I had a friend ask me about my secular kindergarten curriculum suggestions for an opportunity she is considering. What curriculum should I use for a pod for students in kindergarten? This plan is what I came up with for secular kindergarten curriculum and I wanted to share it with you too.
Key components for kindergarten lessons:
- short lessons
- many subjects
- feast of beauty with art and music
- nature emphasis
- nature journaling
- living books
- narrating stories after they are read aloud
- learning reading through both sight and sound
- hands on learning for math
Calendar Time each day, singing weeks and months songs, adding popsicle stick to each day.
Hundreds chart for counting to 100, counting by 2s, 5s, 10s
Nursery Rhymes (read one per day): The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright
You can use this book to read the rhymes, extend the Nursery Rhymes with questions and ideas, and to copy the pictures for students to color. Elementary Poetry Volume 1: The Enchanting Poetry of Mother Goose.
Art Appreciation (look at one picture per week, talk about it and just enjoy together):
Music Appreciation (one composer per 6 or 12 week term, start with sharing his picture, a brief biography, then play one 5 minute song per week). Suggestions are for Baroque, Classical, and Romantic Periods.
- Suggested: Vivaldi, Mozart, Tchaikovsky
- Additional: Handal, Beethoven, Dvorak
Poetry Books (read one a day or the same poem each day for a week or once per week for six weeks for memorization): A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stephenson
Science & Nature
I’d suggest doing science two times a week or more.
Gentle + Classical Nature Vol 1: you’d need a Teacher’s Guide (free PDF, or you can get print version, I recommend print, I just got this, it’s on beautiful cardstock), and you’ll need a Student Notebook per child, Level 1. This is so lovely I can’t recommend it more highly! This includes nature drawing, a poem to memorize, 3 projects to do as a class, so awesome!!
SO much you can do with this, it could become the core of your work.
For teaching reading
You could do 2 or 3 lessons in this each day, this is the BEST I have found, I love it! It is phonics and whole word (sight and sound, so very Charlotte Mason) and it’s fantastic!!!!
Elementary Phonics by Florence Akin
Moveable Alphabet for working with students
(I also like Delightful Reading Kits 1 & 2 from Simply Charlotte Mason, though they are not as clear cut as far as a specific sequence of lessons.)
These are beautiful Alphabet cards to use, when they come up in the lessons, you can print on heavy duty cardstock.
Some alphabet books to reinforce Alphabet sounds and fun: AlphaTales
Usborne First Reading Library for children who are advanced and reading faster than others:
Creating Waldorf Alphabet Book
You could also have the children draw an Alphabet Book, Waldorf Style with inspiration from this book:
This copywork book favors using an example over tracing, which is easier for children to make their own straight or curved lines.
- Sandpaper cards for learning letters
- Letter Formation Sand Tray
- Two books to help with kinesthetic learners for alphabet and numbers:
- Montessori Letter Work
- Montessori Number Work
For read aloud picture books
Five in a Row is a great curriculum, unit study, to spend 5 days on one book, read it for those five days and do activities each day — or you can just look at the listed books and get them from the library, too! You can get the guides and story discs here.
For a literature read aloud chapter book
Read a chapter daily or a couple times a week, here are some suggestions:
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
- Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
- The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
- Fairy Tales! (children can act out the fairy tales to you, narrating, telling back the story in their own words!)
One to two times a week, you could begin reading American History with the wonderful pack from Beautiful Feet Books. This includes a guide book and some lovely pictures children could color and paste in a notebook for a collection of history together
OR you could simply read 50 Famous Stories Retold by James Baldwin to focus on folk stories instead
Additional Social Studies ideas
Learning the Continents and where child is in the world:
Appreciating other cultures
Courtesy and Feelings
Wild Math Curriculum Kindergarten – focus on games and math in nature! (No worksheets.) This is fabulous!
Cuisenaire Rods Alphabet Book (You could also use these for letter of the week, just copy the page per student)
And more math materials for play time and exploration of math concepts:
Pattern Animals: Puzzles for Pattern Blocks
And I like these number cards from Etsy
It was so fun putting this together for a secular kindergarten curriculum. These suggestions could be used for homeschool or a pod or a school!