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So, you’re starting kindergarten with your child. What do you focus on? What are the most important kindergarten things? Here’s how I’m teaching kindergarten for 2020-2021.
My Curriculum Choices for Kindergarten 2020-2021
Nearly all of my resources have been inherited — some are older than me — but here are some links that I tracked down to resources very similar or identical to the vintage resources that I use.
- Childcraft from 1947-1954 (affiliate link)
- Vintage educational posters
- Richard Scarry’s Best Rainy Day Book Ever (affiliate link)
- Wee Sing (affiliate links)
- Picture Books (affiliate links)
- Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
Kindergarten Schedule for 2020-2021
Some people call this Morning Basket — I’m all old-fashioned, so I just call it assembly. Everyone participates. I have a different child lead each week, in rotation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Psalm 23
- Sing the weekly hymn
- Read the daily Bible story
- Talk about the day (traditions, liturgy, saints)
This isn’t just for Christians. Or Americans. Every country has something similar to the pledge of allegiance. Pick the most traditional thing you can find. Replace the hymns with folk songs. Replace the Bible stories with Shakespeare or Norse mythology.
Teaching Coloring and Tracing
This is where I use Richard Scarry’s Best Rainy Day Book ever, along with an assortment of coloring books from Dover. Every day, they work on a project from the Rainy Day book, and on tracing the letters and numbers in manuscript.
If they finish with those, then they can pick a coloring book page and color until it’s time for the next task.
Teaching Music & Movement
I put on a Wee Sing for them and they sit and listen, or play and listen, until it is done. Sometimes, I use Wee Sing and Pretend, and have them learn to “do what the music tells them,” sometimes it’s a Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes, and they play and sing. The kindergartners usually get the preschoolers to dress up in costumes and act or play along.
They don’t need much teaching here, but I do have a collection of “old-school” kindergarten toys that they get to play with during this time: building blocks, plastic animals, board games, etc. The preschoolers usully join in this, too.
This is just about the only part of their school day that I have to actively lead. I read for about 15 minutes from vintage Childcraft books. Whether it’s poetry, stories, or science, they enjoy, and I pass on core cultural knowledge.
After we read, they have an outdoor recess for about 25 minutes.
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
Every single day, I have my kindergartner and preschoolers sit down and watch Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. I use Amazon Prime or the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood website. This is the time that I sit down with my 1st and 2nd graders for phonics and arithmetic teaching.
Sometimes, I sub in another video, such as Richard Scarry’s Best Videos Ever, a Dr. Seuss Beginner Book video, or a Scholastic Books video.
There are a few different things I do here. I use crafts, ideas, and projects from Childcraft. I teach them how to finger-knit, spool-knit, sew, and weave potholders. (Remember those?)
Sometimes we cook things, or I make play-dough. They plant little garden pots and tend them. All of the practical and decorative things go here.
Teaching Personal Habits & Life Skills
Most of the personal habits, I teach in preschool and toddlerhood. Vintage parenting books are really helpful for explaining how to train your children.
However, I continue teaching etiquette, rather more formally, in kindergarten. I also continue adding to their personal chores, including taking responsibility for bedrooms, table chores, etc.
Most character education also takes place as informal teaching. I insist on virtuous behavior, and discuss the motives and actions of characters in movies, stories, etc. At the table, we have wide-ranging Socratic discussions, and the little ones are present and listening, long before they are intellectually ready to participate.
Family Time in the evening for the littlest ones consists of helping them get ready for bed,reading a couple of favorite classic picture books, and singing lullabies. Then, they say their prayers and get tucked into bed. They also read those classic picture books on Quiet Time, unless they take naps!
Vintage Educational Posters
You can get a lot of these types of things on Etsy. I actually make my own from images and torn pages from Little Golden books and other mid-century books. If you are interested in a tutorial on this, comment down below!
Are You Starting Kindergarten this Year?
Check out my homeschool schedules, and if you are worried about academics, you can always start Karen’s Robinson Curriculum for Littles course (affiliate link) this year instead of next! (I recommend this course to EVERY parent who is teaching K-2 students at home, not just homeschoolers using the Robinson Curriculum!)
And if you’d like to leave a comment below telling me about what you are planning for the year, I’d love to hear from you! Or you can sign up for my newsletter and get my 1950s Mom Schedule free.