As a first time parent, and first time homeschooling mom, I was ready to dive into school with intensity. The clock was ticking, after all, and I needed to get my son ready to take on the world. I started when he was 4, but only because we didn’t settle on homeschooling until then. I see many sweet friends who are already thinking about homeschooling, and who put a lot of school pressure on themselves when their littles are just toddlers! I want to share a little perspective that will hopefully help you take a deep breath!
- Maturity has a HUGE affect on how easily they learn!! Things that Super D struggled with as a 4 year old came super easily to him as a 5 or 6 year old. Kids just have to grow into things. If you find you’re wrestling in a teaching area with your child, take a break in that area! If addition is just not making sense, play with counting instead for a few weeks, and then go back to addition. It will click one day!
- Don’t rush the early years. Play, play, play!! They have a LOT of years for formal instruction, and not very many for uninhibited, imaginative free play. Studies have found a lot of benefits for delaying the start of school till age 6 or 7. Classical educators will often tell you that the more intense study doesn’t begin until 3rd grade. Kids are able to sit still longer and concentrate for a longer period of time, just by giving that extra time for their minds and bodies to mature.
- We are not solely responsible for everything our kids need to learn. I worried a lot that I would leave out something critical, and he would be crippled for life, educationally. One of our main jobs as homeschooling parents is to teach our kids HOW TO LEARN. Remember the old adage, “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime”? That applies here! We are teaching our children to learn, so they can learn for a lifetime!!!
In short, enjoy these little years! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself (or your little one) to start school early! Go to the zoo, the park, the library, and the grocery store! Color with chalk on the driveway and build with blocks. Our littles are learning ALL the time – we don’t have to push to start formal school before they’re ready.
Check out our other blogger tips!
Dawn @ Double O Farms
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie’s Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy