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Is homeschooling kindergarten a good fit for you? As a teacher turned homeschool mom, here are a few of the pros and cons!
*Guest post by Katie from Preschool Inspirations
Is Homeschooling Kindergarten a Good Fit for You?
Are you thinking of homeschooling kindergarten? I am a teacher turned homeschool mom, and I have homeschooled two of my children for kindergarten. When I mention that we are homeschoolers to other families, I find this is something lots of other moms have thought about too.
Most often people are just surprised that I decided to switch from teaching to homeschooling. After being in a school setting in the ECE field almost 10 years and running my own preschool in my home for four years, I decided to homeschool when our oldest child was going into kindergarten.
I must admit that teaching in a classroom definitely had it’s perks, but I really wanted the ability to spend extra time with my own children.
If you are feeling unsure about what to do for your child for kindergarten, I completely understand. This isn’t an easy answer for everyone. There are pros and cons to both, and sometimes it’s so hard to choose. In some states, kindergarten is not even necessary. I will write more about that below.
While I have classroom experience, it’s absolutely not necessary for homeschooling. Many of my homeschool friends who I go to for advice all the time are loving moms with no teaching experience at all.
If you have been wondering if homeschooling is a good fit for your family, I have made a little guide to help you. Here are some reasons that homeschooling kindergarten (and possibly beyond) could be a good fit for you.
One of my favorite reasons to homeschool is the flexibility! Rushing to get out of the door each morning for five days a week would be a stretch for us!
We love to wake up slowly and take our time in the mornings. I don’t have to worry about getting lunches, helping children get dressed, driving on bad roads, or fighting traffic to drop off the kids each morning.
We can go to the zoo any day, take sick days as needed, go on family vacations any time of the year, spend some time to talk with one another, and adjust curriculum for any number of reasons.
Don’t get me wrong, it is really important to build a routine for homeschooling, but it doesn’t have to be a minute to minute schedule.
Homeschooling can be a great option for families who deal with medical issues on a regular basis. Some children have severe or life-threatening allergies, chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities, and more.
In our homeschooling journey, we have found that a number of our friends with medical conditions have found homeschooling to be the most comfortable place for their child to learn. They can take breaks as often as needed, get their medication easily, and skip the extra stresses that come with balancing a medical condition in a public setting.
Keep in mind that some medical conditions can be well accommodated by some schools, and there may even be special services, such as therapies or specialized equipment that would normally be a costly investment. Parents of children with IEPs will be getting more support than children who aren’t eligible for an IEP. The only way to get a clear direction on this is to visit prospective schools and talk with them about your child’s specific needs and what plans would be in place to support your child.
As we all know, one size does not fit all, and this is true for kindergarten too. Some children learn best in a calm, quiet space with little distractions.
Physical learners need lots of opportunities to move, to touch and interact with objects, and to be active.
Some children want to play all day and spend lots of time outdoors.
There are children who are very gifted and learn at a much quicker rate.
While there are specialized schools that specialize in teaching different types of learners, they are not super common, and they can be very pricey.
Homeschoolers have the ability to find or make curriculum that works specifically for their child’s learning style to make learning as meaningful as possible. My own children wanted to build LEGOs for hours a day, and I am so glad that they have that opportunity.
Sometimes homeschooling is a great option because you just want to homeschool. I don’t think that homeschooling has to be the next best choice because there is a problem. It can be the first option because it’s what a family wants to do.
Some children benefit from an extra year of being at home before going to school. Around the world, kindergarten starts at different ages. Some begin as early as 4-years-old, and others don’t start until a child turns 7-years-old.
I know lots of parents who like the idea of sending their child to kindergarten, but a full day kindergarten sounds like such a huge leap. While there are still some half day kindergarten programs around, these are less and less common.
Kindergarten is not required in many states
This is an interesting fact that lots of people don’t know. Kindergarten is not required in many states. If this is your state, that means you don’t have to enroll your child in school until he or she is 6 or 7-years-old. Currently there are 35 states that do not require any sort of kindergarten attendance. Be sure to look into your state laws to find out more about specifics where you live.
If you have ever thought of homeschooling kindergarten and just don’t know what to decide, I hope this helps. I personally think kindergarten is one of the best years to test it out because you can still integrate lots of play into the daily schedule and because kindergarten is not mandatory in lots of areas.
I also tell other families that if they choose an option and don’t like it, then make sure you are in a situation where you don’t feel stuck. It’s always easier to try something out if you know that you have other options if it doesn’t go as planned.