..Welcome friends! In light of the recent changes to our world, today I bring you our favorite homeschooling resources for kindergarten. Hope it helps someone out there! *Contains affiliate links.
I don’t know where you are in the world, but life as we know it in Oregon has changed big-time.
Our governor imposed stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of COVID-19 earlier than many others, so we are in our third week of social distancing.
We had ONE day as far as a “heads up” goes. One day between the time we received the news from the school district that schools would be closed and the time where they shut down. (The first case reported in Oregon was in a public school employee.)
Since then, we have had to adapt rather quickly to being a full-on homeschooling family.
I know that this is true for many other families in the US and Canada, so I felt it was a good time to bring you our favorite homeschooling resources for kindergarten (and beyond) so far.
Fitness < Homeschooling My Kindergartener
I know that this is a fitness blog, but most of you know that I’m a mom of two, and that has always taken precedence over anything fitness-related.
I’ve had my share of struggles with personal fitness and weight loss after having babies, but it is TOTALLY different now.
I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but weight loss is SO FAR from the frontline right now as far as priorities go. After all, I’m homeschooling a kindergartener (why BTW is about to turn six this month) now.
But beyond that, my brain seems to be in survival mode.
I’m no longer thinking about how I wish I could look better, I’m thinking about how I can prepare for potential disaster, sickness, quarantine, etc.
I have been busy stocking up on shelf-stable goods, baking bread from scratch, starting seeds, and all of that fun stuff.
Am I the only one that’s doing that?
Lol! Anyway, the point is that while I still want to focus on fitness, it has taken the back-burner, and I hope that you can understand that for now. 🙂
Favorite Homeschooling Resources For Kindergarten From A Would-Be Teacher
I want to say, to add some perspective, that before becoming a personal trainer, I was a *nearly* licensed elementary school teacher.
I am no longer embarrassed to tell you that I dropped out of college one semester (and one student teaching placement) away from obtaining my degree in Elementary Education.
That’s another story.
But you should know that before all this started happening, I had seriously considered homeschooling our kindergartener when we bought our RV. We had just sold our house and Annie was getting ready to start Kinder, but I wasn’t sure where we were going to live permanently.
After extensive research, I went ahead and purchased the complete Horizons Kindergarten curriculum so that we could test homeschool out over the summer and see what it was like for us as a family.
But soon after that, we made a quick move to Bend, Oregon. We rented a house, and our daughter jumped right into a kindergarten class that she LOVED until school was cancelled.
So, in the first two weeks of “homeschool,” I felt prepared enough to handle it because I already had a back-up plan.
That plan (my homeschooling resources for Kindergarten that I’d already purchased) bought me time.
And, with that time (and a sense of calm) I was able to research and test many other different homeschooling resources that have now been added to our list of favorites.
Our district is yet to roll out any real plan for distance learning at the kindergarten level, so this has proven necessary.
If that’s the boat you’re in, scrambling to figure out how to homeschool your kindergartener (or other grade schooler) this is for you.
While I specifically want to share our favorite homeschooling resources for kindergarten, I am sure that many of these will work for other grades.
I hope they give you something to go off of for now!
Our Favorite Homeschooling Resources For Kindergarten (So Far!)
I’m going to split up the homeschooling tools by whether or not they are paid. Many programs and tools are currently free or offering generous free trials in light of what has been happening.
My biggest tip is to take advantage of the free trials first. This is because you will quickly learn what your child does and DOES NOT like. Lol!
Totally Free Homeschooling Resources
Teach Your Monster To Read – We JUST found this great game that is 100% free (for computer version) but also pretty sophisticated! It is animated and interactive, with progressions based on skill level and various accomplishments.
It’s exactly the sort of thing a wiggly 5 year old needs!
I have gotten pretty tired of reading (and let’s be honest, she can’t read more than about 10 minutes aloud without getting tired) so this is a great way to reenforce reading concepts without tons of work.
Tree Valley Academy – This is just a blog that I have been following for some time that is FULL of free printables for homeschooling. I signed up for the email list and haven’t regretted it for one second. We love the tips, posts, and everything else that’s offered there.
State Common Core Standards – What subjects are required for kindergarten homeschool? Most states in the US have adopted the Common Core, which is a way to guide learning and benchmarks in all subjects at every grade level. Those standards are publicly available.
If you’re a serious homeschool family like we have recently become, it can be helpful. It helps to know where your child should be at the end of each grade. I use the Oregon Department of Education’s guidance to help me keep Annie “on grade” in as many areas as possible.
This can be a very helpful but also overwhelming resource. Keep in mind that it is what teachers use to plan their lessons. You do NOT have to do everything there. It’s simply not realistic. At the kindergarten level, math and reading should take the biggest chunk of your time and efforts.
Paid Homeschooling Resources
*Note: Many paid homeschooling resources also offer free trials. Some of them are extended, generous free trials right now!
StarFall – There are free versions of StarFall for families to test out, but they are limited. But this paid, very affordable learning resource is great because it covers Pre-K to grade 3 with ONE account. ($35/YEAR)
This is an app that I had purchased well before Kindergarten started. I originally got it to *supplement* my daughter’s school learning and to keep her screen time educational. Now it’s in regular rotation with our other favorite homeschooling resources for kindergarten.
TeachersPayTeachers – This is a marketplace of teacher-curated resources. It doesn’t just included homeschooling resources for kindergarten – it has everything! You can get all sorts of games, worksheets, lesson plans, and more (many are free, others are paid).
We love TPT because there are so many free resources and fun activities to print out but also because you can easily find things on any topic for any grade level.
SplashLearn – SplashLearn is an algorithm-powered, game-style learning app for math and reading. Since I am useless at math, we love it for kindergarten math practice. Plus, Annie needs a break from worksheets often.
She likes the animation. She also wins fun “prizes” to add to her collection upon completion of various math problems.
We are using just the math portion, but there is also a reading portion. We pay $7.99/month for this app. But Annie uses it 20-30 minutes per day every week day right now, so it’s worth it!
P.S. We have tried other math programs, but they were boring and repetitive for Annie. This one is a winner so far. There is apparently a free version. I believe it’s like most things where you basically get it in “trial mode.”
AOP Horizons Kindergarten Curriculum – (Affiliate link) This is the curriculum I mentioned before. I love it because there’s hardly any guesswork for me at this level. I just open the workbooks to the next page and they progress perfectly.
Since they are heavy on the reading and worksheets, I simply rotate them with screen time in our daily schedule. Easy, peasy!
Favorite Homeschool Blogs To Follow
I only know about some of these resources through some of the homeschooling blogs I follow. Not only do they offer info on their favorite apps and websites, they often share their own creations.
(I highly recommend signing up for the email lists of your favorite bloggers, because they always send out free things.)
- Confessions Of A Homeschooler – So many resources, paid and free!
- Homeschool Creations – Long-standing, full of resources and up-to-date!
- Mom For All Seasons – Not just for resources, but for tips and encouragement for homeschooling moms!
I hope you’re no longer wondering, “How do I start homeschooling my kindergartener?” and feel like you have a place to start now!