Starting a homeschool routine for pre-k/k - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-25-2012, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I'm wanting to start a homeschool routine for my 4 year old. Not really because I expect him to pay attention or learn but because I want to start getting him used to the routine of things. He's at a pre-k/k level anyway..what do yall think? I know trying to force schooling too early can cause problems but what if you're not forcing it? I was thinking of doing a laid back reading and math curriculum. (Get ready for the code and math u see primer)


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#2 of 8 Old 11-25-2012, 08:48 AM
 
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We didn't use even laid back curriculum until the 2nd grade level or higher. At older ages my kids were hungry for academic learning, really hungry, and they had mastered most of the basics beautifully, and in rich meaningful ways. As I see it, if you want a sense of routine at age 4, you should build a sense of routine, but do it with things that are enjoyed, productive and developmentally appropriate. Nature walks, playing outside, readalouds, shared chore time, meals, arts and crafts, imaginary play, and so on. Even though we did very little curriculum, and none before the 2nd grade level, my kids are academically advanced and those now in high school and college are incredibly responsible and organized in their studies. 

 

If you're not forcing or even gently pressuring schooling, it'll probably be fine to start at age 4 if you really want to. But if you're doing so because you feel it's important or advisable to start at that age in order to establish a routine I'm just here to tell you it's not. IMO it's better to start late than early.

 

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#3 of 8 Old 11-25-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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I kind of agree with Miranda, I guess... I have an almost-4yo and at this age I think the routine itself would be more valuable than following a curriculum or pushing academics. However, some kids really want more at this age. My DS taught himself to write and now wants to learn to read... really, really wants to... so I am going to start reading lessons but only as much as his interest/motivation dictates. I don't know that I'd even consider it part of our "homeschool routine" (though it may become part of it if DS really enjoys it) but more just something we rotate in a couple days a week if he wants. Our actual HS routine is more about socialization, free play, field trips, movement, music, art, etc. and any academic learning is secondary -- can be fit in as time & interest allows.

So if you want to introduce math & reading, perhaps there is a 20-minute span during your daily routine where you alternate -- one day is math, next is reading, maybe the third is science or natural history or something else he might be into -- rather than trying to do each of these every day. Maybe for a week or two you choose the rotation & once he understands what the options are, you could ask him each day which he'd like to focus on for that day. He might choose reading every day for a month and then lose interest, or maybe he'll alternate between math & science and ignore reading for weeks or months, and I think that's OK... he'll be more motivated, engaged, and get more out of it than if a more rigid schedule is imposed on him.

This may be more child-directed than you envisioned, maybe someone with a more parent-led approach will chime in!

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#4 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 06:59 PM
 
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My Dd is 4.5 and she pretty much does nothing purposefully academic right now outside of playing on the ipad with some educational games. However, she does write her name and has asked to write lots of different words because she wants to title her art projects which leads to talking about the letters and which ones are what.  She also knows how to write her brother's name.  All this came informally and all initiated by her. 

 

What she does a lot of is drawing and crafts.  She loves making stuff.  She uses step by step books/apps for drawing which requires a lot of focus, self initiative and following directions.  By doing this, I think she is learning to self-direct and self-motivate as well as to understand directions and follow through projects.  She is very good at this and I think this is an invaluable foundation for the later years.  

 

I guess what I am trying to say is you could help your 4 year old strengthen his/her learning skills in many different ways.  

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#5 of 8 Old 11-26-2012, 10:38 PM
 
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Yes, agree with Emaye. My kids all learned to read before age 5.5. They loved playing with numbers, adding, subtracting and doing a bit of multiplying before age 5. They were founts of knowledge about things like dinosaurs, world geography, classical music. No "school"  certainly doesn't mean no learning. Not sure whether you want to do school just to start study habits early, or because you want to get a running start at the learning. If the latter, it's an interesting thing I've discovered now well into my second decade as a homeschooling mom: learning often has precious little to do with teaching. Often my kids learn almost in spite of me -- not because of me.

 

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#6 of 8 Old 11-29-2012, 09:17 PM
 
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I just want to add a point of view my own experience. My son learned a lot when he was that little, although none of it had to do with letters or numbers but with the expansion of his imagination and his growing body in play, his immediate world around him, and some of the wonders of nature. His routine had to do only with the various kinds of play and exploration he was involved in, and he enjoyed hearing stories and having books read to him. When he learned to read years later, he was quickly on a par with his peers, and his math understanding and skill never suffered in the least from having waited. Routine can be nice, but there are lots of wonderful and enriching things that can be done in a rhythmical way that aren't based on school subjects. Each person is different, and while some learn to read almost automatically as toddlers, and some might enjoy working with numbers, others aren't ready until much, much later, but are able to jump right in and enjoy it by the time there's any pressing reason to be able to master those skills. I don't think there's any realistic reason to get a child used to the routine of school subjects, if that's what you mean by routine, but if you just want to have some sort of rhythm to your days together, that can be beautifully set up without worrying about any kind of lessons, and I personally feel the child will be way ahead of the game by having that time to spend in other imaginative pursuits, mainly play.  - Lillian

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#7 of 8 Old 12-01-2012, 07:21 AM
 
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My 5 year old thrives on rhythm, but not routine. I try to keep our days as loose as possible and I'm fairly laid back -- I've learned that if she's happily playing pretend with her dolls for over an hour to LEAVE HER even if I'm itching to do something else. So yes having more of a rhythm is what works at this age. I also try to roll with her interests which are science, math, and reading at the moment (different aspects of it but they fall into that general category) 

 

We do science experiments, math games, art and learning about nature all around plenty of time for free play, outside activities (horseback riding or playing with freinds) and doing things in the barn and around our home. 


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#8 of 8 Old 12-03-2012, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies! Part of the reason I kind of want to start is because I suck at routines myself. :( Rhythm would probably be good instead of a set routine, I need to look into that.

Also, I don't know if it matters but he has autism as well so routine/rhythm would be good for him.


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