My daughter knew her ABC’s by 18 months. She could write her name at age 2. And yet, when her dad and I tried to move to the next ‘natural’ step of sounding out words by reading or writing, she inevitably shut down. Every. Time.
She would copy long sentences but ask her to figure out how to write a simple two letter word? Nope. She would retell a story book from memory but try and get her to name a familiar word for us? No way.
What was this kid’s deal? Being an early childhood specialist and speech language pathologist, you thought we would have this whole pre-school skill readiness thing down pat. And yet.
This kid was not ready to learn these skills on our clock.
And we only created mutual heartache by pushing it before she was.
Yesterday, we randomly asked (okay, it may not have been entirely random, but we’ll get to that) if she wanted to practice some writing. She cheerfully agreed and we were prepared for the usual routine of her writing out every word she knows (her family member’s names and “LOVE”) before she indicated she wanted to try something new.
She had just procured a new pet snake, of the wooden variety, so asked how to spell snake. And then hiss. And then wiggle. And she was not infuriated when we prompted her to try and figure out some of the words herself. And she didn’t do a half bad job!
Then, she formulated and wrote her first ever independent sentence (with a spelling check provided by mom and dad):
SNAKES ARE IN LOVE KISS
We nearly threw her a parade right there in the kitchen, we were so ecstatic.
Today, I asked her what she wanted to do when she got home from pre-school. And she said “remember that school stuff we did yesterday? I want to do that again”.
Since it was a rare and lovely September day here on the coast, we moved our operation outside.
After some writing and drawing, we went back to the words and book we had been working on the day before and she read it. By. Herself.
Again, astounded! And all that worry that she was never going to learn, when all we had to do was wait for her to want to.
So, that reminds me. There’s something I haven’t told you.
I am considering homeschool.
I’ve talked about this with a few of my friends and family members, and there has been some concerned reactions, particularly from those of the educator type. And full disclaimer, me and my husband are the educator types, too. But I am considering homeschool, and here are some of the reasons why.
I like being with my kids. I like my kids being together. I like teaching my kids. I like learning with my kids. I am concerned about the direction of public education, the heart of my own chosen profession.
My (nearly school age) child is bright and gifted in many different ways, all of which I want to be explored to her heart’s content. My child is happiest when learning and working and playing at her own pace. My child has many opportunities for socialization outside of a school setting (dance, library, sports, theater, etc).
I’ve read a lot of posts lately about “Why I am Choosing Homeschool” and though I’m not there yet, I’m considering it. You could even say I’m trial running it. (I’m looking specifically at the curriculum offered through Oak Meadow- I encourage you to check them out online and see all the good stuff they’ve got going, homeschool and human-wise). And I’m also considering public education. I’ve got a year ahead of me and I hope by then, I will feel ready to make the best decision for my family, whatever road that might be.
A quote I read this morning helped to remind me that whatever I, or you, choose, there is no right or wrong, just different:
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road does not mean they are lost. – Dalai Lama