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how do you hold back :)

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Theodore is only 4.

he is also SN and "behind" .. immature and senstitive

I fully understand the joy and the need for him to have unrushed play, i know there is no need to push acidemics now -- or for a few years yet. THAT is a big part of why we want to home school anyway -- i don't like the rush to acidemic and the stress i see in public school in kindergarden and in pre-schools where we know kids.

i understand that ...i really do.



but

I find myself (internally, personally) anxious ... i want to jump into all the cool stuff i find, i want to see him read, i want to _______. it is all me, i know that.

then

add to that we have one family we are dear with that homeschool, and the peer to Theo in that family is #7 and a girl, and at 6 months older is much more advanced.

then

add to that that all the other peers he encounters (church, the children of DH's co-workers) are all in pre-school, even the ones a year younger than him.

I find it hard to rein myself in, and espcially not to worry ...

help
post #2 of 50
I used to worry about that exactly, and then I just gave up and went with my inner control freak And now we do worksheets every day and my daughter loves them and begs to do them (my mother makes fun of her behind her back for it... so mean!). I've also started teaching her to read using 100 Easy Lessons, which she also seems to enjoy even though we really just do the first 5 lessons over and over again because I don't think she's ready to go further. I also have at least one or two other academic "games" a day: she has these write on cards to practice letters and numbers that I have to actually HIDE because otherwise she gets the dry-erase marker out of the box, and though she has never drawn on a wall yet I don't really trust her if I'm not around! She also has movable type puzzles and we do stuff with an abacus and she has these neat little fraction blocks that she loves counting and playing with.

If she didn't enjoy all this, I wouldn't force it. But if she's not complaining, and I like arranging structured activities, why not? It's not actually going to destroy her childhood that she loves sitting in her little chair at her little table writing her numbers 1-3 over and over again (that's all she has memorized).

IMO there's a huge difference between pressuring kids to do things that they're not ready to do or that they don't want to do, and encouraging development by introducing new skills and leading structured educational activities. What I don't like about schools is the pressure for all children to learn in lockstep, using subpar educational methods (the ideal being, IMO, one on one instruction). Academic instruction at home, done to the child's pace and keeping in mind the child's aptitude, interests, learning style, and mood that particular day is very different.

We spend about thirty minutes a day on schoolwork. She sleeps 7-6:30, takes a 2 hour nap, and if we throw in an hour a day for meals, that still leaves 9 hours a day of free play and unstructured time. (Okay, she goes to a Montessori program for 3 of those hours a few days a week. But still. Since I can do all my errands during that time, she gets plenty of uninterrupted play time at home, and seems to lack nothing in the imagination and creativity department).
post #3 of 50
Aimee what is your day like now? Do you plan any activities? DO you just want a little more structure to your days or are you just ready to dive right into second grade?
post #4 of 50
Thread Starter 
we read a ton.



we color



we read

We "draw letters momma"

I know -- in my mind -- that we are fine -- and that reading a lot is the best thing, and the more he asks to read the happier i am --

but -- i read and look ahead and so so many awsome things and just get "giddy" about it

I know -- he is young adn immature at that -- he liks to do school -- but he is young adn it shows ...

What is so hard, IMO, is that so many kids his age -- at least the ones we know -- can do so much more.

so i know, in my head, that we are on the right track. just sitting back and lettting him be him and letting him take him time.

But then i watch Ella read and write her name and hsr sister's names ... and she is only 6 monmth older and i feel horrible.

ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

i know we need to hold back.

i know we are doing enough

but

sometimes i just PANIC
post #5 of 50
Well just give yourself some time. You will have relaxed moments and then times that you lay awake and think too much. I hate to say it but it is a process and while it is exhausting..it is also a bond that I can't explain..kind of a drive. Four is still a baby and he will eventually learn lots of things. My ds was delayed in many areas. He is growing everyday.

Today we tried to draw Knights from a book about how to draw..ds's drawings are very young ..they look like a 5 yr old ..he is 9.5. It's ok..he laughed at how ugly the limbs on his knight were..he is ok with it..I want to say here let me help you..but I hold back

Then we listened to a "How to Speak Italian" CD in the van while doing errands..he said chocolato, le pizza, and counted to ten along with the old italian lady. Hey my kid knows Italian!!!Not really , but he tried it and it was fun. How many mom's take the time to do Italian?

