I began homeschooling my oldest daughter in the fall of 2014. I started homeschool preschool with her when she was 2.5 years old. After two years of preschool work, she started kindergarten in September 2016. My son also started kindergarten after two years of preschool. He began in October 2019 around his fifth birthday. If you are interested in any of the materials, easily find copies on Amazon via my affiliate links.
Originally published on May 25, 2017. Updated on July 19, 2020.
In addition to specific subjects, I included a number of general kindergarten workbooks in my kindergarten curriculum.
Essential Skills and Practice, Grade K provides essential practice in language arts, math, science, and social studies The 320-page black-and-white workbook include high-interest reading passages, math challenge questions, science experiments, crossword puzzles, word searches, and more that supplement our larger lessons. My daughter especially enjoyed the section of social studies activities.
Although I had read mixed reviews about The Visual Guide series, my daughter and I both enjoyed The Visual Guide to Kindergarten. The 192-page full-color workbook uses bold infographics to present fascinating facts about a variety of topics in language arts, math, social studies, and science. My daughter loved the change in style from conventional workbooks and textbooks. The infographics are easy to read but packed full of information. The questions and other activities for each section help reinforce the information presented.
My Kindergarten Learning Book covers multiple areas of study including the alphabet and printing, reading skills, social studies, transition math, addition, and fun activities. The 384-page workbook also comes with a CD-ROM of the complete book. My daughter enjoyed most the activities throughout the workbook. I especially liked the social studies section, which included short sections on each of the fifty states and some major countries in the world.
Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills, Grade K guides kindergartners step-by-step through a variety of engaging and developmentally appropriate activities. The 544-page full-color workbook covers topics such as phonics, reading, reading comprehension, language arts, writing, and math. The workbook provided plenty of extra practice for my daughter on basic skills, specifically in language arts and math.
My daughter loves Curious George, so I included Curious George Adventures in Learning, Kindergarten: Story-Based Learning in our kindergarten curriculum. Recommended for students between the ages of 5 and 6, the 320-page workbook features twelve new mini-stories that provide context for math, reading, and science practice that strengthen foundational skills in math, literacy, and science. My daughter completed one section at a time.
With 320 full-color pages, Reading & Math Jumbo Workbook: Grade K provides additional activities on alphabet, sight words, handwriting, phonics, numbers, shapes, and other topics necessary for kindergarten-level reading and math. Although some of the pages were a bit challenging, I like the variety offered by the workbook. The different sections provided many exercises that I had not seen in any other kindergarten reading or math workbook. I also appreciated the sections on test taking because my daughter needs to learn the skill for the future.
Learning to Read
As I already mentioned, my oldest daughter learned to read at the beginning of the year right after she turned 4. I taught her to read using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann, Phyllis Haddox, and Elaine Bruner. When the time came to teach my second to read, I had learned more about the English spelling system. I immediately noticed many problems with the original text. I therefore created my own reading program that presented English orthography as fully and accurately as possible.
Teach a Student to Read (Volume 1 and Volume 2) is not a phonics book. Phonics is a method of teaching reading that posits that sounds correlate with graphemes in an alphabetic writing system. Phonics assumes letters represent speech sounds. Letters can spell sounds, but not all letters spell sounds. Some letters are markers. Other letters are zeroed. TASTR strives to teach fully and accurately about the English writing system to give a new reader the information needed to read and understand the spelling of any English word.
Most children learn to read between the ages of 6 and 7. Some children are ready at age 4 or 5. The recommended age range for this program is therefore between the ages of 4 and 8. Teach a Student to Read is also recommended for older students who have been failed by other reading programs, specifically phonics programs.
My daughter loves Curious George, so I purchased Learning with Curious George Kindergarten Reading as a supplement to our reading textbooks. The 64-page full-color workbook includes activities on letter recognition, letter formation, matching letters and sounds, and writing short words. My daughter loved the workbook because she loves everything Curious George. My son also likes Curious George and enjoyed any workbook that featured the curious little monkey.
Having used multiple DK Workbooks for preschool, I purchased DK Workbooks: Language Arts, Kindergarten to use during kindergarten lessons. The 60-page workbook includes activities on upper and lower case letters, syllables, plurals, simple punctuation, and other fundamentals of language arts. The exercises provided additional practice on topics that my daughter had already learned. However, like all DK workbooks, the pages are glossy, which makes writing in the workbook more difficult.
