Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What I Have Learned & 1st Grade Planning

My daughter was considered a Kindergartner this past fall according to school standards at age 5 and turned 6 by the end of October.  I started her in a lot of 1st grade material but I do honestly wish I had waited.  It is not that she wasn't "ready" for it - she still begs for school and always wants to do more and she is a steller learner.  BUT.....I've read too many studies, articles and advice from other moms who have been in my shoes.  It is BETTER to let a late birthday child stay in their grade level than to treat them as a higher grade.  Come 3rd or 4th grade is when you realize you made a mistake by pushing them ahead.  Better for them to be an honor student in their current grade than ahead a grade and subpar on that grade level.  I even read one Fox news article that stated research found that going into 1st grade LATE boosts self esteem.

I thought maybe I would have gained some sort of advantage treating her as a grade ahead but I only found that it was me that was striving to get 1st grade done - for what?  So she can be a 6 year old 2nd grader!?  I came to this realization a few months ago but just now getting around to blogging about it.  I've since backed off of some subjects and only did them when we wanted.  We have just let ourselves have FUN in Kindergarten.  We are reading books, doing crafts and only making the basics priority - reading, handwriting and math.  Although, even with those - she has already fulfilled the K requirements a long time ago, so its all extras whatever we do.  It's all about fun right now! ;-)

She has been doing 1st grade math but I didn't want her to be starting 2nd grade math so soon, so we stopped mid-way and slowed way down.  She will still finish early but we can take our time with math in the future.

It was mostly the writing and other subjects being too much that I was concerned about.  There is no need for her to start paragraph dictation a year or two before she is ready.  So as far as her writing curriculum - we put the brakes on that and just doing KJV copywork and reading books and doing narration.  She was actually sad that I put the Writing with Ease book away but I knew she would not be ready for the heavy dictation with the next and 3rd year book so early.  So better wait and just let her write letters to the grandparents!

With History, Science, Art and Music - they are all extras right now.  We actually only finished 4 chapters of Science (there are 14 total) and currently in the study of the Earth, which we plan to take a while in if she chooses.  Then with History - we have gone really slow and its actually been the one thing I'm glad we started early so we can do more projects and learning on each chapter.  We have completed 9 chapters out of 42, so we have a long way to go on that and PLENTY of time too.

Make sure to read my post on Classical Education and Age.

3 comments:

  1. Alex is doing first grade early too. Since he's homeschooled he can go at his pace whether it be faster, slower, or the same as tradional school. In some areas he's ahead in others he's still in kindergarten and that's fine with me.

    We can also go on tangents- coin collecting, raising a garden, volunteering, taking lots of field trips... Whatever we find interesting. That's something I love about homeschooling.

    Marie-Anne

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  2. I love that too - going on tangents! ;-) If we want to just stop and go study or do something WE CAN! That is what makes it so fun and then we are raising children who LOVE learning! I can't tell ONE time I heard a public schooler say "I love school" LOL!!!! But I can tell you I haven't met a homeschooled child that hated school.

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