My fifth child is starting his kindergarten homeschool year, and this is honestly one of my favorite ages! They are excited about learning, and everything they do is bathed in curiosity and wonder. I love this age so much, I used to teach kindergarten in a public school! I’m going to share how to homeschool kindergarten, along with some of my favorite kindergarten homeschool materials.
How to Homeschool Kindergarten
The very best way to homeschool kindergarten is through play. This is how kids learn! They need to get their hands on the materials, lean into their curiosity, and make discoveries. Their imagination will lead them to learning! So while I do have learning materials we use, everything we do is play-based. And I give my kindergarteners LOTS of unstructured play time – meaning that I am not directing their play or giving it a purpose or timeline.
Open-ended toys, dress-up clothes, puppets, and art supplies are all a crucial part of homeschooling kindergarten! Kids learn far more through play than they ever would through a workbook.
Access to Learning Materials
Give your kids access to learning materials so that they can use them whenever they want. I like to have a shelf in our homeschool room dedicated to my early learners, since their needs are different than my older kids. They need hands-on materials to manipulate.
Now keep in mind, you can homeschool kindergarten with VERY little. You don’t need a lot of supplies! I’ve accumulated a lot of materials over the years, but they definitely aren’t all necessary.
Watch this video to get a peek at our kindergarten corner and the materials we use in our homeschool:
Just because your kids are in kindergarten doesn’t mean your kids are ready to learn how to read. In fact, many kids aren’t ready in kindergarten! Some of my kids were already reading in kindergarten, some were FAR from ready to read, and my current kindergartener is just starting to learn to read. It’s really important to follow your child’s lead – and this is why PLAY is the best teacher! Often, when kids are playing, they are learning without even realizing it.
I haven’t used a traditional phonics curriculum with any of my kiddos. They learned through play and some play-based learning activities.
I took the activities that I used to teach my own kids how to read and developed a play-based reading program. It has over 100 hands-on learning activities that your child can do at home to teach them how to read!
This is exactly how I taught my own kids how to read, and it works with the way kids develop. This program isn’t just for kids learning letters, though. It’s for kids PreK-2 and covers letter recognition, letter sounds, rhyming, sight words, word building, and more!
We use a lot of learning games, hands-on learning materials, and manipulatives to teach math. A math curriculum may not be necessary at this, and I haven’t always used one.
This counting and numbers bundle is a great hands-on math tool:
If I feel like my kids are ready at this age, I have sometimes used the support of a math curriculum. The two that I have used and recommend are:
I love to use learning invitations for all my kids, especially my young learners. Basically this means that I put out an activity to invite my kids into learning. I don’t direct the learning myself – I let them be in charge of the learning!
Here are a couple examples of learning invitations:
Family style learning
Most of our other subjects are taught family style in our home. We primarily do literature-based unit studies (I have a video on how we do this in the Cultivate Your Home membership), so my kindergartener is learning alongside my older kids. We use journaling so that each child is learning at their own level. If there’s a topic my kindergartener wants to learn about, I get books about it!