When does one start homeschooling? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 9 Old 04-07-2014, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
MamaCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

When does life change from "regular days with a toddler" to "homeschooling a preschooler"?  Age three?  Four?  Or does one start small (with one hour of planned "schooling" activity a day) for a young toddler, and move up to full time as s/he nears age five?

 

Is it worth getting a premade homeschool curriculum for a preschooler?

 

We have friends who send their one year old to what I would call daycare, but it is called "preschool," which leads me to wonder if those who keep their children at home also start calling it "homeschool" at a young age.  My daughter is not yet two, but I am considering "homeschool preschool" as an affordable alternative to preschool.  We would probably not homeschool after she is eligible for public kindergarten.

MamaCB is offline  
#2 of 9 Old 04-07-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Lisamo76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm glad you asked this question.  I have a 20 month old and I have been wondering the same thing myself.  I have just started looking into home schooling and didn't want to put to much on her right away. 

 

I basically set aside about 30 min once or twice a day and pull up my favorite youtube videos of the alphabet and counting.  She seems to like that better rather than me showing her letters on paper.  All of it is set to music, so afterward throughout the day, we sing the songs while cleaning or playing.  She seems to pick it up faster.

 

I was thinking of doing ABC mouse when she turned 2 or using Timberdoodle to get some "work" books around 3.  

 

I just don't want to pressure her.  We also need to set up a schedule, right now we just do it when we have an open time throughout the day.  


carrot.gifVegetarian,saynovax.gifNon vaxxing homebirth.jpghome birthing mom to a teen and a tot with a little bean on the way!
Lisamo76 is offline  
#3 of 9 Old 04-07-2014, 10:18 AM
 
SweetSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Westfarthing
Posts: 5,187
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 76 Post(s)

You are going to get as many different answers as you would to a question about the value of "preschool".

 

For us, it hasn't been different at all, from toddler to my 7-9yo daughters.  Interests change, formats change, activities change, what you communicate about changes, but the essence of life changes not one bit for us.

 

We unschool, though.  If you are planning to be more formal whne kindy comes (which I believe is going to be the most common response as to when to start, or 1st grade) you might want to dedicate a very small chunk of time to a child-led-but-parent-as-teacher/guide session and very gradually add to the amunt of time you dedicate to this, rather than nothing, then suddenly have the parent's role change from helpmeet and guide to formal instructor.  Some kids are apt to rebel mightily if the parents' roles change too abruptly. 

 

Also, a very important question is to ask how much time parents with kids in this age range dedicate to that type of instruction.  Even amongst those who would not identify as unschoolers, you will hear some very short times-- 15 minutes to an hour "most" days is very common for K-1st grade.

 

What I hear the most is simply to have a wide variety of books and materials, allow for enfettered exploration sessions, embrace play as a necessary part of how children learn and process information, as well as the inclusion of children in adult tasks.  

 

A child's main business at this age is to learn about everyday life and the way things work and their place in it.  For some of us, that doesn't change.  Set your day up to emphasize and allow this.  Begin a rhythm of more parent-intensive activities, starting small and building very gradually, at a child-led pace, if you want to include some formal academics eventually in your homeschooling.  Otherwise, keep on with what you are doing.  It doesn't have to change, but it might look very different from the outside.


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
SweetSilver is offline  
#4 of 9 Old 04-07-2014, 10:46 AM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)

We started calling it homeschooling the year it was assumed our child would have to attend school. Around here that means she was 5: although kindergarten isn't technically compulsory where we live, it's the beginning of public schooling and 99.5% of kids who aren't homeschooled attend kindergarten. (While the vast majority of destined-for-public-school kids attend preschool here, it's clearly understood to be optional, and is very part-time anyway, so we didn't call those pre-K years homeschooling.)

 

The reason I'm talking about when we began referring to our choice as homeschooling is that for us there was no clear shift in what we were actually doing on a day-to-day basis. Our experience was identical to SweetSilver's second paragraph. At age 5, or 7, or 11, what my kids were doing and learning and exploring and talking about and interested in overlapped with the type of learning that public-schooled kids would be doing at school. But that wasn't because I engineered a school-like experience or school-like expectations for them. It was just the result of the fluid evolution of their natural learning. 

 

Kids who go to school "start school" at some point. Kids who don't go to school simply continue with home-based learning as they've been doing from birth, learning that evolves with them as they grow. Sometimes for communication and documentation purposes it is helpful to define a beginning, but the way I see it the semantics of schooling don't fit home-based learning well.

 

On the practical issue of curriculum, we used none prior to 1st grade level, and even for that it was only a matter of providing a manipulative-based math program for child-led use. Anything else we waited until at least 3rd grade level.

 

Miranda

phathui5 likes this.

