a long time ago i started to get comfortable with the idea that there wasn’t any specific schedule of topics and skills that my children needed to learn at certain times. i’ve been comfortable with this idea, for the most part, for awhile…but i still find myself susceptible to the fears of whether my child is learning enough…whether she’s learning the same things as other kids her age…whether she’s as smart as other kids her age. and feeling to blame if she’s not up to the level of others her age.
this is so silly, i know. it really is, particularly when i remember that i am homeschooling, among many other reasons, so that we can have our own schedule of learning. and not be stuck with someone else’s idea of what MY child should know, when.
thank heavens that my brain tends to come back to my original thoughts eventually…regardless of how many times i stray from my path and doubt myself, i still keep coming back to this wonderful feeling that really i can just relax…that i KNOW that the public schools have absolutely ridiculous ideas about what children should know, when.
i mean, for pete’s sake, they have children doing in kindergarten now, what only 30-40yrs ago we weren’t doing til 1st and 2nd grade! and why? because their method of “education” is so ridiculously flawed that they have to buy themselves more time to cram more stuff in because it doesn’t stick. which is just ludicrous because now they have children far too young learning things they shouldn’t even be thinking about yet! teaching preschoolers, and maybe even kindergarteners, to read is just silly!
i’m not saying that its not possible. of course there are children that learn to read and write at 4 and 5. what i’m saying is that the average child, in my mind, shouldn’t.
i strongly believe kids up to 4 or 5 (and maybe even later!) shouldn’t even think about more than just enjoying all the fun of giggling with friends and making mud pies and painting their hands and spinning in circles!!
i just have to hold that thought when i waiver.
lately, with all the thinking i’ve been doing about unschooling…i’ve been really feeling better about maeven’s education. i do know that i need to still take an active role in things…and i do, and i intend to even do more…but i’m feeling really good about relaxing more about how things are going and to just let things be much more natural and relaxed. really, its been a wonderful relief!
she IS learning, and learning all the time…and she’s proving to me every day how much more efficiently she can learn when its self-guided.
that’s not to say that i think there’s anything evil in teaching children. i still think that there’s no harm in it when the child is interested in the subject matter. i spend a lot of time on any given day explaining all sorts of things to my children. i am happy to be their teacher, and i think there’s nothing wrong with that.
and i don’t subscribe to the thought that all that my children learn should be completely of their own volition. they simply do not have the life experience to know what’s out there to even explore! of course, i DO agree they learn best when it’s self-driven…but i see no harm in providing opportunities for them to explore topics that they might not otherwise have run into.
anyway, my brain needs a rest and my son finally fell asleep…so its mommy’s toontown time now! 🙂
It sounds like you have a good philosophical balance. It’s possible to be too dogmatic about unschooling as well as about traditional schooling. 🙂 It sounds like you want to offer resources and ideas that you think will be enriching, teach when she’s open to it, and just let her grow and learn the rest of the time. It sounds about right to me.
thanks! that’s exactly it! if only i can hold this in my brain, so i don’t keep going back to doubting myself periodically. 🙂