At three and a half, Jonathan expressed interest in learning to read. I didn’t expect to be teaching him to read this early and I had no idea what I was doing, but I followed his lead. Within one month, he was reading at an early 1st grade level. He liked writing in a workbook that went with his reader and he liked to do it at 10pm. He would sit at Starbucks with me and read a book. We ran into some plateaus where I had to help Jonathan stretch and grow before he could take off again, but for the most part, I’m running trying to keep up with him.
We started Astronomy at 4 years old. Sounds crazy, right? Not for Jonathan. Lucky for us, Jeannie Fulbright and Apologia have an excellent elementary science book on Astronomy. We dive in once a week or so and cover however much Jonathan wants to do that day. There’s no expectation of finishing the book in the “school year” and that’s ok. If it take 18 months, fine. Two years? Not a problem. We don’t do all the experiments and sometimes we skip pages in the notebooking journal. We discovered in this process that he enjoys lapbooking. He even made a little video about why you shouldn’t stare at the sun. But the point is not to memorize everything there is to know about Astronomy by age 5. He’s learning to explore and love the world that God created.
Would you teach a 4 year old how to write in cursive? I didn’t think so, but Jonathan asked to learn, so I gave him some examples and he practiced. Then he started doing some of his memory verse copywork in cursive.
The most important part of our day is Bible. Even if we don’t do anything else in a day, we read the Bible or work on memory verses. We use the Charlotte Mason memory box method (free printable) to help us keep previous verses fresh. The best day ever in homeschooling was the day that Jonathan became a Christ-follower while reading one of his school books. Jonathan loves the What’s in the Bible? DVD series and I’m a terrible mother: I allow him to watch them over and over again, sometimes for hours. The result? He can tell you more facts about the Bible and theology than the average adult.
You need to get to know your child. Don’t worry about what another family is doing. Find your child’s strengths, interests, and pace. Speed up or slow down as needed. Push as need. Linger as needed. It’s ok to drop a book that doesn’t fit your child or your family. It’s ok to take a day off or do school at 10pm at night. Most importantly: You and your child are in charge of the learning, not your curriculum. Don’t let your curriculum rule you.!
Amanda Pelser has been married to her high school sweetheart, Josh, for almost nine years. They have two young boys, Jonathan and Jacob. She has a BA in Bible from Anderson University and a MA in Old Testament Studies from Talbot School of Theology. She is a former church communications director turned stay-at-home-mom. She spends her days running after and homeschooling her boys. Amanda opens her home as an inspiring and encouraging shelter for the heart of women through her writings of faith, motherhood, and homeschooling at ThePelsers.com and through her ebook Finding Joy in Depression. She loves to read, so any time she can, she hides away with a book, her fuzzy blanket, and a homemade chai or vanilla latte in her favorite mug.
Enjoy All of the 10 Days of Ruling Your Curriculum series..
- Day 1: Rule Your Curriculum With a Plan
- Day 2: Keeping Curriculum As Servant
- Day 3: Individualize Your Curriculum
- Day 4: Who’s In Charge
- Day 5: Now, I’m In Charge! (Ruling Curriculum for children with Learning/Health Issues)
- Day 6: Rule Curriculum For Your Advanced Learner
- Day 7: Use Notebooking to Rule Your Curriculum
- Day 8: Rule Your Curriculum With Wise Counsel
- Day 9: How to Put a Bad Curriculum In Its Place
- Day 10: Let God Rule Your Curriculum
This post contains affiliate links.