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
- Sing songs together.
- Do rhyming words. What rhymes with her favorite animals? or his name?
- Read to her. Even the same books, if that's what he wants. Go to the library or look online for books.
- Listen to stories on audible or at YouTube.
- Let them make up a story and you type it up.
- Act out common nursery rhymes or folk tales. Create simple costumes!
- Play with fun apps on devices that talk about letters and sounds
- Make easy words with magnet letters
- Trace their name in sand or with chalk or with paint in a ziplock bag!
- Play with tongue-twisters
- Play with numbers.
- Skip count.
- Play cards (remember "War?" - easy and fast. Or "Concentration")
- Use painters' tape to tape off a hopscotch in the kitchen.
- Sort M&Ms, Skittles, all Halloween candy - which is More? Which is less?
- Play with fun apps on devices that talk about numbers or math concepts
- Fold towels
- Play the Hot/Cold game and learn about distance and relativity.
- Play dice games - make them up
- Make designs with pattern blocks
- Glue leaves onto paper.
- Cut with scissors.
- Play with play-doh. Make your own!
- Go on a hike and look at the seasonal changes.
- Look for shapes in the clouds.
- Go to the zoo. (Watch zoo cams online if they're not open)
- Dig in the dirt
- Do science experiments in the sink
- Play I-Spy outside (or inside!)
- Draw with chalk on the driveway
- Make fruit-kabobs
- Make fun foods for this month's holidays
- Make hand shadows
- Plant a seed and watch it grow
- Cut off the top of a carrot and keep it in water on the windowsill (or a sweet potato)
- Move around the room as different animals
- Play with bubbles
- Learn about butterflies
- Freeze fruit and snack later
- Talk about weather
(well, they all are. But these are really noticeably not easily compartmentalized)
- Play Games (Unschooler's Favorite Games)
- Play Red Light/Green Light
- Make a cereal necklace
- Learn how to pop popcorn in the microwave
- Practice tumbling, jumping, skipping, crab-walking, etc.
- Make a car wash for the bikes
- Make a fort with living room cushions and a sheet. Use flashlights.
- Play with puppets (make them out of sacks, socks, scraps)
- Play with messy things - make an area for it, if you need to (Slime, Gak, Sand)
- Build with blocks, boxes, plastic containers
- Fun coloring books - use crayons, pencils, markers
- Sort shapes by their numbers of sides
- Use a calendar and talk about months, days of the week
- Make up bingo games
- 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.