Homeschool Beginnings: The Young vs the Older Child

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10

LORD Jesus, we praise You for You are the greatest Teacher of all. We praise You that we can come to You for counsel and that we can ask anything of You. Forgive us, O God we pray, whenever we lose our joy and patience while teaching our children. Help us to discover the things You want us to teach them, and bless us with the resources You want us to use. Give us the real Joy, Patience, Love and Wisdom to press on when the homeschooling days are tough. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.

I started to homeschool with a four-year-old and later on with a twelve-year-old. That’s a complete different kind of experience. The younger one has never been in school before while the older child went through kindergarten and six years of public school.

Homeschooling the younger child has quite some advantages. The first one is that the selection of good books to use for teaching and learning is much better. Also, even if there would be no materials available or if they would be too expensive, we will not run into trouble the first few years. We can use simple and inexpensive items in our homeschool to lay a good foundation of basic skills. Then there is the advantage of the child who is young and has never been exposed to the wrong kind of teaching. None of his time has been wasted so far.

The story is a complete other one when starting to homeschool the older child. We have to think differently about the purchase and use of curriculum. The struggle to get (the right kind of) materials can be a much greater burden now. Then there is this nagging thought of: Are we doing enough? Is my child learning what he will need for life? So we have to schedule the year and the hours of teaching for each day.

In short: You will get a total fresh start when homeschooling the kindergarten child while both, you and the child, will have to adjust and be a lot more flexible throughout the coming months and perhaps years. However, as my friend Sylvia likes to say: “It is doable!”

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