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Who started "formal" schooling at 5 and didn't regret it?


mhornby56
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I have read so many comments lately from people who started formal schooling at 4 or 5 and regretted it in the long run. I would like to hear some comments from the flip side, just to find out what worked well at that age. I have an almost 5 year old. We do a reading lesson from 100 EZ lessons 6 days a week in the morning. During my 2 year old's nap time we do "school" which is a math lesson (MEP reception year) when she requests it, reading a scripture together, reading a whole bunch of books from the library, and sometimes doing a craft or baking together. My daughter happily goes along with it all, but whenever I hear someone say that they wished they had waited until their dc was older to start school, I start to wonder if I'm doing the right thing. Yes, I think I am just looking for reassurance that I am in the right. And yes, I do realize that all children are different.

 

If you started schooling early and were happy in the long run, what did you do?

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We started a little before my oldest turned 5, and so far it's been fine (she's only 8 so we still have a long road ahead). I eased into it with just reading & math, and gradually added in other subjects over the first year. I think having all day unstructured would have caused more problems than that half-hour a day of school, but that may just be the kind of kid she is.

 

I don't remember exactly when my younger really started, because she was listening along with school from the time she was 2.5. I guess around 4.5 or so she started some more formal phonics, and math started when she was 5.

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We started formal schooling with dd at 4. She learned to read and completed a kindergarten math program that year. She's 14 now and I definitely don't regret it. She delighted in reading and she really enjoyed her math. We did some really fun and interesting studies for science and social studies in those early years and then began SOTW in grade 2 (we would have started in grade 1 if we knew about it then). If anything, I wish I had done more formal schooling with the boys at 4 and 5...

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I have read so many comments lately from people who started formal schooling at 4 or 5 and regretted it in the long run. I would like to hear some comments from the flip side, just to find out what worked well at that age. I have an almost 5 year old. We do a reading lesson from 100 EZ lessons 6 days a week in the morning. During my 2 year old's nap time we do "school" which is a math lesson (MEP reception year) when she requests it, reading a scripture together, reading a whole bunch of books from the library, and sometimes doing a craft or baking together. My daughter happily goes along with it all, but whenever I hear someone say that they wished they had waited until their dc was older to start school, I start to wonder if I'm doing the right thing. Yes, I think I am just looking for reassurance that I am in the right. And yes, I do realize that all children are different.

 

If you started schooling early and were happy in the long run, what did you do?

 

That sounds very reasonable, and about like what we did. I think when people say they regret starting early, they are speaking more to the "full curriculum at age 5" thing.

 

I know many people who regretted being on either end of the spectrum: doing too much too early OR not doing enough soon enough. A little moderation is lovely. :001_smile:

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I started all of my boys just a few months after they turned five. We did math, phonics, and handwriting consistently, and added in science, history, bible, etc. here and there. I did not spend more than an hour a day on their schooling.

 

I have no regrets because they were all ready for it. However, we kept it low key and age appropriate.

 

I think it's important to pay attention to what your child is ready for. Pushing doesn't accomplish much but frustration, but there's no reason to keep a child from learning when they're desiring more.

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I have read so many comments lately from people who started formal schooling at 4 or 5 and regretted it in the long run. I would like to hear some comments from the flip side, just to find out what worked well at that age. I have an almost 5 year old. We do a reading lesson from 100 EZ lessons 6 days a week in the morning. During my 2 year old's nap time we do "school" which is a math lesson (MEP reception year) when she requests it, reading a scripture together, reading a whole bunch of books from the library, and sometimes doing a craft or baking together. My daughter happily goes along with it all, but whenever I hear someone say that they wished they had waited until their dc was older to start school, I start to wonder if I'm doing the right thing. Yes, I think I am just looking for reassurance that I am in the right. And yes, I do realize that all children are different.

 

If you started schooling early and were happy in the long run, what did you do?

 

I think what you are doing sounds great! I way overdid it when my oldest was that age. You know your child. It sounds like you are listening to her cues and doing and appropriate amount of work for that age. I'll bet those afternoons end up being some of your best memories. Enjoy!

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I don't regret starting any of my children with a "formal school" program at that age. I do regret being as challenging with my oldest when he wasn't demanding it. FTR, it was his idea to learn cursive first, not mine ;) But, he didn't need a lot of the busy work that is found in many formal "full" K curricula. He needed to work on his phonics (reading), penmanship, and math. Everything else we could have done without formal curricula.

