Determining what age to start preschool – is it ever too early?

Crayons in a jar beside the hand of a child who is coloring

Preschool is a very broad term in my opinion, and there is no real right or wrong answer on when a child is ready to start learning academically. 

Ultimately, they will decide when the time is right, and our job as parents and guardians is to supply them with the means to learn effectively so that they will be better prepared when they start kindergarten.

For the most part, children start pre-k around 3 or 4 years old, but if you plan on educating at home, you can start whenever you feel the time is right!

If you are still deciding between homeschool or public school for your little one, take a look at the benefits homeschooling has brought my children, and see if homeschooling might be right for you!

Hey there, my name is Jerromy and I am all about that homeschooling life!

I was homeschooled on a farm and I do my best to apply the same values I was brought up with as I teach my own children at home to this very day.

My main goal is to help other homeschooling parents make educated decisions about their kids’ schooling by providing resources and information to help them avoid the mistakes I have made on my journey homeschooling my kids.

If you are new to homeschooling, check out my article on how to get started the easy way.

Affiliate Disclosure: This site DOES contain affiliate links throughout. All this means is if you follow a link on any of my pages and make a purchase, I could receive a commission or referral reward, all at no extra cost to you!

Deciding what age to start preschool at home.

Anytime is a good time for preschool!
 

For my family, we begin introducing pre-k learning activities regularly at the age of two so our kids can begin to transition into more intense learning  when they have a good foundation for learning from their experience with preschool activities. 

This may be a totally different from child to child though, and that is perfectly fine. Every person on this planet is different from the rest, and as such we cannot expect anyone’s personal development and learning styles to be the same. 

Signs they may be ready, even if you are not

Some kids may be way past these stages, and some may still be more interested in other things critical to development, but whatever the case may be, they will start to show these signs when they are ready to start  preschool activities: 

  • Identifying Shapes and Symbols
  • Begin to mimic complex words or phrases
  • Organization skills start to develop 
  • Pretending to read
  • Interested in their siblings school work (if applicable)

If your child is showing any of these early signs of an interest in education, then they have decided what age to start preschool for you, and you should make all efforts to build fundamental skills in math, reading, and science as soon as possible.

After all, if you are homeschooling, there is nothing stopping you from letting your kids get ahead of the curve if they are up for it. Graduating at 17 is a very achievable task, especially if you have the option to start their path to higher education much earlier than the status quo.

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How to reinforce these critical skills?

There are countless ways we can help our little learners establish the foundational knowledge that will benefit them well in the many years of learning ahead of them.

Simply showing them how to count to 10 or identify colors earlier than usual will open up entire worlds of education potential, and the more consistent you are, the more they will realize there is to learn. 

Make EVERYTHING a learning opportunity! 

There are activities to teach preschoolers all around us:

  • Baking
  • Cleaning
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Shopping

Let them help measure ingredients and count out cookies as the dough goes onto the sheet.

Have them count toys and identify the name and color of each item as they put them away.

Make arts and crafts more educational by having them cut or trace letters and numbers and let them decorate the school area with their creations!

While out shopping, help them identify items and pronounce the word and show them how the word is spelled so they begin to associate the name with its written name.

You see where I am going… there are so many creative ways to teach your children core subjects without ever cracking a book, and they often go ignored. 

You will be setting a good standard for them later in life, and when they are ready, you will already understand a little bit about how they prefer to learn and what areas they are likely to succeed in as well as what they will need more reinforcement in.

 

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Do your preschool aged kids love screen time?

Why not make the most of their time spent on their devices by giving them fun and interactive ways to learn while they tap away at the screen?

Check out some of the Best Educational Apps for kids between 2 and 8 years old to help solidify the knowledge and information they will need before they reach more intense grade levels!

Allowing kids to learn from technology is setting them up with future-proof skills and most children respond well to it because they see it more like a form of entertainment than learning.

 
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Looking for a more traditional pre-k learning approach?

Getting kids familiar with sitting down for a set amount of time each day is a great habit to form early on, and it can make a world of difference if you plan to homeschool your children with a structured approach.

If your goal is to establish something closer to other homeschool preschool lesson plans, you will need learning materials and supplies in order to get started on the right foot out with teaching your preschooler at home.

There are plenty of pre-k level resources out there, and a decent homeschool preschool curriculum, tailored specifically to how your child learns as an individual, wouldn’t be hard to craft on your own if the need were to arise.

A great place to start is Carson Dellosa Education, where you can find nearly anything you need to get your preschooler set up with the right tools to learn, all at an affordable price.

Before I leave you

I want to let you know that you are doing a great job, and your children will grow and develop at the rate that is best for THEM. 

Don’t compare yourself to others, and definitely don’t feel the need to force your children to learn beyond their capabilities as that can do more damage than it does good. 

