As I excitedly prepared to start homeschooling, I meticulously researched curriculums and planned our year. Things don’t always go as planned though. Hopefully you can learn from me instead of having to learn the hard way. Here are 5 Lessons Learned from Homeschooling Kindergarten.
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1. Less Is More
When we first started, I was combining 2 lit based curriculums plus adding extra books, a reading and handwriting curriculum, piecing together math myself, doing nature study and doing science.
I quickly learned that we were trying to do too much for my 5 year old. He was getting disinterested quickly. Once I cut back what we were trying to accomplish and gave him more space to explore the topic and ask questions, the more he enjoyed it and the more he learned!
Instead of casting a wide net, it’s so much better to dive deeper with LESS!
2. Sometimes, they just aren’t ready, and that’s OK!
I was so excited to start teaching Dominic how to read and write, but I quickly found out that he just wasn’t ready for it.
So I dropped it and just focussed on me reading to him and following the Brave Writer Jot It Down Method to record his ideas for him!
He just needed a few more months and then he was ready to learn to read and we started Logic of English Foundations A.
If you’re child is really struggling with something, don’t be afraid to take a break and come back to it later! It’s OK!
3. You Don’t Have to Follow a Specific Philosophy
From Classical to Montessori, Waldorf to Charlotte Mason, Unschooling to School at Home, there are so many different education philosophies available. Being in homeschool groups or reading blogs online can lead you to believe you need to pick one, go all in, and stick with it.
That just doesn’t work for everyone – in fact it probably hardly works for anyone! The beauty of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers.
You might fall in love with a specific philosophy, but it might not work well for your kids. It has been so freeing to take the best things that work for us from all the different philosophies and just let go of what doesn’t.
We now take an eclectic approach to homeschooling & LOVE it!
4. Life Skills are Important Lessons Too
Making Beds, Cooking, Baking, Sweeping, Setting the Table, Doing Dishes, Putting Away Clothes, Cleaning – I was trying to do it all. Some of it was slipping through the cracks and I was feeling burnt out.
Setting aside specific time to begin teaching these skills to the kids has been so valuable. They are learning the importance of contributing to the running of our household and now they can do some things all on their own!
We will continue to build these skills as they get older so that they know how to do things and it doesn’t all fall on me.
5. Teach & Have a Growth Mindset
My oldest son, Dominic, is a perfectionist (just like me). I noticed that he would get easily frustrated when something didn’t come quickly for him. He wanted to be able to do things perfectly on the first try, and would have a huge meltdown when he didn’t master something immediately.
I started working on changing my language to reflect a growth mindset – Dominic caught on quickly! Now he works hard and puts in the time to learn things.
Developing a Growth Mindset has been one of the best things, not only for Dominic, but for me as well.
Use The Big Life Journal to help develop a growth mindset!
5 Lessons Learned from Homeschooling Kindergarten
- Less is More
- Sometimes they aren’t ready, and that’s ok!
- You don’t have to follow a specific philosophy.
- Life skills are important lessons too.
- Teach and have a growth mindset.
Homeschooling is amazing. Seriously, it’s awesome, but there is definitely a learning curve to figure out what will work best for your family. Hopefully the 5 lessons learned from homeschooling kindergarten that I’ve shared will help you as you prepare to start homeschooling!
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