 

My 4yo dd will begin K in 2011. I have planned phonics, penmanship, Song School Latin and math planned. Beyond that, she'll probably absorb more than enough from being around her older siblings for history, science, and books that are being read aloud.

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All my kids started early, my oldest DD started PS K at 4 and was already reading, she was the only one to go to PS. The most important thing for me has been to keep it short and sweet rather than work. My K looks nothing like a PS K and rightly so, we are extremely flexible. I want my kids to love learning. If they aren't ready then wait, but some kids are just ready and there is no need to hold them back. I have one DD who wasn't ready to learn to read like the other three, so we waited. This year it clicked and she is now almost caught up to her twin who has been reading for more than three years (2nd grade). So I agree, there is no need to push and have a frustrated child.

 

The one thing I now do different (thanks Spy Car) is more coloring across the board with colored pencils. :D

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My dd was ready and did well. My ds WAS NOT READY, I didn't recignize it and getting him to do school has been a constant struggle. I think you really do need to evaluate the individual child, start gentle and stop if you do not feel the child is enjoying it and gaining from it.

My dd love to learn and at almost 11 enjoys school. My ds, almost 10 is just this year seeming to kick in a bit more and act like he may eventually enjoy what we are doing.

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If you started schooling early and were happy in the long run, what did you do?

 

I enjoy beginning light, formal schoolwork at 4. We begin with 100 Easy Lessons (no handwriting), and move on to Phonics Pathways. I discovered Queen's Language Lessons for Little Ones with my now 8yo, and I placed him according to his HANDWRITING, not his reading ability. It was a wonderful review of phonics, and by the end of the 3 volumes he could write a couple of sentences at a sitting. I use Saxon K, normally, for my 5 yos. My goals with school are to keep it it short (@20 minutes at 5), keep it at a confidence building level (easy) rather than frustrating, create a habit of doing school regularly, and to have the child reading around 6. This holds through 1st grade. Once they hit 2nd grade (7/8) I start gently increasing the length and challenge of their schoolwork.

 

My plan for my next 2 babies:

@ 4 - 40-50 lessons of 100 Easy Lessons then Phonics Pathways (5-15 min. depending)

@ 5 - Phonics Pathways, Queen's Language Lessons for Little Ones Vol. 1 & 2, Saxon K (20-30 min)

@6 - Finish PP then just lots of reading, Queen's Vol. 3, Saxon 1, SOTW 1, McGraw-Hill Science 1 (30-45 min)

 

:001_smile:

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I started both of my kids in K at age 5.5, and I don't regret it. But I kept lessons short (an hour total was all we did) and I was willing to skip a day if needed. I will say that around November of my oldest's K year, I realized that if I wasn't careful I could ruin our relationship over a stupid workbook! I relaxed at that point, read lots of books to my kids, and took a more gentle approach. Maybe something like that is what some people mean?

 

Merry :-)

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We started dd at 4 and it was the best thing I could have done-will never regret it. She learned to read at 4, and we had tons of academic pursuits. Learning was just what we did with our time together. She loved and still loves learning.

 

I dropped the ball with younger ds and started him later-huge mistake. As a result, he is not as interested in learning or reading or anything like that. I feel like he is behind where he has the potential to be if we had started earlier.

 

When I say started at 4 with dd, please note that we did sit down bookwork TO TOLERANCE. It was 10-15 min here and there of anything that involved writing, etc. There is SO much learning you can "sneak" in at that age-almost constantly, with reading aloud on a wide variety of subjects and playing word games in the car, songs on CD (Bible memory, AudioMemory geog. songs, etc.)

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by five most of my kids were wanting to do school like their big brothers and sisters. To them it was play, but they all learned their phonics and simple maths. I've always read to them, so that was a no brainer. I never pushed them, though. I did it because they asked, not because I said, "OK, your five, you must start school."

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I started formal schooling at 5 with my younger son. When I say "formal" I mean that he no longer had a choice about whether to do lessons or not. He had been having lessons informally since he was 2.

 

I haven't regretted it. I always made sure to not go over a predetermined maximum amount of time, which at age 5 was something like 1 hour.

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I started doing basically a kindergarten curriculum with my daughter when she was 4. She is 8 years old now and in the third grade. I don't regret it at all. She was ready and excited to learn. She is a very good student and loves to learn. I really think it is an individual decision based upon the particular child.

