Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Kindergarten Program and Books

At this age, in our family Kindergarten is very simple and not a full program taking much time. (maybe an hour a day) We concentrate on reading readiness and by the third term I begin formal reading instruction. I have found that most children are ready to learn to read at this age if the parent has given them opportunities to see and hear letters and words in a natural environment. Some children have learning disabilities and must move at a slower pace, so do not let time frames worry you. It is so fun introducing a child to the key that unlocks mind travel to various times and places in our world.

Read various Bible story books
ABC Bible Memory Cards (my list is found here)

Habit Training
A Child’s Book of Character Building vol 1,2 by Ron Coriell (skip the school section)
Write chores on a chart and illustrate them for your child. Keep it simple.
Display 4 family rules and review them with child pointing to the words.
(Always be kind, Obey immediately, Be happy, Never lie)

Personal calendar- Give child her own calendar and at the beginning of each month. She fills in the numbers and decorates and add stickers to upcoming birthdays and holidays. (found here)
Sing the ‘Days of the Week’ song. (just put any little traditional folksong tune to the days of the week and then end the song with ‘…seven days make a week!’)
Hands On Activities- Teach counting to 30, make patterns together with small toys or various beans, play store with canned goods and grocery bags using pennies or higher if child is ready, do mental math naturally with child when confronted with everyday situations, basic addition/subtraction with counters. (count spoons needed at supper, count washcloths being folded, etc…) Teach colors naturally.
This is ALL that is needed for Kindergarten math. Do not stress out over this. Workbks are unnecessary and although your child may appreciate them at first, later she will almost certainly experience burnout.
Resource: Family Math

Language Arts
Place the entire alphabet with pictures at eye level so child will see them daily.
Review one letter and introduce its sounds weekly. Vowels say their own name and also have a short sound.
Copywork – One letter of the alphabet on unlined paper per week. Draw in air, then on paper. Large is okay.
Make homemade books together by copying simple books read and just changing them a little.
Family Mail Box- Write single sentence letters to your child. She responds with invented spellings. That’s okay at this age.
Labeling- Child labels objects in school room and tapes it to them (table, globe, bookshelf...)
Personal Journal-Child dictates to mom important events, places visited, etc... in her life on Fridays. Mom writes it down on dry erase board first, then writes it in her journal. You can leave a word or two blank for her to fill in.
(Do not focus on much writing at this age.)

(Holidays, Traditions, Various countries and cultures)
Basic List:
History Stories for Children by Dr. John W. Wayland
Living Long Ago
This is the Star by Joyce Dunbar
The Christmas Story by Jane Werner
Use a children's picture Bible OR various Bible story books
The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola
Over the River and Through the Woods illus. by John Steven Gurney
Winter Days in the Big Woods adapted from the Little House Books by Laura I. Wilder, Renee Graef
Christmas in the Big Woods adapted from the Little House Books by Laura I. Wilder, illus. by Renee Graef
The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern OR The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dagliesh

Art Expression
Various craft books
Simple drawing lessons
Teach the proper use of crayons and markers

Art Appreciation
How to Use Child Size masterpieces for Art Appreciation (Mommy! It’s a Renoir!) and the art prints by Aline D. Wolf
Poetry (once a week)
Something Big Has Been Here by Jack Prelusky
Favorite Poems of Childhood edited by Philip Smith

Nature Study
Your Big Backyard magazines
The Great Animal Search by Caroline Young
My Favorite time of Year by Susan Pearson

Read Aloud Literature
The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Stories of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne illus. by Ernest Shepard
I Spy series by Jean Marzollo Walter Wick
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
Mixed-up Chameleon by Eric Carle
Pancakes! Pancakes by Eric Carle
Foolish Tortoise by Eric Carle
You are Special by Max Lucado
Because I love You by Max Lucado
Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack
I Can’t, Said the Ant by Polly Cameron
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Transitional easy readers for beginning readers:
Little Bear series
Frog and Toad series
Little Jewel series
Billy and Blaze series

Go here for reading instruction
Go here for daily schedule


  1. bordermama1.9.07

    Thanks for such a comprehensive site! I have a question for you regarding Kindergarten. My third child, turning six in December, is a very eager learner. She really, really, wants to learn how to write and is very good at math. I finally gave in and have started her on Developmental Math...she flew through Level One and is now in Level 2. She listens in to the readings of my Year Two son, and we all cover the history readings together. Do you think I am making a mistake? I never pushed school on my first fact they are a little "behind" other kids in some areas because I waited until I saw readiness, but this little one seems to be more engaged in formal school than my 7 year old boy. I guess I got worried about burnout from your comment about workbooks.

  2. I don't know your child enough to answer this question well. All of my children were very eager to do what their older sibling was doing when they were five years old and they all could have done more math than I gave them, too. I just resisted using workbooks very much and waited. I was looking at it long term.

    If your children are less than two years apart in age, you could slow the seven year old down just a wee bit in history and literature and let them do it together, separating math and writing as needed, according to their abilities, but use as many hands on activities as possible for your youngest child.

    If they are two years apart or more, then, although you may not notice it now, the books get much more difficult at a rapid pace and it may frustrate your younger child. Also, my youngest child was not ready emotionally for some of the books. I had to eventually split my two girls apart although they began together. They are two years apart in age.

    Those are my thoughts, off the cuff, but again, I don't know your situation well, so feel free to trash my opinion. : )


  3. I love your blog and suggestions. What about how much you do a day, a week?

  4. Holly,
    I'll try to post our schedule soon.

  5. Thank You so much for putting all these ideas here. This is exactly what I want to do with my K child next year but, I've had some trouble getting my ideas all out on paper so thank you this plan is very helpful
    -hs momma to 4