I always cringe when I hear the phrase “kindergarten curriculum” in a homeschooling context.

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From a fellow veteran homeschooling Mom:

Some kids really enjoy “playing school,” but at that age – or any young age
– don’t get tied down to a curriculum. Learning is fun – don’t make it
work! Don’t count hours of “work” before you have to – learning is part of
life.

If you do use a curriculum, be sure to fit it to the child, not the child
to it. If your child is crying or throwing fits, or if either of you is
dreading “school,” back off and don’t do anything formal for a while.
Eventually your child will have to learn the discipline of studying
something that’s not always fun, but let them learn discipline and
perseverance first on something other than learning, something like folding
laundry or picking up toys. Keep learning as pure fun as long as you
possibly can.

Read lots of books, all kinds of books, books both you and your child
enjoy. If your child loves a book that you’re sick of, let him or her look
at it without you. But don’t pressure a kid to learn to read – some are
ready at 4, some at 8. Answer all your child’s questions that you can. Look
up the answers to others when you have time. Play with blocks and duplos or
legos – let them invent their own designs. Model the idea of building
things from your imagination. Go to the zoo and fun museums, proceeding at
the child’s pace. Learn at the grocery store. Talk about where food comes
from. Garden or go to a friend’s garden. Play with seeds and plants and get
dirty. Do lots of art. Make letters for your child to copy. Write down
stories they tell you. Write descriptions of their pictures that they
dictate. Play games – whether they’re “educational” games or not, your
child will learn. Let your child help cook, clear the table, wash or put
away dishes. Even a little kid can unload the dishwasher. Cooking and
baking are especially fun and educational. Talk about protein and starch
and vitamins. Teach sewing and handcrafts. It’s so satisfying to make
something. Teach your child the things you like to do for fun and let other
friends and family members teach what they’re good at. Get story and song
tapes or CDs from the library. Sing together. Say nursery rhymes and silly
poems. If you have a baby, involve your child in the baby’s care. Even some
four-year-olds can change diapers.

If you really want to do math, try the Miquon Orange Book. Get Cuisenaire
rods and pattern blocks. Play with them – don’t just do “math” with them.

I know a young mother who has cards with words written on them all over the
house: “chair,” “sink,” “stairs,” etc. In church, when we sing from a
hymnbook, she runs her finger under the words for her child as we sing
them. Her daughter is ready to read – already reading a bit, I think, so
she likes this, but if a kid doesn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it, though you
might try from time to time until they’re ready.

I love it that a kid isn’t official in PA until age 8. Enjoy it while you
can.

Pamela (homeschooling veteran)

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Come, Ye Disconsolate, Where’er Ye Languish

birch trees in winter2

1) Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,

come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel:

here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;

earth has no sorrows that heav’n cannot heal.

2) Joy of the comfortless, light of the straying,

hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!

Here speaks the Comforter, in mercy saying,

“Earth has no sorrows that heav’n cannot cure.”

3) Here see the Bread of Life; see waters flowing

forth from the throne of God, pure from above:

come to the feast prepared; come, ever knowing

earth has no sorrows but heav’n can remove.

St. 1-2 Thomas Moore, 1816

St. 3 Thomas Hastings, 1832