 

Suzanne

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Another viewpoint:

 

In my state, the PS cut off is December 1st so there are plenty of newly turned 5 year olds or almost 5 year olds starting Kindergarten. I was one of them with a late October birthday. So beginning formal home school around age 5 is normal to me as well.

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I started when my ds was 5. We used Calvert K just before he turned 5. Although it proved to be too easy for him and we did ditch it, I consider that the start of his formal schooling. I don't regret it a bit. Now, he is barely 7, reading at a 6th-7th grade level and loves Science like no one I have ever met. He is very logical for his age and enjoys learning.

 

That said, I can't say that all of the above is BECAUSE we started school when he was 4/5. However, you asked if I regret it and NO, I don't. :)

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I don't regret setting the habit of doing a bit of school as part of the routine at age 5 (and it has made this year much easier). I do regret my initial expectations that we would move quickly through book work material/learning to read instead of working at his pace or doing something more fun and calling it school.

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I've done both. Each kid needed something different.

 

About the comments: I think everyone has a tendency to think their way is the way, and of course it is for their child, but even children within a family need different things. Some children thrive at an early age and just keep going. Other kids need huge amounts of time outside or playing make-believe. There is no right way.

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Thank you for all the wonderful replies! I do love the CM approach for most things, so I can't help but second guess myself for teaching my daughter to read before six. I really like reading about how you advance things as the child gets older. My almost-five-year-old is my oldest, so of course I have the time and energy and desire right now to plan plan plan and read about the years to come. And of course things will change, etc. But it's still fun to see what's out there.

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I didn't homeschool my kids from the start, but both of them attended school starting at age four. They did half days for preschool, five days a week. Then at age five they attended kindergarten for full days (till 3:30). These days, they have no problem doing schoolwork till 3 or 3:30 in the afternoon. Their school was a private school with absolutely wonderful teachers and was overall a very good experience for them. I think starting them at a young age and expecting to behave themselves in school instilled some discipline in their lives. Their school was rather strict (in retrospect, perhaps a little too strict) and they were expected to listen to teachers and be prepared for school each day. The school had the attitude that children will rise to whatever expectations are placed on them and they were conscious about giving them more freedom and responsibility each year. I wish I was more mindful of this, personally.

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I started my oldest at 4, the next two at just turned 5, and the last when she was born (not really, but she is 7 years younger than #3 and has always wanted to work so we did chapter book read alouds and discussed the differences between those and the movie versions when she was 3 at her request.)

 

I have no regrets. My children love to learn. The oldest is two years out of college, the next a college senior, and the third is a high school senior. All three do/did well in school and enjoy learning. The youngest I'm still trying to keep up with.

 

Linda

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We started "formal" schooling at 4 1/2 -- I let him pick the date and he wanted to start right away. So we did. It wasn't a huge amount of work or anything, but as someone else said, that was when it was more parent-directed than child-directed. And about that time (between then and his fifth birthday) was when we started the "finish the page" rule - where before I had only asked that he be polite when he was done with a lesson, and then had only asked that he finish the one problem or question he was on before stopping, at this point I asked that he finish the whole page first.

 

Informal schooling, though, we started extremely early - like 2. It was just having an order to our day and a list of topics to get us into the non-fiction section of the library. We had a topic of the week and all that. It was adorable. LOL And when he was three I was babysitting for a friend whose DD took a nap every afternoon (DS never napped), so we had a bag of things to do then... which was sort of like school (with that "just be polite when you're done" rule)

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You are the Mommy. You know your own child.

 

I would advise postponing work that is overly taxing to the child, but by all means build that foundation while she's young! What is "overly taxing" will vary from child to child...so trust your mother's gut on that one.

 

My ideal K day = 15min reading lesson, 15min handwriting, 15min of math, plus a couple hours of reading good books spread throughout the day and plenty of free play...cooking with Mommy and playing checkers with Daddy in the evening.

 

ETA: forgot to say: Yes, I start school young, but it's very casual, informal, and fluid. My current Ker is reading, doing Miquon Orange and writes TONS for fun. My 7yo started young too...tbh starting him young helped me catch vision problems young which means he's reading on grade level (acc. to ps standards) in spite of major issues he's had. My 4yo dabbles in all things schoolish, tagging along with big brother and sister. He's blending simple words and writing most letters.

