Kindergarten on the Homestead

We’ve transitioned Joe from ‘pre-school’ to Kindergarten this year. His curiosity has grown from ‘what’s’ to ‘why’s’ and he is eager to solve problems, try new things, explore and experiment.

He doesn’t need an organized curriculum to follow.

He doesn’t need a to-do list to check off.

He doesn’t need a schedule.

All he needs is his own curiosity and desire to learn, learn and learn some more.

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These are all things that I need to stay focused.

Tools I need to feel like I’m on track with their education.

Validation I need to feel like I’m ‘doing it the ‘right way’.

But…what is the right way? The right way for my boys? I’m learning that it is different for each of them. That they each have their own way of learning, discovering and playing–every child does.

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They aren’t clones of each other–no one child is the same.

Sure, they both like to play superheroes but one of them wants to be Batman and the other wants to be Flash.

One of them wants to solve puzzles and the other wants to build with Legos.

One of them wants to figure out how a robot works and the other wants to understand what the purpose of a robot is.

I’ve created a space, a room for the boys to go to learn.

When I told them that this was our schoolroom where we learn, I realized I was falling back into ‘school at home’ rather than ‘home school’.

That may seem like semantics, but there is a difference. We don’t just learn at school, we learn everywhere

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Schooling at home is not what our original vision was. What originally attracted us to homeschooling was the ability to teach to each child’s learning style. We, or rather I, started to worry and fret that my kid would fall behind.

What if they don’t learn to read by the end of Kindergarten?

What if they fall behind their peers?

What if…?

I frantically searched for a curriculum that would follow when they should learn what concept or subject.

We need worksheets so they can learn addition.

We need Bob Books so they can learn how to read.

We need, need, need so they don’t fall behind.

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My husband talked me down off the ledge. He has worries too, but he knows in his heart that we are doing the right thing for our kids.

I called a friend who is also homeschooling and she shared her fears and worries and I learned that even the most confident parent has doubts about their decision to homeschool.

I know we’ll make mistakes, worry from time to time (or constantly) and we’ll have freakouts.

But in my heart of hearts, I’ll always know that you can’t stop a kid from learning and that our biggest job with schooling of any kind, is to foster and encourage that drive and love of learning.

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Where do we learn boys?
Do we need one place to go?
We learn everywhere!

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17 responses to “Kindergarten on the Homestead

  1. You can do this. I’ve always said it takes a special person to homeschool. I don’t believe I would have had the patience… ~Elle

  2. So brave and exciting to start your homeschool adventure! Wish I could have afforded that.

  3. Good on you for doing this. I’m area her but believe learning in an environment such as yours is more beneficial than traditional school. At school we try to create what you naturally have. Teach them to question, investigate and think!

  4. You’re on the right track. I think you’ve learned in earlier than a lot of parents. Learning takes place all the time and everywhere. Your boys will do great with such loving parents!

  5. I agree that every home school parent worries. I do Charlotte Mason method and have tons of people saying to me that my kids will be behind. Then I reply with but who said the governments terms of what my kid should know by this age is right? Why do my kids need to know all of this? They have their whole lives to learn so why must we put so much stress on them in one year? Every year?

    Why do test scores show how much my kid knows? Tests to me means your kid memorized what it was supposed to in order to pass the test. Not that they learned it.

    • I agree. So much stress is put on the child to keep up with their peers. Every child is different and learns at a different rate. Test anxiety is a real problem…one that we can avoid with homeschooling. They have plenty of time to “catch up”. Let them be kids now and that love of learning will follow them to adulthood.

      • Yes ma’am!!! I focus 100% on them loving to learn vs forcing it on them. My almost 3 year old is all about play. So she has educational toys to play with while her older sister is doing school. She listens while I read to her older sister. When she is ready then we will start more formal learning. But for now let them play!

      • It sounds like we are in very similar spots! I have an almost 4-year-old and an almost 6-year-old. I work with them the same way you work with your girls. It works so well and it makes life so much more enjoyable to not worry about keeping up with everyone else. Love your blog and am following it now to get inspiration for my journey.

      • I am glad to hear that! My husband constantly has to remind me to not “compare”. The world will do enough comparing that we as parents don’t need to do it. Even with each child. I always hear parents say well bob was doing this and that by this age why isn’t Sally? Ever consider they might excel in areas that bob doesn’t?

        Thank you for the follow!

  6. thisgracefullgarden

    I resonate so much with this post! On the one hand I feel totally secure in our decision to homeschool. The occasional whisper does sneak through “are you doing enough?” “do they have enough resources?” I’m so thankful for the growing amount of voices in the world that say “YES!”

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