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Old 04-13-2009, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh really wants ds to start kindergarten at 4 and since public school pretty much won't allow it, we were thinking of starting him at home and see how well he does. Has anyone done this? Ds is 2 almost 3 and I will be looking for a preschool cirriculum to start him on around august. Dh is from India and we visited over winter and everyone kept asking if ds was in school, when he would start etc. Over in India all ds's 3 year old cousins were attending school. Dh wants ds to have the flexibility to advance at his own pace as dh skipped about 2 grades while in school in india, and had his BS by 21 and 2 master's at 24, and dh wants ds to have this option too, and i see it as being very improbable with the US public school system where everything seems to be based on age and not knowledge. Sorry for the long post....

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:56 PM
 
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We don't use any particular curricula or schedule, but dd (4) is past almost all of the K requirements and about half of the first grade ones for our state and ds (2.5) can do about half of the K standards. We just do what the kids want to and are able to do, expose them to different skills and activities, and they seem to pick up a lot without much effort at all.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:20 PM
 
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DD is 4 and has a late fall birthday. Although she is in a preschool, she is ready for K now and it irritates me that she won't be eligible until she is almost 6. GRRRR. So we are doing K at home, starting gently now... but she gobbles the work up! I remember being that way too and always bored in school. If I can keep up a social calendar that meets her high extrovert needs we may homeschool all the way since I don't want to subject her to the amounts of boredom I endured with being put in a class with my agemates rather than at my academic level.

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Old 04-13-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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We've started kindergarten already with my almost 4 yo dd. She was more than ready for it so we decided to go ahead and homeschool her so we could work at her pace. It was important to us for her to be able to work at her level and at her pace rather than be stuck in a class according to age and not ability. It is working out well for us and we both are enjoying what we are doing.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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My DD started some K level work at 3yo at her request. She asked for a workbook at costco, I got her the preK level one and she told me it was too easy. So I went back and picked up the K level one, she loved it but then she wanted MORE math and MORE phonics than what was provided in those types of workbooks, so we moved to a curriculum. She did the early bird K A in Singapore math, and is now almost done with K B. We also started Sing, Spell, Read, and Write the K level which she completed before her 4th b-day. We also did Five in a Row for social studies and science.

She is 4 and is finishing K B in Singapore and Sing, Spell 1st and we are now using Galloping the Globe as well.

She also has a late birthday (DEC) and would not be allowed to attend PS until nearly 6yo if we were going to enroll her (we are not though).

I have no regrets doing school with her so early as it is really what she wanted and I was just following her lead. I have ran into a few people who frown on it because they think I am pushing her and cannot fathom that she WANTS to do school, or they think that I am just pushing so I have something to "brag" about. But whatever....I am doing it because she obviously needs me to.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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My dd is 5 and in "1st grade" at home. We didn't start kindergarten with her until she turned five, but she zipped through the kindergarten work, so we went on to 1st grade.

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Old 04-13-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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Rod and Staff, Berry Best Preschool, Abekka, and Fireflies are great for 4 year old work. I like the booklists from Sonlight.
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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I started K at school when I was only 4 and I did very well. I started out at private school and when I switched to public mid-year in 2nd grade, I was so far ahead they considered putting me up to 3rd grade. The only reason they didn't was because of the age thing - they didn't want me to be two years younger than everyone else. You are absolutely right that kids in America won't have the same chances to skip grades in the public school system - at least in my experience. I had to switch back to private school in 11th grade in order to combine 11/12 in one year and graduate early (two years based on my age).

Editing because I want to clarify that I only told the story because I thought it was relevant to the idea of starting school early. I wasn't trying to brag on my kindergarten prowess or anything, lol. I just meant to say that some kids can start early and do very well with it. Some are ready for it at a younger age than others - which doesn't mean they're smarter (I haven't even finished my bachelor's degree and I'm 30 now!).
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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If you homeschool, you don't have to take 13 years to cover the material that public schools cover in those 13 yrs (K-12). So you can start however formal or relaxed you like and make changes as you go along, and it's not until age 12 (maybe older) that you need to consider matching what you're covering to the requirements of whatever universities you're considering (if that's the plan).

If your LO as a 4yo doesn't do well sitting for long periods, you can still learn lots of really interesting stuff and consider that the beginning of schooling--the best stuff, like science stuff, is hands-on and can be done in lots of different settings, and letters and reading can be done in similar ways.

