If you’ve been homeschooling or even researching it, you have likely heard of Charlotte Mason by now. She was a classical educator in the late 1800s and early 1900s who believed in educating “the whole person” and not merely a child’s mind. Her method consists of three prongs : an atmosphere, a discipline, a life, which you can read all about here.
As a classical educating homeschool mom of four, I have always been drawn to her method, especially her focus on reading quality literature through living books and nature play for children. While Charlotte Mason did not encourage a formal curriculum for children under the age of 6, I have still used her concepts for our children in Kindergarten. Currently we have a daughter who is five. Below I have outlined the our Kindergarten curriculum incorporating Charlotte Mason ideas.
Language Arts / Reading
During the Kindergarten year, I primarily focus on two things:
1. Teaching my child to read and;
2. Reading living books out loud
We use Teach Your Child to Reading 100 Easy Lessons for learning to read. I have had great success with all my children using this easy step-by-step program. It’s simple, requires zero prep work, and only requires 15-20 minutes a day.
As I mentioned, one of the things I agree most with Charlotte Mason is the focus on reading living books. I strongly believe we should encourage children to develop a taste for classic literature through reading living books and lessening exposure and dependency on modern picture books, which in my opinion, to be frank are worthless. Here are just a few personal favorite living books to be reading to your child during their Kindergarten year:
- The World Treasury of Children’s Literature
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit
- Blueberries for Sal
- Make Way For Ducklings
- Stone Soup
- The Little Red Hen
- The Real Mother Goose
- Little House Series
Find more here.
Math-u-see has been by far the most successful program we have used. This program uses videos taught by the creator, Steve Demme, which correlates with a workbook and fun colorful blocks which is by far my kids favorite part. My children have all started with the Primer level which I start during preschool and move to the Alpha level in Kindergarten. (You can test your child’s level for placement on their website.)
I teach History with all my children together. We are huge fans of Story of the World – highly recommend it. While this is a bit above my five year olds level, she LOVES listening to the lesson and participating in all the map work and projects.
We use Apologia for our science curriculum and are currently we are in the Astronomy book which my kids have absolutely loved. My favorite part of Apologia are the workbooks full of engaging actives which correlate with the textbook readings. They offer a junior version of all their workbooks which are perfect for Kindergarten.
While we use Apologia for our main curriculum, we also incorporate a lot of nature studying/journaling for Science.
There you have it, my choices for a great Kindergarten year. Just remember, more than anything, focus on reading to your child A LOT and choose books from a living book list. Have your child spend time outside in nature and include plenty of play time!
Be sure to check out more our posts for curriculum picks for other grade levels.