One of things I most enjoy about homeschooling is teaching the little ones. They love to “do school” like their older siblings, and their little faces just glow with happiness!
As much as I would love to create my own kindergarten lessons and activities, I’m
smart desperate enough to admit that I don’t have the time. I absolutely MUST have an open-and-go kindergarten curriculum at this stage of my life.
Right now Kendra and I are using Kindergarten Stepping Stones for some summer learning. It meets my need to have everything planned for me, freeing up my time to do the actual teaching.
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About Kindergarten Stepping Stones
Kindergarten Stepping Stones is a homeschool kindergarten curriculum from Kendall Hunt Religious Publishers. Its unique themed approach sets it apart from many other curricula that are available.
Please note: Kindergarten Stepping Stones is a Seventh-Day Adventist curriculum, but does not contain any obvious doctrinal material to my knowledge.
The full curriculum consists of nine separate themes, each covering a four-week period. Each theme has a corresponding spiritual application. For example, Kendra and I are currently using the third theme, Deep in the Forest, with emphasis placed on the fact that God made the world.
Each four-week theme is based on several (usually four) high-quality books. These books are not just for entertainment; they are actually packed FULL of learning opportunities.
In addition, each theme covers nine subject areas:
- Language arts
- Social studies
- Physical education
I think of each four-week theme as a comprehensive unit study. All nine subjects are based on the chosen theme, allowing for a more immersed learning experience.
Kindergarten Stepping Stones: Deep in the Forest
Kendra and I are using the Deep in the Forest kindergarten theme. The theme has its own Daily Lesson Guide—277 pages (plus a blackline master CD) for just four weeks! There are so many suggested learning activities that we didn’t even attempt to do them all. Thumbs up for thoroughness!
An up-close look at one week of Kindergarten Stepping Stones
The second week of this theme is centered around the book Where Would I Be in an Evergreen Tree?
The activities are many and varied. For example, language arts included rhyming words, syllable counting, and several sound-letter activities—all based on the forest theme. Math covered calendar skills, sorting, patterns, missing numbers, and more.
I especially enjoyed one of the art activities: a leaf rubbing. Kendra had never done a rubbing before, and she was surprised to see the texture of the leaf show up on her paper. We then discussed the purpose of the veins in the leaf. Her reply? “I never knew that!”
Social studies included a discussion of tree conservation and an explanation of a forester’s job. And there are two science activities that I’d love to do: separating leaf colors and a tree sap demonstration.
Even phys ed followed the forest theme. Kendra did stretching “like a tree” and bending to “pick up nuts.” Other suggested activities included a leaf toss and a game of Fox, Fox, Mouse.
I haven’t mentioned even half of the suggested activities—there really are plenty from which to choose! Some of them are geared to groups of children and would be perfect for a co-op or small group of kindergarten friends.
I love that there is no need to add anything to Kindergarten Stepping Stones—perfect for a busy family like mine! I’m also pleased that there isn’t a ton of seatwork. Most of the learning is done through discussion and fun activities, making this curriculum an option for younger learners.