Although not labeled as a reading workbook, DK Workbooks: Spelling, Kindergarten focuses more on reading skills than spelling. The 60-page workbook includes activities on letters, vowels, consonants, letter sounds, rhyming words, syllables, and reading. The workbook contains quite a bit of handwriting practice and basic reading practice but not as much spelling as I had hoped. Like all DK workbooks, the pages are also glossy, of which I am not a fan because regular crayons, markers, and pencils do not work well on the shiny surface.
I really like the step-by-step format of Kumon workbooks, so I purchased My Book of Writing Words: Learning about Consonants and Vowels to include in my kindergarten curriculum. Recommended for students between the ages of 5 and 7, the 80-page full-color workbook builds on the concept of rhyming words and phrases to build more words. The workbook teaches new words grouped by similar sounds and spellings. My daughter completed a page or two a day a few times a week.
Handwriting is currently the largest focus of our writing lessons. To work on her printing skills, I started with The Brainy Book of Handwriting, which is recommended for kindergarten through second grade. The first part of the book focuses on printing letters and then words. The second half focuses on cursive. After my daughter finishes all the printing lessons, I will save the rest of the book for when she starts learning cursive writing in a year or two. I also purchased a couple of other handwriting workbooks as supplements: Handwriting: Printing, DK Workbooks: Handwriting: Printing, Kindergarten, and Traditional Printing.
For math lessons, I am using the textbook Houghton Mifflin Math Grade K and the accompanying workbook. The 420-page full color textbook begins with basic counting and contains sections on patterns, plane shapes, solid shapes, wholes and parts, and more. The 124-page black and white workbooks provides supplemental practice for each section of the textbook. My daughter has been completing an entire unit every two weeks.
I also used the Early Math at Khan Academy. Khan Academy strives to provide a free education to all students throughout the world. I love that Khan Academy is free. My son enjoyed learning to use the computer while working on his math skills.
Math Made Easy from DK Publishing provides a complete home-study program to help children practice essential math skills. The 160-page workbook covers numerals, more and less, basic addition and subtraction, size, and position, among other mathematical topics. The activities are engaging, and my daughter can read the instructions herself. My biggest complaint is that, like all DK workbooks, the pages are glossy.
The activities in Kindergarten Basic Math Success were designed to help children catch up, keep up, and get ahead in basic math skills. From Sylvan Learning, the 128-page full-color workbook includes sections on numbers; sorting, classification, and patterns; geometry; and measurement. The workbook was designed to be completed one page a day, but my daughter typically completed larger chunks as review. However, I did not realized that Kindergarten Super Math Success, which I also purchased to supplement our lessons, included the full Basic Math Success. Super Math Success also includes games, puzzles, and additional shapes and geometry. I suggest purchasing only the Super Math Success to avoid duplication of material.
Created for children between the ages 5 and 6 in kindergarten, DK Workbooks: Math: Kindergarten contains exercises on sorting objects into sets, counting to twenty, comparing shapes, writing time, and other fundamentals of math. The 60-page workbook provides supplemental practice pages to a larger math curriculum. Like all DK workbooks, the pages are glossy, of which I am not a fan. I honestly would stick to Math Made Easy and skip DK Workbooks: Math: Kindergarten.
More of a math book than a problem-solving book, DK Workbooks: Problem Solving, Kindergarten teaches children to think critically and build math skills to help solve word problems. The 60-page workbook includes activities on numbers, counting, shapes, addition, subtraction, and graphs. All the activities are appropriate for kindergarten-aged students. However, like all DK workbooks, the pages are glossy, of which I am not a fan because regular crayons, markers, and pencils do not work well on the shiny surface.
As I already mentioned, my daughter loves Curious George. I therefore included Learning with Curious George Kindergarten Math as part of our math curriculum. The 64-page full-color workbook includes activities on gathering information, graphs, sorting, differences, patterns, and following directions. The activities were a bit easy for my advanced kindergartener, but she loved the workbook anyway.
