How To Choose A Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
If you’re considering teaching your child at home, you’ve probably spent countless hours searching for a kindergarten homeschool curriculum. You know how important reading is to your child’s development. It’s also one of the best ways to develop their love of learning.
But do you know how to teach them?
The online space has exploded with curriculum choices. And while some are cute, many programs based on outdated literacy practices could do more harm than good in the long run.
To teach reading in homeschool, look for a kindergarten homeschool curriculum that meets kids at their level, has simple instructions that kids (and parents!) understand, incorporates a multisensory component, and is backed by the Science of Reading.
Do I Need A Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum To Teach My Child At Home?
Children learn best when they’re enjoying themselves and interested in what they’re doing. Teaching kids at home makes them feel like they’re doing something worthwhile with their time (instead of being forced into it). This makes them love learning and want to do more!
When you’re teaching your child at home, they will have more freedom over what they learn and when they learn it. This means that if something doesn’t interest them (such as phonics), then they won’t have to spend hours working on it! Since literacy impacts educational success across all subjects, choosing a Language Arts homeschool curriculum that fits your family is vital!
When your child is learning to read, it’s important to find the right resources. Homeschooling parents have a lot of options when it comes to choosing materials and tools for their kids.
This is where a homeschool phonics curriculum comes in. A phonics-based homeschool reading program will teach your child the basics of reading, such as letter recognition and word decoding skills. They will also help them with comprehension and fluency by teaching them how to sound out words and read with expression.
A Science of Reading Backed Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
1. What Reading Is
Reading is not just decoding words on a page. When you read, your brain takes in everything around those words — the pictures, the layout of the page, even its smell! And it combines all that information with what you already know about language and the world to make sense of what you’re reading.
2. What Reading Isn’t
Reading is not just looking at letters and sounds. It’s also understanding what those letters mean as well as how they sound together (called phonics) — and using all these skills together to figure out new words.
3. How Kids Actually Learn To Read And Why They Struggle
Kids who struggle with reading often have trouble sounding out new words because they don’t know enough about how letters relate to sounds or how to use all their senses when they read — such as by paying attention to the color or shape of certain letters instead of just trying to figure out each letter by itself.
By choosing a science of reading homeschool curriculum, you know that you are teaching your kids in the way that brains learn best. Many of the homeschool curricula available aren’t based on facts or science, or follow outdated literacy practices.
A science of reading homeschool curriculum ensures that you aren’t encouraging rote memorization and that kids truly understand the reading and handwriting process. By taking a structured literacy approach, your homeschool is filled with child-friendly routines and weaves learning opportunities into everyday life.
How Do You Teach Homeschool Reading? A Comprehensive Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
Search for a kindergarten homeschool curriculum that can move with your child through the early years of school.
Teaching Reading in Kindergarten
Kindergarten lays the foundation for solid reading skills! Many kids enter kindergarten with pre-literacy skills, and now is the time to build on them! By focusing on consonant & vowel Sounds- speech to print, letter ID& sounds, letter formation, as well as blending CVC words (short vowels), you give your child the chance to make sense of the letters and words they see every day. A comprehensive kindergarten homeschool curriculum will support children through all of these skills.
This is also a great age to start making concrete connections between experiences and text. For example, if you read a story about a ladybug, say, “Hey, remember that time we saw a ladybug at the playground?” By helping kids make those connections, they’ll begin to see experiences as the bridge between text and the real world.
Teaching Reading in Grade 1
Kids in grade 1 still need lots of support in reading. Although they are more independent and can handle many sounds on their own, they still benefit from the “I do, We do, You do” method. By modeling first, kids easily pick up more advanced literacy skills, such as blending CVC, CVCC, & CVCe words, digraphs, r-controlled vowels, long vowels with big mouth-e (silent e), alternate long vowel spellings, contractions & inflected endings (-ing, -ed, -s, -es)
These skills are where things get a little tricky, and where gently scaffolding is so beneficial. Using a science of reading-backed curriculum gives them explicit instruction and the tools they need to independently master complex literacy concepts in a risk-free, highly supportive learning environment.
Homeschool Reading Curriculum – 2nd Grade and Beyond
As kids hit second grade, they’re often ready to move into syllable segmenting & blending, prefixes and suffixes.
Even though second graders are highly independent, it is still important to explicitly teach literacy skills at this level. Language isn’t learned naturally, and sometimes this is where kids trip up in learning to read.
