Our Plan for Kindergarten Homeschool Math

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Our plan for kindergarten homeschool math; how to homeschool; singapore math; life of fred; math practice; preschool homeschool; single parent; http://exploringexpression.com

One of the things that I love most about homeschool is the ability to teach my child whatever I want at his pace. There is no compulsion to aim to the greatest denominator because there are only my children in this school. If my child struggles in a subject or excels or has a special interest in a particular area then I can spend as much time as I want on that area. I can pick and choose and blend curricula as I see fit to create the best learning experience for my child. With that, here is my plan for my son’s Kindergarten Homeschool Math Curriculum.

The Picks for Homeschool Math

I’ve decided on a blend of two curriculums along with a few ancillary activities. His main curriculum is Singapore Math. He will also be doing Life of Fred as a supplement. These two items are done pretty much every day. In addition I have compiled several activities that he completes on a weekly basis. I chose this combination for several reasons. First, while Daniel has very strong math skills, I try to keep in mind that he is only 4. Some of the concepts that he will probably learn this year aren’t covered until late kindergarten, possibly first grade in public school. There really is no need to rush.

Second, I want to make sure that he gets these basic math concepts in as many different forms and through as many learning styles as he possibly can. These first concepts: adding, subtracting, grouping, shapes, etc.. These are the blocks that the other entire math from here on is built upon.

 

Our plan for kindergarten homeschool math; how to homeschool; singapore math; life of fred; math practice; preschool homeschool; single parent; http://exploringexpression.com

The Process

Let me start by saying that we do some sort of homeschool math seven days a week. At this age Daniel’s entire homeschool program only takes an hour and a half a day at most (not including the bedtime readings). That’s if we do every activity in every subject. How we orchestrate his entire curriculum is a topic for another post, however this type of homeschool that we do works wonderfully with our math curriculum. Every day we try to one of the three types of math activities: Singapore math, Life of Fred, or one of the accessory activities. At least 4 days a week we do two types of math.

Singapore Math

Our plan for kindergarten homeschool math; how to homeschool; singapore math; life of fred; math practice; preschool homeschool; single parent; http://exploringexpression.com

Singapore Math is a mastery-based curriculum. What this means is that instead of cycling through the same subjects in an increasing spiral every year, children instead focus on mastery of each topic. The normal curriculum is made up of a textbook and a workbook. There is also an intensive practice fore each level. This is optional for the strict Singapore program, but we are including it in our list. I have compiled a sequence for the first level – 1A – that we are currently working on. This way Daniel just works his way down the list. Normally on the days that we do a textbook lesson we also do a workbook exercise. Some days we only get through one exercise of practice set. Other days we can get through two or three. The key here is that we work at HIS pace. If I still have his attention and he is still interested we go on. If not, we can stop and pick up on the next activity the next day.

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Life of Fred

Our plan for kindergarten homeschool math; how to homeschool; singapore math; life of fred; math practice; preschool homeschool; single parent; http://exploringexpression.com

I must say that this is the most unusual math program I have ever seen. And we love it. It is less like a math book and more like a storybook. You are learning math almost without realizing it. Not only that but each book is full of other facts and learning gems. For example, in LoF Apples we have covered not only adding, subtracting and the like, but also weather, days of the weeks, deciduous trees and so much more.

If we love it so much, why is Life of Fred only a supplementary curriculum? I think in the upper levels, like say… Fractions, this could easily stand alone as a full math program. However, with Daniel starting so young, I don’t feel that it gives him quite enough mastery of the basic concepts for our needs. Still we do each chapter for two days before moving on to the next. We also read two chapters at a time, reading the chapter previous to the one we are on when we read. This is partly because he loves these books so much and partly so that he gets each chapter 4 times just to make sure he gets it.

Other Math Related Activities

In addition to the two curriculums Daniel also has a number of accessory activities that we enjoy.

1. We do a lot of work with patterns and sequencing.

For this activity we use either the counting bears that came with his scale or counting blocks from the dollar store. I usually pair this with a set of giant tweezers so that is also a fine motor activity.

2. We have been accumulating a growing set of pattern cards that we use with the colored blocks.

One of the ways we step tis activity up a level is asking him to tell us how many he wants of each color and specific shape. Then I will hand him either too few or too many and he has to tell me either how many more he needs or how many extra he has.

3. He loves skip counting with his pointer and a 1-100 chart on the wall.

We have been working on learning Spanish and sign language as well in his homeschool and we have begun working on counting and skip counting in these languages to keep the game lively and fun.

4. We have many different types of flash cards from basic adding and subtracting to same and different to sequencing.

Flash cards are something we like to do if we are limited on time or if we are going somewhere that we may have to wait (such as a restaurant or carpool for one of the older kids).

5. Another fun and quick type of homeschool math activity that we love are card games.

A few of our favorites include black jack, poker and War. These are games that everyone can play and Daniel loves to feel like he is “one of the big kids”. I normally keep a deck of cards in my purse just in case an opportunity should arise.

Conclusion

This seems like far too much homeschool math, doesn’t it? However, and you’ll hear me say this again and again, nearly everything that we do in our house is learning. If you consider how much time each activity takes by itself we are only talking about 5-10 minutes of time at a go. This is one of the factors that enables me to be a working, homeschooling single mom. Instead of looking at approaching Daniel’s school as a school day (I call it Kindergarten, but age wise it should be preschool and in some of his subjects he is doing first grade work). Our math curriculum is a very organized, loosely structured conglomeration of activities. In this manner he is always excited to choose what he learns each day. Because in the end, that is what learning should be – especially at this age. Exciting and Fun.

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