Kindergarten Program and Books

"In this time of extraordinary pressure,
educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first
duty to her children is to secure for them a
quiet growing time, a full six years of passive
receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the
most part out in the fresh air." Charlotte Mason

In our family, Kindergarten is very simple and not a full program taking much time (maybe an hour a day). We concentrate on reading readiness and by the third term, I begin formal reading instruction. Many children are ready for reading instruction at this age if the parent has given them opportunities to see and hear letters and words in a natural environment. Some children have learning disabilities and must move at a slower pace, so do not let time frames worry you.

Go here to see what is expected from a Kindergartener in schools today compared to Charlotte Mason's expectations.

Read various Bible story books
ABC Bible Memory Cards (found here)

Habit Training
A Child’s Book of Character Building vol 1,2 by Ron Coriell (we skip the school section)
Write chores on a chart and illustrate them for your child. Keep it simple.
Display 4 family rules and review them with your child while pointing to the words.
(Always be kind, Obey immediately, Be happy, Never lie)

Personal calendar- Give your child her own simple calendar and at the beginning of each month she fills in the numbers, decorates it and add stickers to upcoming birthdays and holidays. (found here or here)
Sing the ‘Days of the Week’ song. (just put any little traditional folksong tune to the days of the week and then end the song with ‘…seven days make a week!’)

Hands On Activities- Teach counting to 30, make patterns together with small toys or various beans, play store with canned goods and grocery bags using pennies or higher if child is ready, do mental math naturally with child when confronted with everyday situations, basic addition/subtraction with counters. (count spoons needed at supper, count washcloths being folded, etc…) Teach colors naturally.

This is ALL that is needed for Kindergarten math. Do not stress out over this. Workbooks are unnecessary and although your child may appreciate them at first, later she will almost certainly experience burnout.

Optional Recommended Resource: Family Math by Stenmark, Thompson, Cossey, and Hill- - games you can make and play with together.

Language Arts
Delightful Reading by Gore (a complete CM style reading instruction program available at Simply Charlotte Mason)
Place the entire alphabet with pictures at eye level so child will see them daily.
* **Review one letter and introduce its sounds weekly. Vowels say their own name and also have a short sound.
***Begin Reading Instruction if your child is ready.
More reading instruction resources here.

Copywork – One letter of the alphabet on unlined paper per week. Draw in the air with large strokes together, then on paper. Large is okay.

Make homemade books together by copying simple books read and just changing them a little.

Family Mail Box- Write single sentence letters to your child. She responds with invented spellings. That’s okay at this age.

Labeling- Child labels objects in school room or bedroom and tapes it to them (table, globe, bookshelf...)

Personal Journal-Child dictates to mom important events, places visited, etc... in her life on Fridays. Mom writes it down on a dry erase board first, then writes it in her child's journal. You can leave a word or two blank for her to fill in.
(Do not focus on much writing at this age.)

(Holidays, Traditions, Various countries and cultures)
Basic List:
History Stories for Children by Dr. John W. Wayland
Living Long Ago
This is the Star by Joyce Dunbar
The Christmas Story by Jane Werner
Use a children's picture Bible OR various Bible story books(avoid cartoon characters)
The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola
Over the River and Through the Woods illus. by John Steven Gurney
Winter Days in the Big Woods adapted from the Little House Books by Laura I. Wilder, Renee Graef
Christmas in the Big Woods adapted from the Little House Books by Laura I. Wilder, illus. by Renee Graef
The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern OR The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dagliesh

Art Expression
Various craft books
Simple drawing lessons
Teach the proper use of crayons and markers

Art Appreciation
Come Look With Me: Enjoying Art with Children by Gladys S. Blizzard
Come Look with Me: Exploring Landscape Art with Children by Gladys S. Blizzard

Optional recommended resource: How to Use Child Size masterpieces for Art Appreciation (Mommy! It’s a Renoir!) and the art prints by Aline D. Wolf

Poetry (once a week)
Something Big Has Been Here by Jack Prelusky
(not all are suitable for this age, choose what you like)
Favorite Poems of Childhood edited by Philip Smith

Nature Study
Some ideas: (more to come)
Your Big Backyard magazines
The Great Animal Search by Caroline Young
My Favorite time of Year by Susan Pearson
Much of the time is spent outside playing and exploring.

Read Aloud Literature (more to come)
The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter
The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris
Stories of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne illus. by Ernest Shepard
I Spy series by Jean Marzollo Walter Wick
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle
Mixed-up Chameleon by Eric Carle
Pancakes! Pancakes by Eric Carle
Foolish Tortoise by Eric Carle
You are Special by Max Lucado
Because I love You by Max Lucado
Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack
I Can’t, Said the Ant by Polly Cameron
Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
See the Pre-K list for more ideas

Transitional easy readers for beginning readers:
Little Bear series
Frog and Toad series
Billy and Blaze series

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