Once again the schools have signs out telling parents that they must register their 5-year-olds for kindergarten next fall. This is false! Attendance is optional for five-year-olds in Washington state. RCW 28A.225.010 clearly sets the compulsory attendance ages as 8-17. That means five-, six-, and seven-year-olds do not have to attend school!
Parents occasionally mention to me that they’re considering homeschooling. By all means, before children turn 8 is great time to consider it. You don’t have to do any paperwork for the school district. There are no testing requirements for children who are not yet old enough to be affected by the compulsory schooling laws.
If you have a child who will be old enough that kindergarten is an option next year, but are considering waiting a year or two, know that it is okay to continue enjoying time at home with your child. There is a reason that schools don’t begin at age four. Five is a fun age!
While you’re deciding, here is some reading material that might help. If these books are not on the shelf of your public library, you can request them through inter-library loan:
- Better Late Than Early, by Raymond & Dorothy Moore
- Dumbing Us Down, by John Taylor Gatto
- A Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levison
- More Charlotte Mason Education, by Catherine Levison
You could make use of the public library and teach your five-year-old at home for free. Or you could invest some money in things that the child might not realize are educational. I’d be inclined to get these things whether or not I was homeschooling:
- solar system placemats
- presidents placemats
- USA placemat
- world map placemats
- base 10 blocks
- attribute blocks