Actually, I suppose I could title this post “A Word on Teaching” or even “A Word on LEARNING”.
Recently, we began “toddler school” for our nearly 2 year old daughter. Basically, it has been an introduction to colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. In my research, I came across people asking, “If you start schooling that early, then what will they learn in kindergarten?” I’ll use this post as an opportunity to provide my personal answer and opinion on that matter.
In the last 4 weeks, I have discovered what a sponge a 2 year old’s brain truly is. They are aching to learn, to discover new things, to soak it all up. I am truly amazed at just how much Linnaea has learned in such a short period of time. She begs me every day for “school, school, school!!” She is anxious and excited to see what we’ll be learning about that day. Why not take advantage of that? Why not fill that sponge? She’s learning from a young age that school is great, learning is FUN, and it gives me great hope for the future.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone should sit their child down for a strict 8 hour school day. We simply set aside 20-30 minutes a day. We learn through playing, coloring, finger painting, and other creative little projects. We also sneak in some learning when she’s playing throughout the day. We use her toys, draw pictures, and point out letters in books that she knows. I’ll get more into our schedule and tools we use to learn at a later time…
Now, back to the original question, “What will they learn in Kindergarten?” Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I am pretty sure that kids are supposed to know their alphabet and numbers, etc. before entering kindergarten. If I am wrong, then your child will be ahead of the curve! This is the beauty of homeschooling, learning can be at your child’s pace. If, by the time Linnaea is of Kindergarten age, she has already learned and mastered all of the kindergarten criteria, then we move on to 1st grade curriculum. It’s that simple! I have always thought that that is one of the magical things about homeschooling. I was always ahead of everyone throughout school, I got bored easily and craved a challenge. In a home school atmosphere, once a child has mastered a topic, then you move on to the next. There is no class to wait for to catch up. There aren’t 29 other kids with questions. Your child is the focus. And the opposite is true as well– should they need a little extra time on a topic, you can give them that extra time. You’re not slowing down an entire classroom. Your child is learning at THEIR personal pace.
Ok, perhaps I got a little off path, but you can see what I’m saying. Don’t let comments like these stop you from starting to teach your child early. They want to learn so badly! Their little brains are just waiting to be filled with information. Take advantage!! You’ll be amazed, I promise.