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
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.
Keira Addison is a mother pursuing homeschooling for her kids for decades. She loves sharing her experience and practical advice about homeschooling, which has made her a popular authority on the subject. As a professional author, Keira knows how to communicate clearly and effectively with her audience, making her an ideal source of information for anyone considering homeschooling their children.