When it’s your first time, choosing an all-in-one kindergarten homeschool curriculum can be stressful. New ones are popping up all the time. So, I’m sharing timeless tips on how to choose an all-in-one kindergarten homeschool curriculum. In addition, kindergarten is not about buying a bunch of worksheets.
You need to know what skills should be learned; better yet you need to be equipped in how best to teach the skills. Furthermore, drawing on my 25 years of experience, you’ll know what is important to teach now and what can wait.
All-In-One Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Definition
First, here is the definition of an all-in-one.
An all-in-one kindergarten homeschool curriculum or boxed curriculum means that all your core subjects like the 3 Rs – reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic are laid out. Too, content subjects like science and history are included in the program.
Today, all-in-one means online curriculum, physical curriculum, or a mix of both.
In summary, all the basic subjects are covered in a school year which can be anywhere from 160 to 180 lessons. In addition, most all-in-one providers have teacher’s manuals or teacher notes along with suggested schedules on how to cover the material.
However, what is important at this age is to equally align academics with how a child at this age learns best. Don’t make my mistake of being too formal because you’re afraid you’ll drop the ball on an important skill.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Numerous Kindergarten Worksheets
The way children learn best in kindergarten is through play learning. Conversation, movement, and exploring through personal experience are more ways children learn. Being outside and learning through nature is a natural and organic way to learn. Not one point in my definition included worksheets.
I’m not saying I’m against the use of worksheets. However, completing worksheets does not mean your child mastered Kindergarten. And completing an all-in-one kindergarten homeschool curriculum does not mean your child fully understands all skills.
Also, look at my tips on my video What Is An All In One Homeschool Curriculum a k a Boxed Curriculum
At the Kindergarten level, you’re not looking for your child to master skills.
Your goal is to lay a strong foundation with purpose. Because children are learning with every breath they take, you build a master learner by recognizing their development.
This means your teaching should align with your child’s development. Would you force a six-year-old to drive? Ludicrous you say. I know, but that is the exact mindset of pushing beyond development that some parents have.
6 Reasons to Use An All-in-One Kindergarten Boxed Curriculum
With that being said, look at six reasons to use an all-in-one curriculum.
- Using an all-in-one kindergarten homeschool curriculum gives you an idea of how you may or may not want to lay out your day.
- Especially when I had all younger children, my time to prep lessons plans was almost non-existent. A laid-out framework was sanity-saving for me.
- When it’s your first child, you may want the reassurance that you’re doing enough for the day.
- If you live in a state which requires record keeping, boxed curriculum can help you meet the requirements.
- On top of that, some all-in-one teacher’s manuals are exceptional with background information. Having teaching tips and background information at your fingertips saves time.
- Lastly, I learned from an all-in-one a pattern for teaching. A pattern is something you repeat over. Learning to follow a pattern when you’re new to homeschooling catapults your teaching experience.
Next, you also need to know how to NOT use an all-in-one curriculum.
Like any tool in the homeschool world, you need to know how to use an all-in-one kindergarten homeschool curriculum.
5 Ways How to NOT Use An All-In-One Homeschool Curriculum
- Do not use a curriculum which does not align with your goals. Like I mentioned at the outset, there is an explosion of public-school minded advocates entering the homeschool world. We welcome them, but the public-school approach and homeschool approach are two completely different approaches.
- Tweak EACH day’s lesson to fit YOUR child. If your child needs to move, stop and MOVE. Or better yet, stop the lesson and do something outside or play.
- Forcing your child to sit for long periods signals to me that a curriculum is trying to teach robots. Children learn in spurts and NOT all learning occurs while a child is sitting. The lesson plan should fit the age of the child.
- Another problem is thinking you must do EVERY lesson. You do not. There is NOTHING MIRACULOUS about forcing your child to complete everything. On the other hand, trust your intuition. Skip lessons as needed and remember ALL curriculum is a framework, not the exact.
- Choosing a teacher’s manual that is not comprehensive is another mistake. Any company can provide a glorified answer key. Narrow down your choices by asking questions on what kind of information is included in the teacher’s manual. Ask about teaching tips, schedule suggestions, and other ways their teacher’s manual is of value.
- Foremost, do NOT rely on the curriculum to teach. Curriculum doesn’t teach anything, you do. Through everyday conversations with you is how your child learns.
Equally important before you choose an all-in-one kindergarten curriculum is knowing the skills of math and language arts need consistent teaching.
Teach the Skills Subjects First Using Content Subjects
The fun subjects like science, history, geography, music, nature, and hands-on crafts are the vehicles used to learn math and language arts.
An example of how you mix living and learning without worksheets during the natural flow of your day is below:
Reading – You read aloud to your child or have them listen to an audio book.
Math – Bake cookies and learn measurements. Learn weights and understand dollars and cents while at the grocery store.
Geography – Understand what we do at the post office by visiting it and explain who are folks in the community we call for help.
History – Stories about famous Americans can be read together or build the pyramids made by ancient Egyptians.
Writing – Copy a beautiful poem for handwriting. Then, have your child dip his finger in chocolate paint and write on a cookie sheet. A bit of finger licking allowed.
Science – Any explosion is an awe factor of any kid. So, build a volcano and explode it. Take a simple nature walk or have your child explore his backyard to collect and identify his collection.
Art – Even the youngest child appreciates art. A trip to the museum fosters the love of beautiful art pieces. Or, a game like Professor Noggin’s History of Art Trivia Card Game piques interest in art in a fun way.
21 All-In-One Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
Finally, look at these twenty-one all-in-one kindergarten homeschool curriculum.
Kindergarten Fun Supplements
Adding fun pages can be part of your program, but not the framework. I love books like
Evan Moore Skill Sharpeners, Kindergarten Big Fun Workbook (Highlights Big Fun Activity Workbooks), DK Workbooks like for Science and Geography are gorgeous, and then my very favorite is Five in A Row to do unit studies. FIAR is not listed as all in one because you have to add phonics and math.
What do you think? Have any questions on some of these?
Here are some more posts you’ll like:
- Big Ol’ List of All-In-One Homeschool Curriculum (a.k.a Boxed)
- How to Use a Boxed Curriculum without Giving Up Your Homeschool Approach
- 8 Components of a Boxed Curriculum
- Homeschooling Kindergarten: What Subjects to Teach and For How Long?
- A 20+ Year Homeschool Mom’s 5 TOP Tips for First Time Homeschoolers