Also, by the time your LO is high school aged (and depending on where you live then), some states offer dual-enrollment for high school students, the kids can take classes at a local community college and it's covered as a normal public school expense (it's not out of pocket for you), and those are real credits. There are a lot of choices by that age.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laf512 View Post
We've started kindergarten already with my almost 4 yo dd. She was more than ready for it so we decided to go ahead and homeschool her so we could work at her pace. It was important to us for her to be able to work at her level and at her pace rather than be stuck in a class according to age and not ability. It is working out well for us and we both are enjoying what we are doing.
Ditto. DS is only 3.5, but at the pace he is going, we will be working on K stuff later this year right around the time he turns 4. I am just going at his pace, pretty much for the reason you said...so he can advance on HIS terms...not be stuck at a grade level.
With his November birthday, he won't 'qualify' for Kindergarten in the public school system until he's nearly 6.

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...it is nothing like school, and we are never at home...so why is it called homeschooling?
 
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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we started 'preschool' at just before two. But we are very unstructured and go with the flow but we do a few 'official' school activities everyday. and we will continue to do so as his skills and interest increase.

If they want to learn and are happy to do it then go for it. Just be careful not to be too structured or to place to much emphasis on 'school work' and not enough time on play.

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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We didn't "officially" do K, but we've managed to cover any required material and more already and DD is 4.5. We don't do stuff every day, though and we don't do anything if DD isn't interested. By the end of summer, we will probably be done with first grade stuff, too, if we aren't already. I haven't checked the "standards" lately.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
If you homeschool, you don't have to take 13 years to cover the material that public schools cover in those 13 yrs (K-12). So you can start however formal or relaxed you like and make changes as you go along, and it's not until age 12 (maybe older) that you need to consider matching what you're covering to the requirements of whatever universities you're considering (if that's the plan).

If your LO as a 4yo doesn't do well sitting for long periods, you can still learn lots of really interesting stuff and consider that the beginning of schooling--the best stuff, like science stuff, is hands-on and can be done in lots of different settings, and letters and reading can be done in similar ways.

Also, by the time your LO is high school aged (and depending on where you live then), some states offer dual-enrollment for high school students, the kids can take classes at a local community college and it's covered as a normal public school expense (it's not out of pocket for you), and those are real credits. There are a lot of choices by that age.

Great points! And a lot briefer than I was going to end up making my own comments.

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:32 AM
 
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Eh, what's the rush? I'm a big fan of letting little kids be little kids, and not pushing academics before they're ready. It sounds to me like the OP's DH is the one who wants the boy to get some academics, not the boy himself. That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:44 AM
 
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Eh, what's the rush? I'm a big fan of letting little kids be little kids, and not pushing academics before they're ready.
Me either but I am also not in favor of holding them back if they are begging for something mentally challenging and stimulating.

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I have no regrets doing school with her so early as it is really what she wanted and I was just following her lead. I have ran into a few people who frown on it because they think I am pushing her and cannot fathom that she WANTS to do school, or they think that I am just pushing so I have something to "brag" about. But whatever....I am doing it because she obviously needs me to.
Same here.

I don't see any problem with kids who WANT to learn "schooly" stuff. I don't see any less imagination or less playful energy because she wants to learn to read too. I don't see it as "growing up too fast" or not being a kid.

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Old 04-14-2009, 02:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TanyaLopez View Post
If you homeschool, you don't have to take 13 years to cover the material that public schools cover in those 13 yrs (K-12). So you can start however formal or relaxed you like and make changes as you go along, and it's not until age 12 (maybe older) that you need to consider matching what you're covering to the requirements of whatever universities you're considering (if that's the plan).

If your LO as a 4yo doesn't do well sitting for long periods, you can still learn lots of really interesting stuff and consider that the beginning of schooling--the best stuff, like science stuff, is hands-on and can be done in lots of different settings, and letters and reading can be done in similar ways.

Also, by the time your LO is high school aged (and depending on where you live then), some states offer dual-enrollment for high school students, the kids can take classes at a local community college and it's covered as a normal public school expense (it's not out of pocket for you), and those are real credits. There are a lot of choices by that age.
Thank you....this is good input
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:45 AM
 
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Me either but I am also not in favor of holding them back if they are begging for something mentally challenging and stimulating.

I don't see any problem with kids who WANT to learn "schooly" stuff. I don't see any less imagination or less playful energy because she wants to learn to read too. I don't see it as "growing up too fast" or not being a kid.
Exactly! I get SO frustrated with people judging me b/c we are doing things at 3.5 (heck, sooner than that...we've been at it over a year now ). My DS begs to do school each day...I am not going to sit back and say "oh, he's too young" and totally squelch that "yearning for learning".
Now, I DO agree that pushing a child isn't healthy, but there is no reason why you can't start at any age

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...it is nothing like school, and we are never at home...so why is it called homeschooling?
 
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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We started informally at 4. Ds one day picked up a pencil and wrote his name. He was clearly ready for something.

