We Said “First Grade” But We Meant “Kindergarten”

A while ago, I posted our curriculum plans for “first grade”. On paper, this year was definitely “first grade” for Vivienne – first grade reading, first grade math, you name it. HOWEVER, we learned something important: everyone in the whole wide world groups children according to grade level and not age, so our sweet 5 year old would technically be bumped up with the 6 and 7 year old’s in all other activities. Until, of course, she begins her second grade work this Spring, at which time she’d join the great-big 7 and 8 year old’s… all the while, she’s very much just a five year old with many, many “just five year old” ways.

So, we decided to call this year Kindergarten, regardless of how far ahead or behind she may be of the typical “Kindergartner”. It finally dawned on me, that our entire homeschooling life will operate on this principle: she will always be working at her personal pace, and we can’t keep shifting her “grade level” to match what she is – or isn’t – achieving academically.

It only took her a few days to reverse the habit of saying “I’m in first grade!” To saying (for one more year), “I’m in Kindergarten!” just as she is. It hasn’t fazed her one bit. This way, she is with the Kindergartners in Sunday School – exactly where she should be. Sure, she is probably reading more fluently than some of them, but they are probably accomplishing other things that she still needs to learn. I’d much rather her stay with her appropriate age-level, than be rushed ahead.

Down the road, I do not want her to think she is in 11th grade, begging to hang out with the 11th graders because she is “doing some 11th grade work”, but is only 14 or 15 years old. At that point, she will just be a sweet little ninth grader, thank you very much.

SO, we take a deep breath and learn a valuable homeschooling lesson that you probably knew all along and were praying I’d understand before too long. Thanks for the prayers. We got it! 🙂

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