Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Start Now, or Wait?

Now that I've made the decision to home school Lily, I've found that there are many, many decisions to go along with it. What will my "style", or method of homeschooling be? What curriculum will I use? Will I join a Co-op? And the biggest one: when should I start?

 Lily is going to be 4 in May. If she was going to public school she would not be allowed to enter Kindergarten until NEXT September. The beauty of homeschooling is that I can customize things. So, what do you do when your child is READY to start Kindergarten material, but is "too young?" At the risk of sounding like one of "those" parents, I know Lily is advanced. Not sure if she falls into the gifted category, but definitely advanced. She has known colors and shapes since before she was a year old.(Even shapes like octagon, trapezoid and parallelogram) She knows how to count to 100 by 1s, and she can count by 10s. She knows all her letters, upper and lowercase, and all of her letter sounds. She recognizes numbers 1-20, and can count objects with no problems. She is reading sight words, and is trying to sound out words that she doesn't know. She just isn't writing yet. I don't think her fine motor skills are there yet. But other than that, she knows everything that a preschool curriculum would teach her.

I know there is some debate over starting a child early or pushing them into learning. I've had people wonder why people "rush" preschool education, saying that kids should be kids. I agree, kids SHOULD be kids, but what if you have a kid that WANTS to learn? Lily loves to learn anything. She gets excited when she is being taught a new concept. Like, her eyes light up. Can't I do more damage by holding her off? What if I wait another year, and that passion, that DESIRE is gone? Can I get that back? I'm not talking about forcing school on her for 3 or 4 hours a day. I am thinking of introducing her to a formal curriculum this year, though. That being said, Lily gets plenty of time to just be a kid. She plays dolls, she plays ponies, dress up and everything else that most preschoolers do.

  My husband and I have discussed it, and we think that we will go ahead and start Lily on a gentle Kindergarten curriculum this Fall and see how she does. If she does well, great. If she needs to slow down or stop, we will. If she goes through the whole year of this curriculum, we will do a K5 year. I will get a kindergarten curriculum from a different company. One that is a bit more academic. Then, we will start her on First Grade curriculum when she would actually be in First grade in public school. At least, that is the plan for now. Things are always subject to change. I have a tendency to obsess over things and research them to death.

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