These days, homeschooling is becoming more popular, and parents considering homeschooling often wonder, what age to start homeschooling? Parents may worry if they should wait for their children to reach the state’s standard school age or if they can start homeschooling right away.
In this post, we will tackle the best age and time to start homeschooling your preschoolers.
School Age Barely Matters
Learning always starts at home. Reading books to little kids, mixing colors, and cooking together is all part of learning.
If you’re asking what age to start homeschool for preschool kids, the answer is simple: you have been homeschooling your preschooler without you knowing it. As you walk in nature with the child and point out what you see, or when you tell them the colors of their toys, you are already homeschooling them.
Many experts say that homeschooling is not an educational choice but rather a lifestyle one. When parents informally teach their children, they are already homeschooling the little ones. So, it doesn’t matter what the age of the child is as parents can teach their kids anytime and anywhere they want.
This is particularly true for kindergarten to preschool-aged children as most of their learning is through physical exercise and play. It has been questioned whether kids these ages indeed benefit more from structured, classroom-based learning.
Typically, society and government say that there is an exact age when the child should actually start schooling. Thus, parents who homeschool their kids will be required to start reporting to authorities.
State laws and regulations will determine when you need to begin reporting your homeschooling. Some require that children start attending school by the age of five while other states set their limits at age six.
Knowing the rules of the state will help you answer the question of what age to start homeschool preschool reporting.
50 states allow homeschooling, but each has its own requirements. Parents then should know the number of hours to be completed each year, the subjects that should be covered, end-of-year examinations, teacher requirements, and formal attendance reporting.
Additionally, you need to check with your town or city as they may have specific ordinances covering homeschooling policies.
You don’t need to wait until your child reaches the required age for school attendance. The fact that your state requires compulsory school attendance reporting at age six does not disqualify you from providing a more structured education at home for your child.
Experts say that parents should observe their kids closely to check for milestones as each child will display some school readiness signs. By doing this, you can determine when to introduce a more structured homeschool program.
Below are the milestones you should check out
- Does your child like pretending to write?
- Is your child fond of pretending to read?
- Is the child interested in letters and words?
- Is the child able to grasp the concept of directional reading such as holding the book in the right position, reading/scanning from left to right, or turning pages the right way?
- Is the child capable of making his or her own decision and following each through?
- Is the child capable of following two to three consecutive instructions?
- Can the child concentrate on a task?
- Is the child enthusiastic or highly involved during your storytelling time?
- Is the child capable of recognizing and expressing his or her needs and feelings?
- How does the child deal with the start or change to a new activity?
Other Factors To Keep In Mind
The age of the child should not be your main concern when deciding whether it’s time to start homeschooling him or her. Aside from the child’s school readiness, these are the factors you should consider before deciding on homeschooling your kid.
You need to discuss with your family, spouse, or partner about starting homeschooling your child. Homeschooling, after all, can be quite tedious.
It will take time, energy, and dedication, not just from you but from everyone in your family as well. Having their support is key to making homeschooling successful.
You need to assess as well if you have the right temperament to make homeschooling work. Do you genuinely enjoy spending time and teaching your children? Can you be very patient? What’s your temperament like? If you enjoy teaching and being with kids, then homeschooling might be a great fit for you.
You also need to ask yourself what the motivation is for teaching your kids at home. Your motivation also dictates your level of dedication. If you’re not motivated enough then you might slack off when homeschooling your child.
You need to factor in your daily schedule. Do you have a full-time job or do you have family-related errands and chores that you need to complete every day? Ask yourself, given your current workload or schedule, do you still have time and energy to homeschool your child?
Homeschooling is always an option for parents. And often, parents ask what age to start homeschooling. Should I start now or wait until the child is older?
Homeschooling with a more structured curriculum can start at any age, but recording school attendance will depend on the laws of the state and city or town ordinances. Whatever you decide on, always keep in mind that learning can start at any age.