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Should you send your young child to school if he asks to go?
"I'm really keen to homeschool my 3.5 year old, but lately he has been asking to go to school and preschool."
by Beverley Paine, May 2019
Home educated kids often ask if they can try school, or express an interest in it and want to go. Going to school is normal - it is what most kids do. And like most things they see around them, they're keen to find out about it. Consider this though: as toddlers they mad keen to help you with the chores but by the time they reached five and understood that it wasn't really playing, it was actually work, and that they need to be done everyday or most days even if you didn't want to do them, the shine had rubbed off doing the chores. School's a bit like that too.
This curiosity about school is something that comes and goes as kids grow through various stages of development. There are times when during our development we're full steam ahead learning everything that matters socially and we need to knock about with a range of people. Notice I said range of people. These people don't need to be same age peers!
My daughter showed a huge need for learning from other people at age 3-4 years, and between 4-6 she very much withdrew, was content to hang out with her parents and her siblings. At 6-7 she had another massive need for social learning. Over the years we noticed that other kids seemed to go through similar stages at about the same developmental age.
And lastly, play 'school' at home. Set up some desks, take turns being the teacher. Create a school uniform. Pack lunches. Younger children love playing this game. We know what school is like and they don't. So share your memories and experiences with them in a fun way.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
Welcome to the
World of Home Education and
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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