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This topic contains 28 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by mcmama 4 years, 5 months ago.
August 19, 2008 at 1:39 am #188008
…but now I’m worried.
I’ve been tossing about the idea of homeschooling my kids for a while now. My daughter just turned four, so the prospect of school is looming on the horizon. I have relatives that are shocked that I’m not putting her into preschool this year, but I can’t bear the thought of sending her to school yet. It makes me sick to think of sending her in a year even! I’ve even been wondering if I can keep from sending her to kindergarten until she is 6 (she has a summer birthday).
Anyhow, homeschooling is a very attractive idea for me. I do worry about college prep for when she would reach high school age, and by prep I don’t so much mean the education, but the opportunities and access to colleges that formal schools have.
Here’s tonight’s dilemma, though. Amelie knows her letters by sight and can write some of them. She was given this tablet that has all of the letters in it, and you can trace the letters and there is room to practice them, too. So Aaron wanted to work in the tablet with her so she can start learning all of her letters. Well, she just wasn’t “getting it”. She drew a couple of the letters but wouldn’t write them on the lines where they were supposed to go. Aaron was getting frustrated so I stepped in. I sat her in my lap and tried to be positive, but she immediately was like, “I can’t do it,” and put her pencil down. We encouraged her to try, but she wouldn’t even pick the pencil up right! I got frustrated and sent her to her room. A couple of rounds of this, and I gave up.
So are we not cut out for homeschooling? She is a very strong-willed child and just doesn’t obey very well. She’s not as out of control as the Nanny 911 kind of kids, but I have a hard time keeping her in line. I let her get by with a lot. I try not to spank (which my parents think is the problem) and most punishments have very little affect on her. She is a very bright kid. My family agrees, naturally, and I’ve had strangers comment on it as well. (Oddly, Aaron kind of scoffs at this assessment as if we think she’s exceptional and she’s not.)
As for our style, obviously I get frustrated fairly easily, and Aaron does, too. I’m sure he’d just as soon send her to a school than work at teaching her every day, although he does enjoy teaching her things on the side. So I think homeschooling would be my responsibility. I was a good student in school, and I (sadly) had little compassion for kids that “didn’t get it”. So this is probably part of my frustration with Amelie – maybe a fear that she won’t be as good as me or even better? Or maybe I just lack the patience?
Any insights/suggestions/comments welcomed and appreciated.August 19, 2008 at 3:21 am #1002763
my son is the same way when it comes to learning something a certain way. I think a lot of it is the age. You are not in a class room, you’re at home, it should be fun, and a game. I had to learn to back off. I came across a few fun ways to learn letters, he would draw a picture, and I would writed underneath the word, clearly in capital letters, and ask him if he wanted to write it too? It was also effective for us to get neat things to write on, a chalk board, a dry erase board, it’s more fun to work on letters that way.
And my son is about the same age as your daughter, he’s 4 1/2, so I think it’s more the age, not that she’s a difficult learner. She wants to play, not be told what to do. That’s how my son feels anyway. Now just yesterday at church, he was writting in the church program peoples names and the hymns underneath the words already there, and doing a pretty good job. He wants to do it when he wants to do it. We just have to keep our eyes out for teaching moments, instead of forcing it.
I plan on homeschooling, you should do what ever you’re comfortable with. But please don’t be discouraged. Homeschooling shouldn’t really begin, sitting down and going through a lesson, until 6 or 7 yrs. old.
I hope Andrea, the homeschooling blogger here on families.com, responds. She actually just did a few articles on teaching an independant learner, who doesn’t like being told just how to do something.August 19, 2008 at 11:27 am #1002784
I have to agree on several fronts. . .
I think that if a kids knows their letters at 4 that’s just hunky dory but 4yo are simply not ready to do formalized learning. IME, they do better with more freedom in that regards. Research is pretty consistent as well that learning to read later is better actually. (I’m a pretty big non-fan of preschool though.)
I think sometimes as homeschoolers we tend to feel pressured for our kids to be doing what other kids are doing. . .particularly in the early years. But kids develop all at different paces. I like to point out to people that I have five children. . .and have used five different methods to teach reading.
I would also encourage you to avoid making “school” a battle ground. She is still really young and as pp pointed out, formalized learning doesn’t have to begin until at least 6 and really, if your state is lenient–you can wait longer.
There isn’t a specific way to be “cut out” to homeschool though. My babysitter was homeschooled. She’s a certified EMT, fluent in Chinese–that she taught herself and is an accomplished pianist, musician, and composer. Her mom is the least organized, least domestic, least patient person (and this is all by her own admission) that I’ve ever met. They never finished an entire year’s worth of curriculum, never had a strict schedule, never had their paperwork done on time, etc. Her mom barely finished high school and barely finished college. And yet despite all of their “obvious shortcomings” as teachers–their children are incredible.
Give it time–don’t give up on homeschooling bc you think you can’t cut it. Back off on the letters. . .and when you get back around to it make it a game. I found that starting out, it was easier to get in the habit of “doing school” for short periods of time so when I first started, we did math in the morning, and read together after lunch. Then I added phonics. . .an occassional science project. . .etc.August 19, 2008 at 11:53 am #1002786
In the UK everyone starts school at four, so everyone is reading at four. If children don’t do it there and then they wont do it, but you can’t expect a child to sit down and want to learn letters, they may be ok with playing and learning them, but just being sat down and told them is boring.
For a while it really doesn’t matter if she doesn’t know what letters mean, here letters aren’t taught, words are taught first, as to children who cannot read letters have no meaning, but words do. So if she learns a word such as a name, she sees a picture, then when she has moved along further to learn letters, she will see each little picture in her name, instead of having to memorise every letter first and working out when to use them.