At this level, kids are also developing solid reading comprehension skills and can benefit from some independent reading. Reading independently helps them develop their own opinions about what they’re reading, which helps them make connections between what they read and other things in life.
To gently ease your homeschooler into independent reading, incorporate read-alouds and shared storytime with younger siblings. Involving them in this process will help with comprehension and fluency, along with other important skills.
Idea 1. Teach Reading Through Authentic Experiences
Kids learn best through authentic learning experiences, and reading is no different. By making literacy a part of everyday life, they learn faster and make better connections. By explicitly teaching literacy concepts in a way that makes sense for kids, they are better able to carry those skills and instructions with them into any environment.
Idea 2. Make Every Experience An Opportunity For Learning
Do what homeschoolers do best – turn every experience into an opportunity for learning! Yes, homeschooling is an excellent environment to incorporate literacy skills. The idea that we need to teach reading in a structured literacy block is outdated. By weaving literacy into everyday experiences, your kids practice important reading skills all day long without even knowing it! The goal is to bring the magic of reading and writing to life, and what better place than your family’s favorite places?
Idea 3. Involve Kids In The Process
Part of what makes science of reading-backed curriculums so effective is that kids are truly involved in the learning process. They aren’t just taught to read and write, they live and breathe the experience. It becomes part of everyday life and not something to check off a to-do list on your schedule.
Idea 4. Celebrate Small Wins
Every win is important when it comes to learning how to read and write! Homeschool is an excellent environment for kids to learn at their own pace and removes the pressure of where they “should” be when it comes to literacy. When kids learn in a pressure-free environment, feel safe to take risks in literacy even though they might get it wrong, and know that they are supported right where they are, learning starts to explode.
Phonics in Motion: A Science Of Reading-Backed Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum
Phonics in Motion’s Complete Homeschool Literacy Program is backed by the science of reading and gives families all of the tools they need to bring a love of learning to life!
By getting rid of complex instructions, both parents and kids can easily understand how learning happens. We provide simple, step-by-step guidance through the program and can be used in multiple grade levels. That means that no matter where your student starts, they feel supported and confident in learning how to read.
Our four literacy routines make up a few quick minutes of your homeschool day, but the lessons, stories, and motions go with kids wherever they go. Instead of relying on workbooks and word walls, the instructions are in the stories they memorize. To teach reading in homeschool, you don’t need a strict, formal reading program. You need a reading program that works with your family.
Routine 1. Kinesthetic Motions For The Phonemes (KMPs)
Kinesthetic Motions for the Phonemes (KMPs) are a foundation in Phonics in Motion. These are specific motions for each phoneme that mimic the articulation of each sound. By giving kids a motion, they can anchor each phoneme sound in muscle memory. This gives them a safety net to fall back on if they can’t remember a sound, which super speeds the recall process.
Routine 2. Language Calendar
The Language Calendar helps kids make powerful connections in language. This is an essential part of the Phonics in Motion program because it helps translate the things we say and think into written form. It helps kids break down the barrier between phonemic awareness and phonics.
By using the Language Calendar daily to teach reading in homeschool, there is authentic interaction between parents and kids. It gives you the opportunity to model for them while helping them make connections between text and life. The Language Calendar gives kids the chance to ask questions and notice the intricacies of the English Language in a way that meets them at their level.
Routine 3. Vowel House
The Vowel House is a graphic display of vowel sounds. It helps kids learn the spelling and pronunciation of long vowel and short vowel sounds, including their alternative spellings. By grouping all spelling patterns of vowel sounds, kids are able to identify alternate spellings quickly when they see them in text. This is a great tool for older readers who need a little extra help, as well.
Routine 4. The Reading & Writing Monster
The Reading & Writing Monster is a beloved character for Phonics in Motion students. A friendly blue monster that sits on the left-hand side of every page, the R&W Monster is a key component of Phonics in Motion’s unique handwriting stories. By running away from the monster, kids learn directionality and proper stroking. It gives them a reference on the page, which is helpful for young learners who don’t understand “left” and “right.”
Instead of saying, “hey, that letter needs to face the other way,” you can simply say, “Oh no! This letter has to go AWAY from the monster! Run!” By making this process kid-friendly, they quickly learn proper letter formation, stopping tricky letter reversals in their tracks.