Overwhelmed by options when looking for preschool or kindergarten homeschool curriculum? I’ve been there! I hope this list gives you a solid jumping off point for beginning your search for what is best for you and your family.
I was talking to some friends the other day, one that homeschools and one who does not. Like all moms right now, we were talking about the crazy state of the world and the choices parents are having to make in regards to school and their children.
I shared that I had received a lot of emails and messages from readers asking for the best curriculum options for XYZ grade, and how much I want to help but felt like I can’t very much because what is “best” differs so much for each child and/or family. Some people prefer all in one curriculum, like Abeka, and others enjoy piecing it together, like I do. Here are our third grade and first grade curriculum picks.
I also switch things up throughout the year because I find our homeschool style tends to shift with the seasons. So while I’m a Singapore math enthusiast during our structured seasons, I also set it aside in favor of unschooling methods come December and the holiday season.
However, I still want to be able to offer some insight to those that feel how I felt at first: completely clueless as to how to even begin looking for a curriculum. My friend recommended I share some of the most popular curriculum to give people a solid jumping off spot. Since I’ve done Pre-K 4s and kindergarten homeschooling twice now (read my musings from one month into it here), I have some insight into the programs people tend to like the best.
If you’re looking for Pre-K 4 or kindergarten homeschool programs, these options would be a great place to begin your search. I recommend downloading free samples of the program for those that have it available, as that provides a lot of valuable insight into the style of teaching it provides.
The Homegrown Preschooler – This is a play-based, hands-on year-long curriculum. I met the creators of the program at a homeschool conference years ago, loved their educational philosophy, and used this program with my girls (mostly Hailey, as Kaitlyn got a hybrid approach, as we were also using material used in our co-op). It’s photo-rich, colorful, and follows along with the seasons. It contains a lot of hands-on activities and crafts, so I got the mega-bundle which comes with a lot of the supplies, but it isn’t necessary.
Five in a Row – A fun, children’s literature-based program, Five in a Row uses a different book each week, then walks you through lessons and activities based around that book for (you guessed it) five days in a row. A friend of mine used this and found it really enjoyable and easy to include children of different ages. It touches on social studies, language, art, math, and science.
The Peaceful Press Preschool – A Charlotte-Mason based curriculum, The Peaceful Preschool is a living education curriculum, meaning if focuses on reading, creating, spending time in nature, and experiences. It is literature and project based curriculum with 26 weeks worth of material, including a recipe for each week, which I haven’t done personally, but sounds like a really fun addition for preschool and kindergarten ages.
Oak Meadow – The Oak Meadow preschool curriculum really focuses on creativity and play. I don’t have personal experience with the program, but from what I’ve seen from others it looks like a lot of fun and involves a lot of playing, singing, story-telling, activities, and walks.
Horizons – I wanted to include Horizons for the parent that is interested in a more classic, workbook-based approach. While Horizons still offers hands on activities for learning, it has more worksheets included, and covers social studies, language arts, math, phonics, and science.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of options, simply the ones I have experienced personally and the ones I have heard the most about within my homeschooling circles over the years. Choosing the best fit for your family depends heavily on your educational philosophy, the learning style of your children, and your teaching style, too. And know that you will most likely tweak things as you go, and that’s the beauty of homeschooling; if something doesn’t work, adjust as needed.
I know I like having some kind of structure to guide me, but I also have homeschooling friends that have covered the early years of education beautifully with nothing more than a library card and free or cheap online resources, so if you’re new to this, know there are options for every budget.
A few more highly recommended resources for preschool and kindergarten ages include:
- The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Reading
- Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
- First Language Lessons Books from the Well Trained Mind
- Moffatt Girls Worksheet Packs
I hope you find this helpful, but my biggest encouragement for the early years is really quite simple- read aloud a lot, go outside, get messy in the kitchen, and if your child ask questions, dive deep into discovering the answer. All learning first begins with a spark of interest and we’ve learned so much more by going down the rabbit hole of a kid’s silly question than through any worksheet.