Kindergarten Homeschool: Our Week

Kindergarten Homeschool - the rhythm of our days (An Everyday Story)

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Monday morning came and a strange feeling came over me. This was it. This was the day; the day that, had we chosen differently, Jack would be dressed in his new school uniform, shiny black shoes, a school bag bigger than him and a wonderfully happy smiling photo of his first day of school. This was the day. We had started homeschooling.

Homeschool. I hope we make it. I hope we can see this through, year after year, swimming ever so slightly out of the mainstream. I hope our experiences are rich, our bond unbreakable, our passions nurtured and our drive for learning relentless.

This is just the beginning, that beautiful rose-coloured stage of any new adventure when everything seems new and fresh with possibility; I hope this feeling lasts us through the years; that our dream of a childhood and an education full of deep inquiry, play, freedom and rest continues to grow.

For Jack’s kindergarten year I wanted make plenty of time for playing freely as well as time for focussed learning. This is what our week looks like at the moment. There are a lot more things I would like to include in our days but I am mindful not to steal away all of Jack and Sarah’s time to play.

Our Week:

DAY ONEMorning:Kindergarten Homeschool - Montessori Pink Series activities from An Everyday Story

  • Learning block (language and math) – about 1 hour
  • Swimming lessons – 30 minute lesson plus extra time for play
  • Quiet story time (stories and rest) – 2 storybooks, 1 chapter of a junior fiction novel and 1 Storybox Library story

Afternoon:

  • Sports class

DAY TWO

Morning:

  • Grandparents’ morning

Afternoon:Kindergarten Homeschool - Learning about fractions with cooking (from An Everyday Story)

  • Rest
  • Baking/ Science (outdoors)

DAY THREEMorning:Bush School - Catching fish at the creek (An Everyday Story) Bush School - Exploring at the Creek (An Everyday Story)

  • Bush school/ Outing with friends – alternating weeks
  • Quiet story time (and rest)

Kindergarten Homeschool - Bush School from An Everyday StoryAfternoon:

  • Nature journalling/ Music lesson – alternating weeks

Kindergarten Homeschool - Bush School pack from An Everyday Story

DAY FOUR

Morning:Kindergarten Homeschool Math Activities from An Everyday StoryKindergarten Homeschool - designing with blocks (from An Everyday Story)

  • Learning block (language and math)
  • Project work followed by free play – project work usually lasts about an hour
  • Quiet story time (and rest)

Afternoon:

  • Art

Kindergarten Homeschool - art and project work (An Everyday Story)

DAY FIVE

Morning:Kindergarten Homeschool - Language activities from An Everyday Story

  • Learning block (language and math)
  • Project work followed by free play/ homeschool co-op – alternating weeks
  • Quiet story time (and rest)

Afternoon:

Jack and Sarah spend most of the afternoon playing outside. I usually have some kind of art on the outdoor art table – a simple exploration that they can do independently; clay, oil pastels and paper, watercolours, playdough, that sort of thing. I have the same materials out for at least a week which makes things easier for me and gives Jack and Sarah time to explore in more depth.

Kindergarten Homeschool - Afternoons at the art table (from An Everyday Story) Kindergarten Homeschool - Afternoon art (from An Everyday Story) Kindergarten Homeschol - Art (from An Everyday Story) Afternoon Art - exploring oil pastels (from An Everyday Story)If we have time before dinner we will usually head down the road to the park; Jack and Sarah on their scooters and me walking.

I think because of my teaching experience and my experience writing learning programs and curriculum I’ve chosen not to purchase a prepackaged homeschool curriculum.ย I also had a few people ask how I planned our lessons which I am happy to share too in another post.

I hadn’t thought too much about sharing my planning. I think again from my teaching experience, planning now often happens in my head with notes scribbled in notebooks. I don’t have a planning template which I work from but I do have a process I guess so I am happy to share that too if you are interested.

Lastly, I’ve also had a few people ask about Sarah’s day and how she fits into Jack’s routine. Mostly she works with us doing much the same things Jack does. There are a few differences though so I’m planning a post on Sarah’s day (and mine!)

So this is our homeschool. As much as possible I’ve tried to have our days active and engaging; no desks, no worksheets. Time spent outdoors exploring, time spent with friends, with my parents and time spent together.

These are our days.

I share a lot of snippets from our days on Instagram. I’m @kate_aneverydaystory if you’d like to follow along. Or if you’re not on Instagram you can see my photos in the side menu.

 

If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend Lori Pickert’s book Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners. Well and truly worth it. Such an affirming read.

