As with anything else in parenthood (or let’s be real, life in general) there are plenty of opinions about the right time to start school. An age considered “too early” to start by some parents and educators is also considered “too late” by others. My intent for this post is not to share my opinion on what age is right or wrong. This post is simply to explain why starting homeschool preschool when LG was 2.5 years old was the right move for our family and more importantly, for her.
She Was Ready
The first thing I considered when making this decision was whether or not LG was ready. I considered how long she was able to give her attention, what she was interested in, and what activities were developmentally appropriate for her.
LG is naturally a curious little gal. She asks a million questions and truly listens to the answers. She wants to be involved in everything Matt and I do, and seeks out opportunities to learn. So I came to the conclusion – if she wants to learn, why would I hold her back?
Now just because she was ready for homeschool preschool, it doesn’t mean we went into a full-blown 5 days a week, many hours each day school routine. (If you want to see the routine we started with, you can read HERE!) Currently, LG’s school routine is extremely relaxed and self-led. We practice (mostly) the activities she chooses, and we practice when she is interested and engaged. All of the activities we work on involve play, fine motor skills, coloring, etc. and she loves every bit!
We Need Routine
Do you thrive on routines yourself? I know I do! I have a million routines – a routine for my mornings, meal times, my own work time, etc. So it should come as no surprise that kiddos thrive on routine as well!
One thing I’ve really stuck with over the last few years is having a school ROUTINE and not a school SCHEDULE. This allows us all the flexibility we truly desired when we made the decision to be a homeschool family.
Our routine includes topics of learning and a certain order. But, it does NOT follow a rigid schedule in terms of time. Sometimes we’re ready to jump into school time in the morning, and follow our routine then. Other times, we have a busy day outside of the house and work on our school routine later in the afternoon. That’s the beauty of routines – they are flexible!
It’s Cost Efficient
Now, this may sound like an odd reason to begin school early. But considering most homeschool families make HUGE financial sacrifices in order to homeschool, thinking about the financial details is super important!
By starting homeschool Preschool early, I was able to use my Preschool resources for YEARS. Seriously. YEARS. This is huge when you’re homeschooling on a limited budget! Did I use every single activity every single year? Absolutely not! Each year we added another level of learning with more activities, and it was such a fun way to always change things up with what we had already purchased!
Over all, my thinking is this – I would rather start early and spend nearly 3-4 years learning the basics at our own relaxed pace instead of stressing everyone out by trying to cram such important skills into a short period of time right before Kindergarten. LG loves her school time and, combined with tons and tons of playing, has been soaring!
What about your little ones? I’d love to hear how you handle starting school with your kiddos!
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