hey ladies. no, i don't have a curriculum, it is child led which is the same as how they learn as babies and how i learn anything now: curiosity, asking people for information, research with library and online, trial and error and learning from consequences. it is really hard for me and the folks. taiwanese pride themselves on education. basically i just can't talk to my parents about it. my mom just about made me crazy when damen was on his back and i was pg and tired and reed and clay fought all day. she could not understand why i would not take at least a "free" break by putting reed in school. me and dh did go to an open house awhile back and that only made us more convinced to homeschool, though i was tempted by having the community. my parents will probably get weirder when reed is closer to seven, which is the legal age, and just to let some of you ladies know, quite a magic number for a child from what i can see, as well as five.
my mom gives me a hard time about everything without saying a word, and i just try to pretend i'm not getting the signal since the disapproval is useless to me. maybe it's easier knowing i can't please her. she still gets upset about my sagging belly. it's not even her own body!
my inlaws i think have given up on saying anything to us. they are good people though insane like any family and ironically my mil started teaching in public school this spring. she teaches middle school math and she told me one class where she spent the entire period working to get her class to admit that the radius is half of the diameter. scary.
curriculum is really for the parents and in some places for the state to feel you are doing okay. i'm still drawn towards the school supplies in the fall. i know many ladies that mix curriculums and do what works for the child. unschooling i find magical. it means his thinking is quite original, and it is fascinating to be part of. i'm also of the mind that learning to cook a decent meal or speak for yourself or be savvy with money is more important than calculus or classics.
the other big thing i never expected is that he has an intense relationship with not only me and dh, but with his siblings, that he would not have if he were in school. he and ruby are peas in a pod. they totally understand each other, and it is a marvelous thing, their being together.
i did not know i would be homeschooling or unschooling until recently and i'm still not solid when strangers ask me where he goes to school. i will also go one and say that most the schools here are just storage facilities, and that the standard of parenting or lifestyle is pretty low here. and there is a big christian homeschooling community here, though i'm in a non religious based group. it's the deep south. people selfishly do whatever they want here, and it is okay for what i want for now. it's just how it happenned. if we had stayed in mpls, i find it hard to think i would be doing things this way. maybe i'm more rebellious because of where i live.
if reed wants to try school later on, he can. he helped make the choice when we talked about it when he was four. we didn't paint the prettiest picture though we really said very little. we told him that he would be there all day everyday and could only eat when they said he could for breakfast and lunch, and that he could run for twenty minutes after lunch and at pe once a week. and that he would have to wake up early no matter what, and go to the bathroom only once or twice with permission, and could not have cold water with him, and would have to nap or stay quiet during that time. i can't get over these simple physical issues! he can barely sit still or stay quiet ever and hasn't napped since turning two. he asked what he would learn, and this we did ask at the open house of the gifted school: they expected the finishing kindergarteners to recognize their letters and count to 100. so he went ahead and learned those things that week.
the homeschool group is a big deal for me it is a social connection. i would not homeschool isolated. ideally, everyone i know would live on my street and the street behind and our kids would run open amongst the yards and learn everything from everybody.
one more thing. most educators agree that kids are getting maybe three hours a day of actual learning at school. something to chew on if you are already staying home. also, boys benefit from being held back a year or so, though i didn't feel i would have had this option since reed is such a talker and big (an inch away from four feet tall.....i think i was this height at nine. no wonder my mom is so impatient with him)
aack! sorry i wrote so much, though i don't have the heart to delete now...