Unschooling Kindergarten

Unschooling Kindergarten

Every week, I hear from parents with 5 year olds. They want to unschool their child, but they're not sure what they're supposed to do. They've had a TON of conditioning telling them to get that little one ready for school time - and that they'll love kindergarten! They (You?) have been convinced that Kindergarten is The.Next.Step.... like learning to walk or potty training.

But it's NOT a natural "next step."

It's the beginning of getting your child back into the system. Yes, they'll talk about letters and learning to read. They'll count to 100 and begin to sort. But they'll also get in trouble for not sitting in their seats for hours on end or for talking excitedly to their new friends near them.  "Learning to conform to the system" is an important milestone there.

But most states don't even require Kindergarten.
And now with Covid, Zoom Kindergartens are horrible.

What if you just skipped this year?

What kinds of things could you do with your child so they could have the benefits of Kinder without the drawbacks?

Your little one needs more playtime.
She needs more interactions with you.
He doesn't need to hit all the school benchmarks - they'll come as you play with them.

So... I made a list for you!

Playing with Language Arts

  1. Sing songs together.
  2. Do rhyming words. What rhymes with her favorite animals? or his name?
  3. Read to her. Even the same books, if that's what he wants. Go to the library or look online for books.
  4. Listen to stories on audible or at YouTube.
  5. Let them make up a story and you type it up.
  6. Act out common nursery rhymes or folk tales. Create simple costumes!
  7. Play with fun apps on devices that talk about letters and sounds
  8. Make easy words with magnet letters
  9. Trace their name in sand or with chalk or with paint in a ziplock bag!
  10. Play with tongue-twisters
Playing with Math
  1. Play with numbers.
  2. Skip count.
  3. Play cards (remember "War?" - easy and fast. Or "Concentration")
  4. Use painters' tape to tape off a hopscotch in the kitchen.
  5. Sort M&Ms, Skittles, all Halloween candy - which is More? Which is less?
  6. Play with fun apps on devices that talk about numbers or math concepts
  7. Fold towels
  8. Play the Hot/Cold game and learn about distance and relativity.
  9. Play dice games - make them up
  10. Make designs with pattern blocks
Playing with Science/Art
  1. Glue leaves onto paper.
  2. Cut with scissors.
  3. Play with play-doh. Make your own!
  4. Go on a hike and look at the seasonal changes.
  5. Look for shapes in the clouds.
  6. Go to the zoo. (Watch zoo cams online if they're not open)
  7. Dig in the dirt
  8. Do science experiments in the sink
  9. Play I-Spy outside (or inside!)
  10. Draw with chalk on the driveway
  11. Make fruit-kabobs
  12. Make fun foods for this month's holidays
  13. Make hand shadows
  14. Plant a seed and watch it grow
  15. Cut off the top of a carrot and keep it in water on the windowsill (or a sweet potato)
  16. Move around the room as different animals
  17. Play with bubbles
  18. Learn about butterflies
  19. Freeze fruit and snack later
  20. Talk about weather

Multi-subject Activities
(well, they all are. But these are really noticeably not easily compartmentalized)

  1. Play Games (Unschooler's Favorite Games)
  2. Play Red Light/Green Light
  3. Make a cereal necklace
  4. Learn how to pop popcorn in the microwave
  5. Practice tumbling, jumping, skipping, crab-walking, etc.
  6. Make a car wash for the bikes
  7. Make a fort with living room cushions and a sheet. Use flashlights.
  8. Play with puppets (make them out of sacks, socks, scraps)
  9. Play with messy things - make an area for it, if you need to (Slime, Gak, Sand)
  10. Build with blocks, boxes, plastic containers
  11. Fun coloring books - use crayons, pencils, markers
  12. Sort shapes by their numbers of sides
  13. Use a calendar and talk about months, days of the week
  14. Make up bingo games
  15. Create a scavenger hunt

So there's 55 Activities off the top of my head!
Pinterest can take it even further!

I know it's really scary to do this... but your little one needs you to be brave.

School is nothing special.

They're just talking about the things

that you and and your child get to DO in real life!

You Don't Have to Do This Alone!

Sometimes it helps to be around other parents who are going this route. It's harder when you're surrounded by others who want to pursue the mainstream educational path. They often want to lean on parents who choose differently trying to get you back to conforming the way they do.

Our Membership group gives so many opportunities to connect with other unschoolers - plus members-only resources to help you create a strong unschooling foundation.

4 thoughts on “Unschooling Kindergarten

  1. Jocelyn says:

    Sue- I am seriously overwhelmed with gratitude for you & what you are doing to help us unschooling parents! I have a son who will be 5 soon and other than 6 months in a nature playschool when he was 3, we have been unschooling. He has cousins all starting preschool so those typical fears try to creep in so I am just so thankful for your invaluable resources. I truly feel like you have my back. I’ve been listening to your podcast and I am learning so much. Again, I cannot thank you enough!! Many blessings to you and yours!

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