Edited by 3blessingmom
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I have read so many comments lately from people who started formal schooling at 4 or 5 and regretted it in the long run.\

 

If you started schooling early and were happy in the long run, what did you do?

 

You have? I don't see those, but I'm not looking.

 

I need a fairly efficient child because I work full time. I began the day after his 4th birthday with 5 minutes of seat time a day. EB math was our starting point, and then I added in Plaid Phonics K, then pre-ETC. By halfway through K5, we were doing 5 minutes a day of math, 5 of handwriting and 5 of phonics. Then it really started to take off. (I wanted to note that he loved the stickers, particularly the multipointed gold star that got put on the last page of the book.)

 

I also wanted to start phonics young because kiddo, who doesn't appear to have dyslexia, has a very dyslexic dad, and I didn't know how the genes were going to play out. I always was to the left of him, scrolling across the paper. I took every bit of advice on "how to prevent dyslexia" I could find. I don't know that I needed to, but I didn't know that then.

 

I had a very, very active, wiggly boy, and I followed my mother's advice in getting him used to a routine of sitting and focusing. She had a pack of wiggly boys and was my "go to" person.

 

As for the rest of school, I read to him two hours a day. I was hoarse for an entire 18 months.

 

I don't regret doing this. I still have a wiggly boy, who has his ups and down, but for the most part he is pleased with school, glad he homeschools, and gets through his work without much angst for either of us. But we still do school every day, but, at 8, no more than 2 hours plus hands on per day. I do expect CONCENTRATION during those 2 hours. It is important because of our particular circumstances.

 

HTH.

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I have read so many comments lately from people who started formal schooling at 4 or 5 and regretted it in the long run.

 

I think some of what you're seeing is a reaction from people with older kids, who - especially when they hear these very detailed, tense questions from people with 3 and 4 year olds about curricula and so forth - recognize that they could have been more relaxed and that at 5 you don't have to push a kid or they'll forever far behind.

 

My kids are still just 6, so I don't have a lot of hindsight to share, but we began having a set time for "school" at age 5. It was generally less than a hour and much of it was games - though some of it was handwriting and other more focused and traditional seatwork. We don't regret it. As other said, the same approach isn't right for every kid, but what we did worked for us.

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I think it is about perspective. I have always worked with my kids even when they were in public school. We started around 3 or 4 with simple things such as the alphabet and sounds and such and just went from there. I don't regret that type of learning at all.

However, I had a child that taught themselves to read at 3 and by 5 she could read at a 3rd grade level. I do regret some of the school that we did when she was little. She was capable of the work, but she got burned out around 3rd grade.

I think as long as you have normal age appropriate expectations that you will have little to no regrets.

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I taught both children to read at about 4 yo.

 

My daughter started an academically rigorous private school kindergarten 2 weeks before she turned 5. I've never regretted it.

 

I've homeschooled my son from the beginning and I actually wish I'd given him a more formal start. That was simply because I didn't want to lay down the law and demand excellence. I've regretted that because he stills thinks he can take a lackadaisical approach to his schooling.

 

Just my two cents. I'll never be a curriculum-out-of-the-box type person but I'll also never be an unschooler or late start homeschooler either.

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I started my young 5 doing a kindergarten load of HS work last fall. Often, this added up to maybe about 30-45 minutes a day. She would read a little, write a little, play math games, listen to stories, follow along in history, join in a science experiment with my oldest. She also was taking violin lessons. It was extremely low pressure and laid back. She jumped several reading levels and made many conceptual math leaps last year. She may have made these leaps on her own though anyway.

 

I don't regret this at all, but again, it was extremely low key and I generally followed her lead. We tried to do a little structured work each day, but if sometimes that only meant 10 minutes, so be it.

 

My son went to PS for kindergarten 2 months before he turned 6. He was way ahead academically and we never did anything remotely resembling school before he went. I just answered questions and had a bunch of open ended toys sitting around. I think he wouldn't have been happy with any kind of structure sooner. And he is very academically advanced for a 4th grader, after learning very little in K & 1st in PS other than what he picked up on his own. I think they kind of end up where they're supposed to be regardless of when you start the formal academics. So I don't regret NOT doing school at all sooner. And had my daughter pushed back last year on it, I would have dropped it for her. I started very small with her and built up from there. I didn't start with huge expectations of what we'd get done that year.

