As most of you know, we began our homeschool journey this year. Homeschool preschool quickly became homeschool kindergarten. Both older kids were quickly beyond what I considered to be a preschool level. And since they both enjoy “doing school” we kept going with Kindergarten.
I started with both kids working together, but they quickly split in their abilities. Imogene will probably meet all our Kindergarten objectives this year and move into her grade one studies. Aidan will probably take a bit more time to meet the objectives. He likes to play with ideas for a while before moving on. She likes to master something and move on quickly. The great thing with homeschooling is they can each learn their way. There is no need to stick to a set schedule. No need to slow Imogene down or force Aidan along.
I sat down and typed up all my learning objectives for Kindergarten. I know many homeschoolers don’t do that. Many of them do their curriculum and move on. And that is fine. But for me, I like an objectives list. I like a list I can check the things off as they learn them. That is one of the disadvantages, in my opinion, of classical education. You have so many sources you are pulling from and no one set curriculum guide, that it is easy for things to get forgotten. It is easy to skip something or to keep pushing beyond what is really necessary, because you had no written goals. I like to have goals that I can see that this is working for them. Yes, when they finish their math curriculum (Essential Math Kindergarten – Singapore Math) they will have met each and every objective for math. Yes, when they finish their reading book (The Ordinary Parent’s Guide To Teaching Reading) they will have met all their objectives for reading. (Actually, they’ll meet all their Kindergarten objectives about two-thirds of the way through the book.)
There are some things you’ll notice about my objectives. One is that I really only have one goal for reading that is broken down into smaller mini-goals, so I can see their progress over time. Another is that I don’t include any history or science in my objectives. Why? Well, while we do cover history and science things, we do so in an organic way. We read about the things they are interested in. There are no set goals for them to reach in history or science in kindergarten. You may disagree, but in my world, you’re done with Kindergarten, not when you can use a map, but when you can read and add. Your objectives might be different than mine. In fact, they probably are. But I include the things I think are important and exclude the extras, that yes, they know, but no, don’t mean their done with kindergarten. They know the different classifications of animals (mammals, reptiles, birds, etc.). They know about animal habitats and the food chain. Another homeschooler might do botany in kindergarten and know many different things about plants. Another homeschooler might dabble in physical sciences and do experiments with light, magnets, and sound. Another homeschooler may skip science all together. Any of those things are fine. To me, at this age, science and history are extras. They learn about the things they are interested in at this point. I’ve got no set goals for them. You’ll also notice I include Bible and Religion objectives. That is not a common area to include in a kindergarten list, but those are the base things we think our children should know. I want them to know what we believe from a very early age, then later they can begin to understand the why.
My Kindergarten Objectives
- Know all upper- and lower-case letters by sight.
- Know all short vowel sounds.
- Know all consonant sounds.
- Be able to read CVC words.
- Read sight words: “the”, “I”, “a”.
- Read VC words.
- Read CVCC words.
- Read CCVC words.
- Read words containing digraphs. (sh, ch, tch, etc.)
- Read 3-consonant beginning blends. (spr, spl)
- Know long vowel sounds.
- Read simple words with long vowels/silent e.
- Read sight word: “have”.
- Know hard and soft “C” and “G” sounds.
- Read CVVC words.
*Overall reading goal is to be reading quickly and fluently.
- Know how to hold a pencil.
- Write all upper- and lower-case letters.
- Write numbers 1-10.
- Be able to copy short sentences.
- Be able to group objects into sets.
- Identify and continue simple repeating patterns.
- Be able to count from 1 to 30.
- Understand one-to-one correspondence.
- Identify ordinal positions first through fifth.
- Be able to add and subtract numbers from 1 to 10. (Can use manipulatives.)
- Understand the concept of one half.
- Know the meaning of + and – signs.
- Invent and solve simple word problems.
- Make and interpret simple graphs.
- Identify pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
- Be able to compare length, weight, and capacity.
- Know what a thermometer is and be able to make simple hotter than/colder than comparisons.
- Tell time to the hour.
- Know and be able to draw basic shapes. (square, rectangle, triangle, and circle.)
- Know the three persons of the Trinity and their relationship to one another.
- Know that there is an Old and New Testament and know when each was written. (Before and After Jesus)
- Be able to say The Lord’s Prayer.
- Be able to say The Apostle’s Creed.
- Be able to recite The Ten Commandments.
- Know their basic colors. (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, white, brown, pink, and gray.)
- Know the definitions of “title”, “author”, and “illustrator.”
- Know what year it is.
- Recognize and write their own name.
- Know what city and state they live in.
- Know the names of the members of their immediate family and their relationship to them.
- Know the days of the week in order.
- Know their right from their left.