Homeschooling and the Difference Between College and Kindergarten

This image shows a young student working matching the correct word to a picture with an inset of an older student studying chemistry

What’s the Difference Between College and Kindergarten?

  • Type of Learner.
  • Level of dependence.
  • Maturity.

Your last formal education may have been college: however,  remember that in kindergarten, your students are new learners.

Besides the monetary aspect, to the tune of $40,000 or more, the learning is different! (See more about college tuitions below.)
In college, the students are mature learners.
In college, a student is responsible to know the material in the assigned reading, the extra reading, and the lecture material. He is expected to be a mature learner.

In college, the students are independent learners.

Most college students have already had 12 or 13 years of formal education and are ready to take responsibility for their learning. Most college students know how to study and learn new material.

Warning: If you are teaching a young student, be careful not to expect a college student’s learning ability and level of responsibility.

Your kindergartener may have been read to for hundreds of hours, played with and taken places. However, most kindergarteners have never been asked before to identify a letter with a sound, been required to make that sound and then be asked to identify that sound at the beginning or end of a word. This example is one of many totally new concepts.

In kindergarten, the student is a dependent learner.

The under 6 crowd will “catch on” to the best of their ability but their brain is still developing. I had one teacher tell me that she didn’t expect any of her students to read until they their teeth started to wiggle! 
And then just when you think your young charges are starting to understand, their body will go through a growth spurt and they may regress. That’s normal.
Many curriculum use a spiral teaching method: A subject is introduced, and then re-introduced and then talked about again throughout the year. This spiral learning teaching style  (Bruner, 1960)  is based on the premise that a student learns more about a subject each time the topic is restudied.
YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT YOUR KINDERGARTEN STUDENT TO MASTER INFORMATION THE FIRST TIME AROUND. Oh, my! Did I shout that? Sorry.
Little by little.
Inch by inch.
Some children catch on very quickly to reading or math. Unfortunately it is usually your annoying neighbor’s child, but be that as it may, that is NOT the norm for kindergarten. A good song for kindergarten learning (and our Christian walk) is Little by little, inch by inch. . .  
The maturity you are expecting will come but it will come in increments over the next 13 years. Be patient.
I do recommend finding a good homeschooling co-op or group. These groups provide friendships and encouragement to the children and parents.
God Helps When We Ask: Kindergarten through College!

Remember James 1:5, ESV: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Asking God for wisdom is evidence that we trust Him. (Bibleref.com)

How do we get wisdom? We ask. Every day.

Homeschooling Kindergarten Tips:
  • Pray aloud for yourself and your students before beginning class each day.
  • Plan to have fun learning with your child.
  • Plan a bathroom break before school starts.
  • Halfway through the morning, plan for a snack.
  • Plan a rest time after lunch called Quiet Reading Time.
  • Plan 2 exercise times to get those large muscle groups working.
  • Plan a creative project after lunch.
  • If your school day isn’t going well, it’s okay to take a break and try again in 15 minutes.
  • Have enrichment activities or worksheets ready if needed for an emergency day plan.
  • Have a plastic tub for storing schoolwork and artwork.
  • Take photos often. You’ll thank me later for this one.
What’s the difference between college and kindergarten?    TIME.
12 years of learning! So enjoy the early dependent years and set the stage for success and independent learning later. Happy Homeschooling!
Some additional thoughts about kindergarten readiness:

From the Conversation: When to worry

According to the developmental milestones, parents should seek advice from a professional if their three- to five-year-old child:

  • is not understood by others
  • has speech fluency problems or stammering
  • is not playing with other children
  • is not able to have a conversation
  • is not able to go to the toilet or wash him/herself.
Bonus:
At least there are some things you won’t have to worry about!
Fortunately for the homeschooled crowd, you won’t have to worry about your child being embarrassed to get permission for bathroom breaks and having an accident, too much stimulation in a crowded cafeteria so that forget to eat, fatigue from a long day without the possibility for a nap or very limited outdoor and exercise time. In homeschooling, you get to control the schedule and it should work to fit your family. Click here for more scheduling ideas.

 

If you liked this article you may also like:

How to Teach Sharing: Everyone Wants the Monkey

Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child: The Importance of the Walk

Homeschool Mission Statement: Is It Necessary?

Christian Homeschool Mindset Help from 2 Veteran Homeschoolers

Homeschool Christian Mom Elizabeth Estelle is ready to help you!

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*About college tuitions: Vermont has the highest tuition and fees of $43,748 and North Dakota has the lowest tuition & fees of $12,678 over 50 U.S. States and territories for the academic year 2021-2022. Click here for more information on college costs by state.

Homeschool Art Project: Board Book

From Pattern to Board Books

After our pattern unit, we dove right in to a shaped board book art project. Inside our board book, we will add animal silhouettes.

  1. We used a shaped book of a zebra as a pattern for 3 board book pages. Cut this pattern out of bristol board or some other sturdy paper.
  2. Next we glued colored heavy construction paper on each side of the 3 pages (picture on far right).
  3. Because the front page (the zebra’s head) is smaller than the other 2 pages, make sure you add in the feet and stripes (center picture).
  4. We used a belt punch or heavy hole punch to punch holes at the top. Wiggling the small key rings carefully, we pushed them through the holes so that the book opens easily.
  5. Using markers, add the silhouettes of various animals onto your board book pages. Remember, the more unique shape an animal has, the easier it is to recognize by shape! You can free-hand these drawing or use stencils to help you.

Tip: You can find out more about this art project, and other art projects by joining my FaceBook group Homeschool Christian Mom and by subscribing to my Youtube channel Homeschool Christian Mom Elizabeth Estelle.

What colors and shapes will you choose?

Using markers, color in your animal shapes. You can have pictures on the back of the zebra’s head (page 1), the front and back of page 2, and the front and back of page 3.

Last step: On the back of the book put ©2022 and Your Name.

  • Supplies:
  • Brightly colored heavy construction paper
  • Bristol board
  • Glue sticks or Glue
  • Hole punch
  • Small keys rings or decorative twine
  • Fine-tipped black markers

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use this project for younger children? I recommend age 8 and up for this project. For this age group, you will need someone to help them cut out their pages. Also,  I give them the option of using a stencil to draw their animal, drawing it themselves, or I will draw the outline for them and they can just color it in. 

If the student has the scissor skills to cut out their own pages-hooray! I let them.

What if a student draws their animals so they appear upside down in the book? You can leave them that way or replace that page by gluing another piece of construction paper over it.

What if a student draws shapes that are unrecognizable? If the student is happy with his book, I say leave the drawings alone. If a student is unhappy, perhaps they can re-do that page or you can help by adding in a line or two where it is needed.

Do the animal shapes they color in have to be colored only in black? No, they do not! I have seen great animal shapes in all colors and one koala that was pink with black ears. While we usually think of silhouettes as being black, this book can be a fun shape book without each animal shape being black. 

Can you add words to this book?  Sure you can! Some of my students like to name the animals that they have drawn. Example: Elephant. 

Some students like to add text. Example: “The pink pig says Oink.”

How long should this project take? I plan for two, 1 hr. art classes, but this last class it took 3 hours. The students made their books a little extra detailed and so we took the additional time. I find it best not to rush the students if you can help it. 

Tip: Keep each student’s pages together with a clothes pin until the book is tied or ringed together.

Let me know how the project goes at homeschoolchristianmom@gmail.com.

You can also follow me on Instagram @the.elizabeth.estelle

Bonus:

At our house, we have been able to get outside to rake leaves out of the flower beds and pick up twigs. The sun felt so good and I enjoyed being outside again.

My husband has been teaching through Nehemiah- what an example of leadership. He did his best where he was (the king’s cupbearer), as a motivator of the builders and as a warrior (working AND holding a sword). Let’s remember to be training our children to be leaders as well. Give your children age-appropriate opportunities to tackle a job, help a neighbor, cook dinner or help you teach a class.

The following hymn sounds like the song of the homeschooling mom, doesn’t it?

Hymn: To the Work! by Frannie Crosby

To the work! To the work! We are servants of God;
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.

  • Refrain:
    Toiling on, toiling on,
    Toiling on, toiling on;
    Let us hope, let us watch,
    And labor till the Master comes.
  1. To the work! To the work! Let the hungry be fed;
    To the fountain of life let the weary be led;
    In the cross and its banner our glory shall be,
    While we herald the tidings, “Salvation is free!”
  2. To the work! To the work! There is labor for all;
    For the kingdom of darkness and error shall fall;
    And the love of our Father exalted shall be,
    In the loud swelling chorus, “Salvation is free!”
  3. To the work! To the work! In the strength of the Lord,
    And a robe and a crown shall our labor reward,
    When the home of the faithful our dwelling shall be,
    And we shout with the ransomed, “Salvation is free!”

Do you need some activities for those wiggly children of yours? Don’t be afraid to include some exercises into your routine!

  • Jumping jacks
  • Windmill Toe Touches
  • Arm Circles (clockwise, counter-clockwise, small and large)
  • Marching in Place
  • Lie on your side leg lifts (right and left sides)
  • Sit-ups

If you have a high schooler that is interested in video editing, be sure and check out this previous article on Sarah Rosendahl. She has a free-lance video editing business and also teaches video editing.

If you need a new dinner idea, make sure you check out my latest recipes at HomeschoolChristianMom.com. This week I add Chicken Thighs: Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach with Pepper Jack Cheese.

And just for fun, here’s a few reels from the past week. I hope you enjoy them! Board Book 1You Have to Be a Saint to Homeschool, and Time to Paint Turtles

Until next time,

Elizabeth Estelle and the Homeschool Christian Mom Team

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