 

To me, it sounds like your doing great! If your child is happy and learning, you're in good shape. :001_smile:

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I haven't had much time to start regretting it yet as my eldest is only 6.5, but I started with him when he was 5, and it worked out fine. I think the biggest thing it to be sensitive to where your child is at, and avoid comparing her to others her age academically and developmentally. Pushing is not good, but I think the way your doing it all sounds lovely!

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Your current "school" description sounds very age-appropriate, since you sound flexible about holding off when she is not receptive. It doesn't sound too formal to me at all, just like good education-based playing :). I am starting to do more structured educational play with my son who is almost 3 and it's definitely all about "quality time."

 

I would just be concerned that stepping up the formality (more challenging material, keeping a school schedule whether she wants to or not) would end up with power struggles. Me, I would be worried about setting the bar too high and then having to choose between pushing my child & making school a negative experience, and lowering the bar/backing down and setting a precedent that school is optional after I've already said it isn't. So I would be inclined to lean conservative and not step it up until I was very sure my child was ready. I honestly think it depends on the kid, and you obviously know your dd best.

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I started my 2nd dd several months before she turned 4. Ds who is 18 months younger tagged along and picked up almost everything she learned. I had to start making him leave so she didn't feel bad. We did HOWT manipulatives, SL Pk3/4 and 4/5, puzzles, play-dough, PP's, pattern blocks and cards and R&S About 3 series. When my ds was 4 I bought MFW k and he was way WAY past that so we ditched. This year he is 5 and doing k. We are doing CLE 1 LTR half speed which is PERFECT for him. I could probably go full speed, but I'm in no hurry. He is going to pass his sis in reading if I go faster. SP Earlybird, which is also too easy and LHFHG.

 

What scares me is I HAVEN'T done anything with my 3yo ds. :eek: He is very stubborn and loud and disruptive when the other are doing school. I can't have him in the room with us.

 

Next year I plan on starting him. But I wish I had already started. He thinks he is exempt form doing school and I am afraid we are going to butt-heads when we actually start!

 

I have NO regrets starting early.

Edited by Tabrett
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Informal schooling, though, we started extremely early - like 2. It was just having an order to our day and a list of topics to get us into the non-fiction section of the library. We had a topic of the week and all that.

 

We're doing that sort of thing this year. We started at the beginning of our school year (the end of Jan) when she was 2 3/4. She was ready for that sort of structured, but still flexible, time a good six months earlier and I regret not being able to provide that for her. Still, since she's still not talking much, I expect she'll be on the late side for being ready for "proper" school. Since she is already used to doing school, and relishes it (the kid wants to do jigsaw puzzles for 8 hours a day!) I guess the transition to "real" schoolwork will be pretty blurry. Guess I'll find out :)

 

Rosie

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I have read so many comments lately from people who started formal schooling at 4 or 5 and regretted it in the long run. I would like to hear some comments from the flip side, just to find out what worked well at that age. I have an almost 5 year old. We do a reading lesson from 100 EZ lessons 6 days a week in the morning. During my 2 year old's nap time we do "school" which is a math lesson (MEP reception year) when she requests it, reading a scripture together, reading a whole bunch of books from the library, and sometimes doing a craft or baking together. My daughter happily goes along with it all, but whenever I hear someone say that they wished they had waited until their dc was older to start school, I start to wonder if I'm doing the right thing. Yes, I think I am just looking for reassurance that I am in the right. And yes, I do realize that all children are different.

 

If you started schooling early and were happy in the long run, what did you do?

 

I started school "early" with my kids...as I was already schooling older ones....The only one I started later was my 2nd dd because she went to PS and after having sent dd 1 to K already reading, I didn't do that again...:D

 

I started with very short phonics and math "lessons" at 3 1/2 for most of my kids. Theey did not know they were lessons...we just played. My little kids still don't know they are doing lessons....it is just what we do every day...we read, write, do math, science experiments, history reading...it is just what we do...kwim?

 

I am glad we started early because learning is part of their lifestyle.

 

Faithe

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I started a little bit of school work at between 2 and 3 with my kids, and no, I don't regret it at all. I started my ds a little earlier than I had planned, but what do you do when you are at the table doing school with your 8 year old and your 2 year old is begging to do school, too?

