If you are interested in homeschooling your children, perhaps the question has crossed your mind regarding whether your children will be old enough to start. After all, does the typical age limit of five or six matter if you’re homeschooling? Do grades and levels need to be official when your kids are so young?
The answer is no; it’s truly not a big deal whether your kids start homeschooling before they reach the standard school-age of five or six. In the end, what actually matters is whether they demonstrate signs of school readiness. Let’s face it, children begin learning as soon as they are born.
Learning Begins well before Kids Reach “School Age”
Children start learning well before they are even old enough to begin a homeschool curriculum. The Preschool years are so exciting! Have you practised the ABCs with them? Read books at bedtime? Helped them tie their shoes? They are already learning, and in a way, “homeschooling”! Is there a line where early learning and homeschooling begins? Not at all. In our society, we have all been told that there is a certain age and specific time for everything, but homeschooling is more than an educational choice; it’s a lifestyle. As parents, you’ll know when your children are ready to begin a more structured homeschool program or curriculum by looking for signs of reading readiness they exhibit.
Homeschooling in the early years is wonderful because young children learn so much from everyday activities. These homeschool days often involve lots of playing, building, reading, learning numbers, letters, researching together, taking walks, going on hikes, building forts, writing notes to loved ones, and more.
Your young child already has an innate desire to learn. Homeschooling is merely the action of encouraging that excitement for learning within a creative and supportive environment. When your child is ready to begin their more structured homeschooling curriculum, you won’t just be starting to homeschool them — you’ll be continuing!
There is definitely encouragement to be diligent and to expose our children to learning at an early age. However, we can’t assume that across the board all children will be ready to read at infancy. We can take responsibility for encouraging our children, giving them plenty of exposure, and being diligent and consistent to show them a love of learning!
11 Signs of Homeschooling Readiness
As your child’s advocate, you are already likely paying close attention to their possible signs of school readiness. Perhaps you have already seen them more interested in books, independently having fun with crafts, and maybe even asking about school. These are all milestones that could indicate school readiness. From the experience of thousands of Euka families, here are 11 more signs you could look for in your child as you determine whether they are ready to begin a homeschooling curriculum.
- Are they pretending to read?
- Can they make independent decisions & follow-through?
- Are they pretending to write?
- Can they follow 2-3 instructions consecutively?
- Do they demonstrate listening comprehension?
- Do they show enthusiasm or involvement during story time?
- Can they concentrate on a task?
- Do they understand the concept of directional reading?
- For example, holding a book upright, turning pages correctly, reading left to right, and so on.
- Do they recognise & express their feelings/needs?
- Do they show an interest in words & letters?
- Specifically, demonstrating print awareness: an understanding that letters make individual sounds, and stringing those letters together to sound out words.
- How do they handle moving on to new activities?
So if you have found yourself ticking every box, it seems the moment has finally come. Your “little one” is now a pre-schooler! If you’ve already decided to homeschool your early learner, perhaps you’re wondering what you should start doing now in Pre-K. Preschool is all about play and learning through natural curiosity. Your young child instinctively wants to know about anything and everything, occasionally perhaps a little more than you’d like! However, this natural inclination to explore and ask questions is the perfect preschool foundation for starting their homeschool journey. However, don’t get overwhelmed at the thought of already looking into lesson plans, Euka’s “Clever Kids” program has you covered. Homeschooling pre-schoolers is not so much about lessons as it is just about fun, engaging activities, and developing their interest in learning.
The “Clever Kids” program is designed to cover the full year. It is divided into Terms & Weeks, with the idea that families will focus on these pre-full-time school activities once a week. However, you are welcome to use them in whatever way suits your child’s needs. Some families love to complete more than a lesson per week and just move through them at their own pace.
The goal of the “Clever Kids” program is to prepare children for the fun of formal lessons. This course gives them the opportunity to begin some pre-reading activities, basic maths and simple science concepts. Introducing these lessons and new skills in a regular way will give them the confidence needed to jump into full-time learning with ease.
10 Steps to Begin Homeschooling in Preschool
When your Pre-schooler is demonstrating Homeschool readiness, here are ten steps you can take to begin their Homeschool experience. In preschool, Homeschooling mostly revolves around continuing the play and activities you have likely already been doing with them. The only noticeable difference would be a more intentional focus on incorporating these learning elements on a daily or weekly basis.
- Focus on Play. Play is the most important activity for pre-schoolers! Play is their schoolwork.
- Begin involving them in daily activities. These little ones can learn so much from being involved in your daily tasks!
- Take time to explain why & how. By involving them, be sure to take time to explain why you do something, and how it is being done. They are soaking it all in!
- Create a routine. This will help begin to structure your pre-schooler’s days. Using the Euka “Clever Kids” preschool Homeschool program you might choose to do a “lesson’ each day or perhaps make one day a week “Preschool” day using the fun lesson style activities.
- Game school. Just like we said earlier, play, play, play! Game schooling is the perfect way to combine learning with their natural curiosity!
- Explore the Outdoors. Walking, hiking, swimming, start nature journaling, catch tadpoles or bugs, collect leaves or acorns, or whatever you’d prefer!
- Provide toys that encourage imagination. Consider books, colouring, blocks, LEGOs, and so on.
- Focus on learning. It makes a difference when you are focused on what they can learn, versus what you can teach!
- Go on field trips. Visit the zoo, an aquarium, a petting zoo, a farm, etc.
- Let them be little. They will make messes. Finger painting, Play-Doh, drawing, glittery crafts, mud…it will be messy. And yet, super fun for them while creating precious memories — and they WILL be learning.
These activities are great for practising their numbers and colours while establishing a good foundation for fine motor skills, and providing an introduction to the idea of science. Enjoy!