We worked with puzzles, got drug-store/walmart workbooks, did lots of artwork, went on field trips, played learning games, etc.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the info and replies! It is good to hear that many of you have done this, i didn't know if it would be accepted as okay or not. As someone said about what' the rush, really i don't see it as rushing them or making them grow up any sooner, schooling children imo doesn't harm them, children are normally eager to learn, some learn slower than others and in different, sometimes unconventional ways, which is perfectly fine with me. Ds is very eager to learn, loves reading and isn't really that enthusiastic about playing. Seriously he has finally just started playing with some of his toys, he much rather be helping me around the house, cooking, working in the garden or reading etc. I know some people frown on 'structured' schooling, but that is only a small part of the day, I prefer more hands on work myself, and ds seems to be learning quite a bit this way, i just want to see others people views of going and starting actual lessons with more structure.

From my oberservation of ds's cousins in india that were 3 they were generally eager to learn too, they were in school about 5 hours a day, came home around lunch time and were often seen working in their workbooks tracing letters or writing on their chalkboards.

I don't see anything wrong with letting ds advance, rather than holding him back if he is ready to learn before the state thinks he is as far a public school standards goes....

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Old 04-14-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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I don't see anything wrong with letting ds advance, rather than holding him back if he is ready to learn before the state thinks he is as far a public school standards goes....
I couldn't agree more. That's exactly why we chose to homeschool. As others have stated, we have gotten some odd looks or remarks because we started kindergarten with my dd and she's not even 4. They think we are pushing her, but she is so eager to learn and is always asking for school stuff to do. We're definitely not forcing her to learn things before she is ready, but are encouraging her desires to learn. If the desire is there, then we'll feed it for sure!
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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to OP

I think it i great the JOY of BLESSING of homeschooling is to go at your child's pace .. be that slower than the normal classroom (ir the child that is not ready at 5 for the classroom) or faster. how i wish my folks had given me that gift.

I also think we will be where you are. Theo is 4 months past 3 and has met all the pre-school posted goals here in Iowa. He will not be "kindergargen" aged till 2011 due to a late birthday. i am gratful for that late birthday as he is a boy and i want the leeway if we need it (sitting sitll and so on) but if he is ready to start eary, adn i think he will be, we will. he looves school and begs for it.

currently we have a limited expressive leang issue - it is hard for him to convey what he knows, so we are holding off a bit till we catch his langue up to make evertyhing else easier .... but i still think he will start before fall 2011.

But if he does or not -- if it si right for your family -- go for it.

someone above referenced Fireflies as an option, i can't find any homeschooliong product with that name -- any help?

Aimee

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Old 04-14-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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Just a quick note from someone who ordinarily feels that later is better than earlier where formal studies are concerned. I don't think anyone here would ever discourage a parent from providing what a child is asking for in the way of any kind of learning activities.

The only thing that concerns some of us is that there are also plenty of others who feel pressured to insist on formal studies with little ones who are very much not ready or interested, and there are lots of young children in that category.

I've all too often seen troubling posts over the years from a new or prospective homeschooling parent worried over the fact that a 3 yr. old cries or has so-called "tantrums" when she makes him do some of those things. And there's never ever a good reason to force a young child into something that can be learned quick as a wink in a much easier and more pleasant way years later without being behind peers later when such things are realistically important. Too often, "learning" is equated with specifically learning the 3Rs rather than just the totality of all the new and amazing things young children are normally learning about their relatively new world, and that's the part I think is unfortunate.

- Lillian
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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Haven't read the replies, but I am anxious to! As soon as dd1 turned 4, she said "I can't wait to turn 5 so I can do real school!!" So, we have started kindy now. She turned 4 2 weeks ago and so far it's been great, she knows pretty much everything listed in the scope and sequence for kindy...and all of it was learned on her timetable with out any effort on my part. We got a workbook for kindy since she is a workbook-a-holic, and a wipe off math book. We have school time everyday, but not generally at the same time, since we aren't planners.
Most of our learning is from doing stuff, building, gardening, baking, reading. Lots and lots of reading. We also play a ton outside at the park and stuff, we are nature lovers.
Right now, I am trying to find some more historical figures to read about...any suggestions?
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Old 04-23-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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ILoveMyBabyBird -- just checking back in on you. WOndered what your thought are and what you have been looking at.

Aimee

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Old 04-23-2009, 04:42 PM
 
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As others have said this is one of the great things about homeschooling. You can move at your child's own pace. When talking to other families I use grade to describe where they'd be in public school. For example I say my oldest will be in Kindergarten next year not that she's reading on a first grade level. Plus your child may excel more in one area or another.
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