Social isolation has placed many parents in a position where they must quickly adapt to homeschooling. Are you a parent or teacher who is currently homeschooling kindergarten kids? If so, then you’ve already figured out it comes with a unique set of challenges. What we’re here to do is make sure you don’t face them alone or unprepared.
At Wabisabi, we love teachers and what they do, as well as the parents now looking for immediate homeschooling structure. It’s the reason why we developed the Wabisabi Academy. This network of global online micro-schools facilitated by master teacher advisors offers the structure, curriculum, and creative platform that every homeschooling parent needs.
However, even with something as powerful as Wabisabi Academy in your corner, there are still plenty of general considerations to make when homeschooling kindergarten. These are the ones that will make the journey for you and your kids both more comfortable and much more enjoyable. Put these in place, and you can’t go wrong.
Focus on Relevance and Interest
It’s hard to keep a child’s attention for an extended period. Practically any parent or teacher will tell you that if you don’t hook them in the first 10 minutes or less, it’s a struggle from then on. So how do you capture their focus and hold it for the time it takes to teach them something? You must begin by addressing their interests.
Connection through context and relevance is one of the ten shifts of practice we talk about in the bestselling book Future-Focused Learning. This means getting them engaged in learning on an emotional level. If there is no emotional connection, learning doesn’t happen. In our own experience, one of the most robust connections is created when learners feel compassion.
In October 2016 at Melrose High School in Canberra, we held the first-ever Solution Fluency Thinkfest. Four primary schools sent students to work with a high school student as the facilitator. They were tasked to use Solution Fluency to research and develop a solution to the question, “What is the most urgent problem in the world?” We naively expected to hear concerns that they aren’t allowed to play video games when they want, or that they have too much homework. The following is a brief list of what is on the minds of our young year 4 and 5 learners:
- Animal cruelty
- Mental health
- Global warming
- Animal extinction
- Bullying and cyberbullying
- Natural disasters
- Domestic abuse
One of the most robust connections to real learning is created when our learners feel compassion.
When given the freedom to express their true feelings, the responses shocked us, and we realized just how much we tend to underestimate our young learners. If we as adults dared to do so, any one of these topics could be expanded into a year of learning.
Consider the list above or ask your students, as we did, what they feel is the most urgent problem in the world, and how they would want to solve it. That could be your next educational adventure.
Why is creativity essential, and how can it benefit learners? The fact is encouraging learner creativity is more than merely a means of increasing engagement. Ultimately, it is an ability that will be crucial to learners in facing the challenges of the future. The importance of learner creativity and how fundamental it is in the workforce cannot be overstated.
In the article The 8 Best Ways of Teaching Creatively That Will Never Fail, we explained the three main reasons why it’s important to provide creative output in any learning:
- Creativity is the heart of the motivational classroom.
- It empowers students and teachers to express ideas and opinions in unique ways.
- Creative teaching leads to active learning.
Students thrive when allowed to challenge their creative abilities in safe environments with necessary scaffolding. As a result, they take ownership of their learning and are motivated to find solutions, deriving personal satisfaction from the process.
Embrace the moment
The hard truth is that no matter if you’re a beginner or a veteran homeschooler, you’re going to make mistakes. You’ll be tired, preoccupied, overloaded with the other stresses of life, and mistakes come with the territory. Treat them as opportunities to model the importance of understanding that mistakes are a part of learning.
Students thrive when allowed to challenge their creative abilities in safe environments with necessary scaffolding.
Teachable moments are real-life learning exemplars that belong in every homeschool curriculum. These situations include the kinds of non-curricular things that happen in everyday life. The Kindergarten Connection cites simple examples such as feeding and caring for a household pet, doing chores around the house, or even learning the real value of saving money.
Find a support network
If you’re homeschooling kindergarten for the first time, it helps to have support from others. Apart from the professional support and resources you’ll find on Wabisabi Academy, there is a multitude of homeschooling resources out there you can benefit from exploring. Here is a short list below to get you started.
- Homeschool Support Network on Facebook
- Time4Learning: Homeschooling Kindergarten
- Homeschooling resources from Parents.com
- Homeschooling on Twitter
- Five Steps to Starting Your Own Homeschool Co-op
- Global Homeschoolers Support Group Database
- How to Find a Homeschool Support Group (or Start Your Own)
A Few Final Words
We want you to know that in times of uncertainty such as these, we’ve got your back. We created the Wabisabi Academy to build real human connections in the field of education. Learning authentically and teaching creatively and compassionately is what we believe will carry us all through any crisis, local or global. Go to the Wabisabi Academy webpage to learn more about how we can help you in your time of need.