Parents who choose to homeschool their children are constantly on the lookout for better ways to organize classroom time and activities. Many people prefer to plan out lessons well in advance while others just go with the flow. As long as each school year’s curriculum goals are met, either method is just fine. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your child’s kindergarten year so you are prepped for Fall 2016.
Homeschool gurus agree that being organized in specific areas is the key to staying on track, regardless of your overall approach. Here’s how to break down your planning sessions.
- Set schedule for the year: Not only should you make room for holidays and special occasions, think about whether you want to observe seasonal vacations in a similar way to public schools.
- Set schedule for each day: Break down each day into time periods for each topic, or make a list of lessons that should be completed during that day.
- Plan for extras: Don’t forget to make room for extra-curricular activities or lessons learned outside the classroom, such as field trips.
Once you have an overall schedule for the year and each week set out, you can start deciding on which lessons to teach. The teacher’s manual for each subject will be vital to this process. Here are some ways to go about organizing your approach.
- Basics: There will always be the baseline topics and goals that all children need to learn. In kindergarten the focus tends to be on basic math, reading skills and socialization.
- Seasonal: Lessons planned around seasons and holidays can be fun variations on the routine schoolwork.
- Outside activities: Being able to go on field trips or do volunteer work is one of the highlights of homeschooling.
Most children like to be rewarded in some way for accomplishing tasks, but rigid progress reports are not usually part of the homeschooling ethos. Still, there are some fun ways to gauge success.
- Makeshift report cards: Consider posting a star chart or similar success-tracking system.
- Completion celebrations: Cumulative accomplishments such as reading five books could be denoted by allowing your child to wear a crown with the number five on it for the entire school day.
- Kindergarten graduation: At the end of the year, give your child the opportunity to go through a kindergarten graduation ceremony. Peg the event as a passage into “big kid” school.
Taking the time to plan out schedules, lessons, and rewards will pay off at the completion of the homeschool year.
What other things are you concerned about with you Kindergarten homeschooler?