 

63 comments on “Kindergarten Homeschool: Our Week”

  1. Jennifer

    I would love to read your language and math curriculum. I am going to start homeschooling also and not being one with previous educational experience I am trying to gain confidence through investigation. Your children look like they are thriving and just loving their day. I must say I enjoy reading and viewing your posts.
    Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kate

      Thanks Jennifer. How old are your children? Are you in Australia? I can help you with the National Curriculum if you would like.

      I’ll put together the literacy and numeracy program (at the moment it’s handwritten) and post it soon.

      • Adrienne Peterson

        I would love to read about your literacy and numeracy program. I have a 5.5 and 3.5 year old and love your blog.

  2. kate @ livinglovinglaughing

    Just beautiful Kate. You seem to put this all together so effortlessly, though at the same time with so much intention and care. I am in awe ๐Ÿ™‚ And I have no doubt, with all you have done before ‘school age’ even arrived, you will do just fine through the rest of this homeschooling journey!! Yes there will be ups and downs (like any schooling journey) and you can always take it year by year as many do. But every day they are home with you in this rich and nurturing enviroment… well they are richly blessed indeed!

    • Kate

      Thank you lovely Kate ๐Ÿ™‚ We have so much to learn but we’ll do it together. It can be a little unnerving for an over-organised ex-teacher to not get carried away planning too far ahead but I’m getting better at letting go and following Jack. It is a nice little journey that we are on ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you guys will be around to share it with us ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Antmama

    Hi Kate
    What busy, wonderful weeks you will be having.
    I would love to see your planning process etc especially the Maths and language
    Thanks

  4. anialaughlinania

    Sounds like a great first week of kindergarten! We will start in September….and I would love to read your language and math curriculum.

  5. Vio

    Good luck on your journey. Considering your Reggio-inspired approach, it will be interested to get a peek into your learning blocks and project based learning. Thanks for all the info and inspiration.

  6. Sara Smith

    Love it! We took a first day of K picture in August and then headed to a beautiful State Park where we walked around the lake, were treated to a sighting of a mama and her six little skunks, ate a picnic lunch (from lunch boxes…Stella had said she really wanted one), the drew in our journals. After a swim we headed home. Great first day!

    I constantly struggle though with the philosophies my heart has embraced (unschooling/play based learning) and my years of teacher training and teaching.
    Have you met any resistance to the new rhythm (especially the 1 hour of reading and maths)?

    Looking forward to having you share your journey with us!

  7. Erin

    This is so inspiring. I would love a more in depth look at your curriculum and planning process as I think through beginning preschool with my daughter.

  8. Jennifer

    I’ve been following along for a while now via e-mail, but thought I should pop by and leave a comment today. Your words are so simple and inspiring, I’ve recently decided (as a single mom) to attempt to open a Montessori/Reggio home daycare so that I can stay home full-time with my daughter, and I love the balance between freedom and structure that you have outlined.

  9. Tathiana Mitchell

    I love EVERYTHING about your posts! Such an inspiration for all of us who think about homeschooling. Yes, I would love to read your language and math curriculum as well. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Shaunna Evans

    This sounds like a wonderful weekly plan. I’d love to know more about your curriculum and planning. Thanks so much for sharing. We’ll be starting kindergarten homeschool in about six months, so I’m excited to follow along as you begin your journey.

  11. Laura Tabor

    This sounds beautiful as always and I would absolutely love to read all about your planning and curriculum/project ideas. I too am a trained teacher and love sharing ideas, I find it quite a challenge re-training my brain from a typical mainstream approach.
    Thanks for your wonderful posts, they truly are inspiring.

  12. Veens

    You make all of this look so effortless. I would love to know more about your curriculum and planning! I really would love to start some Kindergarten work with my son too, and would love to follow your pattern.

  13. Vila

    Sounds like a lovely balance of activities! May I ask why project work is only twice a week? Does Jack tend to spend free time of his own on his projects, outside of “scheduled” time?

    Also, although I jumped at the same price a while ago to get Lori’s book on the Kindle at a good price, I’ve since regretted it over and over again – all my friends want to borrow this book I keep raving about, but you can only lend once with a Kindle version!

  14. Cara

    I’m interested to hear what the requirements are for homeschooling in ACT – I know they’ve tightened it up in NSW – are you finding it ok?

  15. lisa

    I would very much like a copy of your kindergarten curriculum. thanks

  16. Natalia

    Hi Kate! My name is Natalia and I live in Argentina. I love your blog! Iยดm a homeschooling mom of two boys, almost 4 yo and 17 months. I would love to know more about your curriculum and planning…
    Thanks for the inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Stephanie Haass

    This is so lovely, Kate! I echo the sentiments of everyone else when I say yes, 1,000 times yes! Please share with us about curriculum and planning when you have time to get your thoughts published! I am also very interested in Sarah’s days since she is the same age as my little ones ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. nae peters

    I love your home schooling ideas, it looks so fun yet so focused.

