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WHEN DOES HOMESCHOOLING BEGIN?
Preschoolers--seems like folks are trying to force them into formal academics earlier all the time. Some homeschool moms feel pressured to put their little ones in preschool just so "they'll learn how to share" or "listen to someone besides Mama."
Hogwash, I say!
Good preschools often try to create a more home-like environment with a kitchen center and cozy reading nook. Have you heard of the Montessori method of teaching? A big part of that involves seizing those teachable moments when teaching your child practical skills. Wonder why those schools try to create a homelike environment? It's the natural place for children to learn!
And don't feel pressured into doing academics too early either. Hands-on learning is actually preferable to filling out a bunch of workbooks. If your child enjoys workbooks and coloring pages, that's great, but not all of them will, and those more active, slower learners will learn their colors, numbers, shapes, and letters without you setting them at a table and making it like "school".
If your children are home with you, you're already homeschooling them. Somehow you taught them their first words and how to walk without an official curriculum. Just keep loving on your children, creating a rich learning environment, and teaching them as you go through your day.
Don't let anyone force you into something that doesn't work for your family because they think preschoolers should be tackling bookwork like the kids in public school. Education isn't about curriculum; it's about life!
P.S. One of my friends just finished reading Mommy, Teach Me!: Preparing Your Preschool Child for a Lifetime of Learning by Barbara Curtis and absolutely loved it, while one of my all-time favorite resources was Ruth's The Three R's. Both really emphasize how the most effective ways to teach children are simply natural. I think they would be very encouraging to you.