 

I know some people who didn't start school before 5 and had a really hard time getting their active kids to sit down for formal schooling. I don't have a hard time with it, but I think they've always accepted that school is part of life and you just do it. I didn't require anything long or hard from my kids at 2-4 years old, but if I gave them something to do, they did not have the option to get up and leave it.

 

I included workbooks at a very young age (same/different type stuff, number recognition, etc.). Some would disagree with that, but the kids really enjoyed them. The kids wanted to do page after page. They are still like that with critical thinking and logic puzzle books, too.

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I think where people get into regrets is when they push programs that are developmentally inappropriate for the individual child. Parents have to know when to back off something that the child isn't ready for yet. For example, my DS wasn't ready for Right Start A when I started K5 with him in August. So I shelved it and switched to a pre-k program (MEP Reception). Had I pushed him to complete RS A at this time, I think it would've been detrimental in the long run.

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I don't regret starting K at 5, as my daughter was more than ready for it. What I do regret a little though is going so fast and being so structured once we started. My DD did fine and is a bright, happy, inquisitive child at 9. However, we did hit a wall with math at one point due to my accelerating her so quickly, and it was an unhappy experience for her. That's all resolved now (by taking a long break until she was more developmentally ready), and I don't feel like there were any terrible things that came from that in the long run.

 

However, I am now on K with my second child, and my approach is very different. We play more games and have more fun. Things aren't as structured and she's thriving as well. I plan to follow this path when my 3rd is this age as well.

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We have been formal schooling since my dd was almost 3 because this is something SHE wanted to do. There were a few days when she was not interested but those were very few. I count formal schooling as Math and Phonics/reading with some writing,science, history, and art thrown in.

 

Do I regret it, no. So many times over the last few years I have been criticized for "pushing' her and "why not let her just play". I would stop and look at what I was doing and realize I wasn't pushing but instead feeding a starving child. To her, school was play. She has no "hatred" for doing school. She is 6 now and still loves learning. She knows how to go find answers to her questions and she can take part in where her studies lead her. I don't think this will change as she gets older.

 

The key to not feeling any regret is when I look back I know I did not push or force the schooling on her. She was ready for school as an older 2. We kept it her pace and still do.

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with my son, i wish i had waited a bit longer, even though he's doing great now. i just think the hair-pulling was because he was not quite ready, in spite of my desire to have a genius-baby. my daughter is 5 now and we are doing school five days a week--reading, math (MM1) ETC 2, handwriting, and CC...and she loves it! we take it easy, of course, but she wants to do it and is thriving.

 

What i regret is the stressing that i did over why my son couldn't do xy or z...i hadn't learned the knack of listening and rolling with my own child's needs and interests. but of course, he was my first and i was always worried that something wouldn't be right. now with my second, i have relaxed so much.

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I don't regret it for my oldest. He has always pushed himself and loves learning in the more traditional setting. Puzzles are one of his favorite things, and he would do a United States puzzle at 3 and point out where all his family members were born (about 8 states). He talked early, and read early. It was like he was born old, and never needed or wanted babying.

 

 

My middle child was ready for formal schooling closer to 6. He loves science and will sit and listen to me read about digestion or plant cells for hours, but was not in the least bit interested or ready for bookwork in any form until recently. Now at almost 7 he's reading, writing, and doing math very well. He "caught up" quickly when he was ready.

 

My youngest (just turned 3) is a repeat of my oldest. He's ready now for me to do more Pre-K with him and would learn to read if I taught him. No problem. He loves complex puzzles and schoolbooks. I wish I had more time to work with him. He would eat it up.

 

So.... my answer is it depends on the kid.

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I don't at all regret starting at age 5 (about a month after her birthday). I do regret that I got pregnant a few weeks later and that the pregnancy was a nightmare I did not predict. No, that's wrong. I do not AT ALL regret the pregnancy or my lovely, squishy, adorable, baby girl. :D I regret that I did not consider how sick I may be during it, because I felt confident that my first pregnancy, which was lovely, easy, wonderful, glowing, and all things beautiful about pregnancy, was predictive of how my second pregnancy would be. It was not, and my second pregnancy came with 7ish months of sickness so bad there were times I could barely function. Sooo...things were much more stressful than they had to be, because I was tired, ill, and impatient. That sort of ruined our first year. :( DD was ready, though. I just wish I would've been more capable.

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