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Reader Question ~ Why First Grade?

I had a reader ask, "Why did you decide to bring her home from going to Kindergarten and with homeschool teach her as a 1st grader?"

Thanks for the question, Kris!

This was actually one of the main reasons we brought her home from kindergarten in the first place. Brynne had the unusual situation of being one of the youngest in her class (she turned 5 just before school started) but also smarter than most 2nd graders.

Eli, our son, is in the First Grade. He and Brynne are 19 months apart. She has always learned right along with him. Therefore, she has always been quite advanced for her age. She has done everything early. She is a very determined little girl.

At school, she was bored to tears. Her preschool teacher, when she was 3, knew it. Her Pre-K teacher last year said she could easily test out of kindergarten then. And it took about 10 minutes for her kindergarten teacher to realize she already knew all there was to learn in kindergarten.

We have never pushed her to learn. She has just done it on her own.

It got to where when the kids would come home from school, she would want me to copy Eli's First Grade homework so that she could do it, too. She would do it without any instruction. When she would do workbooks, she would skip past all of the tracing letter and shape pages and go straight to the regular addition and subtraction problems. She can add and subtract in her head.

Once the school realized how bored she was, they suggested that she do First Grade phonics and math. But to do that she was sitting in the hall doing her work at a computer alone.

It was obvious when we brought her home that we were going to have to challenge her to make it workable. So, we decided to concentrate on the 3 R's at her desired level. And, that's not a kindergarten level. When I would look at the kindergarten level workbooks and Internet sites, I would flip through them knowing that she would not like them. But when I looked at First Grade work pages, they seemed more engaging and challenging.

We started doing those pages this week and I have yet to present her with anything that she has had trouble with. In fact, today when I gave her a shape page to do she pushed it away and said, "I don't want to do this." Booooorrrrriiiiinnnnnggggg!!!!!

The purpose of homeschooling is for my children to learn at their individual levels and in ways that are interesting to them.

Last night I read What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know, at the recommendation of Tiffany at Rockin 'C'. I breezed through it in about 30 minutes and realized that with the exception of about 10 things {including all subjects of reading, writing, math, social studies, science, art, music}, she already knows everything a kindergartner needs to know. I copied about 5 activities out of the book and wrote down about 5 more art projects that would be fun. I have now requested What Your First Grader Needs to Know from the library.

I hope that nobody takes this as me bragging about "how smart my kid is." Believe me, it has it's challenges! This is especially true when I realize that my kid is probably smarter than me. These are just the hard core factual reasons why we are schooling her at a First Grade level. At school she would have had constraints on her because of her immaturity. {Remember, she is only 5.} But at home she is free to excel at her own {rapid} pace without all of the additional issues.

I hope that answers your question, Kris! You might have just gotten ten times more information than you really wanted.


  1. I found your blog through Adventures in Mommydom's science linky as we are doing the Human Body this fall with out Classical COnversations group. I can relate to having a daughter like Brynne. My just turned 4 year old tests out of Kindergarten already. It's really awkward when people ask us (in front of her) about if she goes to school and where and what grade. Like Brynne, our daughter has a drive to learn and I have never pushed her to read, do math etc. She just seemed to want to do it and would ask me questions about letters and numbers etc. She retains information faster than normal too. I agree with you about "not has it's challenges." It does. And it's just a fact about her that she's 4 and in first grade academically. Everything else about her is typical 4 though! And that's exactly where the challenge lies:)


  2. "But to do that she was sitting in the hall doing her work at a computer alone."

    Almost identical to what happened to one of my children...and the reason I decided to begin homeschooling. (I've had many reasons since then, but that's what started it...) ;)


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