We read a book on Rome. It was a 2nd grade level book and he can read many levels , but for some reason history books can get kinda dry when they try to explain to much. He read it and understood how and where they lived..he understood it more than if I would have picked a thicker book.

Just try to have fun..he is going to grow at his own pace and try to say to yourself ... Find something you both enjoy and go with it..don't look at what others are doing.
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
I find myself (internally, personally) anxious ... i want to jump into all the cool stuff i find, i want to see him read, i want to _______. it is all me, i know that.

then

add to that we have one family we are dear with that homeschool, and the peer to Theo in that family is #7 and a girl, and at 6 months older is much more advanced.

then

add to that that all the other peers he encounters (church, the children of DH's co-workers) are all in pre-school, even the ones a year younger than him.

I find it hard to rein myself in, and espcially not to worry ...

help
Okay, I'm exhausted from a lower back injury, so I'm just going to go ahead and blurt - what in the world are you worrying about???

Do you think he might not be able to get a good job or get into college when he's in his late teens because he wasn't reading or writing or whatever when he was 4 or 5? Or even 6 or 7? Really???

I'm going to copy some things below that I've put in other posts:

I always think of Grant Colfax when I hear concerns like this. He's the son of David and Micki Colfax, authors of Homeschooling for Excellence, which they wrote after he was admitted to Harvard directly from homeschooling on their homestead and goat farm. He didn't learn to read until he was 9 - could have been almost 10, for all I know - but late enough that they had started to wonder if there might be a problem. But then he suddenly learned to read. He not only got into Harvard, but graduated on the Dean's List from the medical school. Last I heard a few years ago, he was working as the directing AIDS Research for the city of San Francisco with an Adjunct Professorship at the University of California at San Francisco, and was testing vaccines for AIDS.

I have a friend who read voraciously to her two children from the time they were tiny - their favorite thing was to pile into bed together for good books. The daughter went to school, and she had a very hard time learning to read - they tried lots of things, but there was only frustration until she was around 9, and all of a sudden it just clicked. She went on to be a star high school student, got into a good college with a merit scholarship, and she's now graduated with honors and is in grad school and helping a professor with research.

My own son wasn't taught how to read till he was almost seven, and then it was only because he was about to go into a little 1st grade class where the others would already be reading 3 letter words. He wasn't reading books for pleasure till he was 12 (when he started reading voraciously) - up till then, he used to read non-fiction books for information, but not pleasure (except, of course, for Calving & Hobbes, etc). When he took his SAT, he scored near perfect on the verbal part - he was actually a bit annoyed at having missed anything at all. That grew from all the reading I did aloud for him before he started reading voraciously on his own, as well as from the researching he'd done on the Internet - and from who knows where else...

When I saw other children reading early, I always felt kind of sorry for them (not trying to start a debate - just sharing what my feelings were) - it just seemed so unnecessary to be doing it on their own if they had parents to snuggle up with and listen to wonderful books and stories read/shared aloud from. When my son was off in college, he sent me a painting for Mothers Day that incorporated some of the things we had shared together in books I'd read him when he was a child - the lamp post from Narnia, a hillside with a castle on it, etc. - wonderful memories... What in the world is so important for a 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 year old to be reading on his own anyway? And where do they need to sign their names that's so important? If a child is wanting to learn to read or write, I see no reason whatsoever not to help them learn - but it's just so unimportant. There are so many other things a young child can be doing and learning about - it's not as if there's anything so special or sacred about learning to read or write or do other traditional school things early on.

