Wondering which Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum is right for your family? Check out this detailed review of our favorite resources, including pros and cons, costs, time commitment, planning tricks and ways to stay organized.
For once, I didn’t spend hours online or design my own system. This was too important. If I was going to do this homeschool thing, I had to do it right, which meant starting out with the best Kindergarten homeschool curriculum.
But with so many out there, which was the best?
Instead of asking Google, I consulted a few wise homeschool moms who are raising bright, talented, godly kids that I admire.
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum Review
Today, I want to share with you the Kindergarten homeschool curriculum we chose based on their advice, along with reviews of the curriculum that we used for each subject.
For each subject, I’ll be covering…
- the pros and cons of each, to see if it’s a good fit for your child
- the age ranges it’s appropriate for
- how much each costs
- what the time commitment is for each
- which books and learning materials are must-haves versus which ones you can skip to save money
- planning tricks and ways to stay organized
Affiliate links to our favorite kindergarten homeschool curriculum are included throughout this post.
- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
- Saxon Math Kindergarten Homeschool Kit
- Classical Conversations Memory Work
You know, the things we homeschool moms talk about when we get together for playdates or coffee.
Let’s take a dive into the details of each of these components. Here we go!
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum for Math: Saxon Math Kindergarten
For math, we used the Saxon Math K Home Study Kit. Saxon math works in what my friends tells me is a “spiral”: introducing new concepts a few at a time, then looping back around again and again to build confidence and mastery.
I have found this style of learning to be perfect for my little reluctant perfectionist, especially since he started it a little young, right at 4 years old. The curriculum is listed to be ideal for 4 1/2 to 5 1/2-year-olds.
Some moms I talk to say they and their kids get bored with Saxon for the very same reason I love it. It is just too repetitive for some.
This all emphasizes a main theme of motherhood, don’t be afraid to do what works for your family.
Everybody is different. Different learning styles, different challenges, different priorities.
If you’re thinking about stepping outside the box to homeschool your Kindergartener or you’re already homeschooling, then you likely know how true this is.
Anyway, back to the curriculum review.
Saxon Math K covered:
- counting by 1, 5, and 10
- identifying coins
These are the things I remember doing in Kindergarten. However, my sense is this would be appropriate for some pre-K students.
Alternatively, you may go through it more quickly for a 5-year-old and move onto the first-grade curriculum while still technically in the Kindergarten year as one of our local Christian school does.
The only thing Saxon K doesn’t cover when compared to common core is 3-dimensional geometry and written equations, in case you’re curious.
The Teachers Edition (the main book for the curriculum) includes a complete script for the instructor to follow, so there’s little planning required. Follow along and you’ll be just fine.
In addition to the way Saxon Math built my son’s confidence in math, the use of manipulatives made it fun. We moms might call them manipulatives, but these brightly colored blocks and tiles and even teddy bears look an awful lot like toys to a 4 or 5-year-old!
It’s learning disguised as play, as it should be always and especially at this age.
And it even establishes good habits for cleaning up said manipulatives at the end of the lesson. I love that!
To stay organized with Saxon, I throw everything into a magazine file including the meeting book, teacher’s edition, and any random supplies we need.
For the paper cutouts I had to do for some of the lessons, I saved them in a plastic bag and paper clipped it to the first page of the corresponding lesson.
I won’t have to spend my precious time cutting out orange triangles and small pink circles again when my daughter is ready to go through the curriculum!
As for the manipulatives, I used a big basket. Then I used smaller plastic bins from the dollar store to organize all of the different manipulative materials.
Saxon Math Kindergarten Homeschool Kit by Nancy Larson
Recommended for Ages: 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 years (we started right at 4 years and it was perfect.)
Cost: $81.98 new on Amazon.com
- Home Study Teacher’s Edition (includes scripted lessons, materials list, and masters)
- Meeting Book (used each day to practice patterns, calendar, counting)
Additional Materials Needed:
- Saxon Math K-3 Home Study Manipulate Kit $95.36 (you’ll keep using this through third grade and you can use it with multiple students at the same time)
- Construction Paper, a variety of coins, and typical school supplies
Prep Time: Usually none, but some lessons do require up to 15 minutes of preparing materials
Lesson Time: About 20 minutes
- Very easy to follow
- Completely scripted lessons
- Minimal prep time needed
- Very affordable
- Re-use it for your other children
- Builds confidence and mastery of foundational math skills
- Can be too repetitive for certain children
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum for Reading: Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
First published in 1983, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is still popular for teaching kids to read. I first heard about it on a friend’s blog where she used it to teach her 3-year-old daughter to read using this curriculum.
I decided to pick up the book because it had been so effective for her.
Plus, this curriculum is very easy to use, exactly what I needed for my first attempt at homeschooling.
It gives you a complete script for every lesson and even includes what to say to properly correct young readers to prevent confusion and frustration.
Beyond just being effective, Teach Your Child to Read is also extremely affordable. I got a copy used on Amazon for $5.95.
I tried introducing this to my son just after he turned 3, as he was interested and capable of learning to read at the time.
However, we ran up against some frustration with two parts of the lessons that led to us putting it away for a while.
The first was the writing. It asks you to demonstrate how to write each sound as it is introduced and then have the child trace it and then write their own.
This was understandably frustrating for a 3-year-old with the normal motor skills of a 3-year-old.
