I talk to so many homeschooling moms that feel overwhelmed by the pressure they place upon themselves to get everything “just right” when it comes to their children’s development. Especially in the younger years, the societal expectations can start to seep in, no matter how hard we try to focus on our children’s developmental pathway. Are they reading yet? Do they know their numbers?
And I am here to tell you with a lot of years of experience both in the classroom and as a parent who has homeschooled both when the kids were littles and then again when they got bigger, coupled with what research actually says that there is a huge developmental spectrum when it comes to academics. There is such a wide variety of what is considered…normal!
When I assess young children for school readiness, I encounter many parents that try to prep their children by cramming to cover addition, subtraction, and even multiplication! In reality, what I am truly looking for are the soft skills! Yes, we check their foundation in ABC knowledge, but it is just that…a foundation to build upon! Most importantly, I am looking for their ability to engage, their understanding of how to “operate” a book, if they break words apart in silly ways and produce rhymes! And what does all that need in order to develop? Interaction! Play! Singing! Hands-on! Life experience.
So, you can totally take a step back from those kinder prep workbooks! Give young children books to thumb through and model where you start reading and which way you go. If you are not a singer, invest in some great Dr. Jean songs ( any kinder teacher will swear by it!). I can’t tell you how many things my own two learned through song, including their address and all the books of the Bible! Let them build with whatever building set they have!
When I look back upon the hours I spent planning when my kids were little, I now realize it was the simplest things that were most impactful. Prioritize the play and leave room for the unexpected. I promise…you won’t regret it!
If you would like some guidance in ideas for building your homeschool plan for your littlest homeschoolers or an assessment to check in on their readiness skills, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org