Maybe you'd feel better if you got a schedule going for doing various fun activities on certain days - so you'd have things planned ready? - Lillian

post #7 of 50
But why not research fun things to do with him now rather then things to do in 3 yrs? There are TONS of fun preschool activities that you could try. There are games you could buy/make, routines you can set up. There is a lot of stuff you can do with him now that wouldn't be pushy. You could also do this stuff with both your boys. Do you have a sensory table? Do you paint? Do you own an easel? Do you have a good variety or puzzles and games? Do you bake? Have you done any science experiments? Do you ever make your own paste? You can take nature walks? Have you done any neat fall art projects? Have you ever made puffy paint? or oobleck? play dough? Or showed him how to make mosaics or 3d art with strips of paper he has cut?? Played eye spy or what toy is missing? Gone on a letter treasure hunt? Played find the cordless phone? How about making your own paints out of flowers or berries? Leaf rubbings? Have him dictate and illustrate stories to you. You can still plan activities and feel more like a homeschooler you just plan a little differently for a preschooler. Get your self a plan book even and write things down(can't believe I'm saying this ). I bet you could come up with some awesome things. Just remember it is all about getting ready and having fun. Getting ready mean his small muscles are developing so at 5.5 he can write. Not that he needs to write now. Same with reading, you are playing phonetic awareness games, rhyming, and get his eyes used to moving left to right. Doesn't mean he needs to read right now. Start googling all the neat preschool activities. Seriously PRESCHOOL ROCKS! It is so much fun and there is no pressure to preform. If they get it awesome move on, if not awesome move on.

You can plan a really fun and exciting preschool day. It doesn't need to be filled with work books or anything he isn't ready for. You can just do a routine, something like:

free play
breakfast
art /sensory play
outdoor time/outing time
lunch
puzzles
stories
nap
snack
mom directed game/activity
outside/free play again

That is similar to what preschools do. It would still give you a chance to plan neat things but wouldn't be elementary school. It would be preschool. If they don't respond well tweak it. I have seen you post a lot about wanting to do things. Do them! Just do age appropriate things. I am not an unschooler simply because I like to plan neat things for my kids to do. I think I am child led because if they hate it we move on. But generally my kids love the stuff we do. Go get your self some feeder corn and spend next week playing with it! Peel it off the cob, paint with it, sprout it, play farm with it, and if you really want to even have him glue some no the letter C.

Oh and don't worry about other peoples kids. When ever your kids is doing something you get nervous about it seems EVER single kid you meet has stopped doing whatever about six months before your child.
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post




When I saw other children reading early, I always felt kind of sorry for them (not trying to start a debate - just sharing what my feelings were) - it just seemed so unnecessary to be doing it on their own if they had parents to snuggle up with and listen to wonderful books and stories read/shared aloud from. When my son was off in college, he sent me a painting for Mothers Day that incorporated some of the things we had shared together in books I'd read him when he was a child - the lamp post from Narnia, a hillside with a castle on it, etc. - wonderful memories... What in the world is so important for a 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 year old to be reading on his own anyway? And where do they need to sign their names that's so important? If a child is wanting to learn to read or write, I see no reason whatsoever not to help them learn - but it's just so unimportant. There are so many other things a young child can be doing and learning about - it's not as if there's anything so special or sacred about learning to read or write or do other traditional school things early on.
listen to lillian Just have fun and enjoy him being a preschooler. It really is LOADS of fun
post #9 of 50
I disagree with the anti-early reading posts, but I will say that from your posts it sounds like your little one needs more time to mature and grow and flourish. Focus on play and reading, and soon enough you'll be in the thick of everything else. And then you may find yourself looking nostalgically back at the days where your most pressing concern was whether to make playdoh, or use the packaged kind.
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

When I saw other children reading early, I always felt kind of sorry for them (not trying to start a debate - just sharing what my feelings were) - it just seemed so unnecessary to be doing it on their own if they had parents to snuggle up with and listen to wonderful books and stories read/shared aloud from.
I also don't want a debate, but just because a child can read on his or her own doesn't mean that you stop reading to them. I too have lovely memories of being read to by my parents, long after I became a voracious reader (also at a pretty late age).
post #11 of 50
I know what you mean. My ds1 is the same age as yours (actually our younger ones are very close in age too!) and it can be hard to make myself step back and remind myself, "He's 4", when I see all this cool stuff for older kids... and really, I know I'm just attracted to it because it looks fun for *me*!

We occasionally "do school" - he loves doing workbooks, so I picked up a bunch for him and we sit at the kitchen table and do letters, numbers, shapes, whatever. He likes playing the "what letter does it start with" game, and we also do tons of reading. We do storyhour at the library every week.