Two preschool children doing schoolwork

Let them relax and ease into schooling, and you will be setting them up for a bright future full of learning opportunities, and your job as their educator will be a piece of cake as a result.

Most importantly, enjoy this time with them and learn together! They are only little for so long, and there will always be time for education, so DONT STRESS it until they are ready!

We never stop learning nor do we really ever begin, it is just kinda happening from the first moment we have life, so let your kids do what they do best; pave their own way through life. They just need a little guidance to make sure they get there in one piece!

Whenever your early preschooler is ready to take the next step, check out this article going over How to Choose A Homeschool Curriculum that meets your families needs!

For now, I bid you farewell, but know that I am here to help you on your path to home education, and I encourage you to reach out if you have any questions or just want to chit-chat about homeschooling stuff; Just comment on one of my posts, and I will respond ASAP! 

Have a great day!

8 Comments to “Determining what age to start preschool – is it ever too early?”

  1. Hi Jerromy

    I guess this is a compelling question that every parent is faced with at some time. What is the right age to start your child in preschool? In our fast paced and “instant everything “lifestyle, we want our kids to get an early start. But as you so rightly pointed out, kids learn at different pace and no two are the same. A good indication of your child’s readiness is by identifying the tell-tale signs, as you mentioned in your article.

    Thank you for the great advice

    1. In this fast-paced world, I feel the best thing we can do is slow down a little bit. Kids are no longer allowed to be kids, and they know as much as I did about the world at 10 when they are 5 or so, and that is quite terrifying to me as a parent.

      Keeping them home and letting them learn at their own pace is one of the best ways to preserve that childhood curiosity and allow them to develop into adults at a healthy rate. At least, for me and my family that is the case.

      Thank you for your response!

      All the best,

      Jerromy 

  2. How do we know our children are ready. during lock-down we ere forced to do home schooling and there was not other way. we were not prepared at all and neither was my little one. since then we were able to go back to school but one thing that it did teach me was to be patient and to lower my competitive nature to get things done right the first time fast. children doesn’t operate like that. we now incorporate screen time half educational and half entertainment to create that balance but also ensure that she remains interested in learning new things in a fun way.

    1. Sounds like you know what’s up, my friend!

      I believe that letting them develop skills that align with technology is the best thing for them at this point in time. Every job out there will have some level of technology behind it at some point soon, and having employees that can operate those programs, and even create their own, will be a skill that makes the difference between a stable career and a dead-end job for most people in the very near future; in fact, it is already the case in a lot of fields.

      Making learning fun is half the battle, but once you get it nailed down there is no stopping you from successfully preparing your kids for bright futures!

      All the best to you and yours,

      Jerromy

  3. Teach them when they are ready, I cound’t agree more. I love it, how you create learning opportunities out of everyday activities. It works a hundred times better than forcing them to study, especially when they are still young. And yes, a good and attractive online learning platform gives us parents some most needed time off 🤩

    1. Honestly, I believe teaching them how to learn does them more good than teaching them WHAT to learn, so implementing it into daily life encourages daily growth. 

      If they are aware of their process, they will refine it each time they perform the required actions leading to more efficiency when they get older. Every task will be an opportunity to hone the associated skills!

      Any employer would be happy to have someone that doesn’t need to be encouraged to do better and just naturally strives to be their best self each day. If they decide not to work for someone else, they will be ready to run their own business at an early age and do well with it.

      While workplace success shouldn’t be the fuel behind teaching kids important information, it definitely should at least be in your mind. We don’t want them to feel like they HAVE to get a job and work their lives away, but setting them up to be amazing workers never hurts (much).

      Whatever way you go about it, be certain that kids are learning ONLY what they are taught. Food for thought.

      All the best,

      Jerromy

  4. In our family we introduced the children at about the same age as yours. Though the same exposure was given to the children the speed of comprehension was different for every child. Age 2 was a yardstick for all our children and it worked. Spending more time with them helped in their ability to recognize and organize things.

    What will you recommend for parents living in an area where there is age limit for starting kindergarten?

    1. You are correct my friend, all little kids need is positive reinforcement and a smidge of attention to get started!

      To answer your question, if your state or school district has a minimum start age for kindergarten and is keeping your child from enrolling you have two potential options:

      The first option would be to move to an area or state that has regulations that fit your needs and beliefs. 

      If that’s not viable, there is nothing stopping you from looking at the state’s education plan to determine what you need to teach your child kindergarten material at home. When and if they do get to enroll school, they will be prepared for everything that comes their way, and may even open them up to advance a grade level early on! although most public school systems try to prohibit this when they are that young for multiple reasons; the main one being that’s an entire year the school won’t receive funding for your child.

      Whatever you decide will be the right choice for your family I am sure of it!

      All the best,

      Jerromy

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