Sunday, May 30, 2010

Homeschool Regrets

My number one regret in homeschooling is that I didn't wait until first grade to do seatwork.

Not every child is ready, capable or able to learn to read at age 4 or 5 or even 6. I really wish I would have waiting on phonics instruction until first or second grade which is when both of my children were ready to learn to read.

My oldest has been at a fourth to fifth grade level of math now since second grade. We have not been able to move beyond fourth grade math for two years. Why? because I started too early. Yes, she is good at math. Yes, she picked up math concepts easily. But she wasn't ready for the material that is done in fifth grade until she had reached that maturity level.

I wish I would have made Kindergarten all about art, stories, games, play, and time spent outdoors discovering the world around us. I wish I would have done the same thing for preschool.

Then first grade would have been more like what many people think of as preschool or Kindergarten work but it would have been what my child was ready for at that time.

My advice to new homeschoolers or those with little ones--don't do it. Don't feel pressured to start phonics at 4 or do a math curriculum in preschool. Wait. This time passes so quickly don't waste it working in workbooks when you can be making memories doing real things. Better late than early was right.


Riceball Mommy said...

We have been using Calvert, so I already have a set curriculum, but I've learned not to put too much pressure on either of us. Sometimes she's just not ready to learn a certain concept right this moment, and sometimes we just need to go about it a different way.
I have tried to add in more art, stories, and time outside.
It's excellent advice you have given here.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, I totally agree! I encourage moms of preschoolers to wait for interest, natural learning (you notice they are picking it up on their own) and most of all, readiness. Parents also need to remember that even if their children have learned all their letters, their sounds, and numbers, they might not be ready for formal lessons. There is a huge difference between recognizing letters or knowing their sounds and beginning to blend!
Your readers might enjoy my blog--I take a balanced, literature and play-based approach to preschool.
Susan Lemons

Luke said...

Take it easy and enjoy the process of learning. Absolutely.


Jeanette said...

Very enlightening...I have 4 children under 6 years old and is very "refreshing" not to be pressured to "do" school unlike the other very nice/organized blogs I see about homeschooling. I mean they have everything to the t. I have a newborn too, I kinda feel better that you are sharing your regrets honestly. Way to go Mommy!

atara said...

My son is almost 2. He had a short stint in daycare, in which they bragged about how they learned numbers, letters, etc. Truth it - they stayed cooped up in one room all day. Now he's home w/me 24/7. WE go to the zoo weekly, stroller walks, the store - you know - REAL life activities. I do a read aloud and a letter/number of the week. That's about it.


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