The Early Years - Priorities

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I had the opportunity to chat via email with a new homeschooler the other day. She is educating a 6 year old and has a toddler and a newborn as well. Needless to say, she was feeling a bit frazzled!

Some practical thoughts that I shared with her were helpful to me when I walked in her shoes ...

The first thing I would concentrate on is to make a list of priorities. What academic skills do you most wish to focus on with your student? Personally ... phonics was at the top of my list for that age. If they can learn to read well, then all other subjects become that much easier. I would also work on some foundational math concepts. Everything else is "gravy"! Reading and Math ... just two subjects.

Plan to spend 20-30 minutes each day on math and 20-30 minutes each day on reading. A total of one hour of "formal" schooling. You may want to do math in the morning and reading in the afternoon ... you may want to do 15 minutes of math and then take a break and finish the final 15 minutes after the break. There are a multitude of ways to break it up, but these two subjects ... one hour per day ... would be my priority. Now that doesn't sound quite so overwhelming!

More to follow ...

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