  19. Monica

    Love this post! And I would be very interested in seeing the curriculum you put together. I was homeschooled from kindergarten through my last year of high school (i.e. college was my first typical school experience). I wish you a beautiful journey!

  20. Sandrine

    That looks so lovely, Kate! How I would have loved to be homeschooled when I was at that age in France. You’re giving something wonderful to your children – being free and self-determined individuals, and this is just very precious! I would love to see your planning in more depth too ๐Ÿ˜‰ Could you also tell me where I could purchase this book for Kaplas (wooden planks) – that’s what we call them here in Germany. My little boy is turning 5, and I’ve still looking for inspiration for what we’ll do next year, when school is suppposed to start for us too…

  21. nicolekrule

    What lovely inspiration. I’m in the US but am wanting to “start” homeschooling in August and would love some more details about your math and literacy ideas…as well as any other ideas you’d like to share. I’m glad to hear your rhythm is working! So lovely!

  22. Julie

    Thanks so much for sharing about your days and routines. I’ve been perusing your blog for a little while now and really enjoy and appreciate all the resources and sharing about reggio and project-based homeschooling. I’d love to hear more about all those things you mentioned — your curriculum, planning, and incorporating your little one. As someone with no background in working with children, I’d really love to learn more about how to put together materials tailored to your children — feels like a hard balance for me to both plan and yet be open and respectful of their interests and personalities. I have a boy who is currently 2.5. I’ve been trying to do some play-based things with him but often find that his attention span is quite short and unfocused. I often find myself struggling to figure out how to balance letting the child lead and trying to be intentional or providing guidance or encouragement.

    • Lisa

      Julie – I am no ‘Kate’, but I have a few suggestions/thoughts for what they are worth to you. Children have varying attention spans as I well know having 7. Some are very concentrated and explore things in depth and others try things out for a little and might spend more time with it at a later time. Neither is right or wrong, just their way of learning. For the more distractible ones, I try to make sure that there are not toys that sing or have lights around at the time I hope my setup will capture their attention. No Tv on or me on the phone etc. All those noises and lights can add to short attention spans. Sometimes I find that if I sit down and play in a non[instructional way with the letters clay or whatever (just doing my own thing as if I were a 3 year old) that they will come over and watch and explore the subject as well. Not necessarily interacting but starting out emulating my actions and then getting caught up for a little while doing their own thing with the subject. Also I think bring an item out several days in a row, or just leaving it out for them to come back to is helpful as AnEverydayStory often does. Most of all the thing to remember is teaching children is like dipping candles. One layer at a time and just many exposures just keep adding layers or learning and exploring to a topic. Hope this helps some.

      • Julie

        thanks so much, lisa! really appreciate your advice and suggestions. i think we need to try a more spare / minimal environment. and i love your dipping candles image. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Ann @ My Nearest and Dearest

    Kate, your posts are always so inspiring (and I just downloaded the book you recommended, by the way. Can’t wait to dig into it this weekend!).
    What strikes me most about your schedule is the nice balance between subject areas (and allowance for them to overlap, as they often do) and the calm pace. To me, the ideal childhood is unhurried, with plenty of opportunity for the child to explore what interests him/her, with just a little gentle guidance (as needed) from the parent.
    It worries me how over-scheduled and stressed children seem to be these days. I think you do an outstanding job of letting your kids be kids, while still providing an incredibly rich learning environment and experience for them.

  24. cardboardkidz

    Hi Kate
    What do you do if Jack or Sarah not interested in their lessons? I am currently at a stand-still, because my every attempt to do language or math or, in fact, anything else is met with massive resistance. My 3-year old only wants to play with her Octonauts or some random toys. Not interested in building from blocks or any other material, not interested in Playdough, clay and similar things, not interested in drawing or writing, tracing lines or painting, none of the crafts. All she can do is draw a line or a squiggle or do one brush stroke on the paper (if any), then gets disinterested.
    I keep setting things up for her and leaving it to get her attention or trying to involve her in those activities by starting to do it myself, full of enthusiasm, even using her favorite characters to get her involved – nothing works. I’m screaming in my head! I even tried computer math and language music programs, which she was interested in for a few months, but now lost interest completely.
    Thank you

  25. Carrie @ November Morning

    Thank you so very much for sharing this! I will likely be homeschooling our children this Fall. I’m excited but also nervous. It’s wonderful to get a glimpse of how you’re doing things. I’d be delighted if you shared your written plans with us!

