Unpopular Opinion: Toddler’s Don’t Need Formal Education

This opinion is most likely not a popular one. I do not give my infants or toddlers a formal education until they reach upper preschool age. For our family, we classify upper preschool age between three and four. Even at preschool age their education is laid back and loose. Our days are filled with coloring and read aloud books with very few workbooks. 

I know when you log onto Instagram or Facebook, you will see the sensory bins, manipulative objects sorted in colors, etc. You will see the posts about how your neighbors two year old can count to twenty and can write their name. Then you will look at your child who is convinced her middle name is, “French Fry.” As hard as it is to not compare, don’t. Let your child be a kid. Let them play outside, get muddy and explore. Formal education will come later in life and they will be spending many days wishing they could be outside instead.

Why don’t we believe in early formal education? Infants and toddlers naturally learn and are always picking up information. My two year old who has never had one minute of formal education, can tell me her colors and count. She also picks up her brothers letter flash cards and tries to sound the letters out on her own. While I think my daughter is off playing with her younger brother while we homeschool, she is still listening to everything. It is amazing what infants and toddlers learn without the stress of work sheets.

To see my post about formal education, click here.

When do you start formal education? Do you think formal education should start earlier or later in life?

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