75 answers

Advice on Homeschooling 5 Year Old

We just pulled my 5yr old out of Kindergarten at a Christian school. He is aggressive towards other children in social situations and the school didn't seem to be helping our son. They labeled him the "bad" child and his punishments were always worse than the other children. We, as parents, have tried the doctors, therapy, rewards charts, punishment...Now I am going to homeschool him until September, but where do I start? He seems so bored this past week (we pulled him out last Tuesday). We had paid for his books last August so they gave them all to us when we left. It just seems to be ditto after ditto and I know he can't just do this all day long...plus I don't know how to teach the material. Please if anyone has any advice on songs, activities, or learning methods I would really appreciate it. His school was just about to begin teaching long vowels sounds and the way I've been explaining it, he's not understanding. Thanks in advance for any help.

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So What Happened?™

I want to thank EVERYONE for the outpuring of support I received! Never in my wildest imagination would I have expected the number of responses that I received. It is so comforting to know that other people out there actually take the time to assess my situation and respond with such great advice as you all did. You don't understand how much it means to me to not feel alone in all of this. My life was literally turned upside down, but thanks to all your great comments we are now starting to get on track. Thanks to all of you for caring. I can only hope to help you someway in the future. God bless!!!

More Answers

I'm a Calif. licensed teacher K-12 and can give you some insight.

1. He needs socializing the most, it is all fine and dandy if Johnny can read, but if he can't get along he might be miserable.

2. Find a playgroup. I'd offer my five year old stepson who has the same exact problem...he has been kicked out of every setting he has been placed in...doesn't like to share, but more importantly, doesn't want a grown-up directing him. He is hard-headed and high-energy. Those together doesn't make you the teacher's pet!

3. If he can recognize all letters, name them, and say their sound, then he is ready to read. Keep reading short vowel books for a while. Might just need more practice.

4. I'd teach in 20 minute time blocks, alternate with large-motor movement. Tag, running, exercise videos, etc.

5. This age needs lots of hands-on stuff, and they don't get enough of this in my opinion in traditional schools. Playdough, painting, rice or beans in a tub..., water and sand, etc. Finger-painting, modeling clay, etc., blocks - if you don't have a really good set you might consider making that investment.

6. They do a lot of cutting and pasting at this grade, so be sure to make books with him. Have him cut pictures from magazines, plan, glue, write. You can google "book making" and find loads of ideas.

7. Teach him how to do things. Load and unload the dishwasher, vacuum, clean a toilet, (don't expect a grown-up result) run laundry, fold and put away. Cook. Plan menus., yardwork, fix a flat on his bike, etc.

8. Make a weekly lesson plan, write in pencil, some things will take longer than you thought - but you are so right in knowing that worksheets alone will not educate your boy.

9. Go to different parks on different days at different times in the hopes of meeting Moms you like. See if he can make a friend.

10. Go on field trips. There are tons of places to go, just start asking. Go to your Visitor's Center for ideas.

11. Take him hiking. Find little units on science that is age appropriate and incorporate the real hike/experience with learning about Earth science. Pretty much everything you do with him could be considered schooling.

12. Teach him how to set a table, how to use the right utensils, how to use manners... how to introduce himself or someone else.

13. Find community service jobs, old folks absolutely LOVE to see little children. Could he read a short book to an old person? Get a schedule somewhere.

14. Check out day care centers, try and put him into one at least One day a week. This way he can socialize. Very important. The day care can give you ideas on activities to do with him to encourage his learning.

14.5 Visit the library once a week.

15. Pray

good luck, it isn't easy what you are attempting. You can do it!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,

I asked a friend of mine who has exclusively homeschooled her two kids (ages 7 and 9) what thoughts she had. Here is her response:

I have one word for this mom....


Board games, of ALL kinds. They teach math skills, motivate kids to be interested in reading, teach colors. Lots and lots of one on one time with a loving parent. They can't get enough. It teaches kindness, taking turns, being a good winner/loser. In our family, the winner and loser acknowledge each other by saying "Good game!" and then the winner has to put the game away (makes the loser feel a little better).

Puzzles, too...which will be frustrating at first...start with the easy wooden ones, and then work your way up with him to the 100 piece puzzles. It teaches logic, spatial reasoning, and PATIENCE. ;-)

Kids don't need books and workbooks in Kindergarten...
especially boys.

If she is in California, she has a free year. She doesn't need to file for homeschooling status until her son is (I believe...she should check with the rules again--I've not looked in a while) six years old.

Go to the park and run the boy ragged every day. Sounds like he has a lot of energy that needs to be channeled. Check his diet for extra sugars and preservatives. Many parents diagnose Asperger's and other things in just her manner (my child is the "bad kid.")

Hug him, kiss him, and give him lots of attention, particularly catching him in the act of "doing something good."

Hope that helps!


1 mom found this helpful

You may find homeschool programs in your area on-line. In California, there is a program called CAVA K-12. They haev a curriculum to follow and some even provide all the materials free of charge (i.e. CAVA K-12).

