These books are highly recommended. If you are new to homeschooling, find out how to homeschool and spend these early years equipping yourself with the tools needed to teach.
Our new resource will give you the essential information to home school with confidence in the primary years. It will help know how to teach and how to get organised.
"I have just finished reading How to Home School 101. I love it as I'm in middle of starting to build my resources. We will be jumping in the start of 2013. I had no idea how many hours to spend each day. I'm still a little unsure how to structure my days/weeks or term as yet but this was a fantastic look at what to do :-)" Dee Robinson. NSW, Australia.
The Three R's - Ruth Beechick
This will give you the basics of what to teach in the early years up to eight years old. It is a very sensible and helpful book that teaches about reading, writing and arithmetic. Recommended by many seasoned homeschoolers.
This is a suggested outline of how to organise your curriculum for Kindergarten or Foundation Year. Some parents choose to wait till their children are six before they start formal lessons. Foundation year is really a time of preparing a child to learn in a more formal environment. You can probably meet the requirements of the National Curriculum in less than six months and move on to Year One. Curriculum choice varies depending on the individual child and specific family's homeschooling needs. So feel free to change it as it suits you.
A kindergarten child only needs about one and a half to two hours of formal sit down work 3-4 days per week. The rest of the time should be spent on the activities of daily living, establishing good habits and learning through play and lots of conversation.
The following scope and sequence has been written with consideration of the new Australian National Curriculum (ANC) and the methods of Charlotte Mason. Subjects covered include Bible, English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Creative and Practical Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education.
Approximately one third (or more) of your lesson time should be focussed on English. Nearly all subjects can be English lessons in some way.
The Australian National Curriculum splits the teaching of English (or language arts) into three sections:
Oral skills for children such as poetry recitation, story telling and telling back stories. Begin the practice of narration during your reading time to check your children's comprehension.
Getting ready to teach your child to read does depend on a child's readiness. This can vary greatly so test the waters. If you start and it isn't working. Stop for a while and go back to it. My children all "got it" at different ages.
To teach reading is one of the first academic challenges encountered in the homeschool. Begin with a simple phonics programme and some site words.
Here are some more suggestions for teaching reading. As your child becomes more confident reading you can start to introduce some of the simple readers suggested on the booklist.
Jan Brett's sight word list is so pretty I just had to add it here. A good hunt on her web site will also provide you with some delightful free resources.
This is a delightful time to enjoy books while snuggled up on the couch with your young children. There are so many books to choose from. Learn the difference between a good and a bad book.
Cultivate an appetite for quality living books and visit the library regularily to restock.
I like to use Bible stories and christian books for some of my read alouds.
Suggested Australian Books To Read
The Complete Tales of Blinky Bill
Blinky Bill is naughty and he doesn't always get punished for his mischief but this classic Australian story is enjoyable and the pictures a delight.
It goes well with the Blinky Bill Alphabet Copywork.
The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
This Australian classic has the most delightful pictures and is as cute as can be. The big bad banksia men can be a little scary but snuggled up on a couch with a parent is a very safe place to meet them.
Visit the library and find books that interest your child. Here are a few other suggestion.
The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne
If you haven't already read these books then this is a fun book that every child should enjoy.
Tales of Beatrix Potter
Letter formation and recognition is one of the first skills we begin to teach in Kindergarten. Modeling good writing is your goal.
Our resource Teaching Handwriting, Spelling and Grammar. Charlotte Mason Style is a 25 page ebook showing you how to teach handwriting from first letters to mastering handwriting.
Once you start them writing try to get them to write a small amount every day.
Blinky Bill Copywork Book (first alphabet book) will help you start.
Use the Ruth Beechick's The Three R's for more ideas.
"Mathematics depend upon the teacher rather than upon the textbook and few subjects are worse taught; chiefly because teachers have seldom time to give the inspiring ideas ... which should quicken imagination." Charlotte Mason
Get off to a good start with math by reading Ruth Beechick's The Three R's. She will give you ideas and tools on how to make maths an enjoyable topic for your children.
I don't want to sway you in a math program as I have jumped around a lot. I prefer purchasing a complete curriculum for this topic however you don't really need a textbook for this age group. I can however recommend some popular programs amongst homeschoolers.
Math U See
Rod and Staff Math (Book 1 only for Kinder grade 1) I really like this one. No reading.
Targeting Math (Australian)
The Australian National Science Curriculum breaks science into three categories, science understanding, science as a human endeavour and science enquiry skills. To help you understand the differences between a Charlotte Mason approach to science and the National Curriculum see my blog post. And here is my primary school science suggestions from Kindergarten to Year Six.
It aims to teach a spiral approach of all the sciences: physical, chemical, biological and earth/space.
Weather and Seasons
Movement and Objects
The way objects move depends on a variety of factors, including their size and shape. Try these books.
These topics can be done orally with your children. Make note of how animals, plants and man made products are different.
Science involves exploring the world through the five senses.
Here are some great suggestions for this topic.
The Listening Walk - Paul Shower
My Five Senses - Aliki. Ages 3 -6 yrs
Nature Study and nature journaling of seasonal changes including The Wonderland of NNature Journal can be used as the main resource for this year. This begins developing the skills of observation, record keeping and documentation.
Practice weekly nature walks with your kids.
For other science topics follow the child's interest with library books.
Time Allocated to Science
One or two science lesson per week is sufficient. You won't need worksheets just keep your nature journal and record your field trips. Include as much time out in nature as possible. If you have difficulty getting out and about just go to your backyard or look around your neighbourhood.
The Australian National History Curriculum divides the topic of history into historical knowledge and understanding, and historical skills. Foundation Year curriculum includes families and distinguishing between the present and the past through stories and personal histories.
A Jesse Tree is also a good overview of the family tree of Jesus that can be used in fouth term as preparation for Christmas.
Our Australian Picture Book list will also help explore families in different places around Australia including stories of the past.
One history lesson per week will be sufficient. Use notebooks to keep your work together.
You can also choose books that cover different families. My Place by Nadia Wheatly would be a good choice. This book also ties in well with the geography curriculum for this year.
Using the ideas of Charlotte Mason and National Curriculum I have combined the teaching of geography into stages rather than specific years. This is also the approach used in the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus. Please look at the geography schedule for Australian kids here.
Children need to experiment with different art mediums. Encourage painting, drawing and craft projects. As they make their own creations they will also discover about the elements of art: line, shape, colour and texture.
Some good art books to use for Picture Study are the Come Look With Me Series.
This topic can be covered as desired through activities of daily living of regular sport, nutrition and hygiene.