New Homeschoolers! Please-Stop-Worrying! If you have a child between Kindergarten and Grade 3 that you are homeschooling this Fall, please DO NOT worry about whether they will be academically ready to go back to school Fall 2021. I guarantee you that they will be ahead of the pack, not behind.
Grades 1-3 is about “learning to read” so that in Grades 4-6 kids can “read to learn.” You absolutely can’t go wrong no matter what curriculum you use or what you teach! Many unschooling parents empower their kids to play until high school and beyond and the kids go on to universities, colleges, tech and art schools just fine. The kids learn but it’s just that they don’t learn through workbooks and textbooks. They learn math and literacy every day that they are alive and breathing. You can’t force a child to learn and you can’t stop a child from learning. When an unschooled child is motivated (and everyone is motivated to learn) nothing will stop them. Nothing.
I know it’s hard not to worry. To assuage your worry, if you want, go to Costco and buy one of those graded workbooks for $10 so you have a plan of what gets covered in each grade for your country. Then, you can cover those topics in more fun experiential ways other than a workbook, which is how young children learn anyways – through hands-on activities.
Trust your child and grab those teaching moments in real life! For English, make time to read to your child, and cuddle up and enjoy books together every day. Learning to read is not a taught skill. It is a developmental skill that occurs naturally for every child when they are ready. Have lots of conversations with your child with rich and varied vocabulary. For math, get in the kitchen and bake. Take them with you to the store to compare prices. Set up a lemonade stand. Let them play LEGO, video and board games. Get them watching Magic School Bus videos – they cover the entire grade 1-6 science topics. Go explore your country this summer for Social Studies. Go camping and take some day trips to places of interest that is local. Visit museums, science centres, and zoos. Watch age-appropriate films and discuss them as a family. Let the learning come alive for them! You will not mess them up!
My 5 children unschooled for 8-12 years of their school years. They did no workbooks and learned everything through experiential life learning (and a lot of video games!) See the blog post on Video games are Educational! 3 are university graduates, 1 is studying in university and 1 is about to go. This Fall, we have our first grad student beginning a masters program. Children do not need school or workbooks or textbooks to learn. They need you and their innate curiosity! Your biggest problem this year is that your kids will be so enriched and so far ahead of their grade, that next year, if you put them back into school, they may be bored!
Continue your learning on unschooling with the book, Unschooling To University.