This is technically our first year homeschooling (although I played with it last year) as my daughter is now kindergarten age. We sent her to a Montessori preschool at age 3, and it was simply too much. Love the methodology, but not the 4 days/week program.
When we moved to Indiana, I decided to keep her home and reclaim simple childhood. You know, lots of play, fairy tales and make-believe, and open-ended toys and games. Lots of time in nature and storytime at the library helped to reset my girl.
This year we have a loose plan as I am more and more convinced that formal academics are not needed until age 6-7 (as is customary in other countries), although I recognize some children are simply ready for it sooner. Realizing what my daughter needs and meeting her where she is has all been part of this journey.
My dear friend Melissa gave me her kindergarten Oak Meadow curriculum, which is Waldorf based and intentionally slow-paced. We’ll combine that with Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1 and my other sweet friend Calli’s nature study program based on Nature Anatomy. We’re also going to slowly make our way through Jessie Wise’s The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, but I’m not pushing it.
So much of our philosophy on homeschooling intertwines with our desire to keep our home and lifestyle simple. In the past I would have been eager to jump into serious academics straightaway. But as I’ve adjusted to a minimalist lifestyle, I’ve realized that there is beauty and wisdom in slowing down and enjoying the present moment. Rushing childhood shouldn’t be the goal, but meeting the child’s learning needs–whatever they may be–is.