up relaxed homeschoolers and what it looks like

I realized we were relaxed homeschoolers somewhere along the beginning of Caroline’s second grade year (this year). I had kind of wandered in the wilderness of trying to figure out how to answer the question when people would ask what kind of a homeschooler I was. This was mostly due to trying to figure out how to best teach Caroline rather than any specific philosophy I might have held before I had her.

Unschoolers?

For quite a bit of kindergarten and first grade I wondered if we were unschoolers. I think because I had to be so unstructured with her compared … Read more »

Kindergarten Classic Picture Books Reading List

Classic Kindergarten Picture Books

Snuggling up to read with a small child is truly one of life’s simple pleasures. Exploring a world full of adventure, kindness, courage, and truth broadens her understanding of life itself.

As a former elementary school teacher and ardent picture book lover, I already had a large collection of picture books when I was ready to begin homeschooling my daughter, Caroline. But I knew there were many other books out there I didn’t want us to miss. I began researching reading lists from books, authors and organizations I considered trustworthy. This classic picture books list is the result … Read more »

How I Teach History – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach History – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

So how do I teach history?

I don’t.

Honestly.

It’s rather ironic since my Elementary Education degree came with a Social Studies major and I love history. But so far I’ve done almost no history teaching because Caroline has been taking those classes at homeschool co-op.

We’re blessed with a really good Christian co-op. Caroline has been taking two classes there a semester since Kindergarten and she loves it. The vast majority of her classes have been history and geography related. She had a class about America, a World History class, Geography through Literature, and a couple of other literature classes … Read more »

How I Teach Science – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach Science – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

My approach to science in our relaxed homeschooling family has been very relaxed. My philosophy is that all children really need in early elementary is exposure to science topics and to develop a healthy curiosity about the world around them. If a child is curious, she will learn plenty even in an unstructured way.

I don’t use a textbook to teach science. Most of the early elementary textbooks are either so simplistic or are so poorly designed that they would not appeal to Caroline at all.

We don’t write about science. Unless it is something she dictates to me for her … Read more »

How I Teach Math – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach Math – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

Since I already wrote at length about how we ended up as relaxed homeschoolers in my series intro and language arts post, this post will be much shorter!

In The Right Side of Normal: Understanding and Honoring the Natural Learning Path for Right-Brained Children, Cindy Gaddis differentiates between arithmetic and mathematics. She describes arithmetic as “the act of manipulating quantities (facts)”. Mathematics, on the other hand, is the “science of finding patterns, coming up with theories about it, and proving its existence (concepts).” Right-brained children are most comfortable with mathematics. Left-brained children gravitate toward arithmetic.

The … Read more »

How I Teach Language Arts – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

How I Teach Language Arts – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

I almost feel like it is dishonest to say how I teach language arts because I sometimes feel like I haven’t. I have facilitated a lot of learning. If there is any area where I feel like I’ve really embraced a relaxed approach to homeschooling and can see how well it can work, it is language arts.

I should also say as way of background that I spent a lot of time the first few years working on relationship building with Caroline. Due to health issues I had, our relationship had been through a lot of disruption between the ages … Read more »

Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years – A How To Series

Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years – A How To Series

One of the benefits of observing homeschoolers for many years before I was blessed with a child is that I had the opportunity to read lots and lots of articles and blogs posts written by moms who shared their mistakes. They wrote of the things they wished they could do over, what they would change, their regrets, etc. I took those pieces very much to heart and so I’ve tried to be purposeful in not getting too caught up in the things that don’t matter.

What has challenged me more than anything was trying to understand my own child, … Read more »

Sticker Dolly Dressing Around the World – Sticker Books as Learning Tools

Sticker Dolly Dressing Around the World

I purchased Sticker Dolly Dressing Around the World probably almost a year ago. It sat on the shelf until it seemed like the “right” time to get it out and use it with Caroline. This fall was the right time and so we’ve been enjoying it!
One of the things we like to do as part of our learning is snuggle on the couch and do sticker books together. There are so many educational ones out there. They are a great starting point for discussing different topics. Sticker books also work great for children who have busy hands, busy … Read more »

Should elementary students formally study mathematics?

Mathematics-Post-Pin

In a 2010 article from Psychology Today, Peter Gray, Ph.D., makes the case that math should not be taught until middle school. He shares a fascinating study from 1929 that has largely disappeared from the nation’s collective radar. But the findings are stunning. In When Less Is More: The Case for Teaching Less Math in School he writes:

As part of the plan, he asked the teachers of the earlier grades to devote some of the time that they would normally spend on arithmetic to the new third R–recitation. By “recitation” he meant, “speaking … Read more »

Apple Learning Ideas – Apple Farmer Annie

Fall Apple Lesson Ideas for “Apple Farmer Annie”

The fall book Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington is the delightful story of Annie, a young woman who owns an apple farm and sells her products at the farmer’s market in the city. The book has bright, colorful illustrations that appeal to younger children as well as simple text making it an ideal read aloud. The story teaches children what an apple farmer does and some of the ways apples can be used, all in the context of the charming illustrations. It is a fun starting point for creative writing, art projects, and field trips for kindergarten … Read more »