Unschooling: Living Without School; Living Free Range-Freedom to Learn What One Wants When One Wants

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Starting Kindergarten Too Early

With the new school year coming up, I have been busy getting in some studying for the next school year, as in 2013. I have another year or so to get all my reading in, pick the final curriculum supplements, and go through and find the gaps in the Kindergarten standards and fill them in, elarn the laws...I have been planning to attend conferences and fairs and have been telling Jessie all about what I have learned and what I have planned. He has been so supportive, more than I expected him to be, and it makes me feel so good that, while he leaves the final decision making up to me, he listens well and gives his input. 

But now he is pushing for Samantha to start Kindergarten THIS YEAR! He wanted her to start in August. I told him the same thing I told the lady at the co-op. SHE'LL STILL BE 3! To me, that is just insane and ridiculous and it's pushing them. I think starting her at 4, almost 5 is just fine. She does so much learning without "school." But he says that if I don't start her in Kindergarten then I am holding her back because she wants to start Kindergarten and she is ready for it. I am looking at the long term. Yah, she may be ready or Kindergarten, but will she be ready for 1st grade right when she is turning 5. 

We are considering compromising. I said we would start on the Kindergarten curriculum, beginning in September, after she turns four, since there seems to be such a change in maturity once they hit 4 years old, working much in the same way we have been. (We have covered over half the Kindergarten curriculum and didn't even know it, mostly Reading and Science, a little math-through activities like games and our nature collection, outside exploration, butterfly garden, and general question/answer sessions and reading/research.) Anyway, I told him we would keep doing it the way we are, but make sure that we are covering the necessary requirements for the grade. I told him that the max. amount of instruction would be 1 to 2 hours a day, 3 days a week, and then we would go from there. But the more I think about it, the more I don't like that either. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to burn her out, but I don't want to put a general label and/or age on education either. 

Sorry for the rambling, I am just trying to sort out all my thoughts here. This is something I really need to pray about. And give some real thought before I just jump in. Any advice or insight would help.