Homeschooling During the Primary Years

Homeschooling during the primary years can be fun and very stress-free. A lot of parents get worried that their kids won’t learn everything that they need to. But with the right resources you can keep your kids on track and develop all the necessary skill sets for high school and beyond.

The primary school teaching style can be a lot more intense than the highschool equivalent. Primary aged children require constant attention to their learning. Every day the learning process begins again and every day you need to practice concepts and learn new things for a successful learning progression. Drills, testing, and practice are absolutely necessary. This requires a lot of time, so be prepared to be very involved in their learning. Planning each day’s material is very important because smaller children can be easily confused and get lost. Proper planning is crucial.

While you may not be using a specific program during the primary years, outside materials can be very helpful to help you get an idea of what your child should be learning at certain ages. Don’t be afraid to use your own judgment either.  You too were in primary school once upon a time.  That can serve as a great guide to help you determine what should be taught. How you decide to teach things is entirely up to you.  The nice thing about the primary years is that you can use a variety of real life events to teach mathematical concepts and other important primary concepts.   There is so much scope for fun.

I find the kitchen is the heart of the home and the laboratory. Practicing reading by reading labels not only teaches nutrition but also provides practice for word and number recognition. Cooking with measuring cups teaches fractions and reinforces simple mathematics. You can take basic concepts and teach them using every day objects and activities.  If you choose not to introduce these concepts in this way, you can still use real situations to reinforce simple learning. The nice thing about homeschooling is that the world (your home) can be your child’s classroom, whether they are “in school” or at play. The task of schooling during the primary years is to lay basic concepts for middle and high school.

Having the kids at home during the primary years also gives you the chance to zero in on your child’s specific difficulties and correct them early, before they become stumbling blocks in your child’s academic career. This is the time to make sure that all the basic skills such as reading, writing (both grammar and hand writing), and math are well established so that your children are ready for high school. Also, other challenges can be remedied during this time, such as speech impediments and dyslexia.  These challenges can be easily overlooked by teachers in schools who have the daunting task of teaching and caring for a whole classroom.

In the primary school years don’t forget that your usual homeschooling resources are also at hand: online websites and search engines, local homeschooling groups, state associations, and libraries to access any resources that you might need. Many parents find specific programs helpful in the primary years and others find the eclectic method of using a variety of books and resources helpful and best for their kids. Use what works!

Melissa Murdoch has a passion for life span development and education, and believes wholeheartedly that a healthy society begins at home.  For further information on how to get started in homeschooling, please visit

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