  26. andru

    I’ve read your post and 5 minutes later I still have a huge smile on my face! There is so much energy and peace in your plans&pictures! Thank you for sharing all this beauty with us.

  27. laughingkidslearn

    How wonderful! I don’t know much about homeschooling so I found reading your routine very interesting. I’d love to be part of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Danya Banya

    You are really inspiring. We’re not (and never have) intended to homeschool our kids for our own reasons, but your posts (and a few other homeschool bloggers that I also read) are making me rethink the certainty that I once had. But even if we go to ‘traditional school’, I think I still would like to incorporate some of your homeschool lessons outside out school hours. I’m really looking forward to reading how you go this year, and sending you all the best wishes for your journey.

  29. Sara

    Would love to see more of your plans Kate! We are homeschooling too and my oldest would have started ‘prep’ this year so really interested in what you’ve got planned! Hope you are enjoying it so far. We are having so much fun!

  30. Penny

    Wow! You’ve inspired me to get out more with my kids. We do a lot but not enough. There were so many lovely ideas in the post.

  31. Lori

    I absolutely love this. My child is only 16 months old but I hope to homeschool when the time comes. It does seem a little daunting with no teaching experience though. I really love your blog. Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Jackie@My Little Bookcase

    Wishing you all the best for a successful first year of official homeschooling. I think you’ve started this year’s journey is such a wonderful way.

    I’m keen to hear about how you cater differently for Jack and Sarah throughout the year.

  33. Heather

    Wow! Such a lovely week for you all! I am sure you will love homeschooling. It certainly seems like your days are full of fun! This past fall, my oldest would have been entering Kinder, and I have definitely been freaking out about it all year. But, I think we have found a good rhythm, and we can follow our interests more, which is definitely a big deal for me ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to hear how you plan! I buy curriculum, which we love, it is based on a lot of books, and books are something we do well here. But, I am constantly trying to add in other things as well, or we jump off the highway onto the dirt road, and sometimes don’t make our way back to the highway!

  34. sfwebb

    Thanks for your inspiration and beautiful blog.

    I have just signed my just-4yo up to our local school having deliberated for so long over wanting to home school…and still fear it is pressure or fear of failure or them missing out on the social aspect of school. Yet you are doing exactly what it is I wish to be doing for my two, who are similar ages to yours.

    We had decided to start our 4yo in what looks like a lovely reception year but to then perhaps have my own plans in place for after this, when it looks like it becomes very academic and formal very quickly. They start school the september after they turn 4 here – so for my youngest, this will be 2.5 weeks after her 4th birthday and too too young in my opinion.

    I taught secondary also, but have struggled so much with severe lack of sleep and my youngest being sick so much of her first year that we are only just starting to feel more settled now. I would love to see your ‘curriculums’ as I have so many ideas but haven’t yet pulled it all together.

    I am based in the UK and really interested in the forest/beach school concept – which I would love to see introduced into all schools but being realistic in what I can achieve, wish to at least use it, along with what I know so far of the emilio reggio concepts, for my children.

    Perhaps I will have the strength to go for it after all!

  35. Cindy Madsen

    I really enjoyed reading your post–it brought back so many memories of lovely and gentle days spent homeschooling my own children. I am at the other end of the homeschool road. My youngest child just finished her sophomore year at university. From my vantage point, I can tell you that homeschooling is a journey worth taking and one that you will not regret. Good luck on your adventure!

  36. Courtney Carter

    I would LOVE to know your curriculum/a little more about how you do this so beautifully ๐Ÿ™‚ You are an inspiration, that’s for sure!

  37. Mindy Lee

    You.are.my hero! I am about to begin my rookie year homeschooling with my kindergartener (and a one year old little brother!) I love your approach and would Love to know how you come up with your plans (for ex: projects for project-based learning, language arts and math studies, etc). I don’t blog but I think I might start just to document our journey! ;p
    Blessings,
    Mindy

  38. Kara

    I am so happy I stumbled across your blog!! I am a former teacher as well and homeschooling has crossed my mind recently–although my babies wouldn’t start for a few more years. I have been wanting to start doing some preschool homeschooling for the next few years until my babies start school. I would love to see your math and language curriculum, as well as your outline for the other subject areas. I’m just trying to wrap my mind around it all and I do “know” that I can do it…it’s just a matter of being willing to. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d be interested to know how you plan your lessons. Right now I’m doing preschool with my little ones so it’s mostly exploration and hands on, but I’d love to see what you do with academics.

  39. Francesca schroer

    Kate!

