kindergarten learning tools

April 22, 2020

Three Tools for Kindergarten Homeschool Success


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kindergarten homeschool tips

Homeschooling a kindergartener is rough… especially when that kindergartener is very bright and very unmotivated…

Keeping my guy motivated to learn his proven to be the biggest challenge of all this distance learning we are all doing. My girls have the benefit of being in 2nd and 4th grades – they have crossed into the reading to learn phase of their educations. They have established work and study habits. And they are just naturally motivated.

My kindergarten son, on the other hand, just wants to be active. He despised writing. He gets bored if he is not challenged and the boredom comes out in all sorts of disruptive activities. He’s smart as a whip and could care less about school. His motivation for going to school normally is the social aspects – recess, PE, lunch…

While our school has done a good job of providing resources and moving to distance learning quickly, the work that is being sent consists of worksheet after worksheet and is largely a review – meaning he is bored and he is being asked to do what he enjoys least, write.

As a result, I have searched through the resources I found to create alternative activities to keep him challenged and engaged. I look over the topic being covered & find something for him to do which reinforces the same skills or pushes him to the next level…

And to do that successfully, we have been using three tools over and over again… an iPad, headphones & the Khan Kids learning app.

While I resisted our kids having their own iPads for a long time, we broke down and got them each one before embarking on the 17 hour flight to Australia last spring and I am so glad we have them now. I truly do not know how we would manage all the links, zoom calls and instructional videos without each kids being able to have their own device…

Of course, keeping things moving forward means that I need to be in the same room or a nearby room to monitor progress – and can you imagine what 3 class zoom calls at once sounds like? That is where the headphones come into play. While we have been through our fair share of kids headphones, the LilGadgets headphones hands down win the best of the best in my book. I love how they hold up for travel. And the fact that I can plug multiple sets into each other is a huge win for those times when more than one kid wants to watch the same iPad – this is especially crucial while on a plane…

Can we please start traveling again soon?

Sorry, momentary day dream about beaches and new places…

Anyway, the last piece of the equation has been Khan Kids, the app for 2-7 year olds created by Khan Academy. I am actually fairly confident my crew could successful homeschool long-term thanks to Khan Academy and its amazing free resources. I had heard about the online resource prior to being thrown into the homeschooling world, but I had never checked it out… Oh my goodness, it’s freaking amazing, Truly, Khan Academy will be utilized in my home long term to enrich our learning and provide instructional aid when mom and dad our out of their league – or just too tied up with juggling 4 kids!

Anyway, the Khan Kids app turns all those learning skills that need to be repeated and drilled over and over into games that my guy loves. He gets so excited when I tell him the next item on his school list is a Khan Kids game. We’ve learned fractions, telling time and practice math facts. We’ve reviewed sight words, learned new diagraphs and done spelling drills. And all of it has been with a happy and eager kid.

So that’s my trick – iPad, headphones, Khan Kids. Sure, it might not be a truly sustainable long term solution, but I feel confident it’s keeping him on track without tears during a crazy time. And really, that is the goal – turning on the brains without turning on the tears…

Have you found a solution for helping the younger learners? Please drop me a line in the comments and share your tricks…



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