Kindergarten Learning at Home

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 10, 2009

The great thing about having a preschooler or kindergartner at home is all of the fun activities you get to do in the name of learning! I would encourage any mom of a 3, 4 or 5-year-old not to stress too much, but to use this precious time to play and learn together, without an expensive curriculum!

preschoolWith my “preschoolers” I focus on the basic learning of letters and numbers. I have chosen one of each to focus on each day. This is something that can easily be done by printing out templates and allowing your little guy to color in the outlines of each, saying the sound of the letter, or counting to that number, as he colors. You can even incorporate the teaching of basic colors into this activity by choosing a specific color, as well. If you’d like to be really aggressive, throw a shape in there, too.

Like Sesame Street you will have a letter, number, and color of the day. Point out these letters, numbers, colors and shapes as you go about your day. You’ll be surprised at how many teachable moments you will discover, even after just a short time “studying”.

Here are some additional fun activities that encourages learning at this age ::

Make a batch of Sugar Cookies and let your kindergartner find the measurements (whole numbers only, at this age… you don’t want to confuse him) and help you measure the ingredients. This will enhance his number recognition. I’m sure your little guy loves to play with the dough, like mine do, right? Pick up some letter-shaped cookie cutters, roll out the dough and start cutting! Work on only a few letters at a time, maybe the letters in his first name, to start, and then the letters in your last name. Move on to two and three-letter words next. (You can use these same concepts with pretzel dough and roll the dough out in to the letter shapes. Heck, you can even get into the numbers and shapes here, too!)

If your little guy is already reading simple words, use these activities to practice what you’ve already learned. For example, ask him to grab the C cookie cutter, then the A, and finally the T. Cut out your dough and ask him what the letters spell when put together on the cookie sheet to bake.

When you need a bit of a break, set your budding student up with JumpStart or Mia computer games, instead of in front of the TV. These games are great for reinforcing simple reading, counting, and recognition skills. Sit back and take a breather!

Science could simply be planting seeds, watering them, waiting and watching for them to grow. Take advantage of the time waiting to talk about what happens when a seed turns into a flower. You can even incorporate your Bible lesson into this time by reading, reciting and even memorizing related Bible verses (Genesis 1:11 KJV “And God said , Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”)

Another thought would be to incorporate Bible, Science and History lessons together by going through the Creation Story. Spend a bit of time talking about the first day :: talk about how darkness is the absence of light and can be scary, but we can rely on God to keep us safe. Talk about the differences between day and night. Then go on to the second day and talk about land and sea. On the third day he created the vegetation, so perhaps here you can incorporate the planting of seeds “experiment.” And, of course, when you reach the sixth day you can talk about how God made each of us special, discussing the characteristics of each individual.

Whatever you decide to do with your preschooler or kindergartner, know that she is soaking everything up just by observing and interacting with you. This is an important time in her life, but the realization that she is a child of God, who is loved greatly, is the most important lesson of all!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

cookie cutter September 10, 2009 at 6:56 am

I really like the idea of using cookie cutters while baking with my kids, thanks for the advice!

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tory September 10, 2009 at 8:42 am

loved your blog..trying now to decide if i should home school or not i have 5 kids and i am not finding myself agreeing with a lot of things that the school does.. thanks for boosting my self confidence i think i can do this home school thing!!

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Gerae September 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm

Love the cookie cutter idea. Will have to look for ABC ones next time we are out. My little ones love planting seeds too.

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Donna~ Blessed Nest September 12, 2009 at 11:44 pm

What a great post. My girls are 4 and 6. We do letter of the week for my 4 yr old and “look” at everything we can think of using that letter. So much fun and yes, so many teachable moments.Tabi is in 1st grade and we are really enjoying homeschooling! Fun to know a HS Mom who woks from home as well. It’s working for me and I know it’s what God wants for our family!

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Licia September 13, 2009 at 9:49 am

As a Mom with a master of education degree, I ran a pre-school for my three daughters. Later I homeschooled my oldest for a while. The key to success with children is to nurture a love of learning above all else.(And a love of loving which you do by loving your child:) Read books that investigate the wonders of the world and books that help your child identify feelings, crucial to the development of a healthy self. And don’t forget to snuggle, snuggle, snuggle! Now I write parenting guides based on the neurobiology of connection coming this month to http://www.liciarando.com (free, to help the world)and children’s books to connect children and parents The Warmest Place of All by Licia Rando at Amazon.com and Borders.com The Warmest Place of All,3-8 years (can be used to teach simile to young children. Great for readig, writing prep.)

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Bridget September 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Just found your site! So happy I did! I’m a homeschool mom of 5 and am going to love all these ideas!

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