T his morning, a school bus rolled by my house. Both of my kids were extremely excited to see the long yellow vehicle lumber along on this, the first day of school.
But this morning neither of my little ones got on that bus.
After it rolled on by, we turned back to our math lesson at our kitchen table. We started homeschool weeks ago, but with school starting up across the country, this seems like a great time to share our schooling decisions for the coming year and why we’re starting Kindergarten at age 4.
This post isn’t to tell you when or how to school, but rather to share what’s up with our family right now, and how we went about making this decision that we are very excited about! Whether you choose Not send your 5 year old to Kindergarten or decide to start school at age 4 like we are, it’s all about making the right decision for your child and your family right now.
4 Reasons We’re Starting Kindergarten at Age 4
If you are wondering when to start homeschool kindergarten, these are the 4 reasons we chose to start our son’s formal home education at age 4 and why we’re loving it! Hopefully this will help you think through some of the considerations as you work through your decision.
1. Homeschool Makes Me a Better Mom
While gushing with another new homeschooling mom, as new homeschooling moms are apt to do, we both agreed that homeschooling has made us better moms.
Even though I stay at home with my kids day in and day out, it’s so easy to get busy with wiping counters, washing dishes, changing diapers, and all that goes into meeting their basic needs. Sometimes, it’s easy to be distracted by all the busyness of today, and I forget to stop and really look into their little faces and check in on their deeper spiritual and emotional needs.
Getting on a school schedule has helped me to be mindful of the fast approaching future when they’ll be all grown up and to remember to train them up in the way they should go now.
I see the looks of women just a few years older than me walking through the store or at church, unencumbered by a diaper bag or stooping to hold a hand of a toddler. And you know what I see? It’s the sideways smile that says “look at these darling children, what a precious time in your life.” But I gotta tell you, sometimes, this season feels hard!
Starting school has put me in the habit to stop and simply enjoy my little ones as they are now and to experience more of the precious moments. There’s nothing like that moment when they understand something new for the first time. I’m so thankful to have the privilege to be the teacher as well as Mom!
2. They are capable of so much more than I realize.
Right now, I have two small children. Though I’ve come a long way in four short years on my journey as a mom, in many ways I always feel like a brand new mom. Especially with my oldest, everything new that we do together is a brand new discovery, and I very often find myself surprised by the absolutely amazing things he can learn and do. This is so fun!
At the same time, I don’t want to hold him back from his potential by the not knowing. Getting into the routine of homeschool and using a structured curriculum is guiding me through making sure he is consistently being challenged and growing his skills and abilities at an age when he thinks learning is really fun.
This is the main reason we’re starting homeschool at 4. He is just so ready.
3. It’s about the whole family.
After four years as a (mostly) stay at home mom, I still wouldn’t have it any other way. But…it can be lonely. While I adore the company of my little people, they don’t offer much in the way of adult conversation. Because we’ve moved twice in the last couple of years, it’s been hard to develop those deep friendships that a mama craves.
Finding time between nap schedules and canceled plans for sick kids leaves me, honestly too defeated to even try to plan a play date sometimes! I am so ready for some community!
This was a huge motivation for me to go ahead and join a Classical Conversations community now, rather than in a year or two.
I love that CC is based around a community of families who support each other, keep one another accountable in their homeschool efforts, and are there to answer questions and build friendships. In the short time we’ve been involved with this group over the summer, I have been amazed to see how these wise women have gone out of their way to help us feel welcome. I am so excited to get to know these ladies better!
And of course, there’s the added benefit of my kids getting that much talked about “socialization”. I can’t wait to see them start building friendships that will last a lifetime.
4. Honestly, I’m a little afraid to fail.
I jokingly tell everyone, if we start at 4 and I screw it up, then I can take him down and register him for Kindergarten in a year. There is a bit of a real fear there. Education is very important to our family, and I want to give my kids the very best.
In some ways it seemed crazy to me that I could try and fit in a solid school day for my growing kiddos in the midst of working from home, taking care of them and the house and everything else.
That said, we’ve now been easing into our homeschool routine for the last several weeks, and I’ve realized this isn’t a problem at all. I LOVE this. It has been amazing!
The morning routine that I already had in place has played a huge part in helping gradually add homeschool subjects consistently to our day. The kids also keep me accountable by asking to do school all the time. That constant question was actually what helped push me over to taking a formal approach this year.
They love learning! Having a curriculum at my fingertips is helping me to have something ready to satisfy their love of learning every single day.
I know it will be hard at times too, but homeschool has quickly become a major priority that other things will be taking a back seat to if needed. This is a wonderful new season!
Of course, we’ll take this homeschool thing year by year and child by child, but for now, I just keep thinking, We can do this!
Why We’re Starting Kindergarten at 4
I’ve been seeing signs that my 4 year old is just plain ready for a structured homeschool routine and curriculum for a while now, and the beginning of the “school year” was the perfect time to test the waters. That little part of me that says I might fail is quieted by starting early and leaving a ‘just-in-case’ year buffer that’s taking the pressure off.
As we’ve begun to do daily lessons though, I’m even more sure about this being the right time for us to start school.
We were ready to start a more formal learning routine to adequately challenge him to reach his potential, and so far, he is loving it.
I also look forward to the chance to build relationships within the context of our homeschool community in this new season of motherhood. Altogether, we’re ready to start homeschool now as a family, and I am SO excited!