Homeschool Kindergarten with Usborne

First Fun with SpanishUsborne Beginners Books*Affiliate links may be included in this post.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.*

 

As you may remember, I spent a decent chunk of money to buy curriculum for Maggie when she was starting kindergarten.  I was sure it was what I wanted, and for the most part, I did like what we chose, but the reality was, I wanted more flexibility to learn about what the kids were interested in.  What our school year ended up looking like was math lessons, our reading program and lots of books at bedtime that led to questions and excitement about what we read about.  We took those questions and explored some more the following day {or weeks}.  We had so much fun!  So much fun that I often didn’t feel like I was “teaching” them enough.  Whenever I’d have one of those moments, something would happen to put me back in my place.  One of those moments was when I was helping my youngest go potty or brush his teeth or something.  I heard Maggie and Charlie in the other room; Maggie reading the Scrambled States of America while Charlie just shouts out every state name when he sees their shape.  I realized that our long bedtimes spent reading book after book was our school day and I’m pretty happy with that.  If the majority of their education comes on my lap, we must be doing something right.

Teach your homeschool kindergartener using Usborne Books for a fun, flexible way to learn everything they need for a great year.

I realized then that while I enjoy buying curriculum, we all want a little change and {at least for now while they are young} we just have more fun doing school the Usborne way.  We definitely have other books that we love to use but a ton of our school books are Usborne and it’s working wonderfully for us.  I wanted to share what an Usborne kindergarten curriculum could look like.  I’ll try not to get too long winded, but I also want to give you some options because we all teach differently and kids all learn differently.  Using Usborne books allows you so much flexibility to keep your kids having fun while they learn all sorts of things.  Pick one or more from each category.  As always, leave me a message if you need help choosing or have any questions.

Language Arts

Alphabet Wipe Clean or First Words.  There are so many different wipe clean books to chose from.  If your child is just beginning to write – the Beginning Writing book is perfect.  Full of fun pictures, your kids will never realize they are learning to write their letters {making this perfect for a strong willed child who just doesn’t want to write their letters….I may have personal experience there}.  The alphabet wipe clean flashcards are great for practicing.  Put them on a key ring and they are perfect for practicing on car rides.

Wipe Clean Alphabet CardsHandwriting

My First Story Writing Book.  If your child has mastered the art of writing their letters and numbers, it’s time for something different.  I’ve never been a fan of copy work, it’s boring to me, I imagine it’s not that fun for them.  That’s why I love this book and was so excited to get it for the kids.  They will spend the year writing their very own stories.  Go at your own pace as they learn all about the different things that make up a story, expand their vocabulary, and so much more.  The early pages are short, one to two word answers they can copy from multiple choice lists.  The margins of the book are filled with thought starter words and ideas and pictures to spark their imagination.  They are given the opportunity to draw pictures, write short stories, increase their hand writing skills and have fun doing all of it.  Not only that, but you can choose to write or spell it all out for your child or let them spell it out themselves.  They learn to think beyond a simple sentence and really describe the characters, the setting, the events that take place.  {Can you tell that I really love this book?}  There are other titles available in this series of books.Let your child learn to write a story step by step. Each page encourages their thinking and imagination as they learn to write a story of their own.

Reading

My Very First Reading Library .  I cannot say enough about how amazing this set is.  This set makes learning fun and more of a team thing.  The set contains 50 books and is designed to help your child from learning to read through a second grade level.  The first  books in the set are labeled with numbers 1-15.  The early books each have two books with the same number where kids will practice the same sounds.  The books are dual readers.  That means that you read them WITH your child.  Your child reads a few words, then you read so you are taking turns.  Your child can feel the success at having read a book right from the start.