We're starting with Sonlight p3/4 in a few months, which I think will be a very good fit for us - the boys and I are bookworms, we already do tons of reading, and I'm thinking that will satisfy my urge to "do stuff". Maybe starting a gentle preschool "curriculum" like that would help you?

It sounds like our boys would get along very well - my 4yo seems young for his age in many ways, too. He seems to have one foot on either side of that imaginary line between neurotypical and ASD.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


Okay, I'm exhausted from a lower back injury, so I'm just going to go ahead and blurt - what in the world are you worrying about???

Do you think he might not be able to get a good job or get into college when he's in his late teens because he wasn't reading or writing or whatever when he was 4 or 5? Or even 6 or 7? Really???

I'm going to copy some things below that I've put in other posts:

I always think of Grant Colfax when I hear concerns like this. He's the son of David and Micki Colfax, authors of Homeschooling for Excellence, which they wrote after he was admitted to Harvard directly from homeschooling on their homestead and goat farm. He didn't learn to read until he was 9 - could have been almost 10, for all I know - but late enough that they had started to wonder if there might be a problem. But then he suddenly learned to read. He not only got into Harvard, but graduated on the Dean's List from the medical school. Last I heard a few years ago, he was working as the directing AIDS Research for the city of San Francisco with an Adjunct Professorship at the University of California at San Francisco, and was testing vaccines for AIDS.

I have a friend who read voraciously to her two children from the time they were tiny - their favorite thing was to pile into bed together for good books. The daughter went to school, and she had a very hard time learning to read - they tried lots of things, but there was only frustration until she was around 9, and all of a sudden it just clicked. She went on to be a star high school student, got into a good college with a merit scholarship, and she's now graduated with honors and is in grad school and helping a professor with research.

My own son wasn't taught how to read till he was almost seven, and then it was only because he was about to go into a little 1st grade class where the others would already be reading 3 letter words. He wasn't reading books for pleasure till he was 12 (when he started reading voraciously) - up till then, he used to read non-fiction books for information, but not pleasure (except, of course, for Calving & Hobbes, etc). When he took his SAT, he scored near perfect on the verbal part - he was actually a bit annoyed at having missed anything at all. That grew from all the reading I did aloud for him before he started reading voraciously on his own, as well as from the researching he'd done on the Internet - and from who knows where else...

When I saw other children reading early, I always felt kind of sorry for them (not trying to start a debate - just sharing what my feelings were) - it just seemed so unnecessary to be doing it on their own if they had parents to snuggle up with and listen to wonderful books and stories read/shared aloud from. When my son was off in college, he sent me a painting for Mothers Day that incorporated some of the things we had shared together in books I'd read him when he was a child - the lamp post from Narnia, a hillside with a castle on it, etc. - wonderful memories... What in the world is so important for a 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 year old to be reading on his own anyway? And where do they need to sign their names that's so important? If a child is wanting to learn to read or write, I see no reason whatsoever not to help them learn - but it's just so unimportant. There are so many other things a young child can be doing and learning about - it's not as if there's anything so special or sacred about learning to read or write or do other traditional school things early on.

Maybe you'd feel better if you got a schedule going for doing various fun activities on certain days - so you'd have things planned ready? - Lillian

THANK YOU! You have just made my night I have an 8 yr old struggling to read and one of the biggest problems I have is with people interjecting that there is a problem (there isn't one, she just needs to learn at her own pace!) Its wonderful to hear stories about others who have gone on to really excel even when they were "delayed" in the eyes of society
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I also don't want a debate, but just because a child can read on his or her own doesn't mean that you stop reading to them. I too have lovely memories of being read to by my parents, long after I became a voracious reader (also at a pretty late age).
Me too. My DD was worried when she started reading that I wouldn't read to her any more. We had a big talk about how mommy will keep reading to you until you make me stop.
post #14 of 50
I too disagree with the anti early reading posts. Reading is an extremely important skill. Making sure your child learns to read is not at all unimportant. Like it or not, we live in a world where it is an absolutely necessary skill and contrary to much of the educational rhetoric you hear, it is not something that will come naturally and easily to most children.

