Kindergarten Language Arts Curriculum
For my first child, I used A Year of Tales as our Core Curriculum (which has language arts components as well as others) and then added on The Good & The Beautiful: Level K Language Arts to teach him how to read.
You can read about our First Grade Curriculum choices here and why I stopped using Language Arts from The Good & The Beautiful.
*Note that since the writing of this post I have decided not to promote, support, or recommend ANY products from The Good & the Beautiful.
For my Level K child this year (2020-2021 school year) we are using All About Reading Level 1 and the coordinating Letter Tiles App to teach her how to read.
You can read an in-depth blog post of this curriculum in action (with video) here:
- Do A Lesson With Us: All About Reading Level 1 [affiliate links]
Language Arts encompasses a great number of things, and this year for my Level K child has not been solely about teaching her how to read and write. The All About Reading curriculum has reminders with each lesson to read aloud to your child. We read aloud from a range of stories for my Level K child. NOTE: because my children are so close in age, what we read for my First Grader is easily combined in to read alouds for my Level K child. I don’t treat them separate, other than I do make sure not ALL our reading each day is coming from history texts or longer books. We read a lot of picture books! Most days I let my Level K child choose what picture books she wants me to read to her. This happens regularly in the mornings and bedtime, and then we try to incorporate some other reading throughout the day.
If you need inspiration for the importance of reading aloud to your child, I recommend the following books:
- The Read Aloud Family by Sarah MacKenzie
- The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
- Reading Magic by Mem Fox
- The Enchanted Hour by Meghan Fox Gurdon
I wanted to give a special mention to a number of stories podcasts we have enjoyed over the years. These are great ways to fit in stories on car rides!
Narration and Copywork: For Kindergarten???
In addition to simply reading stories, for my First Grader and Level K child I purchased some Composition Notebooks to journal and keep track of copywork and narration for stories. I would not normally see this as a requirement for Kindergarten to do copywork and narration; however, my child has shown lots of interest and wants to do what her older brother does. So, she gets a notebook of her own. I keep the copywork very simple and minimal for her, and it is only one time a week. The narration is optional, and usually she keeps it brief. Know and Tell by Karen Glass is an excellent resource for learning about narration.
We started out using the Blossom & Root The Stories We Tell (First Grade Language Arts) curriculum for inspiration for stories, but I ended up dropping this curriculum because it felt like too much language arts on top of our All About Reading / All About Spelling stuff. I love the actual stories used (fables, folklore, classic tales), though, so we have kept in theme with that.
I also love the Blossom & Root Kindergarten Language Arts curriculum option, but I felt unprepared this year to go back and do that after I had originally planed for the First Grade option. I think if your child in Kindergarten is not quite ready to do a learn-to-read curriculum the Blossom & Root Kindergarten Language Arts curriculum is an excellent option!
Books I currently read from that the kids do narration & copywork for are:
- A World Full of Animal Stories
- A Year Full of Stories
- Wisdom Tales from Around the World
- A Favorite Collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales
- A Favorite Collection of Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales
- Aesop’s Fables
I honestly don’t keep a schedule with this at all! I just randomly pick a story (I do read it advance) and then we read it together and the kids (1) illustrate the story, (2) copy some words, a phrase, or sentence from the story, and (3) give a narration of the story that I write down.
Kindergarten Handwriting and Letter Formation
For handwriting and letter formation for Kindergarten I utilize a variety of methods. I love all the Montessori-inspired methods utilized in The Peaceful Preschool, and ever since we used that curriculum I’ve still kept a lot of those methods in the mix. My daughter is old enough now and self-directed in some aspects so some days she’ll just ask for what she wants to do. It might be a salt tray or it might be a Handwriting notebook with worksheets. She’s doing great with her handwriting so I really do not pre-schedule this kind of thing in to our days. I just make sure we are doing a little bit each school day.
Here are some products we have used over the years that may or may not be helpful to you:
- Wooden (Heirloom option)
- Chalkboard Tracing (Practical option)
- Handwriting Tracing Sheet Printout in a write-and-wipe pockets with dry erase markers (Budget option)
I created that simple tracing sheet linked above and my kids do this multiple days a week. It’s a nice option for me to give to one child while I work with the other on curriculum. My Level K child no longer uses the wooden tracing board but does use a tracing chalkboard sometimes.
Pictured in this photo are printouts from Kinder Nature Beginnings, which is a wonderful option for this age!
Salt Handwriting Trays
I like using a simple tray for salt writing but love special wooden trays made by small shops like the ones from my friends Cam Kennedy or Crystal Torres.
- Handwriting Without Tears is an excellent curriculum
Note that you can get the Handwriting Without Tears letter formation chart for free, which is helpful even in the preschool years.
Other Kindergarten Language Arts Resources
- DIY Movable Alphabet
- Uppercase and lowercase sandpaper cards
- Uppercase and lowercase letter stamps and ink pads
- ABC See, Hear, Do and associated printables (my daughter now loves the CVC flashcards). Check out also their new Learn to Read Academy!
We also love alphabet books that are playful and make language learning FUN! You can read a longer list of my favorite alphabet books here, but for now I’ll list a couple:
One Last Note
I just want to say that mostly for Kindergarten I focus on child readiness and learning that is fun and engaging. I really am not aiming at this age for school to feel forced or burdensome. Often I even find that most of my daughter’s learning happens through simply living life, and not through a curriculum or purchased material. For example, we have taught her that asking questions is ALWAYS good and so she is constantly asking “What does that word mean?” when she doesn’t know. She also particularly loves to draw so we have encouraged her to “write stories” and you can hear her often yelling from the next room “How do you spell ____?” so she can write a word or two on her art piece. Mostly I want to emphasize that with Kindergarten it helps to set yourself (the educator) up for success and give yourself the tools you need, but often education at this age is simply: pay attention to your child. Give them room to be a child. Much of the learning develops naturally.
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