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How much to push 6 yr olds?


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Hi Everyone,


I get very confused about how much hs we should be doing. My boys are six (turned in April) and I read a thread that too many homeschool moms are lax -- to the detriment of the kids.


Then I read: go easy, they're only six. Let them play, have fun.


I get confused. I know their peers in ps are reading tiny books w/ tiny words.


We read A LOT -- and if something catches their attention like a book we just read on the giant panda, then I'll get on Enchanted Learner site and get. . . what? basically some coloring pages with basic facts on giant pandas.


Same thing happened with Ben Franklin.


They love SOTW, but we only listen in the car and I'm not testing them. I honestly believe they're "getting it" and we'll change their vocab. to match what they've heard on SOTW -- "I"m going to conquer you!!"


Anyway, just confused as usual.



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There are people who think kinder and first should be gentle... field trips, nature, play time, tons of read alouds and the only things that really need to get done are basic math and learning to read and write!


So letting a 7th grader skip history is different than being lax with a first grader. The 1st grader can get history through read alouds or SOTW etc. but low stress.


I think the other thread about lax HS'ers was more about older kids. I've rarely seen, on this board, any pushing in the k and 1st years.

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What you're doing sounds great! I'd just go with the flow as you're doing now. I agree with Sharon, the youngers can learn with a more lax schedule, since they're, well, younger! I'm one of those that says let them be kids as long as possible! They have so many years of schooling ahead of them, that if you start pushing now, it could make them resent or dislike school, more than if you do what you're doing now---going with their interests and keeping it fun! That's the difference to me, anyway.


Good job Mommy! :001_smile:

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I always feel like I'm pushing my gifted 5-year-old, but then she does something like tell me that the brontosaurus is really just the apatosaurus because the guy who found the brontosaurus skeleton didn't have a head, so he "borrowed" one from another site. Or she will learn place value in 5 minutes and then want to move on to adding 23 + 61. So then I realize that I'm not pushing her and that she really does enjoy learning. I'm also finding that a lot of our frustration during school is because she's bored, not because she doesn't get it. When I give her something more challenging, she eats it up and has a good day. If she were to be entering kindergarten this fall (as per her age) she would be so hard for a teacher to manage. She doesn't want to color and glue and learn numbers. She wants to learn something and then move on to bigger things.


I guess all that is to say that I really think it is up to the parents, who know their kids the best, to determine when and how much learning should be going on. If your kids think you're too lax, you'll know it either via thier behavior or their boredom. If they are frustrated to tears by the end of a lesson, you're probably pushing them to hard. :D


Try not to listen to the "experts" too much. There is always another side to the coin, and I think people are just too diverse to be put into a box like that. This is something that I have really struggled with in the past, but now I just take a deep breath and say, "Well, she's ready to move on to the next level." And then we move on.


That's my 2 cents' worth. Hope it helps. :D

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I, also, have 2 older children (9 & 11) and have been at homeschooling from the start with them. So we have a little more structured schooling going on that my 6 yr old withstands.


Here's a sample of his day schooling...

-Copywork/Handwriting combined ~ I just have him copy a short scripture. My older ones copy, memorize and discuss.

-SOTW (3) ~ he listens and colors, along w/the others...I ask the review questions for them, but sometimes he answers them too.

-www.tickettoread.com ~ I send him to the computer for his reading supplement, while I work w/the other kids. This website is an excellent resource for reading..check out the free trial. He reads only 2 passages and answers comprehension questions. Total time is no longer than 25-30 minutes. (there are lots of games and fun stuff on here too that he plays with)

-Saxon Math 1 ~ fact sheet and lesson sheet

-Explode the Code ~ 2/3 pages

-Reading ~ usually picks an "I Can Read" book from the library bucket


I'd say total schooling time is about 1.5 hrs. He's out riding his bike and playing a lot of the day, which drives my older kids crazy.


I understand your concerns...I think that's why I value this board so much. It really helps to see what other people are doing.

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Just turned 6 in April is very young.


With my kids in the early years, I try to focus on experiences and habits. I want them to have a wealth of experiences that they can draw from later in their education. I also want them to develop good habits that will benefit them throughout their life. Daily, my young kids will help me with chores, listen quietly to stories, go on a nature walk, work on a project of their choosing, and have free play. These things are much more important to me than many other things they could be spending their time on.