The back of the book contains a letter or sound list of what letters or letter combinations the child needs to know to read that book.  There are also some games in the back of each book to work on reading and reading comprehension.  You can also follow the links in the book for more activities and a word list for extra practice.  You use the set at your child’s speed.Teach your child to read with the Usborne My First Reading Library

Phonics Readers.  Whether you want your child to practice more or your child wants some books they can read on their own outside of the reading library, the phonics readers are a great addition to your homeschool library.  At their very affordable price tag, you are sure to want these in your home.Phonics Collection

Learning Palette.  These fun discs are self correcting and customizable to what your child is ready for.  Start with matching letters or jump into beginning word sounds, it’s all up to your child.

Learning Palette

Math

We know every kid is different.  Some are just starting to learn about the numbers and recognize them while others can already do simple adding like 1+1=2.  There are a lot of options, but here are just a few of the options Usborne offers for early math.

Learning Palette.  This fun book will introduce your child to numbers 1-10.  They will learn to count groups of things and match them to the correct number.  They will also do simple math as they follow the bus on a bus route for the day and touch on things like first, second, third and more or less.Learning Palette

Count to 100.  This is such a fun way to introduce larger groups of numbers.  As they begin counting 1 object, then 2, 3, etc., they will progress into 10, 20, 30, all the way to 100.  This book even introduces early multiplication skills when kids identify that the birds are in groups of 5 on a branch or the fish are in groups of 10 by color.  The pages are filled with fun questions about the pictures on that page that keep kids interested and the wheels turning in their mind.

Count to 100First Numbers Sticker Book.  We used this in preschool with my son.  He needed structure to keep from misbehaving and this was the only way I could get him to cooperate.  Each page teaches one number.  They place the sticker on the number, stickers on that number of items that fit in the picture, and then a little practice at the bottom of the page writing that number.  Finish out the book with different counting sticker activities.

Wipe Clean 1 2 3.  I love the Usborne wipe clean books.  1 2 3 is a great way for kids to start to identify a number and have fun doing it.  The objects on the page are in groups to go with the number that page teaches.  As they progress through the pages, they continue practicing.  There are a few other number wipe clean books as well to choose from.Wipe Clean 1 2 3

Wipe Clean First Math.  Now that they know their numbers and how to write them, it’s time to have some fun with them.  Wipe Clean First Math will have them counting up objects like the smoke from the train and adding them together.  Your kids will have fun learning to add and subtract in this wipe clean book of monster fun.

Lift the Flap First Math.  We know kids love touching books.  Let your child explore and learn about adding and subtracting up to ten as they lift flap after flap.Lift the Flap First Math

First Math Slide and See Subtracting {also available for Adding}.  Learn to subtract from five with these fun pictures that go along with a quick story.  Slide the butterfly away to find out what five minus one equals.  These are a great, very visual way for your child to see what they are doing.

Wipe Clean Telling the Time.  Learn all about telling the time in this fun wipe clean book.  From writing the time to drawing hands on a clock to learning about quarter after, quarter to, etc.Wipe Clean Telling the Time

Lift the Flap Telling the Time.  Learn to tell time in this fun book with over 125 flaps to lift.Lift the Flap Telling the Time

First Illustrated Math Dictionary.  I probably wouldn’t include this except that my daughter loves to pull it out to read it.  I call it learning, she calls it fun.  I’ll just leave it here and you can do with it as you wish.  Turn the pages as you learn more math concepts for some fun illustrations to explain what they are learning.First Illustrated Math Dictionary

Learning Wrap Ups.  You guys!  These things are awesome.  Each key has a different number.  You start by going down the left side and adding one to whatever number it is.  Then wrap the string around the next number on the left, add one and wrap it around the answer on the right side.  Finish by going all the way down, then turn the key over.  Each key is self correcting.  You can purchase addition, subtracting, and when they are ready – multiplication, division, fractions {or states and capitals}.Learning Wrap Up

 

 

Science

365 Science Activities.  I love this book!  We are doing an experiment based science study,   The activities are arranged by what it is about.  For example, for density there are multiple activities you can do.  Choose one or do one, talk about it and try a different one to add in a new concept.365 Science Activities

