How to homeschool a spirited Kindergartner

Wake up call:

Schedule A: The clock passes 8:30 am, time to wake the little one up. Crawl into bed with her and snuggle with her, then enjoy the sound of her giggles. Play for a while, then help her get dressed and talk about what would be good for breakfast.

Schedule B (alternate days): Fail to get any work done because of the yelling coming from the other room. 7:45 and the sisters are already up and fighting. Stomp in, demand silence. Repeat ineffectually every 10 minutes. Give up.


Liberally strew living room with mix of Walt Disney comics and Magic School Bus books. Prod your student to eat more Cheerios and read less comic.

Choose a book, cuddle on the sofa and read for a while, with periodic breaks to call the dog over and rub her belly.

Go to library website to request even more Magic School Bus books and accompanying videos and DVDs. Willingness to do child’s bidding prompts spontaneous “I love you, mom.”

Leave the room to assist older student. Return to see what kindergartner is doing. Independent piano practice is in progress; back slowly and quickly out of the room and find something out of the way to do.

Return to check on kindergartner. Music class CD is playing, kindergartner is making up stellar dance routines and performing her heart out to unseen audience. Back slowly and quickly out of the room and find something else out of the way to do.

Return to check on kindergartner. Fabulous concert still going with encores. Invite kindergartner to neighbors to visit the kitties and feed them while neighbors are away. After swift rebuffing, quickly depart room and feed neighbor cats alone.


Music education continues when kindergartner tires of listening to droning pundits on NPR, grabs stereo remote, and asks “How do I find Frank Zappa?” Direct this question to father figure.

In the unlikely event that maternal memory works, read this week’s gospel to children.


Schedule A: Get out handwriting and/or math workbooks. Gently coax resistant student through a few pages. Use buttons as counters, since sister has gotten the button jar out, inspired by Coraline movie.

Schedule B: Get out crafty materials and brace self for what the dining room will look like 20 minutes later.

Schedule C: Begin arduous round of errands, including taking sister to piano, picking up groceries, stopping at the post office.

4:00 pm

Schedule A: Kindergartner asks to do fitness test on Wii. Check 20 minutes later — kindergartner has reached a new level on Lego Star Wars.

Schedule B: Word Girl is on. Yes, you can watch it.

Schedule C: Ask kindergartner to call dad on cell phone from car. Tell dad to get dinner going because mom is running late and totally frazzled from dragging a five-year-old to too many places.


At dinner, Kindergartner shocks everyone by revealing advanced vocabulary or scientific knowledge learned earlier in the day.

Declare another successful homeschool day.



Filed under Schoolday Doings, Why Homeschool?

5 responses to “How to homeschool a spirited Kindergartner

  1. Sounds like a pretty terrific day overall.

    One question, though. How???? do you manage to get your little one to sleep until 8:30????

    Galen, our youngest is a little over two. He insists on waking at 5, coming straight to our room, thumping his father on the head with the remote, and demanding “u bus” (Magic School Bus on DVR) or dumping a couple of books on my chest with directions for me to read to him. I can’t say I want to deter either activity, but we are simply exhausted.

    So, really. Tell me the secret. Please!

  2. It’s just been good luck. Though we’ve paid our dues — this child has had lots of sleep issues. But both our kids have liked sleeping in when given the chance. (So does their dad — maybe it’s genetic.)

  3. It sounds busy, but magical, and somehow learning occurred.

    All the singing and dancing that is going on reminds me of my niece soon to be five. She was over earlier, and last week, and nearly every time she does something, or someone helped her complete a task she would say, ” OKAY everybody!!! It’s TIMEmmmm to sing along!”

  4. Cristi L

    What’s the name of the music curriculum? My dd would love that. I laughed b/c this so sounds like my day with our 4-yr-old daughter and 2-year-old son. Somehow that mind soaks it all in!

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