The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” Alexandra K. Trenfor
What homeschool curriculum did you use for your little ones?
Did your child ask to learn and you waited it out until they were older?
How did that work out?
I feel a little silly writing this post, my kiddos are 4 and 2. They don’t need school, they need crayons, kittens and princess dresses.
What do you do when your 4 year old has this conversation?
Kiddo: I want to go to school.
Me: What happens at school?
Kiddo: I get to ride the bus and play with kiddos, and learn math. Do you know how to Math?
Me: Yes, do you want me to teach you?
Kiddo: No, I want a real teacher.
Me: I could be your teacher.
Kiddo: Big grin, wide eyes, “Yea?!”
I didn’t jump in right away like in hindsight I should have. Because when I said this to her, I was thinking more like, “I’ll teach her a few things while I’m looking for a preschool.”
Jump to conversation number 2…2 weeks later.
Kiddo: Mommy, I want to learn Math, you promised to teach me
Me: I did, didn’t I.
Enter serious Mommy guilt.
At this point I had been doing my best to figure out appropriate schooling options and was starting to lean towards homeschooling. I was very much into Rudolf Steiner which explicitly denies formal education until they are 7. So what am I supposed to say, “No, not until your 7″, like she’s asking to have her ears pierced? ”
So I began the homeschool curriculum search, educational toys, workbooks, free curriculum on line, apps etc. What makes this a little more difficult is kiddo number 2 will want to be involved, so I must have “school” for her too.
I want to clarify something before I move on.
You do not need all this stuff. I bowed down to capitalism to allay my “I’m not good enough” fears. I recognize they exist and I will work through them, but my kiddos shouldn’t have to wait until Mommy’s issues are cleared up to live their life. I needed to get something on the proverbial school desk, fast…before I lost my nerve. I needed as many learning tools as possible “in case I fail”. This was my form of retail therapy.
We went through all the new goodies and it was great fun, but the clear winner…the Abacus! My kiddo’s dexterity is not great, so getting her fingers to count properly was a frustration, enter brightly colored beads. For the last 4 days since our packages arrived I have heard this joyous song ringing through our home. “I want to play Math”. So really all I needed was the Abacus. The numbers worksheets I downloaded from here.
We went through the first Bob book while my Husband and I sat with mouths agape. She was sounding out words like a pro. But she had no real interest and promptly went back to “playing Math”. Then something miraculous happened during storytime, “can you read this for me” I prompted. “Pat sat on the cat” she easily breezed and then looked at me with sheer joy. “I read, I really read”. “Yes, baby, you read the other night with Mommy and Daddy”. I said. “I’m not talking about those books, that’s a real book”, she exclaimed pointing at the Dr. Seuss I held. The Bob books didn’t register, for her it was an exercise, but reading a book that up until now only Mommy read, that to her was reading. So most likely I could have just stuck with Dr. Seuss. *sigh*
This skill is just not there yet and I haven’t seen any real interest. She does enjoy Mr. Pencil and is very proud to have her first big girl pencil. So I’m satisfied with these purchases. Found the writing worksheets here.
Kids have such an aptitude for language. I’ve read accounts of children learning new languages at young ages, but really thought it was a case of over zealous parents. My kiddos already have a fairly significant number of Spanish vocabulary just from watching Dora and Diego. So when I get the question, “Mommy, do you know how to say “such-n-such” in Spanish?”, I have to follow their lead. Both kiddos really are enjoying and learning with Little Pim. Very happy with these.
Little One’s “School”
All of these were actually great purchases. The fish color puzzle is just about obsolete so well worth it there and the rest are still being enjoyed tremendously.
These last few days have taught me that I honestly didn’t need everything here. Part of the reason I bought so many different things was because I didn’t know what my children would respond best to. Also, child led learning sounded so scary to me and I wanted them both to be able to pick what spoke to them. Turns out, pencils and paper and “school” with Mommy spoke more to them than anything. Well, except the Abacus. I thought for sure I was going to need a background in child psychology to catch the clues of readiness. But it really is as easy as, “what do you want to do today?”.
Starting a little homeschooling at this age is less stressful. By the time the school district will require lesson plans and standardized testing she will be far enough ahead that it will make no difference if she chooses to ignore a subject for a while. But also…she’s 4! Who cares?!