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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Success!!! (kind of)

Canaan read his first story yesterday. It was very basic, and only consisted of 4 words, in various orders, but he read it! It was so exciting, and he read it again to his Daddy when he got home. I am so proud. However, today when we sat down to learn the next lesson, his interest was just about zero. So, as he wiggled and squirmed, and dawdled I realized that it was all about me. If he wants to read, then great, I will help him. But if he does not want to read, I really don't think I should force him. Eventually, (and for the rest of his life) he is going to have to do things just because they NEED to be done. Right now, at 4 years old, I don't think it is a good idea for me to push that on him. He already has to go to bed, eat his vegetables, use good manners, etc. That is enough for now. I want him to be able to do, as much as possible, what he wants to do right now. Don't get me wrong, I don't intend to let my kid be a bully, or eat icecream every day, or stay up until midnight watching cartoons. But if he wants to spend his time screwing pieces of cardboard together, "building" a house: so be it. If he would prefer to spend an hour with watercolors, creating Halloween cards for his friends: wonderful. If he is craving time outside, riding his bike in circles or digging in the sand: that is what I want for him. I think Andy is stressed about our children learning responsibility. Andy was raised in public school, his mother is not very fond of the idea of us homeschooling, and most of the people he works with have had very little positive exposure to homeschooling. I guess it makes sense that he is nervous. I have allowed his nerves to stress me out, and make me feel like I have to "succeed", have to accomplish something, have to prove that what I am trying to do is right. And that completely sums up what is wrong. I have spent 48 hours being stressed, and when it all boils down, I was stressed about nothing.
Canaan is bright, talented, interested in a multitude of things, and a very normal four year old boy. There is absolutely no need to pressure him to "learn". He is learning every minute of every day. As long as I remember that, focus on that, take advantage of that, then I am doing my job. For crying in the mud, he is FOUR!
It is about more than learning how to read: my children have to learn how to want to know things, want to learn, desire knowledge. If I can give then the desire to learn, then I will have succeeded. No matter what any future tests, or grades, successes or failures try to tell me, I will know I have given them the best thing there is - the desire to learn.


Michelle Maxwell Nebel said...

Hey, I posted a comment on your "Language" post and it's not there! Bummer! :-S I'll go back and try to remember what I said. ;-)

I hear you about Andy's concerns stressing you out - I think that's pretty normal. Has he done any reading-up on the success stories of homeschooling? There is SO MUCH out there to provide some counterbalance to the flack he's hearing.

And seriously, even if later on you decide not to homeschool.... right now you're talking about a 4 year old. Most of them aren't responsible, no matter where they attend school. And no state has a *requirement* that 4-y-o's be in school anyway. ;-) Plenty of kids his age are at home, watching too much TV and eating junk food... or in day care settings with little to no educational merit.

You're SO right on in your post. The important thing at his age is just to LOVE learning. When it's all open-ended and fun, he will naturally want to pick up those things we call "necessary skills." He will want to count, to read, to write. And in the meantime, look at what he's doing! That building of houses is a great pre-math activity - he is developing his spatial sense in a way that can't be "taught." His physical activities and artistic expression are things that kids in public preschools don't get nearly enough of.

You're doing the right thing for him, and you're doing an awesome job of it. ((((Hugs))))!

mom0ktdid said...

Wow! Thanks to you this is SO my soapbox now! And I don't feel right getting on my soapbox on my own blog bc of the amount of my friends who read who send their kids to public school. I just don't want it to seem like I am trying to be high and mighty about the homeschool decision. If Andy needs an example of a homeschool success he need look no further than his own bed! ha ha! You! It should reassure your in-laws that the completely homeschooled person in your household is the one who holds the highest GPA and college degree, while their public schooled child has yet to finish (as they point out all the time lol!) I mean that in the best way possible...but who loved learning more? I think all kids can love learninig if they aren't forced to do it in a certain way approved by the state! I think I am going to start responding to people who ask (bc katie is so "big" we have actually been asked whey she isn't in school if we were out early-get ready for that) anyway, I think I am going to start responding that we employ a 24 hour private tutor! How would they respond to that? lol. Sounds pretty good huh? But, that is really and truly what I am to them...a 24 hour public tutor in every single subject they could ever need to know!
In all reality though, it has been more hesitance on my part to what the response will be, I kind of tense up when they say to Katie: "Well, why aren't you at school?" and actually when we finally respond that we homeschool, the response has been positive. "well, you just never know what is going to be going on at school these days. home is the best place to be!"
I could say more, but I need to stop! TTYL! GO US!