Child-led Learning from age 4…to age 15
I decided to homeschool when my oldest was 4 years old. The first homeschoolers I met took a very structured approach. At the time, homeschooling was a new concept to me. I literally had no idea that people in urban/ suburban areas like Charlotte were homeschooling their children. I grew up in the Northeast in the suburbs (NJ, Ohio and PA). I went to public school and then on to college- because college was what came after high school- the only option in my family.
Embarking on homeschooling was such a new journey, as was becoming a parent and breastfeeding and finding attachment parenting. My husband and I attended a meeting for a new charter school when my son was 4. I wanted to check out my options. Attending that meeting, only helped confirm that I wanted to homeschool. For me, homeschooling began as an extension of attachment parenting. Despite my early need to create a notebook and organize my son’s learning into subjects, I already new he was learning many things from his experiences with his parents.
Deciding to homeschool him really was an easy decision. I know others who have a child like my son who is academically beyond kindergarten at age 5 as well as those whose children are not yet reading or writing at age 5 or 6, or even later. Know that homeschooling my second child has been a very different experience and involved much more trust in her and her learning style.
I think a large part of what made homeschooling my son easy was his learning style is similar to mine. He becomes interested in a topic and gives it his total focus, at times to the point of obsession. I merely took him to the library often, let him pick books as well as picking out some and encouraging him to try out my books. I created a notebook that I called his kindergarten book and we worked on writing, virtues…. I am trying to remember what is in that book. I still have it. It only worked, because it worked for him.
I am most thankful that I asked him if he wanted to attend a Children’s Theater class when he was 5- almost 6. At that time, they had homeschool specific classes during the day. I think he gained so much from years taking classes there as well as with Bee Creative in Concord and also Matthews Children’s Theater. I know for sure that those classes help him now as he directs and films movies with his friends, as well as public speaking, confidence and likely so much more!