For K, I focus on reading and on mathematical thinking. The rest is experiences, habits, and literature. For 1st, I focus on writing and increasing the amount of reading. And for 2nd, I focus on math and increasing the amount of writing. They start working on memorizing poetry as soon as they can parrot back the poems of the others (around 3 or 4).


They grow up fast and are off to college on the other side of the world before you know it. BUT there is a balance. Let them enjoy being kids and having lots of whatever it is that YOU value. Spend a dedicated, short amount of time working on lessons. As they grow, increase the amount of time they spend doing seat work. Simple. By the time they are off to wherever they are going in life, they will be well-read, well-educated people that are ready to handle the challenges of life.

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My oldest just turned 6 in March.


A lot of it has to do with their personalities too - some kids may want to do more and others want to do their own thing. Like Karen said, just turned 6 is still pretty young. It sounds like you're doing great and setting a sound foundation, OP. :)

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I am from Eastern Europe (Poland) and the idea was not to do nothing academically till the child is 7 y.o. Majority of the kids went to day care centers since they were 3-4 years old, and the program there was very relaxed, no formal ABC'c and 123's, a lot of Montessori/CM ideas.There was no kindergarten then. Whenever you turned seven, you went to the first grade (and it was by January birthday, so only those who turned 7 in a particular year, could start the first grade; I turned 7 in December and they tested me at the age of 6,5 in June if I was ready to enter in September) and you learned reading in 2-3 months, math (somewhat Singapore, somewhat MEP style) went pretty fast (as far as introducing the concepts - that's why probably I don't get the US math programs :-). By saying this, I am quite cinvinced that "later is better". Of course, kids are different, but I am a proponent of "late" starting of a formal education.


The whole elementary years in my school remind me now of a CM and then jr high and high school was very classical in approach (and yes, reading Antigone and Tartuffe's pieces in the 7th grade...oh my...and then getting the full load of great books starting at the 9th grade). That was public education, no private or homeschooling was allowed (Communism).


From this experience, and seing so many people succesfull in life and being academically advanced by comparison to other nations (not bragging, just the facts; I have a lot of friends who emigrated to other Western countries and it was a common comment that the majority of kids, who were "avarage" before, turned suddenly "A" students (after learning the new language, which took few months) and at least one grade ahead in the new country of residence. It was hard to believe. ), I thought I will do just the same with my kids, i.e. provide opportunities and invoke curiosity rather then implement official "school".


When I decided to homeschool, I was perplexed when other homeschoolers were amazed at me doing "nothing" until my kids 6th birthday, and even then taking it veeery slowly and mostly "child delight directed" (within reasons and family schedules) approach, sprinkling with phonics and math oriented games.


I was intimidated many times on many forums by parents who were describing their 4 or 5 year old "curriculums"...and seeing the Asian kids writing full sentences, even narratives, by the time they were 5, was something else...


I have a 6 y.o. dd now, and we do 20 minutes phonic games (with a carefully thought sequence), 20 minutes math games (10 minutes manipulatives) 10 minutes writing (lapbooking counts) a day, 15 minutes educational online games, but sometimes not everything every day. She does a lot on her own initiative. She creates stories, draws them, narrates to me, builds with blocks, cuisinairie rods, geometrical shapes, writes poems (in her head), lots of arts and crafts, drama, dancing and nature observing. By now she reads simple short vowel words, and sometimes I am still having moments of "are we behind", but looking at the older kids, I am calming myself down.


The other two older siblings were similar, although my ds was Lego maniac, nothing else seemed interesting to him, and my dd was an artist queen (including mud sculpting on every possible occasion).


From my observation, it seems that in these early years, the kids are finding their passions and interests, even in those stages. I myself learned to read at the age of 4 (thought myself, no one really knows how), I thought myself to read and speak Russian at the age of 7 - by the way, teaching reading English is craziness- I learned to play guitar and English (can't you tell?) also mostly by myself.


I see similar traits in my kids. "Left alone" early on, they found their niche and are pursuing it.


the end of rumblings...

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