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When Do I Start?
 

Question:
My child turns 3. When do I start homeschooling and what materials do I use?


Answer:
There is no real rush to begin formal academics! The approach you take with your child's education will depend on many factors including, but not limited to, your daughter's level of maturity, her learning style, your teaching style, and your philosophy of education. There are two "camps" to the "age" issue - those who believe in early education and those who believe in delayed academics. If you can find copies of  the following books, they are highly recommended to help you to compare the two sides of this issue.

Early Education 
*Never Too Early: Rearing Godly Children Who Love to Learn by Doreen Claggett
Will Early Education Ruin Your Child? by Richard Fugate
Early Years at Home, When Life Patterns Are Set by Ted Wade

Delayed Academics
*Better Late than Early by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore
School Can Wait (more scholarly documentation) also by the Moores

(*If you can read these two books, you will get a very good overview and comparison!)

In the beginning, two of the areas you want to concentrate on are:
1 ) Character Building using the Word of God
2 ) A Love of Reading

Several books recommended are:

Leading Little Ones to God by Marion Schoolland


Bible Coloring Books  with appealing color pictures


Reading Made Easy by Valerie Bendt


Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt (Zondervan)


Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson (Crossway Books)


Any book by Charlotte Mason or based on her methods


At the early age of 3, we would suggest reading, more reading, and cuddling. Be sure to include the Bible and books with good character lessons and moral value as well as books just for fun! You can add arts and crafts, and field trips! Lots of discovery activities and nature walks!!! Helping with chores also.

A few more books that would be good are:

101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum by Cathy Duffy (This is a very good How-to book with Curriculum Reviews.)

Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready by Joyce Oberlander

Language and Thinking for Young Children and The Three R's both by Dr. Ruth Beechick

102 "I-can-do-it-myself" activities for preschoolers by Leslie Retchko Peggy Zorn (This is a lifesaver and loaded with fun, but educational activities - easy to prepare and implement. It is written by two homeschool moms.)

You are looking at several years before you really need to purchase a set curriculum. So that will allow you time to research and read and PRAY. Be sure your husband is informed and involved in all the prayer and decisions, and in complete agreement with the idea of homeschooling.  There are as many opinions as there are homeschool families!!! Our recommendation for your start now is to read one book on Early Education,one on Delayed Academics, and purchase a Bible story book for immediate spiritual learning and the 102 Activities to begin some fun!

Submitted by Sue Schrowang, copyright 2000