In my last post I shared our homeschool mission statement and how I brainstormed what was most important to me to teach my children. But how does that look on a day-to-day basis while my boys are five and two-years-old? Obviously I’m not going to teach everything all at once. Instead, I sorted out what my priorities are for them at this time.
I should note that I’m mainly referring to my five-year-old when I talk about specific things I’m teaching. My two-year-old is happily tagging along and I involve him in what I can.
So what are my priorities for my five-year-old, a.k.a. Kindergartener? I have read some blogs by homeschoolers with children this age, and it amazes me what they are doing! I’m impressed how they spend a good portion of their day on “homeschool” whether they use a curriculum or various resources. At first I was inclined to think we weren’t doing enough, but then something occurred to me. Usually these other families had one or more girls. Maybe there was a boy in the mix, but there was always a girl. Having two boys, I know there is no way we could sit down and do formal lessons for more than say….twenty minutes (give or take)! Maybe it’s just my two boys, but having read many resources about boys, I’m inclined to believe gender can make a difference. (Though I think some girls can be this way too!) Of course, family dynamics can make a difference too, and every family has to figure out what works for them. I made this list for myself to sort out what is most important for my five-year-old at this time. (And, honestly, if I had a girl, I think these would be my priorities too.)
All of these are equally important to me. Click the links to go to the follow up post on each topic.
- Imagination/Play/Motion – Let him use his imagination and be in motion as much as he needs to be. Allowing for a lot of movement and having ample space for that is especially important for young kids.
- Literature – Immerse him in books and storytelling.
- Exploration/Nature – Let him explore the world and get into nature as much as possible.
- How to find answers – Encourage him to ask questions and teach him how to find answers.
- Spend quality, stress-free time together – Use our time wisely. Don’t over schedule the kids or myself. Allow for plenty of time at home for free, unstructured playtime. Allow for quiet time in the afternoons.
- Teach responsibility/involve him in my work – I explain why we (mom and dad) need to work, why we all need to take care of our (only) home, and I plan to engage him more in the work/hobbies that I enjoy like blogging and photography.
Notice that except for literature, I didn’t mention any academic subjects. This is because I don’t feel academics should be a priority for a five-year-old. However, I am teaching my son reading and math right now, and I do think this is important. These formal lessons are short and slow-paced, and I’ll explain the why, what and how of that in a future post.
And as I mentioned above, I’ll be following up this post with a series on how I accomplish all of these things. I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog and stay tuned! Thank you for stopping by!
Please tell me what your priorities are for your child whatever his/her age might be.
26 thoughts on “Setting Our Homeschool Priorities for Two Boys, ages 5 & 2”
I completely agree. I have 3 boys (4, 3, 1). We spend way more time we playing than we do at “school.” However, we do spend some time doing more formal activities, but I try to make them into a game or relate it to their likes.
Thank you for your comment! I spend a little time on formal lessons too, and I’ll write about that in an upcoming post. I’m always trying to decide where to draw the line on making him do formal lessons – so far I’ve been watching him and when he really seems uninterested, I stop pushing it. But as long as he’s willing to do a little bit, we’ll do a little bit!
My husband and I are planning to move cross-country from NYC to Colorado in the coming year, and the dream is to expand our family (we have a 2 year old son) and start out on our homeschooling adventure. I’ve been browsing the web for other homeschooling stories and am relieved to hear someone post primarily about boys! It seems to be a bit of a rarity, and I can’t agree more that it makes a huge difference. Looking forward to following your blog!
Kate – thank you so much for stopping by, and I look forward to getting to know you! Yes, I do think it’s different with boys. I have a post where I’m collecting resources on raising/educating boys: https://mamaofletters.com/2011/12/19/worthy-reads-about-raising-and-educating-boys/ I’ll be adding to it as I find more. Perhaps we can share resources and help our boys together! Good luck with your move. I lived in Colorado for four years as a little girl, and I love the state! Some of my family still lives there.
Thanks for this! I have two boys also, 4 and 2, that I’m working toward establishing our homeschool routine with. I always see other’s posts and things seem so structured and more formal, but we just aren’t there yet. We do a lot of the stuff you listed, and on days we do get a pre-k lesson in, it only lasts about 15 minutes at most. My oldest loves to do the little school lessons, as long as they aren’t too long. It is just good for me to hear a similar situation and know that we’re on track somewhat….so thank you 🙂
Thank you, Tamara. It’s also affirming for me to hear someone is in a similar situation! I think everyone just has to follow their instincts with their kids. Reading about other homeschoolers can be great because you get a lot of ideas, but it can also be dangerous if you allow yourself to compare too much. I can do that a lot, but I try not to. It’s really helped me to read some books specifically geared to boys!
I love this! And I have to say, as the mother of a very busy almost-5 year old girl, this absolutely applies to her too. I don’t think girls necessarily need more structured “academics” at this age. Your priorities are in line with what I’m doing with my girl. And will do with her sister (8 months) once she’s old enough.
Thank you for bringing this up, Erin! You’re absolutely right! I think this could apply to many girls, but since I have two boys, I’m focusing on boys. When I read books about boys, I often wish they’d talk about girls too, just for comparison. (Since I’m a girl, I’m interested in it!) My feeling was that many of girls’ needs are probably the same, especially for the little ones. Steve Biddulph does write in Raising Boys: “To say that ‘boys are different’ can very easily turn into an excuse for saying ‘they are defective’ or, worse still, ‘they can’t help it.’ The same sort of generalizations were once applied to girls…..So please take the following points very seriously: – The differences are slight for most people. – They are only tendencies. – They don’t apply to every individual….” So again, thanks for bringing this topic up. We all want what is best for our girls and boys, and what it comes down to is looking at their individual needs. Looking at gender differences can only go so far!
Thanks for sharing your priorities. My daughter is only two and I plan to home school her (I was also home schooled) so I’m always interested in what others are thinking. As a very active girl I doubt she’ll be ready for much formal learning by the time she’s five (but who knows?) and I’m glad to hear other parents of young children are focusing their priorities elsewhere.