What Age To Start Homeschooling?

Kids first start learning from their parents at home. From how to sit, talk and walk to the animal names, basic math, and reading, they learn all the basics from their parents. That said, parents are the first teachers to homeschool their kids from the beginning. The difference is that they were not following formal homeschool curriculum or fancy lesson plans.

So, What age to start homeschooling?

Some families choose to wait until their kids are old enough for Kindergarten or 1st grade before they start homeschooling, while others begin earlier. Starting early has many benefits, such as being able to tailor the curriculum to your child’s interest and learning style, having a more relaxed homeschooling schedule, and spending more quality time with your kids. While on the other side, some families choose to wait because they want their kids to experience traditional school for a while, or they feel like they need more time to prepare for homeschooling.

When it comes to the question of what age one should start homeschooling their kids, the answer is that parents can start teaching their kids at any age. There is no right or wrong answer because each kid develops differently, and each family has different circumstances. It ultimately depends on what works best for your family and will allow your child to thrive.

Homeschooling at home – What age to start homeschooling

Education never stops; it starts from birth and ends at death. So, should you double-ask the query if you think your kid is too young to start homeschooling? The answer is never. We, humans, learn something new every day throughout our lives. So, there is no harm in starting homeschooling early for your kids.

We start teaching them different colors and names and give an overview of many things of life that I believe they can’t learn in a formal school system. Think about it, have you ever taught formal lessons to your 2-year-old baby? No, because it’s not what they need at that age. What they need is your company, love, and support to grow into healthy and happy human beings.

Until my daughter was seven years old, I was her only teacher. I taught her how to read, write, and do basic math. But I never follow lesson plans or any curriculum; instead, I prefer life experiences and everyday conversations. And I think this is the best way to homeschool at an early age.

She was never formalized into lessons, but we found ways in which she could learn. For example: “Ok – I need 4 more yellow bananas, and 1 mug of dairy milk for today’s smoothie” or “wow! There’s a white duck in the pool!”, “We got 1 & 1, two apples to finish”. With these simple daily interactions, she gained knowledge of colors and counting quickly while also having fun with me at home.

I then decided to add some structure and started her with a 1st-grade math and reading curriculum when she turned 8. That’s how I planned her homeschool journey.

She is now a teenager and turned out to be the best student in her grade. All credit goes to homeschooling that I started early with her and provided a solid foundation for all other learning.

So, if you are confused about when to start homeschooling your kids, then go with your instinct. If you think your kid is ready for some formal learning, then start with the basics of math and reading.

But, if you feel like your kid still needs some time to play and grow, then continue with your unschooling ways and let them enjoy their childhood, and partly shift to a homeschooling curriculum.

Also, for some parents, public schools tend to work best initially. For instance, my business colleague Lisa chooses to wait until her kid gets into higher grades because she wants her kid to experience traditional school for a while.

According to her,

“I waited until my son was in 5th grade to start homeschooling him. I wanted him to experience traditional school and get a taste of what it’s like to be in a classroom setting. I also felt like I needed more time to prepare for homeschooling. I wanted to ensure that I had a solid plan before I took him out of public school.”

Factors to consider before considering homeschool

You asked, What age to start homeschooling?

But the fact is, age shouldn’t be the primary concern. Rather, there are more important factors to consider before making a final decision.

1) Your temperament and personality

The first key step is to know yourself. What kind of temperament do you have? What is your personality like? Do you love spending time with kids or not? What is your level of patience like? Do you like teaching or not? If you think you are good with kids and enjoy teaching, homeschooling might be a good option.

2) Family support

Before making any decisions, it is important to have a discussion with your partner and family about starting to homeschool. It is a huge decision and will require a lot of time, effort, and energy from everyone in the family. If you don’t have the support of your family, it will be difficult to make it work.

3) Schedule and lifestyle

busy mom lifestyle and homeschooling

The third important factor is to look at your lifestyle and busyness. Most of the parents work full time, do house chore-related stuff, take care of family and kids, and have other hobbies and activities. In such a scenario, it is important to look at your schedule and see if you can realistically add homeschooling into the mix. If you feel like you don’t have enough time, it might not be the right choice.

4) Motivation for homeschooling

I often say that homeschooling is all about dedication and willingness; it is not just about the curriculum. The curriculum can be easily sorted through the internet. What is important is the dedication, willingness, and motivation to teach your kid at home. If you are not dedicated or motivated enough, it will be difficult to make it work.

5) Your child’s nature and learning style

Parents often get curious about What age to start homeschooling!

But age isn’t the key determinant here; what matters most is your kids’ capability to know things, their interest in learning, and grasping power.

For some kids, it is good to start early, while for some, it is better to wait until they are a bit older. If you think your kid is eager to learn and can best fit in this life experience way of learning (aka homeschooling) instead of the traditional school system, then you can start homeschooling earlier.

6) Homeschooling regulations

Every state has different homeschooling regulations. Be sure to research the rules and regulations in your state before switching to homeschooling.

The right time is Now!

Homeschooling is age-free learning. It can be started at any age, whether your child is 5 or 8 years old or even if he is in his teens.