The Complete Book of Numbers & Counting, Grades PK-1 provides activities on key math concepts such as addition, subtraction, time, money, place value, graphing, comparing numbers, and recognizing number rhymes. As with other subject-specific workbooks in the series, the comprehensive workbook offers focused instruction and fun activities. The 416-page full-color workbook is geared towards children in preschool through first grade, so I will probably start the book sooner with my son and I will continue the more advanced sections with my daughter as she begins first grade level work.
I introduced time to my daughter using the My Book of Easy Telling Time: Learning about Hours and Half-Hours workbook from Kumon. The workbook introduces young learners to the concept of telling time by concentrating on the hours first and then incrementally introducing children to half- and quarter-hours, which also helps improve the general understanding of numbers. I like the slower pace of this workbook and the repetition, which reinforces the basics of telling time.
I am also using Telling Time Stick Kids Workbook, Grade K as a supplement to our math lessons on telling time. The kindergarten workbook helps children develop an awareness of time through activities that focus on parts of the day, duration of time, telling time, and time vocabulary.
I introduced money to my daughter using the My First Book of Money: Counting Coins workbook from Kumon. The workbook introduces little learners to the concept of money by providing plenty of practice working with each coin before moving on to the relationships between coins less than $1. I like the slower pace and the skip counting activities, which have helped my daughter better learn to count money.
Recommended for children between the ages of 5 and 7, Grow to Know: Addition from Kumon provides a step-by-step workbook that helps children learn to add the numbers 1 through 9. The workbook is extremely basic but offers plenty of additional addition practice. My daughter completed two pages at a time.
For science lessons, I am using the textbook Houghton Mifflin Science: Level K and the accompanying workbook. My daughter finds the 80-page textbook quite easy to read. I like the question at the end of each lesson that I use as reflection. I also like the reading book recommendations. The consumable workbook reinforces the information from each lesson with a full-sheet practice sheet for each lesson.
Although I am not necessarily a fan of Common Core, I have also been using Common Core Science 4 Today, Grade K: Daily Skill Practice to supplement our science lessons. The 96-page workbook provides standards-based activities for each day of the week on a variety of science topics. My daughter completed a week at a time as opposed to doing one smaller activity each day over an entire week. I used the weekly topic pages as review after studying the same topic in Houghton Mifflin Science: Level K.
I also check out many books from the library to supplement our science lessons.
For kindergarten social studies, I found a copy of the Macmillan/McGraw Hill Time Links Hello, World! teacher’s edition workbook at a local thrift shop. I also found a copy of the accompanying student practice and activity workbook through an online thrift shop. The textbook and workbook introduced my son to the subject of social studies at the kindergarten level.
For kindergarten health, I used the activity book Learning About My Body – ScienceWorks for Kids in our health lessons. The reproducible workbook covers the topics of external and internal parts, the brain, five senses, the life cycle, and taking care of the body. Each section includes variety of engaging activities, teacher directions for lessons, and reproducible resource pages. My daughter is especially interested in learning about the body, so the activity book recommended for kindergarten through first grade is a perfect addition to our health curriculum.
For art lessons, I used An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work. The 180-page full-color book introduces children to more than 50 great artists and their works, representing a wide array of artistic styles and techniques. Each chapter provides biographical and background information on a specific artist followed by fun activity ideas to expand on the lesson. The book is further categorized into themes ranging from studying nature and observing everyday life to breaking traditions and telling stories. My daughter enjoyed listening to the information and looking at the images of the artwork and then completing the activity for each artist. I will continue to use the book for art lessons in first grade and beyond.
For general music lessons, I have been using Music for Everyone! Recommended for preschool through second grade, the 64-page book provides music-related activities and reproducible pages.
I am also using Sing Along and Learn: A Complete Collection of More Than 80 Learning Songs with Activities for the Early Childhood Classroom for general music lessons. The 176-page book comes with five CDs with more than 80 songs for use in early childhood. While I have not used much of the book, I have used the musical CDs quite a bit. I plan to continue using the book and accompanying CDs as my daughter starts first grade lessons and my son begins preschool.
I played many instruments between fifth and twelfth grade, so I am an excellent background in music. To introduce my daughter to more structured music lessons, I am using It’s Recorder Time to teach her about reading music and playing an instrument. The beginner book uses a basic method for building finger technique, intonation, and tonguing through the performance of folk, classical, and familiar songs. I will continue using the book for first grade lessons and beyond.
All images via Amazon