The main thing though is they do have to want to do it, if she wanders off, leave her and do something else, if you push her, she will push you.August 19, 2008 at 3:51 pm #1002824
Thanks for the responses so far! I think that the key thing here is to back-off like you guys have said. I will talk with Aaron and make sure that we are on the same page, and that we approach any learning at this point from a fun, casual perspective.
Val, I’m not a fan of preschool, either, although I have not done the extensive research on the subject that I’m sure you’ve done. My reservations come mainly from the fact that I feel like kids at 3 and 4 should be playing and being kids, not stuck in a classroom. I guess I would do well to remember that philosophy when I want Amelie to work on her letters.
I do think that some of wanting her to do the letters definitely comes from my selfishness and wanting her to be “ahead” so others will recognize her talents. This is silly on my part and probably potentially harmful if not controlled. I don’t want to push her or make her feel that I am disappointed in her in any way.
I guess one of my fears in letting go and not pushing on learning letters and reading is that I will not push and not push, and then suddenly she’ll be at a point where she’s still not reading when she should be. I don’t remember actually learning to read (although I remember knowing how in first grade so it had to be before I was 7), so I have no idea what point would be considered “behind” if she didn’t know. I’m fairly certain it isn’t 4 so she’s not behind yet.
I just want to do right by her and equip her with all the tools she will need to succeed academically post-high school. I want to instill a love of learning in her with the hopes that college will be an important goal for her. I don’t want to be pushy, though. I hope I can strike a balance.August 19, 2008 at 5:26 pm #1002855
Don’t worry about her being behind. Part of loving to learn, is learning at her own pace, and not feeling like she has to be better than every other kid. If she knows there’s no pressure, I’m sure she will flurrish.
You don’t have to back off completely, just bring up stuff. When we go to the grocery store, I spell the letters out that are on the sign, things like that. If She’s not interested, that’s ok, she will be.August 20, 2008 at 12:12 am #1002924
That’s why I’m not a fan of preschool. I think they should be smelling the roses.;-) As far as being behind. . .I think a lot of people don’t realize how mortally stifling a classroom can be for kids. When you allow them to blossom on their own and in their own time and in their own way you’ll be amazed at what they can and will accomplish and learn.
I’m not a big fan of letting them loose either. . .but at this age, exploration is really the best teacher. If you will yourself to answer every question–you will find yourself with an incredibly bright child.August 20, 2008 at 12:55 am #1002931
If you decide to NOT homeschool, don’t delay her entry into kindergarten till age 6. She will be so bored.
If Kindergarten in your school district is half day and not on her level, you might consider skipping it and doing a homeschool kindergarten, or sending her half day and supplementing. Public school kindergarten is often more about getting kids socialized for “real school” than about developmentally appropriate practices and learning. This is why I sent my kids to a montessori program. They got the socialization AND the “education”.
See if you can tour your local school this year because you are “thinking” about kindergarten. I guarantee you they have not met anyone quite like that. I met with the principal and while I could not go into the classroom, we spent some time in the hallway outside so I could get an idea of what was going on.
It was nice, but it was half day and “traditional” = and my kids had already done half day pre-k three days a week and grown up with my full time family childcare group, so it just wasn’t enough. I went with the full day Montessori, despite some negative comments about how ill prepared those children were for “real school”.September 10, 2008 at 10:09 pm #1006572
In most states you don’t have to send your child to school until they are 7yrs. My youngest is 8 and has never been in PS. My oldest was in the PS all the way through and my middle has only been in PS kindergarten. It makes me sick to think that I sent my oldest to the PS at all but I didn’t have the courage or even know I could until she was in 9th and way to far into the system.September 10, 2008 at 10:12 pm #1006574
That’s not true. . .in ‘most’ states the minimum compulsory age is 5 or 6 with a few going older. (I haven’t seen any younger than 5 yet.)
But definitely homeschooling is more popular now than it was.September 11, 2008 at 2:33 pm #1006678
[quote=twinzplus3]That’s not true. . .in ‘most’ states the minimum compulsory age is 5 or 6 with a few going older. (I haven’t seen any younger than 5 yet.)
But definitely homeschooling is more popular now than it was.[/quote]
have you checked with HSLDA on that. I have researched alot and that is the the common late age of enrollment as 7yrs old. Alot of people don’t know that and its great info to really research your state on HSLDA.comSeptember 11, 2008 at 2:37 pm #1006680
Yeah–actually between Andrea and I, I think we’ve covered most of the states in our homeschooling blog. I’ve written extensively on it. And yes, I find HSLDA to be the most accurate in terms of state laws. I would agree that you should never start submitting paperwork (if your state requires it) before compulsory age. . .generally 5 or 6. (1st grade) And of course we always encourage people to check their state laws first.September 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm #1006691
you are saying 5 or 6 as minimum I am saying 7 as max that they will allow you to late enroll. This is why I homeschool my daughter wasn’t ready at 7 to start K work all. All 3 of my kids are special needs to varying degrees and to start her at 5 would have been foolish on my part.
Oh the joys of homeschooling. I love that we can sit in our recliners or on our couch, as the kids are doing right this minute doing their math. I am on the computer and DH is doing bills and we are all in the same room and it is quiet, exept for the tinking of my keyboard.September 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm #1006693
Well I have twins–it’s never quiet! LOLSeptember 12, 2008 at 2:19 pm #1006899
How old are your twins?? My kids have learned that they are to have inside voices at all time inside the house or other building. We live in an 1100sqft home and that is a must to have inside voices
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