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Last time I wrote about kindergarten homeschool curriculum, I had a list as long as my arm. This time around, I need to keep it SIMPLE. In fact for my youngest child’s kindergarten year, we’re only using two things.
For a full list of your secular homeschool curriculum options, see our Secular Homeschool Curriculum Guide.
I absolutely loved kindergarten with my oldest. It was our first year homeschooling, and we were trying out all kinds of curriculum, creating our own unit studies, and getting out into nature as much as we could possibly manage! I could wax nostalgic about it all day, seriously.
However, one thing that I rarely am nostalgic about is the amount of work that I needed to put in that year. It was a lot.
We were using a very loose curriculum that was more like a schedule of reading and activities. My son needed so much more than that provided, so we ended up adding a lot of supplements and building the rest out on our own. That was fine back then, when my life revolved around homeschooling.
This year, there is a lot more going on in our house. I’ve got three school-aged kids homeschooling this year, not to mention working full time from home. I need a simple plan for my kindergartner – kindergarten homeschool curriculum that is easy to teach, hands-on, and comprehensive. So, I’ve cut it down to just the basics. Two programs that will have us completely covered.
SIMPLE Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum: Reading
Logic of English, Foundations Level A
There are three main reasons I chose Logic of English for kindergarten this year. It’s a complete learn-to-read and language arts program combined, it will be fun and hands-on, and the’re a thorough teacher’s manual to follow.
Complete learn-to-read + language arts
LoE covers all of my kindergartner’s needs in 25-30 minutes a day with Foundations Level A. This is a huge benefit for me this year, as I won’t be losing time transitioning from one program to another during our short one-on-one time. I only have a limited time to be with each child individually. About a half hour is the perfect amount of time. My other kids can do their independent work or read, and I can complete a full lesson, knowing my kindergartner is completely covered for all the skills he needs.
Logic of English covers phonics, fluency, and phonemic awareness for learning to read. Comprehension and vocabulary for understanding what he’s reading. Handwriting and writing with composition, spelling, and grammar skills, too. I love an all-in-one program, but especially this year I need an all-in-one!
Fun and hands-on Kindergarten Curriculum
I know my son will be engaged right out of the gate – because there’s a dragon on the cover. However, I needed a program that would keep him engaged throughout the year. Logic of English is perfect for that because it’s filled with activities and games that will help him master concepts – without rote memorization.
These games come with a bonus for us – my 2nd grader can play with him! Card games based on high-frequency words will help her review and solidify her reading skills, too!
Thorough Teacher’s Guide
Look, I’m not messing around with creating my own activities this year. It was great when I was teaching only one child, but this year I just don’t have the time. Logic of English comes with a thorough, scripted teacher’s manual that will guide me through lessons each day. So when my mom-brain is completely fried from working, homeschooling 3 kids, housebreaking a puppy, and teaching my cat to walk on a leash (that was my oldest’s idea), I don’t have to think. I just have to follow the guide and we’ll be good.
My son is right on track to use Foundations Level A, but there’s a placement test to use to see if your kindergartner should start there or on Level B. Check it out on the Logic of English website.
For a side-by-side comparison of ten top phonics programs see our Phonics Curriculum Guide post.
SIMPLE Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum: Math
RightStart Mathematics, Level A 2nd Edition
I’ve always wanted to try RightStart, and this is the perfect time. With one all-in-one kindergarten kit for language arts, a second all-in-one math kit is the perfect balance. RightStart is another hands-on program that is engaging and covers all of our bases.
Kinesthetic and Visual Curriculum for Kindergarten Math
RightStart uses the AL Abacus along with a variety of hands-on manipulatives to teach math. It all comes in a neat set so I have everything on hand (and do not end up on the floor looking for 20 of the same color Lego). I kinda feel like most little kids are kinesthetic and visual learners, but I’ve really noticed this with my youngest. He best understands things when he can do it and then show me how he’s done it.
Engaging Kindergarten Practice
With variety of manipulatives, card games, geoboard, blocks, a clock, and more, I know RightStart is not a program that will bore my son to tears a couple weeks in. We complete a lesson in about 20 minutes, and if he wants to keep on playing (not unusual for this smartie), I can set him up with big sis to play a game. I love that they are playing reading and math games together – building their skills and helping each other at the same time.
Thorough Math that doesn’t feel Intensive
I hesitate to say RightStart is an intensive math program because it doesn’t feel like one. Yes, I’m delivering the lessons, but between the teacher’s guide, short sessions, and hands-on engaging practice, it just doesn’t feel intense – to me or to my son. So, here I’m just going to say it’s thorough. I know that he’s learning the skills and mastering the concepts. He enjoys practicing math in a way that’s not a strain.
SIMPLE Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum: The Extras
Science, Social Studies, PE, and the Arts
It’s not that we’re not doing these subjects this year. It’s just that, at the beginning of the year, it’s not the priority for my kindergartner. This little guy is eager to learn, but it takes him a while to get into a rhythm. Introducing two major programs and the variety of manipulatives that go with them are more than enough to get started.
You can always add another program or supplement if/when your child is ready. For kindergarten, though, beginning with the basics means that 1) you’re not going to go nuts overbuying (like I usually do), and 2) you can ease into the year without the pressure of completing 5 subjects a day!
We’re supplementing with a few subscription boxes here and there, like MEL Kids and Atlas Crate. We’re also doing Tuesday adventure days – where we go explore the parks and hiking trails in our area. That’s enough for us.
Educational Apps for Kindergarten
Oh back in the olden days when I taught my oldest in his kinder year, I worried about limiting screen time as much as possible. Fast forward to twenty twenty, we’ve been stuck in the boundaries of our yard for over six months, and to my surprise, I heard, “Go watch TV,” fly out of my mouth before I even knew what I was saying.
I’m just going to say it – this is not the year for a screen-free school year. At least not in my house. Luckily we’ve found some amazing, educational apps that are helping my son practice his reading and math skills. Here’s what we’re using:
This is an amazing app that helps my kids learn and practice their math skills completely independently. It takes my kindergartner about 15 minutes to complete, which is the perfect amount of time for our center rotation – not so long he gets bored, but long enough for me to have some one-on-one with another kid.
We’ve been using Epic for years, and it’s my hands-down favorite reading app for kids. All of my kids love it, and it’s great for my kindergartner because there are tons of Read-to-Me story books in full color covering a variety of his interests. Plus when he’s ready, I have tons of readers at my fingertips – ones I would normally get from the library, but unfortunately can’t this year.
Another one that we’ve loved for many years, Starfall is a mostly free program, but we’ve been subscribing for nearly 5 years. With activities from kindergarten to 2nd grade, my kids have a lot of fun practicing a huge variety of skills, singing songs, and playing games. It’s their top choice for free time!
For more curriculum options for your homeschool, see our Homeschool Curriculum Guide.
Ashley helps parents who want to homeschool find the resources they need to successfully teach their children. Ashley is a former teacher, current homeschooler, published author, and designer behind Circle Time with Miss Fox printables as well as the creator of this website, The Homeschool Resource Room.