How to Homeschool a 6 Year Old
Wow! Six years old already! If you are like most parents, you cannot believe how fast the time went. You made it through the terrible twos, and the even more terrible threes, the fearsome fours, and the formidable fives.
You felt love and worry and excitement and amazement. You are ready to start homeschooling a 6 year old, and that can be overwhelming. You know this foundational year is important, and you may not know where to start. Do not worry, though, because we are here to help! Keep reading for some useful information and tips on how and what to teach a 6 year old at home:
What Should a 6 Year Old Be Learning?
Six year olds are still learning the basics and setting the foundation for the rest of the learning that will take place in the years to come. Most 6 year olds are in first grade and although they seek independence, you’ll notice that they will still need your help with some tasks. Below are some of the concepts and skills that a 6 year old should be learning.
- To decode basic words (with strategies) and identify sight words in order to read age-appropriate books
- To write simple words and sentences using punctuation and capitalization
- To tell time, read and print numbers up to 100, and add and subtract single-digit numbers
- To identify shapes and patterns
- To order objects by mass or size and sort items into two categories
- To develop basic behavioral, social, and cognitive skills necessary for school success, like following multi-step directions and paying attention for up to 15 minutes
How To Start Homeschooling a 6 Year Old
So how do you begin homeschooling a 6 year old? Try these steps before you begin, so you can hit the ground running on the first day of homeschooling:
- Step 1: In some states, compulsory attendance starts at age 6. Make sure to check your state’s homeschool laws to ensure you stay compliant.
- Step 2: Choose your curriculum and format (online or print). Determine which subjects need to be taught based on state requirements, and feel free to include any other topics that your child is interested in. Does your child learn best with workbooks and textbooks, an online program, or a mix of both?
- Step 3: Set goals for your child. When doing so, be sure to keep his or her’s strengths and needs in mind. Check in and keep track of their progress on a regular basis, and give yourself the flexibility to change goals along the way if need be.
- Step 4: Create a homeschool schedule for a 6 year old that makes sense for you and your child. Consider your child’s attention span and interest levels in the various subjects. Having a daily routine will help your child know what to expect and prepare accordingly. Don’t forget to plan for lunch, snacks, recess/play time, and naps or breaks.
- Step 5: Find local organizations and homeschool support groups that can lend a helping hand in your homeschooling journey.
Start planning out your homeschooling days with this free easy to use daily planner.
What Should a Curriculum for a 6 Year Old Look Like?
When you are doing your research to find a homeschool curriculum for a 6 year old, you will want to make sure that it has specific features and covers certain subject areas and topics. Here are some things to look for in your 6 year old’s homeschool curriculum:
- It should contain at least ELA, math, and science areas of study and should be aligned with your state standards.
- The curriculum should address reading and writing basics such as identification of letters, sounds, and words.
- Math basics should include counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s, as well as basic addition and subtraction.
- Lessons and activities should also support your child’s development of skills necessary for academic success, such as how to focus on a task, shift attention, and work with others, in addition to critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
- The curriculum should allow your 6 year old plenty of time to practice and master concepts and skills, with periodic assessment to monitor progress.
- Especially since this is one of the beginning levels of formal schooling for your child, your 6 year old curriculum should be flexible, so you can make adjustments that will support your child while avoiding frustration.
How Time4Learning Helps You Homeschool Your 6 Year Old
As a homeschooler, you have a lot of options for how to homeschool a 6 year old. You can choose from a variety of secular and non-secular comprehensive curriculums, or you can piece together curriculums by subject area (called “eclectic homeschooling”), or you can even design curriculum yourself.
Many new homeschoolers start with a comprehensive curriculum, and Time4Learning’s online and easy-to-use format is the preference of many families. Here are some reasons to choose Time4Learning’s curriculum for your 6 year old:
- Time4Learning takes advantage of your child’s natural love of technology. Just like your child’s favorite online games or apps, Time4Learning’s multimedia lessons are engaging and interactive.
- Time4Learning’s online Kindergarten curriculum or first grade curriculum honors your 6 year old’s shorter attention span by providing a mixture of interactive lessons, printable worksheets, quizzes, and tests.
- Lessons use visual and auditory prompts to easily guide your 6 year old through lessons.
- An online playground (controllable by you) offers your child the opportunity to earn rewards, motivating your child to complete the lessons.
- Time4Learning is easy to use and affordable, allowing you to start and stop anytime and providing parents with lots of tools (i.e., activity planners, curriculum calculators, automatic grading and recordkeeping) to monitor progress and create reports.
- Time4Learning’s built-in flexibility allows you to choose different grade levels for each subject and change grade levels at any time. These options, along with Time4Learning’s self-paced format, enable your child to learn at a pace that is right for your child.
- Time4Learning is a comprehensive online curriculum that can be used all the way through high school. That means you will not need to change to a new platform in one year, or in five years, or at all!
Is Time4Learning the only online curriculum you can use when you homeschool your 6 year old? No. You can compare Time4Learning to other popular online curricula, to see which curriculum may be the ideal fit for your child. Remember that you can always choose to blend the best parts of more than one curriculum (called an eclectic approach) to truly fit the needs of your 6 year old.
Tips for Homeschooling a 6 Year Old
Now that you know what to do and what to look for in a curriculum, here are just a few extra tips for how to be most successful when homeschooling your 6 year old:
- Tip 1: Create a special place for learning with your 6 year old at home. Give them options when buying supplies and even decorating.
- Tip 2: Instill good habits early on by setting a specific bedtime, and having consistent night and morning routines that include things like washing up, laying out their clothes, and eating a healthy breakfast.
- Tip 3: If possible, get your child involved in extracurricular activities or opportunities for socialization with peers. Six year olds are usually eager to make friends, and time with peers can help improve their social and communication skills.
- Tip 4: Include hands-on activities whenever possible. You can incorporate fun art projects, simple science experiments, and even use Lego® bricks to build reading skills.
- Tip 5: Read to and with your child everyday. Talk about the stories you read, the characters, setting, and ask them questions along the way. This helps them tremendously, not just with reading, but also with comprehension and listening.