The other thing that was confusing for both of us was the way it asks you to approach rhyming. The Teach Your Child to Read way threw him off because it was different than what he’d learn on PBS’ Super Why.
Once we revisited the curriculum when he turned 4, I realized we could have skipped over the writing and rhyming without any ill effects and gone right ahead learning to read. Live and learn!
TYCTR got my just-turned-4-year-old reading quickly.
He was also able to easily transition to early readers.
And I tell you, I will never ever forget the moment when he looked up at me wide-eyed, little index finger still on the book, as he realized he had read his first word. Ah! That’s heaven to a homeschool mama!
While we had our frustrations at times, I would still highly recommend TYCTR for any parent who, well, wants to teach their child to read!
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann
Recommended for Ages: Any beginning reader 3 years and up
Cost: $13.49 new on Amazon.com
What’s Included: All the lessons are included in one convenient book.
Additional Materials Needed: Just a pencil and a lined handwriting paper
Prep Time: None
Lesson Time: About 20 minutes
- Very easy to follow
- Completely scripted lesson
- Zero prep time needed
- Very affordable
- Introduces basic phonics
- Can be frustrating for certain children (just remember to be flexible and you won’t have a problem)
From my experience, it’s important to note TYCTR is not a complete phonics program, but it does hit the basics and is easy to use.
I’ll be following this up with Spell to Write and Read for language arts.
Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum for Reading: Classical Conversations Foundations
For all subjects beyond reading and math, we participated in a Classical Conversations community this year. We meet together one morning a week at a local church and then practice our memory work at home the rest of the days.
We love the opportunity for both mom and the kids to gather with our peers, make friends (ah, the elusive “socialization”), and support one another. There is a true feeling of community here and we love it!
Subjects covered include:
In the Classical Conversations Foundations program, students ages 4 to sixth grade memorize key facts from each subject that will help lay the foundation for future academic achievement.
During our weekly gathering, we do a short assembly as a community with announcements, flag salute, family presentations, recognizing student birthdays, and Bible memory work.
Then we break up into classes of about 8 students led by a parent tutor in the Foundations program. Kids usually participate in a class with other kids of a similar age.
We parents participate in class and have a chance to learn new ideas for teaching our little students throughout the week, including:
- hand motions
- and much more
It makes learning fun, even for very young students.
Other activities we do in each class include:
- Science experiment or project
- Fine arts project or activity (music, art, etc)
- Public Speaking
I love that this gives us the opportunity to do some fun and interesting science and art projects that we couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do at home.
We dissected crawfish on the first day of class this year, and my son was instantly in love with school!
Each student, even from the age of 4, is expected to give a short presentation to his class each week. For the little ones, this is typically like “show and tell”.
In the first few weeks, my shy little one wouldn’t even leave his seat let alone speak.
Throughout the year, we worked our way up to him going up to the front of the class with me while the tutor or other parents asked him questions about whatever toy he had brought.
By the end, he absolutely shocked me one week. He walked right up to the front, by himself, and told us all about his stuffed monkeys!
Once he got started, he didn’t want to stop talking.
I was one proud mama!
Public speaking is something so many adults dread. What a blessing it is these little ones have the opportunity to learn it while they’re young.
After class, we all gather to each lunch and the kids are able to play together or participate in a “recess” activity.
We also go on field trips and summer playdates together throughout the year.
That isn’t to say, of course, that there weren’t some struggles.
Mid-year, our CC director helped me reset my expectations by asking one simple question: “Is he having fun?”
“Oh, yea! That’s what we’re here for!”
You see, I had gotten a little too wrapped up in the achievement possible with the program and inadvertently started comparing my own child to kids that were older or just plain different.
And even worse, I started passing those Expectations (with a capital E) onto my son without meaning to. We both became more and more frustrated.
Until that moment, I had forgotten why we joined CC at age 4 in the first place. It was to build relationships, have fun, learn classroom rules, and develop a love of learning.
After a couple of weeks of refocusing on those priorities, things turned around. Our first year recently ended, and we can’t wait for class to start up again in the Fall!
Classical Conversations Foundations
Recommended for Ages: 4 through 11 years old
First Year Cost: $567 (see details below)
(If you’d like to get a taste of what the memory work looks like or you’d just rather learn at home, you can get the Classical Conversations app on Amazon for $15.99.)
What You Need:
- Tuition for One Year ($470) including registration and supply fees (additional facility fee may apply)
- Foundations Guide ($75) includes all the memory work for all 3 cycles – you can reuse this for all your children for every year of Foundations
- Tin Whistle for both mom and child ($11 each)
Nice to Have:
- Memory Work CD (According to CC you don’t have to have this, but I can’t imagine doing it without it)
- Memory Master Flash Cards (we didn’t buy these this year, but I wish we had)
- A big whiteboard for writing memory work
Prep Time: Zero to infinity. It’s up to you and your child how deep you go
Lesson Time: About 20 minutes (at home)
- Lays the foundation for future academic achievement
- Almost everything set to music, so it’s fun
- Gain experience with classroom rules
- Opportunity to socialize and be a part of a community
- Covers a broad range of subjects most Kindergarten curriculums don’t
- Weekly art project and science experiment (that you don’t have to plan)
- Can be intimidating for some young students (and moms!)
- More expensive than some other curriculum and co-ops
I’m so thankful to those moms who offered their advice and who spent hours answering my questions about their favorite homeschool curriculums and routines.
Thanks to them we had a great first year!
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