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this right now. I can see how that must be very frustrating! I've been homeschooling a few of my boys that age for a few years now, and it is hard, I know! I would recommend the curriculum Sing, Spell, Read, Write. You can look at it online. It is a phonics program (very pricey) that has games, songs, reward charts, etc. (I actually have one I'm trying to sell if you want to go a cheaper route.) If he's bored I would recommend getting him involved in different activities. Lindsay Wildlife museum has classes for homeschoolers, I know Walnut Creek Civic Arts does as well. Once you get involved and meet some other homeschoolers, you'll be amazed at the help you will find! It's quite a large community here! If I can help you in any other way, feel free to email me personally at ____@____.com. I'd be happy to chat with you.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,

I am a teacher with the California Virtual Academies or CAVA. CAVA is a public charter homeschooling program. It is a wonderful program and it is free for all California families. The curriculum is excellent and you will have a credentialed teacher that will support you. Visit www.caliva.org for more information. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

SOOO glad that you are choosing to homeschool! I have not started homeschooling my children (ages 2 years and 9 months) quite yet, but I was homschooled my entire life (excpet for one semester in 3rd grade when our house flooded). It is the best and most challenging way to go. We were taught with a VERY hands on approach. My mom's philosophy was that people learn best when they are DOING, not when they are talked at. I remember when I was in 4th grade and we were learning about the body, and my mom turned our entire home into the digestive tract. Complete with intestines and..ahem...anus (we had to crawl through a hula hoop!). When children are young it is SOOO important to read, read, and read some more!!! My mom would read to us ALL the time, and that's probably why I love books so much. We did a lot of singing to learn (the alphabet song is a great tune, just add you own words or sounds. We learned our greek letters with the alphabet song) If I were you, I'd only use the books that you have as a guide. I would NOT follow it word for word. Ideas for "writing": get a ziploc bag and put in anything quishy (shaving cream, paint), double bag it and give your son letters to write with his fingers. When he's done, squish up the bag and give him another letter. Put rice/sand/dirt/shaving cream in a pan and give him letters to write with his fingers. Don't worry if he doesn't use a pencil or crayons, he's learning his letters now and having fun! For math, go on a hike, pick leaves, find bugs, and add them up, and then subtract them. Have him count how many times he can throw a ball, or bounce a ball, or jump (P.E. and math at the same time!). Count by 2's. If you have more questions, e-mail me!! I have tons of ideas, and so does my mom (homeschooler for over 20 years). We would love to help you! Blessings to you on your endeavors, and HAVE FUN!!! ~S.~

1 mom found this helpful

Hello my name is M.. I too have a very active 5 almost 6 year old. We tried several more private institutes and the more dogmatic they were the wrose he did. We found a small public school and he fit right in and was stimulated enough by the environment that he learned well and was just like all the boys in school. Our issue we have found is dealing with a very bright child who is highly sensitive. Highly sensitive person is something you should read online about and see if it fits. We found our son has food sensitivities as well such as intolerance to potato which is in most things( even meat now!), and eatinf refined sugar and fruit mixed. When he eats these foods his energy gets VERY intense and if its the sugar he gets angry and more aggressive and emotional. Keeping these foods in balance helps him stay grounded.
Also being very smart he needs to be challenged alot with a variety of learning experiences that are hands on. We try to give him jobs like using tools to work with wood projects, cooking a meal a few times a week, feeding our rabbits or chickens.We go on long walks and study the nature around us.He is earning money for allowance and learing how to use it and we do a lot of art projects. We also spend time dancing and listening to music. For homeschooling, which we are at the moment, you have to get them involved in classes or groups often. My son like Karate and soccer, drama. There are also many homeschool groups that get together and go to events or have classes together. We also like to travel so we go to music festivals, camping, different cities.

Good luck and contact me if you have any more questions!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,
Well congratulations on your decision to homeschool. I have been a homeschool mom for three years now. I also taught Kindergarten for one year at a Christian school. There are a few options for you. If you want or need a great deal of guidance, you can seek out a Charter school. There they will help set up curriculum,schedule etc. Public charter schools lend you curriculum at no cost. I went through two different Charter schools but now I am independent. I found I did not agree with their philosophy's so we separated from the public sector altogether.

I've used the ABEKA curriculum (which is a complete Christian curriculum). It is very good especially in teaching children to read. The advantage to this curriculum is that your daily lessons are prepared in detail for you.

I have broken away from "curriculum" and now use the Core Knowledge Series by E.D. Hirsch. "What your Kindergartner needs to know" is the first book in the series. Go to your local Borders and check out this book. Each book has the following sections:Language & Literature,Music,Mathematics,Science, Visual arts, and History & Geography.

It illustrates what your child should know in each subject during the course of his/her grade. (You can even use these books when your child returns to school to supplement in their education.)

Since you are planning to homeschool for just a few months, I would suggest you use this route. It lays a very good foundation for the Kindergarten level.

I also just found another book that I am so excited about. It is called, "The Ultimate book of Homeschooling ideas." 500+ fun and creative learning activities for kids ages 3-12.

I assume your child knows his short vowel sounds and the sounds of the consonants. Teach him the long sounds. A as in acorn, E as in eagle, I as in icce cream, O as in open and U as in Uniform.

Rules: 1)When there is one vowel in a word, it usually says it's short sound.2)When there are two vowels in a word, the first vowel says it's long sound, and the second vowel is silent.

I suggest buying, "A Handbook for reading" and the Kindergarten readers from ABEKA.

By the end of the school year my Kindergartners were reading sentences like: But Joy and Troy will not make noise in the shop.She will wait for her turn to get on the bus.

Hope this helps a little. You can contact me by email if you'd like. ____@____.com

P.S. My child is in 4th grade.If I could do it all over again and had a school in this area I would enroll her in a Waldorf School. I LOVE their philosophy!! I believe they are worth looking into also.

Best wishes,

1 mom found this helpful

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