This is a suggested outline of how to organise your curriculum for Kindergarten or Foundation Year. Curriculum choice varies depending on the individual child and specific family's homeschooling needs. So feel free to change it as it suits you.
This guideline has been written with consideration of the Australian National Curriculum (ANC) and the methods of Charlotte Mason.
A kindergarten child only needs about one and a half to two hours formal sit down work 3-4 days per week.
The rest of the time should be spent on the activities of daily living, establishing good habits and learning through play and lots of conversation.
Homeschooling Downunder Foundation Year Resources
These books are highly recommended.
Our new resource will give you the essential information to home school with confidence in the primary years. It will help know how to teach and how to get organised.
"I have just finished reading How to Home School 101. I love it as I'm in middle of starting to build my resources. We will be jumping in the start of 2013. I had no idea how many hours to spend each day. I'm still a little unsure how to structure my days/weeks or term as yet but this was a fantastic look at what to do :-)" Dee Robinson. NSW, Australia.
The Three R's - Ruth Beechick
This will give you the basics of what to teach in the early years up to eight years old. It is a very sensible and helpful book that teaches about reading, writing and arithmetic. Recommended by many seasoned homeschoolers.
These books can be read as a daily devotion time with your children. They need not be at lesson times. You may find that they are best read at breakfast or bedtime.Continue these books in Year One.
Scripture reading and Bible Stories from child appropriate Bible.
Leading Little Ones to God: A Child's Book of Bible Teachings by Marion Schoolland
I have read this resource to my children three times over. It breaks down the fundamentals of the Christian faith in to simple terms for children. It may seem a little old fashioned on first glance but the content is excellent. I highly recommend it.
Getting ready to teach your child to read does depend on a child's readiness. This can vary greatly so test the waters. If you start and it isn't working. Stop for a while and go back to it. My children all "got it" at different ages.
To teach reading is one of the first academic challenges encountered in the homeschool.
Begin with a good phonics program. Here are some suggestions for teaching reading.
As your child becomes more confident reading you can start to introduce some of the simple readers suggested on the booklist.
Letter formation and recognition is one of the first skills we begin to teach in Kindergarten. Modeling good writing is your goal.
Our resource Teaching Handwriting, Spelling and Grammar. Charlotte Mason Style. is a 25 page ebook showing you how to teach handwriting from first letters to mastering handwriting.
Once you start them writing try to get them to write a small amount every day.
This free resources will help you.
Use the Ruth Beechick's The Three R's for more ideas.
This is a delightful time to enjoy books while snuggled up on the couch with your young children. There are so many books to choose from. Learn the difference between a good and a bad book. Cultivate an appetite for quality living books.
Our read aloud suggestions correspond to some of our copywork resources. Begin the practice of narration to check your children's comprehension.
The My Fathers World Book List will give you ideas for lovely books available for this age group.
"Mathematics depend upon the teacher rather than upon the textbook and few subjects are worse taught; chiefly because teachers have seldom time to give the inspiring ideas ... which should quicken imagination." Charlotte Mason
Get off to a good start with math by reading Ruth Beechick's The Three R's. She will give you ideas and tools on how to make maths an enjoyable topic for your children.
I don't want to sway you in a math program as I have jumped around a lot and that has had advantages and disadvantages. I prefer purchasing a complete curriculum for this topic as Math is not a strength of mine.
I have found different programs work for different kids. They also progress at different speeds.We currently use Saxon Math but that is not available until the higher grades. I can however recommend some popular programs amongst homeschoolers.
Nature study and nature journaling develop skills of observation, record keeping and documentation. The ANC requirements for Foundation year include: living things, objects, seasons, weather, movement. All of these can be taught using nature study. If you have difficulty getting out and about just go to your backyard or look around your neighbourhood.
For other science topics follow the child's interest with library books chosen from the library.
The ANC covers family, personal histories and where we live. Purchase an Australian map and world map. Australia post often has cheap wall maps.
My suggestion is to do a simple family tree and find relevant places in your own families history.The Australian Map Journal will be ideal for this as you can make notes on the map.
A Jesse Tree is also a good overview of the family tree of Jesus that can be used in forth term as preparation for Christmas.
You will need a large piece of cardboard to make the family tree. Alternatively you could choose a book but it is not as clearly illustrated for the child.
Talk about what a family tree is. You might like to read They Were Good and They Were Strong by Robert Lawson. Although this book is set in American it illustrates the concept of ancestors and is a Caldecott Medal winner.
All the pictures need to be the size of a 20 cent piece. You will need to store all of these pictures together as they will be used to make the family tree.
In order to keep me tapping away on my computer creating these free resource I need a little encouragement.
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