If you have hesitated about sending your tender young kindergarten age child out to face the world, you are not alone. The Memphis City School system is definitely not the best environment, as everyone knows from the constant media attention about budget cuts, lock downs, scandals, and consolidation. Yet, many parents might feel they have no alternative, can’t affford private school, or simply feel inadequate to the task of even considering to teach their child themselves. Discouraging friends or relatives might be undermining your confidence, causing so many doubts that you have given up on the possibility that you could have anything of value to share with your own child.
Consider the last 5 or 6 years you’ve spent with your child outside of a public or private school system. Who taught your child his/her colors and numbers? If you ponder the last few years, you will begin to realize just how much your child has already learned from you. You will probably also realize just how very bright your child is; how many times you have been amazed at what he/she has absorbed from the world around him/her without any formal teaching.
Has your child learned a lot from computer games or from educational television without you needing to give instruction? If so, your child already has a foundation for you to build on. Either way, if you have no more than a high school education, you are fully equipped to teach kindergarten level material. You would not have been able to graduate high school, if you did not have a grasp of elementary concepts needed to build upon for your higher level learning.
The Memphis Public Library system has a treasure trove of home school literature available to support home school families. If you check out a few books on how to home school, it should help to build your confidence and give you information on how to begin. Be sure to check out a book with a kindergarten scope and sequence for The State Of Tennessee. You can also view the current kindergarten requirements at http://www.state.tn.us/education/curriculum.shtml. The subjects are listed individually at this site. When you look at the scope and sequence requirements for kindergarten, you might be surprised to see that your child has already mastered a lot of these skills.
Many of the skills your child needs for kindergarten can be mastered and accomplished in his/her normal routine through imaginative play, educational television, and being read to from wholesome books. For young children with short attention spans, there is no need for long, boring lessons. You can make up educational games to play with your child or purchase some from an educational supply store, such as The Knowledge Tree in the Wolfchase area. The array of curriculum choices for home school are overwhelming, but there is no need to spend a lot of money, especially in the early grades. Again, your library is a wonderful resource for home school families. If I were asked to recommend any one book for kindergarten, it would be Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons by Siegfried Engelmann. Beyond that, I can’t over emphasize the abundant wealth the library has to offer. Having your child read at least one easy level book a day is essential in developing a child with a love for reading.
I have home schooled five children of my own and would be happy to answer any questions you might have about home schooling. If you choose to teach your child at home, I wish you all the best. If you decide to home school, then later decide it is not the right thing for you or your child, chalk it up as an experience, not a waste of time. You will never know about some things unless you try them!