kids doing school

Budget-Friendly Homeschool Tools for Early Elementary (K-2)

Looking for homeschooling ideas for your early elementary homeschool? Try these budget-friendly resources!

Early elementary homeschool

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For Kindergarten through 2nd Grade, our family focuses heavily on learning how to read and mastering basic math skills.

Outside of those goals, we keep homeschool fun and simple! The little ones learn during Morning Time, and we focus on outdoor play, educational games, and read-a-loud books. (Don’t forget those educational shows on hard days!)

Learn How to Read (Early Elementary)

We don’t follow a particular curriculum for learning how to read. In my experience as a homeschooler and homeschool teacher, every child learns at their own pace. One day, they are sounding out every single letter like they’ve never seen this word before, and the next day, they are burning through books like it’s their job.

In my opinion, my job as a teacher is to present my kids with the tools to read until it clicks. No pressure. We practice for a few minutes a day (whatever my kids can handle before they get bored), and suddenly, without warning, they start reading.

I know this isn’t the case with everyone, but I challenge you to try keeping it simple before assuming you need to invest in an expensive reading curriculum.

Homeschool Math (Early Elementary)

Books for Early Readers

My early readers loved these books – most of which we found at the library

books for early readers

Morning Time (for Early Elementary)

Because Morning Time is for all ages, I keep my expectations for early elementary learners extremely chill. They pick up a lot simply by listening and participating a little bit.

Typically, after I read aloud, I’ll ask my early elementary learners to give me an “oral narration” while the older kids write in their notebooks. Oral narration is a Charlotte Mason concept that is simply a retelling of what they remember from what we read. I might ask a few questions, but that’s it. Sometimes they remember the most random details, and it’s hysterical.

If they’re artsy, I’ll have them draw something about our story. Every kid is different, so some might prefer to doodle while others prefer to talk.

During morning time, my kids also have a chance to practice any memory work the older kids are working on. Occasionally, we do a craft or watch a YouTube video that relates to what we’re learning.

Learn more about Morning Time here!

Early elementary read aloud books

Read Aloud Books for Early Elementary Homeschool

These books have incredible lists of read-aloud books full of diversity, beautiful illustrations, and fun writing! We use the books in the lists to help us learn about History, Science, Geography, and Social Studies. Look for the books at the library!

Once our kids are reading well, we use these lists to find good books they can read on their own as well.

  • Five-in-a-Row (shows you how to take a read-aloud book and turn it into a week’s work of learning for all different subjects)
  • Give Your Child the World (I applied the 5-in-a-Row concept to the books here)

In addition to what we read during Morning Time, my K-2nd graders also enjoyed these read-aloud books:

Early elementary curriculum

Homeschool Ideas for Early Elementary

In addition to the math, reading, and other ideas I shared, we used these for budget-friendly Early Elementary learning!

Early elementary games & toys

Educational Games & Toys for Early Elementary Homeschool

These games and toys went a long way in teaching our kids important skills in early elementary grades. They also keep kids learning and playing so I can work.

We found a lot of these games at thrift stores or asked for them for birthdays and Christmas, but a few of them we bought new because they were just so perfect for hands-on learning!

Educational Shows & DVDs

Most of the DVDs we get from the library!

Online Curriculum

Personally, I don’t prefer online learning for kids in early elementary grades. Hands-on, tactile learning is fun and engaging and helps them develop fine motor skills. However, these are fantastic free curriculum guides for homeschoolers.

The Early Elementary years are super fun! You’re just stepping into structured learning, and you get to watch the lights go on as they learn to read and do basic math. Keep it simple, plan for lots of playtime and short lessons, and you’ll do great!