Kindergarten is what we call the Core Phase, and focusing on character development is key! Lots of family work & real life lessons, surrounded by a love of learning, modeled by elders and the great classic books, the best mentors through the ages! After 20 years of studying education & alternative education, with one grown child who had early academics (teach your baby to read program, college prep elementary school, etc...) and now, a teen who had delayed academics with a Waldorf inspired beginning and an intention on honoring natures phases of development since then;
I am able to say without a doubt that academics should not be the focus of a home school at this age! Simple Homeschool has a good article explaining the phases: http://simplehomeschool.net/the-4-phases-of-learning-in-leadership-education/
Also see: Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning for in depth description of child development phases. www.TJEd.org.
We are not in a hurry around here, I have seen with my own eyes, in different kinds of families, that even children who are unschooled, who never learn what is traditionally taught in elementary school, pick up the academic learning in a short period of time when it is developmentally appropriate.
Our teen is in love with learning, and is self directed in her intense studies, and at 14 she has caught up and in some subjects has passed her peers academically who are in a classroom type home school.
So our unintentional (big life lesson) experiment with these two different types of education, taught us much about walking a different learning path, with confidence that the end outcome will be what we really want!
Beginning with the end in mind: I want a whole child, who's seven intelligences (whole brain) have been developed, so she can overcome any obstacle and is self reliant in all areas of life, and not just specialized to perform academically or for a job. I want her heart & soul to guide her so that she knows instantly right from wrong, good from evil, and can see through propaganda, to what is true.
I want her core foundation to be based on service! The missing link in most traditional education settings and the foundation to all future self directed, scholarly learning. Already, we see honoring the phases of learning and development is bringing her much inner peace & joy!
Here is Dr. Raymond Moore's site and an article titled: Delayed Academics: Key to Preventing Learning Problems
A Waldorf Inspired- Core Phase Learning Playroom
Favorite Curriculum's to use loosely and based on the child's interest:
Waldorf Inspired, Oak Meadow: http://www.oakmeadow.com/
Literature Based: 5 In a Row: http://fiarhq.com/fiveinarow.info/index.html
Charlotte Mason Classical Liberal Arts: http://www.amblesideonline.org/
Life of Fred Math: http://lifeoffredmath.com/