Create Your Own Kindergarten Curriculum

When my oldest son was four, he was quite bored with the preschool workbooks we were doing, so I decided it was time to start kindergarten work. I decided to design my own curriculum with the help of the book “Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School” by Rebecca Rupp to help me know a common scope and sequence for kindergarten. The only thing I purchased was a pack of kindergarten lined paper (the type with the red line on the top, blue line on the bottom, and dotted line in the middle). I called my curriculum “Letter a Week”. Here’s how I did it.

Reading

Monday of every week, I read to my son the corresponding letter book in the “Sound box books” series by Jane Belk Moncure (I don’t own these, I borrowed them from the library). This was a great introduction to the letter sound. We also read throughout the week, books on a minimum of two other topics (usually involving an animal and a sport because these were of interest to my son) for the corresponding letter of the week, such as apples, archery, alligators, and army for “A” week. We often read multiple books on each topic. As he progressed in his phonics skills, I started introducing simple phonics books such as “The Bob Books” series by Bobby Lynn Maslen and “Easy Words to Read” series by Phil Roxbee.

Writing

Every week, I made three handwriting worksheets for my son. I tried both printing them from the computer and making them by hand with kindergarten lined paper and a highlighter. I preferred making them by hand. Each worksheet contained practice for my son’s name (this progressed from just his first name initially to his full name after a few weeks), the lowercase letter of the week (a few to trace and a few to write on his own), the capital letter of the week (again a few to trace and a few to write on his own), either a few simple words that started with the letter of the week or a sight word or review (depending on which day of the week it was), the number of the week (which eventually progressed into writing things like his phone number and address).

Math

I read the corresponding number book of the week in the “My Numbers Books” series by Jane Belk Moncure (also called “My First Steps to Math” series). This was a great way to solidify the concept of each individual number. Of course we did lots of practical application practice as well, like “How many socks are in the laundry basket today?” or “Lets see how high we can count while we wait in the line at the grocery store.” Eventually this progressed into a math concepts such as time, addition, or counting by 2s.

Science

We also related anatomy to our weekly letter. I taught my son every body part I could think of that started with that week’s corresponding letter. For “A” week, I taught him: arm, arm pit, arch (of his foot), abdomen, Adam’s apple, and ankle. Obviously some weeks I just couldn’t come up with anything. I also had a list of science concepts such as the Five Senses, and How a Plant Grows, that I wanted my son to learn throughout the year. I tried to match these up to the letter or in some case, like the Five Senses, to the number of the week. They didn’t all match up perfectly, so I just fit different concepts in on different weeks where I didn’t have a match.

Religion

We also read about a person or more from the Bible that corresponded to the letter of the week. Some weeks like “J” week there were lots of people like Jesus, and John, and Jesse, and so on, other weeks like “F” week, there really weren’t many. I used a good Bible concordance on these weeks.

Multi-sensory learning

My children love pancakes and I make them every week, so each week I made the corresponding letter shaped pancakes and often with a corresponding fruit such as apple “A” shaped pancakes for “A” week. This became their favorite part of the week! I also tried to incorporate into each week an activity or field trip such as making apple pie during “A” week or playing baseball during “B” week. Some weeks we included things like a genre of music that started with the letter of the week, such as Jazz during “J” week. Of course most children love art, so I included weekly art projects (I got ideas from books at the library). Most of these did not line up with the letter of the week, but not everything had to. Each week when we went to the grocery store for our regular grocery trip, I would point out foods that begin with the corresponding letter of the week, such as bananas, beets, and Brussels sprouts for “B” week. I would make sure to have some of these foods on the meal plan during that week. It was an easy way for us to have more variety in our diets and for the kids to get excited about trying new foods. We also did ethnic nights about once a month that corresponded with the letter of the week to teach about other cultures. My favorite was “J” week when we did Japanese night. Our whole family sat at a low table (kids table) on cushions in the living room and I prepared some Japanese cuisine complete with tea and chopsticks. My kids still talk about that night years later.

I repeated this curriculum with my second son when he was three, but did it with less intensity and used it as a preschool curriculum. With my oldest son, I taught the letters out-of-order so they would correspond to holidays or themes I wanted like “T” week during Thanksgiving and “L” week when the leaves were falling and we could do leaf projects. With my second son, I did the letters in order, because it took less planning, though sometimes it was less fun. Both ways worked great and they both learned all their letters and sounds with ease. I had a lot of fun with the curriculum and can’t wait till my younger children are old enough to do it again with them.

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