Are you planning to homeschool your child but aren’t sure at what age to start their journey? In reality, parents begin teaching their children at home from the time they are born by reading aloud and playing simple games. So, you’ve probably already started! But, you’re likely wondering about something more in the official sense as a substitute for private or public school. So, when is the best time to start homeschooling? Here are some factors you’ll want to consider.
When is the Best Time to Start Homeschooling?
Every parent’s and child’s homeschooling journey is different. Some start their education with the intent to homeschool, while others make the transition after trying the traditional approach and finding something lacking. At any age, you’ll want to consider these factors when deciding whether homeschooling is right for you and your child:
- Yours and your child’s temperament
- State laws governing homeschooling
- Skills in readiness
- Your teaching skills and access to resources
Here are a few things to look for in each age group to give your children the best homeschooling advantages:
Kindergarten through Preschool (Ages 0-4)
Children experience a ton of learning during these first three to four years of life through just physical activity and play. They will learn things like numbers, patterns, shapes, and the alphabet.
Instead of investing in homeschooling resources during this period, it’s usually better to involve your children in more hands-on activities that promote learning. Once they reach age four, you can start thinking about more structured learning.
Elementary School (Ages 4-11)
By this age, your children will be more able to articulate new insights, concepts, and experiences. They will also be ready for a more structured learning environment, and homeschooling would be ideal. Find out what your child’s learning style is so that you can develop different types of curricula that will suit them best.
Middle School (Ages 11-15)
Whether you are already homeschooling at this age or thinking about making the transition, the middle school years can be challenging. Children tend to question everything more during this stage, which can make homeschooling difficult as well as rewarding.
When homeschooling middle schoolers, find ways to cultivate their interests, like music or the outdoors, while also reinforcing general knowledge subjects like writing, reading, and math. As a homeschooling parent, you have more freedom to integrate these interests with those other subjects to capture and keep the attention of your student.
High School (Ages 15-18)
Teaching high school students can be one of the most rewarding parts of your homeschool journey. It can also be one of the most challenging. Some parents feel overwhelmed at the idea of teaching teenagers, but this approach can boost their academic skills, help them avoid peer pressure, and provide avenues to continue exploring those special interests.
As a homeschooling parent, your role at this stage will be to guide your students towards success. This might involve establishing self-guided lesson plans, assisting with college prep, and helping your students with extracurricular activities.
Get the Help You Need With Homeschooling in South Carolina
If you’re thinking about starting homeschooling for your child, you don’t have to embark on or travel this journey on your own. There is plenty of qualified assistance available to get your questions answered and provide access to valuable resources.
The South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools (SCAIHS) has been supporting homeschooling parents throughout the state since 1990. We offer curriculum assistance, online reporting and documentation, academic programs, bookstore discounts, and much more. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of SCAIHS membership.