I have come to learn that my son who just turned 5 has not only been interested and practically begging to do the math and reading that which my 7 year old is doing, but he comprehends and successfully completes the task faster than my 7 year old.
Should I continue to keep my 5 year old at his suggested level, or the 2nd grade level?
Also, he just turned 5 this month; should I begin copywork with him, or basic motor skills? I am still confused in this area.kymomMember
Children are very individual. I have one son in 6th grade and another in 5th and he’s only 9. My 9 year old is actually doing work much more advanced than my 11 year old. I don’t make a big deal of it at all! I just keep moving my youngest forward as he is ready. After all, isn’t that why we home school? The individual attention and ability to teach the child as they are ready not a group as the group is? Trust your child to tell you when he is ready and what he wants to learn. Don’t get hung up on ages and grades they are just numbers. Follow the child and he will lead you.
Enjoy the journey.
I also have a 5 year old who is very advanced in reading, comprehension, vocabulary, math, just about everything. She taught herself to read when she was three.
I’m glad you asked about this because I have often wondered what to do with her; how far ahead I should let her get. So far I have been using her as my guide. If she is ready and willing to tackle something, I let her. If she seems to be getting frusterated on something, I ease off a bit in that area. This is especially true when it comes to writing.
For your son, you could try giving him some copy work you think he could handle, and see now he does. Then just go from there and adjust accordingly. I think Ruth Beechick calls it putting out trial balloons.
The tricky part for me is figuring out if she is really struggling or simply doesn’t want to do the work. I don’t want to put too much on her, but at the same time I don’t want to let her get away with not doing a reasonable amount of work to keep her sufficiently challenged.jmac17Participant
My kids are similar ages (DD turned 7 in Sept, DS turned 5 in June), and we have a similar challenge. DS5 loves math and so spends lots of time thinking about numbers, playing with calculators, etc. So his skills are about on par with DD7, and DS5 is a bit quicker with many things. So I’ve been thinking about how to deal with that. I’ve also spent a lot of time pondering CM’s recommendation to delay formal instruction until age 6, since both DD7 and DS5 have been ‘advanced’ in several areas. Here’s what I’ve come up with.
First, I don’t think that the ‘family study’ approach will work for most subjects for us, at least right now. DS5 is a competitive type. In the areas that he is on par with his sister, he’ll want to ‘beat her’. In the areas he is not, I’m afraid he’ll compare everything he does and feel frustrated if he can’t keep up. And then there is DD3, who beats to her own drummer in many ways, who will eventually be in the mix. So, other than things like art, music, nature study, and a family read aloud (with no narration), we are going to keep things separate, or do them in ways that don’t lend to comparisons. DD7 isn’t much bothered that DS5 can do math as well as her, because it just isn’t her thing anyway. I can see it being hard for DS5, though.
Second, despite CM’s caution against formal instruction before age 6, I don’t see a need to prevent a child from moving forward, just because of their age. When they have a desire to learn something, I provide the guidance needed. I don’t require anything, I just follow their lead. For example, both DD7 and DS5 were excited about learning to read at about age 4. So I taught them, as quickly as they wanted to. DD7 picked it up in weeks. I’m actually not quite sure how. All of a sudden she could just read. Everything. DS5 worked through some reading lessons, just doing them whenever he wanted, and now reads chapter books.
Here is what DS5 is doing now. Maybe it will help you. He does a little bit of everything everyday, since DD7 is ‘doing school’ and so everyone who isn’t napping joins us at the table, but as I said, I don’t require it. If he is not in the mood, he can just play quietly.
Math: Life of Fred, some of the games from RightStart, and some board games. The games are done with DD7, but I make sure to pick games where it won’t be obvious if DS is faster. I only let each child do 4 chapters of Life of Fred each week, so that DD stays a book ahead.
Fine Motor skills/Printing: I’ve been ‘assigning’ DS some colouring pages, or asking him to draw me a picture of something specific. He just starting being interested in anything involving a pencil or crayon, so he is just developing these skills. He really wanted to know how to write his numbers (math geek!), so I taught him the 10 digits. Now we are working on printing, first working on the letters in his name. His ‘copywork’ has been just copying his name, alternating between first and last. This week we started the letters in the names of other people in the family, and I’ll make copywork out of those. We probably won’t get to real copywork until next year.
Reading/narrating: Once or twice a week I read a selection from Aesop’s Fables or Fifty Famous Stories and ask him to tell me about the story. He just gives me a few words, or a short sentence, but he feels like he is ‘doing school’. There are enough of these to last us a long time, so he’ll have a year long warm up before I really expect him to narrate anything substantial.
I assign him ‘free reading’ time, mostly just to give him some quiet time and keep him busy while DD and I work together. He’s reading the Arthur Scott Bailey books right now.
Hope that helps! Feel free to PM me if you want more specifics.
My boys are like that too– my 5 year old often joins in on my 7 yr. old’s school. It is both ability and personality at play. We just take it one day at a time and if it is not a “good day” for my younger son to do school, he just plays instead. He is way ahead of where he needs to be so if he skips a few days here and there it is not big deal. As long as he is enjoying what he is learning we are all happy!Wings2flyParticipant
We have a similar situation. My younger child has always tagged along and wanted to do school. I do not require anything, but go with her interests. She is easily upset if not involved with her older brother’s work. Sometimes if his work is too difficult, I try to find her something on her level. She joins us for games, like the RS math games and I help her where needed. If she wants to go off and play, that is fine too. Most of the time she wants to join us, but her attention span is not as long as her older brother’s, nor is her maturity level, so sometimes she will leave us and go off to play. I am hoping this is not creating a bad habit that is hard to break when she is older. She learned to read at age 3 and is now at level 2 beginning readers at age 5. This is because she learned all the letter sounds that I was teaching her older brother by just being in the same room with us. It surprised me at first. She is in mid first grade level right now. She has also learned all of the history and science and read-aloud literature her older brother has learned. I see it as a blessing of home schooling.
I would go with the level that your 5 year old is at and not compare. We have done copywork starting at age 5. I used the ideas in Ruth Beechick’s 3 R’s and kept it very short at first.chocodogParticipant
I really think it is natural that the younger one pick things up quickly. They watch their siblings and go with it. My younger son is better at spelling. He out does my older son 10 to 1. However, My older son is better at vocabulary. He is always teaching my other son9 meanings to words. I had to laugh the other day when my ds9 started spelling out whole sentences so my dd6 couldn’t understand them. So, back and forth it went. Spelling all day long. The funny thing was some of the words my daughter understood. She was picking it up. Just a little but she even tried to get in on the game and started her own little version of “Out spell your brother.” 🙂
So, lately we have been spelling what we want to say instead of saying it. We even try to do it quickly so the other person has to listen better. Quickly pausing between each word. 🙂 This really is fun.
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