How to know your child is ready?

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  • TXmama

    When your child is getting closer to age 6, how do you know if they are ready for formal lessons? How do you know if you should start their first year of school or if you should hold back some?

    Our son is getting close to age 6 and I can’t tell if I should start planning for formal lessons or not. He is showing lots of interest in letters and math, plays with letters and numbers daily and knows many sounds. He can count to around 30 and understands basic addition. He struggles with holding writing instruments however and can’t really write as in form letters and such. I have not required any of this of him of course but we have been playing letter and number games for a few years now and he has access to lots of art supplies for him to use. He seems to be wanting more but I am wary of starting him too early. Would love some advice on this.

    Tamara Bell

    Hi Momma.

    Your little one sounds like where my #3 was last year (and 6).  I encourage you to go ahead and start slowly.  Perhaps begin with our Preschool and Kindergarten suggestions and if he takes to them well, progress into a formal year 1.  Charlotte encouraged parents to take advantage of the desire to learn, even before 6.  She also cautioned that if a child was having a hard time or desiring to do something other than a “lesson” (they should all be organic and informal before grade 1), allow him to do so.

    Our Kindergarten guide encourages families to go ahead and add math and reading lessons as a child is ready.  We also do not encourage learning to write letters with pencil and paper until a student is at approximately the 3rd level of Delightful Reading.

    Last year my 6 yr old was ready for formal math lessons (although we had weeks where we took a break for his brain development) and Delightful Reading Level 2 (he knew letter sounds but needed to learn blends and putting all of the sounds together).  We included poetry, read-aloud, picture study, habit and Spiritual training, and nature study.  This was plenty for my little guy.  At the start of the year he struggled with 7-10 minutes for a formal lesson.  By the end of the school year I could hold his attention 15-20 minutes for some lessons.  The transition this year has been a smooth one for him.

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