Your Theo is four, right. So it is a perfectly appropriate time to be thinking about phonemic awareness, especially is he has some speech delays. I would definitely get a good book on dyslexia, and see if he has any of the early warning signs. I wouldn't worry too much about not writing his name. Those fine motor skills are often slower to develop, especially in boys. Rather I would think about really playing with the sounds of language. Nursery rhymes are great for this, or any kind of circle type activities that focus on sounds and clapping and moving and rhythm. Learning to hear the distinct sounds in words is what you are looking for. And, if you like research, then get a couple of good phonics programs and a really good spelling program and start learning yourself about the sounds that our language makes so that you have the knowledge necessary to help him when he is ready.

You can also make a game out of those big foam alphabet letter mats that fit together to form a mat on the floor. You could also think about setting up some Montessori type stations and see what he is interested in doing.

In other words, I see no reason to completely abstain from educational activities for some romantic ideal of unfettered childhood. Think about the things that a good preschool is doing and fit some of those activities into your lifestyle. As the pp said, there is tons of time in the day to do all these things, as well as independent play, outside time, walks, sleep, eat etc. This does not have to be pushing academics and it does not have to be stressful.
post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by meetoo View Post
But why not research fun things to do with him now rather then things to do in 3 yrs? There are TONS of fun preschool activities that you could try.

i think this is very good advice. you don't have to focus on reading with your brand new 4 year old. unless he's asking, i don't see the need. but there are many wonderful things you can do that will engage him & will be exciting to you both. create a routine, join a playgroup, go to the library weekly, take some field trips, do some experiments at home, you could even make some activity boxes for him to choose from, etc. i love this website for ideas www.preschoolrock.com

have FUN!
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicaSAR View Post
y.
In other words, I see no reason to completely abstain from educational activities for some romantic ideal of unfettered childhood. Think about the things that a good preschool is doing and fit some of those activities into your lifestyle. As the pp said, there is tons of time in the day to do all these things, as well as independent play, outside time, walks, sleep, eat etc. This does not have to be pushing academics and it does not have to be stressful.
I'm not Aniti learning activities, I just think the way many parents think of preschool learning is wonky. This stems back to when I worked in preschools. They want to see their kids doing worksheets, writing letters, and things like that. When they think of school, they think of when they went to school sat at desks and did seat work. The reality is that is not the way preschool kids learn best( I know some kids like workbooks my included son).
We do a lot of phonetic awareness activities, because I think it is an important prereading skill. We also do math activities, science experiments and many other things. The thing with preschoolers is it should be fun, hands on, and focus on PREPAREDNESS vs mastery of certain tings (li.e. reading/writing). Traditional play based preschool activities do teach kids tons of things. I don't think you should by any means sit back and not do anything with your preschool age child, but at the same time I have seen MANY children burned out on school by age six because they were pushed to young. I have also heard many parents say they wish they would have waited longer on formal academics. I have never heard a parent of an older child say I wish I would have taught him to read at age 3.
For the record, I am not an unschooler and do believe many children benefit from reading instruction. I just disagree with " formal school/curricula" for preschoolers. We have done many activities over they years that involved letters, numbers, science concepts, etc. It is just done at their pace and in a hands on way. My 4 yr old is an emergent reader right now and i am teaching him because he begged me. Apparently he is ready (or it is just his must keep up with big sissy mentality ), but we only do reading at his request. I have zero agenda for that until he is kindy/1st grade.
My point every time one of these threads comes up is just that preschool should be fun. It should not look like elementary school even if you are a traditional schooler, because preschoolers needs are different. Preschool should involve singing, messy art, lots of outside play, and the like.
post #17 of 50
I haven't read every single post and I know this is easier said than realized but all kids develop differently.

There's a girl at church that is 8 days older than dd and colors beautifully while dd just scribbles! So what? My dd will color nice when it's her time to color nice! Just like reading...my dd is a beginner reader and the coloring girl is just learning letter sounds. Point - all kids develop and do everything at different times and different paces. OR all our kids would be robots conformed to the PBS Development Tracker! LOL!