Science Activities Vol. 1.  Volume 1 teaches about water, light, mirrors and magnets with fun activities that your kids will love.  Use this alone or use volumes 1, 2 and 3 for an exciting year of science.The Usborne Book of Science Activities

First Encyclopedia of Science.  The Usborne encyclopedias are so amazing!  Choose a page in the book to read about and learn.  Follow the internet links for more info about the topic.First Encyclopedia of Science

Illustrated Elementary Science.  Let the kids lead the way with this encyclopedia.  Go wherever their interests take them.Illustrated Elementary Science Dictionary

Science may be one of my favorite things to teach.  If you are looking for more than just an experiment based science curriculum, let’s explore some more options.  What I love most though, is that there is science in everything, so pick up some books and have some fun.  

Beginner books.  There are a ton of topics to choose from.  At only $4.99 each, you can choose them all.  The best part is that once your kids are independently reading, they can practice with these books as well.  Each book is packed full of amazing illustrations as well as tons of information.  You will find a glossary as well as internet links for more relevant information on the topic.  I like to use these and create entire theme units around them.

Usborne Beginners Collection

My First Reference Book About Our World.  There are a few other titles in this series.  With colorful illustrations, small bits of information, this book takes it another step with different questions to see what they know.  It also has a quiz and glossary in the back and internet links.My Very First Reference Book About Our World

 

Lift the Flap.  Usborne offers so many different lift the flap options with tons of titles in each one.  The See Inside books engage young readers with snippets of information behind every flap.  The Look Inside Your Body book is one of my all time favorites.  You lift a flap to find another flap and another as you uncover the different layers of the human body.  I think I still learn something new every time we read it.  First Questions and answers are another lift the flap book with shorter stories on a specific topic.

Look Inside Your Body

Big Book of the Body.  These are so much fun!  Fold out the page which turns into four pages of the human body for you to explore.  It’s a very visual and fun way to learn about your body.  There are plenty of other Big Book titles to keep the fun going.Big Book of the Body

 

Geography

 

Choose an atlas and have fun with it.  I’m including the ages from the website, but you know your kids best and what will grab their attention to help them learn more.

Big Picture Atlas

A wonderfully big picture atlas for children to learn the basis of world geography. Lots of busy maps with fun illustrations to learn about the food and culture of other countries as well as capital cities. Putting pictures onto facts helps with memory and this big, satisfying book will help children memorize geography facts with ease.  Ages 4+Big Picture Atlas
I love the illustrations in this atlas.  The beginning pages cover different types of habitats or environments.  At the bottom of the page are a few items to search for on the maps.  It even covers how to identify the type of area by introducing a map key.  On each continent map page, there is a box on the page of the world with that continent highlighted.  A fun quiz at the end gives the kids a chance to see what they remember.  Ages 3+The Usborne Children's Picture Atlas explores the different countries and what that country is known for.
 This atlas is packed full of tidbits of information about each continent.  There is also a flap full of facts about that country.  It also introduces a map key and information about the different types of maps.  There is a giant fold out map at the end complete with a flag about each country.  Ages 6+We're using this Usborne Lift the Flap Picture Atlas as we study and learn about the different habitats and where they can be found.
This beautifully illustrated picture atlas is packed with over 350 stickers. Explore the maps to see the world’s most famous sights, and find out where different people and animals live. Place the stickers of famous sights, animals, etc.. on the grayed out areas of each continent.  There is also a spot on each page of the world map with that pages continent highlighted.  Ages 6+The kids love putting the stickers on the pages as we learn about different habitats and regions.
This newly updated book will introduce you to the whole field of geography, from rocks and their formation, the Solar System, weather and climates, and oceans, to human settlements, population trends, diverse ecosystems and environmental concerns.  This book is packed full of so much information and it is more in depth so it will keep growing with them.  There are TONS of different maps in this book as well as world flags.   I’m adding this to a kindergarten post because my kids love looking through it and it creates a lot of fun conversations.  Ages 10+ {but mine are 6, 5 and 2 and it gets used often}.Usborne Geography Encyclopedia
When I ordered this, I figured it was just another coloring book.  It is so much more than that.  Kids discover information about a country, a picture of the flag and then an outline of the flag for kids to color.  It’s so much fun!  Ages 6+
With pictures of 200 flags, this fact-filled book includes the national flag of every country in the world, each one with a sticker to match. Maps of the continents show where each country is.  Ages 7+Usborne Flags Sticker Book
 If you aren’t familiar with the Shine a Light books, they are so much fun!  Grab a flashlight, turn the lights down and have some fun.  Better yet – build a fort!  Each page takes your children to a different wonder of the USA.  Statue of Liberty, Mardi Gras, NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, and so much more.  Ages 4-8 {but my 2 year old thinks they are cool too}.Shine a Light Wonders of the USA