It doesn’t matter your kid’s age; the right time can be now. It’s all about patience, dedication, and willingness. And if you think you have all these things, go for it.

Tips for Homeschooling at Any Age

  • Establish a Routine: Creating a consistent daily routine helps provide structure and stability for your child’s learning. Set aside specific times for different subjects, activities, and breaks to maintain a sense of organization and productivity.
  • Customize the Curriculum: Tailor the curriculum to your child’s interests, strengths, and learning style. Incorporate diverse resources such as textbooks, online courses, educational apps, and hands-on materials to keep learning engaging and varied.
  • Encourage Independence: Foster independence in your child’s learning journey. Teach them how to set goals, manage their time, and take ownership of their education. Gradually increase their responsibility for planning and completing assignments as they grow older.
  • Utilize Support Networks: Connect with other homeschooling families, local homeschooling groups, and online communities to share experiences, resources, and support. Collaborate with other parents and arrange group activities or field trips to provide social interactions for your child.
  • Embrace Flexibility: Recognize that flexibility is one of the advantages of homeschooling. Be open to adjusting your schedule, curriculum, and teaching methods as needed. Adapt to your child’s changing interests and learning needs to keep them engaged and motivated.
  • Incorporate Real-World Experiences: Take advantage of opportunities for experiential learning outside the home. Visit museums, historical sites, nature reserves, and community events to provide practical and hands-on learning experiences that complement your curriculum.
  • Foster a Love for Reading: Cultivate a reading culture by creating a cozy reading corner, providing a variety of books, and setting aside dedicated reading time. Encourage your child to explore different genres, discuss their reading, and express their thoughts and opinions.
  • Use Technology Wisely: Leverage educational websites, online learning platforms, and educational apps to supplement your curriculum and enhance learning. Ensure that screen time is purposeful, balanced, and age-appropriate.
  • Prioritize Socialization: Arrange opportunities for your child to interact with peers through homeschooling co-ops, extracurricular activities, sports teams, or community programs. Encourage participation in group projects, clubs, or volunteer work to develop social skills and build friendships.
  • Regularly Assess Progress: Monitor your child’s progress through informal assessments, portfolio reviews, or periodic standardized tests if required by your state regulations. Use these assessments as a tool to identify areas of strength and areas that may need additional focus or support.

Remember that homeschooling is a unique and personalized educational journey for each family. Be patient, adaptable, and continuously seek opportunities for growth and learning. With dedication, creativity, and a supportive environment, homeschooling can provide a rich and rewarding educational experience for children at any age.

Different Approaches to Homeschooling

  • Traditional Homeschooling: This approach closely resembles a traditional school setting, where parents follow a structured curriculum, use textbooks, and have set schedules for different subjects. They may incorporate traditional teaching methods and assessments such as tests and quizzes. This method provides a familiar learning environment and can be beneficial for families who prefer a more structured approach.
  • Unschooling: Unschooling is a child-led approach to homeschooling that emphasizes the child’s natural curiosity and interests. Instead of following a predetermined curriculum, parents allow their child’s interests to guide their learning. This approach encourages self-directed learning, exploration, and hands-on experiences. Unschooling promotes a love for learning and encourages children to pursue their passions.
  • Online Homeschooling: With the advancements in technology, online homeschooling has become increasingly popular. Families can access a wide range of online resources, virtual classes, and interactive learning platforms. Online homeschooling provides flexibility, as students can learn at their own pace and parents can customize the curriculum based on their child’s needs. It also offers opportunities for virtual collaboration and interaction with other homeschoolers.
  • Eclectic Homeschooling: Eclectic homeschooling is a flexible approach that combines various methods and resources to create a personalized learning experience. Parents may choose to use elements of different educational philosophies and adapt their teaching style based on their child’s learning preferences. This approach allows for creativity and customization, catering to the individual needs and strengths of the child.
  • Co-Op Homeschooling: Co-op homeschooling involves joining or creating a cooperative learning group with other homeschooling families. Parents take turns teaching different subjects or skills based on their expertise, and children have the opportunity to learn from multiple teachers and interact with peers. Co-op homeschooling fosters socialization, collaboration, and the sharing of resources and knowledge among families.
  • Classical Homeschooling: This approach is based on the classical education model, which focuses on teaching children based on the stages of learning known as the Trivium. The Trivium consists of three stages: the Grammar stage (learning facts and basic skills), the Logic stage (developing critical thinking and reasoning), and the Rhetoric stage (articulating and expressing ideas). Classical homeschooling emphasizes the study of classical literature, history, Latin, and formal logic.


The decision of when to start homeschooling your child ultimately depends on your family’s unique circumstances and your child’s individual needs. While some families choose to start early, others prefer to wait until their child is older. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, and it’s important to trust your instincts and consider the factors mentioned above.

Homeschooling can be a rewarding and effective educational option regardless of your child’s age. By creating a nurturing and engaging learning environment, tailoring the curriculum to your child’s interests, and fostering a love for lifelong learning, you can provide your child with a solid foundation for their educational journey. Remember, homeschooling is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to adapt and grow along with your child.

Read also: Setting Up Homeschool Space: Best Simple Walkthrough, 9 Good laptops for homeschooling students (top picks)

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