Dumb question...what does "SN" mean?
post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by meetoo View Post
I'm not Aniti learning activities, I just think the way many parents think of preschool learning is wonky. This stems back to when I worked in preschools. They want to see their kids doing worksheets, writing letters, and things like that. When they think of school, they think of when they went to school sat at desks and did seat work. The reality is that is not the way preschool kids learn best( I know some kids like workbooks my included son).
We do a lot of phonetic awareness activities, because I think it is an important prereading skill. We also do math activities, science experiments and many other things. The thing with preschoolers is it should be fun, hands on, and focus on PREPAREDNESS vs mastery of certain tings (li.e. reading/writing). Traditional play based preschool activities do teach kids tons of things. I don't think you should by any means sit back and not do anything with your preschool age child, but at the same time I have seen MANY children burned out on school by age six because they were pushed to young. I have also heard many parents say they wish they would have waited longer on formal academics. I have never heard a parent of an older child say I wish I would have taught him to read at age 3.
For the record, I am not an unschooler and do believe many children benefit from reading instruction. I just disagree with " formal school/curricula" for preschoolers. We have done many activities over they years that involved letters, numbers, science concepts, etc. It is just done at their pace and in a hands on way. My 4 yr old is an emergent reader right now and i am teaching him because he begged me. Apparently he is ready (or it is just his must keep up with big sissy mentality ), but we only do reading at his request. I have zero agenda for that until he is kindy/1st grade.
My point every time one of these threads comes up is just that preschool should be fun. It should not look like elementary school even if you are a traditional schooler, because preschoolers needs are different. Preschool should involve singing, messy art, lots of outside play, and the like.
I totally agree!! That is exactly what I wanted to say. Preparedness is the big thing at this age, and it definitely should be fun. And, for parents who enjoy researching, there is a lot that can be learned about what fun, quality preparedness is all about.
post #19 of 50
Me again!!

One quick word (IMO) about preschool academic work. I never thought I would be letting dd do academic work at this age. I believe as long as it's child led and desired, then it's ok to nuture and provide materials to meet their needs. Some kids aren't ready and some kids are. We do a mix of activity based academic "stuff" and workbooks. DD is thriving and excelling and asking for MORE (I actually reduced our school days from 5 to 3 days). Over the summer Wal Mart ran out of PreK and K workbooks (I couldn't buy them fast enough -especially math) so what was I to do next? I bought Singapore Earlybird K math (and CTC Math Level A - it has brand new concepts for her) and she is half way done with Book B. Should I have stopped with the Wal Mart books when dd was asking to do more? I believe I would have done a dis-service to her if I did stop and didn't provide her the materials she craved to continue on!

Like lach, our "school" sessions last about 30-40 minutes on those 3 school days and the rest is free, fun play.

BUT if your child is not ready or willing, then don't do it!!!
post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgianforti View Post
Me again!!

One quick word (IMO) about preschool academic work. I never thought I would be letting dd do academic work at this age. I believe as long as it's child led and desired, then it's ok to nuture and provide materials to meet their needs. Some kids aren't ready and some kids are. We do a mix of activity based academic "stuff" and workbooks. DD is thriving and excelling and asking for MORE (I actually reduced our school days from 5 to 3 days). Over the summer Wal Mart ran out of PreK and K workbooks (I couldn't buy them fast enough -especially math) so what was I to do next? I bought Singapore Earlybird K math (and CTC Math Level A - it has brand new concepts for her) and she is half way done with Book B. Should I have stopped with the Wal Mart books when dd was asking to do more? I believe I would have done a dis-service to her if I did stop and didn't provide her the materials she craved to continue on!

Like lach, our "school" sessions last about 30-40 minutes on those 3 school days and the rest is free, fun play.

BUT if your child is not ready or willing, then don't do it!!!
This is EXACTLY how I feel. And if you don't try, how will you know if your child is ready or not? Both of my children constantly amaze me with how much they are able and eager and ready to do... but I don't realize until an activity comes along that I assume is MUCH too complicated, and then they do it on the first try! But you never know what they'll be able to do and what they'll WANT to do until you introduce options.
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