    I’ve been following you for quite a while and I turn to your blog for encouragement… almost daily. I was just about to email you to see if by now you had created some sort of curriculum, when I ran into this post.
    I think my one issue is that I have a four year old, a two year old, and a one year old. I struggle with the loose parts because of my one year old. My other two are so so helpful and know to be careful, but they still drop pieces without knowing and I’m terrified of that one chance, you know?
    My four year old boy is at the age where he needs to start learning but none of the provocations I put together seem to interest him for more than a few minutes if that.
    Anyway, I think some structure might help, if possible. Let me know.
    Thank you for doing this blog, I must admit it’s my favorite.

  40. Nikki

    Hi. I love this post. I currently homeschooling two preschool aged children and would be very interested in your curriculum. I am new to your blog, so I’m not sure if it is already posted. I appreciate it all of the advice and information.

  41. Anne Gregor

    May I just add, always keep your schedule flexible. There is no need to complete one thing in a set amount of time. If you find that your children are enjoying a particular subject, stick with it. There is plenty of time to teach them what they need to learn. Staying flexible will reduce the levels of stress that can be incorporated with homeschooling.

    Anne
    http://HomeschoolingOption.com/

  42. Mindy Lee

    I would love more information on your “process” and any wisdom you’ve gleaned from implementing this style of hands on learning! We are first year homeschoolers and my daughter just turned six. She can read just about anything and so she’s not behind by any means, but our days are lacking peace and simplicity. Please email me!

  43. Shauna Marshall

    Hello! My mom referred me to this website and said that your cousins! Her name is Julie Marchant Saunders. I would love if you could send me your curriculum as well. I have a son who will be 4 in June. We currently live in Mississippi and Kindergarten here is full day. I just cannot get comfortable with the thought of sending him away for 8 hours a day. I love the idea of homeschooling, but there are so many opinions/curriculum’s out there, it’s very overwhelming! So whatever you have or advice even, I’d love for you to share! Thanks!
    Oh, and I’m going to try the no interrupting, wrist holding as soon as my son wakes up from his nap!

    • Kate

      Hi Shauna. That is a long day. I can completely understand your feelings of uncertainty. I am working on the curriculum again – I lost it all when my previous lap-top broke; which was quite heartbreaking. I am hoping to have it ready for the beginning of next year though.

  44. Emily

    Love this! Would also love to see the curriculum you’ve written!

  45. francescaschroer

    Hi Kate! I’m loving instagram and your posts. I would love to get your kindergarten curriculum. My kids are 4.5yrs, 2.5yrs and 1.5yrs. I have mostly let my kids play up to this point, with little random lessons here and there and mostly in spanish (our four year old reads and is starting to write but I couldn’t tell you how it hapenned). I’ve decided to hold him back from school as much as possible since we are only in this area for three years and it’s not exactly our cup of tea, especially with the schooling style and society. Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about you guys because, after much search for a project based curriculum, your blog has been the most thorough example and explanation of this Reggio movement(I love how you use a regular curriculum and make it fun and project based).
    Let me know what you think.

  46. Natalie

    I was reading some of your idea’s and thought they were great!!!!, My daughter is 5 and is on her second year of school but due to bullying she has told me over and over that she really does not want to attend school any more. So we have started home schooling, and I really dont know what I am doing. I went to every book store near my house and got every work book I could find…. I’m just hoping I do well for my little girl. If you have any tips on “TIME MANAGMENT” I should could use them!!!

    • Kate

      I think the best thing you and your daughter can be doing at this moment is taking a little time to process her experience at school. Spend a lot of time outdoors, read a lot, spend time reconnecting your daughter with who she is. Help her to find her interests and show her that they are important – spend a lot of time nurturing her interests.

      You are on your own schedule now, take that time to find your rhythm. Cook together, garden together – share your passions with your daughter. It might be hard at first, but try to resist doing school at home. Instead, work together with your daughter to find and pursue her interests.

  47. Charlena

    I am trying to choose a kindergarten curriculum for homeschool and considering going without a curriculum this year. I’d love to see what you put together for your kids. Your post is great! Thanks!

  48. Sunet

    I’m starting homeschooling next year, my oldest is in kindy now and the other two are 2 and 8months.
    I would love to have access to your curriculum and planning process. I’m so excited about starting this journey, but all the info out there can get a bit overwhelming!

  49. Jennifer

    Hi Kate, love your blog!! Can you tell me where did you get those wood letters?

  50. Elyzaveta Bateham

    Yes, I would LOVE the planning process! Since I DON”T have a teaching experience, I get overwhelmed by the breadth of it all and need to learn to break things down into smaller pieces!

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