HISTORY

Then and Now  

My kids love reading this book.  Each page takes you through a day then and a day now in a different setting.  The kitchen, school room, etc..  It’s a great visual comparison of then and now and it asks questions like how is the classroom different, etc..
Did they really send smoke signals? What was a Powwow? These are just two of the questions you’ll find tackled in this look at the Native American peoples. Packed full of fun, facts and illustrations about everyday life in early North America, this book has the answers. (“Usborne are to be congratulated on publishing yet another excellently produced book in their Starting Point History series.” Scottish Association of Teachers of History)Who Were the First Native Americans
There are so many options here that I just couldn’t choose one or two to feature here.  From First World War sticker books to Renaissance and tons of different decades featured in the Historical Sticker Dressing Fashion books; choose from 1920, 1950 and so much more.  Such a fun way to learn a little about history while improving fine motor skills at the same time.

Art

Depending on your game plan for art this year, whether you want the focus on creating art or art history, we have a book for you.

The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas.  I love this book {and more importantly, so do the kids} because of the multitude of different ideas.  Go beyond just painting or drawing and let kids discover shading ideas and effects, using pastels, watercolors, wax, inks and so much more.  With well over 200 different ideas, your kids will have so much fun all year long.The Usborne Complete Book of Art Ideas

The Usborne Art Treasury.  Discover 22 different famous artists from the past.  Every few pages you can explore a different artist and learn about one of their famous paintings.  Then, experiment with making your own painting like they did.Art Treasury

Lift the Flap Art.  Packed with amazing paintings, prints and sculptures, this book invites you to peek inside the world of art. Lift the flaps to reveal how art is made, explore interesting details and uncover hidden clues.Usborne Lift the Flap Art

My First Art Sticker Book.  This fabulous book is full of famous works of art and plenty of chances to make pictures of your own, using the stickers provided.My First Art Sticker Book

Foreign Language

I’m aware most people probably aren’t teaching a foreign language to kindergarten students.  I wanted to give my kids the option so I allowed them to choose from the 18 different language books that Usborne has to offer.  I opted for the First Thousand Words books.  Maggie chose French to learn.  I’m so glad these books are designed for kids because my French knowledge is extremely limited.  That’s the fun of these books – each two page spread is a setting.  The beach, kitchen, etc. and every object is labeled with the French word for the object.  You can visit the Usborne links and choose our book and page numbers and LISTEN to how you pronounce each of the words.  So easy and fun.  I don’t really force this on her, I allow her to pull it out when she wants to.  She practices repeating the words as she points to their picture in the book.  I recently added in the First Fun with Spanish DVD.  The kids think it’s pretty fun and have now been walking around speaking “spanish” and it’s adorable.First Fun with Spanish

 

Teaching kindergarten with Usborne gives you so much flexibility and so many hours of fun for you and your kids.  Which books will you choose?  Choose some and make it your entire curriculum or add them onto whatever curriculum you choose.  I bet you’ll find any curriculum you purchase likely has Usborne books listed as supplements.  The possibilities are endless.  Happy teaching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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