We have chosen to take three years for Kindergarten and First Grade. You can see our First of the Three Years here. We call this our “hybrid homeschool” :)
Slowing things down and not rushing academics can have numerous benefits for young learners. By starting with a solid foundation of reading aloud, incorporating nature time, and fostering a joyful environment, children can develop a love for learning and a strong base for future academic success.
Taking three years for kindergarten and first grade allows children to explore and engage with the world around them at their own pace. We read our history and science all together as a family (this year, it was Beautiful Feet Books Around the World with Story Books and The Good and the Beautiful Rocks & Minerals and Marine Biology, with lots of extra additions!)
Reading aloud plays a vital role in building vocabulary, language skills, and a deep understanding of storytelling, which forms the basis for later reading and writing proficiency.
Alongside reading aloud, nature time provides opportunities for my littlest to connect with the natural world, fostering curiosity, creativity, and a sense of wonder. Exploring the outdoors allows them to learn about different plants, animals, and ecosystems, cultivating their scientific inquiry and nurturing a sense of environmental stewardship. This is key to her development and her growth in so many areas!
For our Hybrid, the emphasis is on creating a nurturing learning environment. By focusing on the joy of learning rather than rushing through academic milestones, children can develop a love for knowledge and a sense of intrinsic motivation. This can lead to a lifelong passion for learning and a strong desire to explore new subjects.
This approach has allowed us to learn in a way that aligns with their individual interests and abilities, promoting a sense of autonomy and self-confidence.
Overall, the decision to slow down and take three years for kindergarten and first grade enables children to build a solid foundation of skills, knowledge, and a love for learning. By providing a nurturing and joyful educational experience, children can develop not only academically but also socially, emotionally, and creatively. This approach sets my daughter up for future success as they progress through their educational journey.
Here are the resources we are currently using for her Kindergarten / First Grade Hybrid Homeschool Year!
Level A Booster Cards, Book, Nature Reader (We love all of these books! Highly recommend!!)
We also love the Pathway Reader First Steps!
Good and the Beautiful Math Level 1 (We later switched to Singapore Dimensions Math Book 1 — I feel confident in this switch and will do a review soon, but mostly, The Good and the Beautiful jumps around too much, hasn’t built a strong adding and subtracting foundation in my opinion, and there is far too much on each page. I know it works for many, but we are happy with the steady progress we are getting from Dimensions.)
We cycle slowly through these books for each letter:
I hope this has given you some ideas for your kindergartener or first grader! You can slow down and meet them where they are. You can give them their afternoons outdoors or creating on their own! These years are such gifts! Blessings in your homeschool journey!