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#5 of 9 Old 04-07-2014, 09:04 PM
 
Emaye's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: between beauty and beast
Posts: 623
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have daughter who is 5 1/2 year old and we haven't done any formal, parent led homeschooling with her. However, if we pull up the state guide lines for a kinder, I am sure she will meet most of the expectations, exceed some of them and is below in other areas. It is just the way learning goes when it happens organically. For example, last summer she asked for some "math books" after seeing her brother work on some. I got her pretty simple Kumon workbooks. She did a few pages and lost interest. I set them aside and just the last couple of weeks, she picked them up and zoomed through them.  I honestly don't see much value in these types of workbooks designed for "early" "preschool" learning. Her brother never did one.  Alas, she wanted some; I got them for her then she ignored them for almost a year.  Just when I began thinking about giving them away, she picked them up again.  

 

She also went through an intense phase of wanting to learn to read in Sept and Oct and we sat down and worked on reading together. She saw her brother list the books he has read on his door and she wanted her own list. So, we put a list up for her and she couldn't wait to fill it up. Then, just as it began suddenly, it was done.  She had plateaued and was having difficulty moving forward, so she quit.  Since then her reading has probably come along some but not in any noticeable way.  I get the feeling she will be a late reader. What was interesting about her reading process is the fact that she never wanted to learn the names of the letters. She ended up knowing the sounds many make but not their names. She didn't want to do it the traditional way but she has picked up some of the names anyway.

 

In the mean time, she draws, paints, she makes things (she has a real tool box and she has injured herself with a hammer a couple of times).  She gardens. She builds forts. Plays mine craft and listens to books and stories. She is learning a lot but her learning pattern is her own making. I think young kids learn all they need to know by exploring.  Your children will gain a lot by waiting until age 6, preferably 7 to begin (formal) academics and lose very little in the process.  And if you are homeschooling, delaying formal instruction is a choice you can easily make because there is no cohort/grade level pressure involved.

------

Edited for clarity

Emaye is offline  
#6 of 9 Old 04-07-2014, 11:02 PM
 
moominmamma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In the middle of nowhere, at the centre of everything.
Posts: 5,763
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emaye View Post
 

Your children will gain a lot by waiting until age 6, preferably 7 to begin academics and lose very little in the process. 

 

I never quite felt comfortable saying that we "delayed academics," but what we did delay was formal instruction. My kids were quite academically inclined at young ages, so they learned lots of academic stuff; they just didn't learn it in formal schoolish ways. I only raise this to affirm Emaye's point that delaying formal instruction doesn't leave kids academically "behind," certainly not in the long run, and not necessarily in the short run either.

 

miranda

Emaye likes this.

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

moominmamma is online now  
#7 of 9 Old 04-07-2014, 11:52 PM
 
Emaye's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: between beauty and beast
Posts: 623
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

I never quite felt comfortable saying that we "delayed academics," but what we did delay was formal instruction. My kids were quite academically inclined at young ages, so they learned lots of academic stuff; they just didn't learn it in formal schoolish ways. I only raise this to affirm Emaye's point that delaying formal instruction doesn't leave kids academically "behind," certainly not in the long run, and not necessarily in the short run either.

 

miranda

 

Exactly what I meant, Miranda, although not as clear as you put it!  Thank you for pointing that out. When I talk about "delaying academics" I am talking about formal instruction. Will edit my post to reflect that.

Emaye is offline  
#8 of 9 Old 04-08-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
MamaCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 54
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, this is really interesting.  I love being my child's full-time caregiver, and I want to make sure she is getting everything she can out of it.  Many days, I end up thinking, "We didn't do any real activities - no outings, no projects - yet I also got very little done for the house or for myself, and I didn't spend much time in my own leisure.  What in the world did we do?"  In retrospect, it seems like most of the time was spent trying to get her to eat and then cleaning the kitchen afterwards, plus the pre-nap and pre-bed routines, which can be lengthy.  Maybe I put away a little laundry.  I am thinking that some structure might make sure that important categories such as fun, learning, and practical work each get at least a nod every day, even if some days are heavier on one than the others.

 

I realize that, like Lisamo76, we probably devote about that much time to letter learning (and, to a lesser extent, math) already because my daughter LOVES books and loves learning letters.  We do that by her pointing to letters on everything from story books to stop signs, and talking about what the letters are.  It is totally child-led, not because it is necessarily my philosophy that everything must be child-led, but because I would not have started this early on my own.  If she had shown no interest by her third birthday, you'd find me pulling out the letter puzzles and flash cards and trying to push things.  For math, we just count things as we are doing them.  I ask her to get me a certain number of things (such as books to read before nap), and I count other things aloud in front of her.  This little bit of math seems like a normal part of life for her, but I don't see her jumping up and down for more like she does for letters, so we haven't expanded our math activity beyond this type of counting.

MamaCB is offline  
#9 of 9 Old 04-09-2014, 01:17 AM
 
bruna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 268
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
To the OP - I just wanted to add the suggestion that you look for other homeschooling families in your area who would like to meet, so that you can experience some of the culture and make connections.
I am a Mother of a toddler and found a whole bunch of homelearning families with children aged 0 + who organize play and events through a homelearners association in my city. You may find this a nice way to start the homeschooling experience.

familybed1.gifbftoddler.gif homebirth.jpgcd.gif  kid.gif 
bruna is offline  
Reply

Tags
Homeschooling

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off