Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wish List Item #12

12. If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

I was sitting at East End Arts Council this afternoon waiting for my oldest daughter to finish her Art class. My 4yo was sitting with me reading a library book...yes, actually reading a book. An early reader, but still reading. As people were coming and going they were quite amazed, which was a little astonishing to me. And while I would love to take credit for having produced such an "advanced" child, I really had little to do with her progress. Sure, we talk about letter sounds, and I read to the kids, but she did most of the work all on her own.

Now, I also have a 6.5yo who is not reading, and shows very little interest. He has recently been inspired by the See More Readers written by Seymour Simon, but even that is sporadic at best. However, this child retains nearly everything that is read to him, and has a wide knowledge base. He remembers King Sargon from his sister's Story of the World lessons when he was only 4! And has since found considerable commonality between Sargon and Moses...who would have thought?

Homeschooling allows us the ability to let our kids be kids in their own time and in their own way. Oh how I wish my two little ones were on the same page and I could teach them both the same lessons at the same time, but that just isn't so. They learn completely differently, and I am blessed to have the freedom to nurture each of them, right where they are.


Nan Patience said...

If people could only hear themselves sometimes.

Luckily, everything I say is perfect.

I don't know much about education, it's not my specialty at all. (Not that I have any specialties.) But there certainly is a great deal of pressure at school. They try to make it pleasant and interesting, and my kids are pretty well engaged. I'm somewhat concerned about the pressure, but also satisfied too that they're where they need to be.

I think teachers are very good at teaching, breaking things down in their simplest forms and working their way up with groups and individual children as best they can. It's definitely not perfect, but it's certainly better than my trying to do it. I don't have the patience, experience or knowledge--nor do I want to. As I've said before, for me, public school was the best invention since fire.

j-m said...

Working at my new job has given me a whole new respect for elementary school teachers. After having seen a LOT of bad teaching, I am currently delighted to see a group of dedicated, inspired, focused professionals, making considerably less than public-school teacher wages. It's even giving me second thoughts about sending my son there. But, in my heart, I really love the whole homeschooling concept. When it's done well, it's the most amazing experience.

These decisions are so difficult to make...and there is no "right" answer for everybody (I even know some families who have some kids in school, some at home!)

I just wanna have it all. And have my kids have it all, too. (Is that unreasonable?)