When Do I Start? / What Should I Use? Fears and Concerns Series (Part 2)

*For children who have never gone to school, one of the first questions asked after deciding to home educate is, when do I start the primary level? Is there an official starting point?

Well, there is an easy answer to this question also: start when they are ready. Only schools have fixed start and stop ages for formal learning. Neglecting the unique nature of individual students, this assumption of readiness is based on averages. If your child is ready at that time, great, but if not, then he or she can be either bored or frustrated to tears.

You are in the only real position of leadership. You are leading your children by taking your cues from them. They’re going to let you know when it’s time and then you will be able to proceed without “incidents” related to bad timing.

People often share their troubles with me as a facilitator, or perhaps as one who has been around a few corners in the world of education. Usually while they’re telling me their problem, they’re also giving me the solution to that problem.

For example, “My daughter just the other day came over and told me she wanted to read.”

That’s your cue. Go for it. It’s going to work now because it’s her idea.

They know when they’re ready. We have to trust them a little bit. At the same time we have to offer opportunities for learning, without making them do things they are not ready to do and be just as ready to start them in their formal education at a younger age as at an older age if, indeed, they are ready.

*Another often expressed concern about home education is regarding which resources should be used?

Well, here’s another easy answer: it really doesn’t matter.

Everything works, from nothing at all to regimented programs to everything in between. Anything, whether books, workbooks, apps, games or whatever, can be instrumental in providing opportunity for learning.

Really, all resources are just tools. Find the tool that works, that inspires, that allows the child to grow with the least amount of pain! You simply want to use the right tool for the job.

If something doesn’t work or inspire, find something else or try another method. You are the boss!

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