MIL teaching my 4 yo how to spell/read - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
mommytimes2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: West coast
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Just curious to know how you all would handle this. I have had issues with my MIL over the years over various issues--here is the latest. lol  We are planning on sending DD to Waldorf kindergarten next year (she is in a home-based Waldorf preschool right now). We have purposefully not taught her academics up to this point in keeping with Waldorf principles, but MIL is forever trying to teach things to her. I wish she would just play with her, but lately she has been teaching her how to count and spell her name, DH has major trouble talking to his mother, so it is on me. Would you say something, or let it go? We see her once every couple of weeks or so.  I am sure she will see this as just another example of our crazy parenting choices. To her, any young child who doesn't have computer access, or who doesn't know how to spell by age 4 is behind the curve. She is normally very close-minded to any real information about our choices. I am pretty sure I am going to talk to her, but if anyone has BTDT and has some good suggestions about how best to handle this I would love to hear about your experiences! 

mommytimes2 is offline  
#2 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 03:32 PM
 
JudiAU's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Where creepy facebook-featured threads can't find me
Posts: 3,593
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I really think your MIL is just trying to relate/engage with her grandchild. Spelling names addresses or whatever seem to be common among grandmothers. I don't think she is doing any harm and her "lessons" are unlikely to "stick" or make any difference in your DS's long term education. And if they do, if your child grasps the alphabet or phonics or reading simply from spending time with her he probably would have done it on his own.

 

I'd probably refrain from discussing the matter and just let it go. The conversation won't go well, however you phrase it. And I have enough similar experience to know that the walking away from minor (totally annoying) situations usually works best.

JudiAU is offline  
#3 of 15 Old 10-04-2011, 06:00 PM
 
knittygritty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)

yeahthat.gif

 

Unless she starts pulling out the flash cards and worksheets, I would just keep an eye on her for now.


knittygritty is offline  
#4 of 15 Old 10-05-2011, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
mommytimes2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: West coast
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks for your replies. Funny you should mention the flashcards--she used to quiz DD with them when she was around 2 years old. I finally hid them in a closet where they couldn't be found. She definitely has a teaching agenda with all the grandkids, but SIL doesn't mind since her children are going to public school and they are much more mainstream...

I thought about gently telling her what we are doing with Waldorf and why they do not think teaching the very young child is age appropriate in a more indirect way instead of putting her on the spot and saying, "don't do that!" Hmmm. You have given me more to think about.

mommytimes2 is offline  
#5 of 15 Old 10-05-2011, 10:28 AM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,430
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
My biggest issue with Waldorf was that they teach reading so late, sometimes nine years old. That's the main reason why I didn't choose Waldorf for my kids.

While 4 is a little early, he can certainly be doing a lot of pre-reading activities with her and you. You know, recognizing signs, choosing groceries by matching a coupon to the product at the grocery store, helping to sort dishes or laundry.
philomom is offline  
#6 of 15 Old 10-08-2011, 01:34 AM
 
WindyCityMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 2,619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by knittygritty View Post

yeahthat.gif

 

Unless she starts pulling out the flash cards and worksheets, I would just keep an eye on her for now.


 

That totally happened to us, up to an excessive point.  MIL didn't like that fact that we plan to homeschool our kids, so she took it into her hands to run her home like a preschool, up to the point of drilling my ONE year old on letters.  That was kind of the last straw.  No talking or anything was going to get through to her.  We see her once every few weeks now, most of the time at our house.  It's not bad anymore, and it's a healthy grandparent/child relationship.  My almost 4yo seems very less stressed now that she's not being drilled on stuff.  It became excessive.  Once every few weeks I wouldn't have really cared as much.  Just maybe nip it in the bud before it snowballs, if Waldorf is really what you want :)

 


rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
WindyCityMom is offline  
#7 of 15 Old 10-08-2011, 09:36 AM
 
karne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Why don't you want your child to know how to spell their name?  I can guarantee you that if you go to a waldorf kindy, more than one child will know how to spell their name, and know their phone number, and possibly their address.  This doesn't mean "academics".

karne is offline  
#8 of 15 Old 10-08-2011, 09:40 AM
 
Melaniee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 3,740
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I had the SAME question when my eldest was little. It was so freaking annoying to watch her.  I actually asked our teacher what she thought about it, and in our case MIL saw him for a couple of hours once a month, at most. She wasn't babysitting, so we were there. She said she'd just let it go to avoid hurting the grandparent relationship. 

 

It really really irritated me that she couldn't just come over and play that she tried to 'teach' them stuff. She was a kindergarten teacher all of one year. *eyeroll* MY grandmother was a kindergarten teacher for many years including my early ones and didn't pull that with me. Anyway...I remember at one point watching Ds purposefully answer things wrong (I think she was holding up letters or numbers from a puzzle and quizzing him). It amused me.   In retrospect, I think *SHE* wanted to be responsible for something with bragging rights. As in to her friends, "I taught my grandson xyz" or along those lines. Especially as she had a (time) limited relationship.  If we (LOL) couldn't take it anymore one of us would redirect her to something else, or redirect Ds to something else to do with her.  Have you tried that? As in "Dd why don't you get book/game/toy to share with Grandma?" or "Grandma, Dd really likes this (then physically hand it to the woman if she's suggestion-averse)."

 

Quote:

My biggest issue with Waldorf was that they teach reading so late, sometimes nine years old. That's the main reason why I didn't choose Waldorf for my kids.
 

It isn't that they don't teach academics or reading until 9, they just respect that children learn at a different pace and some may not be ready until 9. I have seen at that point the teachers/school help parents find extra help for their child.

 

 

ETA: I totally hear you on the 'close minded to hear our real information,' too. I think MIL takes any choice we make differently than her personally (and in this regard she used to regularly brag that she taught Dh to read by age 2. *eyeroll*).  We invited her to the Rose Ceremony at school one year and she spent the 20 minutes beforehand discussing with Dh how we felt about our kids missing out on so much by not watching Disney movies. Yeah, that was a treat. She's totally clueless and doesn't care to understand. Guess who didn't get invited to Grandparents Day? Though in retrospect that might have been a GOOD idea for her! 

 

And ITA, most kids will know to spell their names. I suppose it depends upon the 'purity' of your school as to if they actually use name labels in the kindergarten or not. We've gone to one of each.  I was shocked the first time I saw names used on things in a Nursery, but it happens so if it's just the 'name' issue, I wouldn't worry. But I realize it seems to go beyond that.  I think in my eldest's first grade class there was exactly one child who didn't know how to spell their name on the first day (there was something I was helping with where we were putting their names on things and asking them how to spell their names to make sure we got them correctly, else I promise you, other parents don't really keep track of things like that. LOL).

Melaniee is offline  
#9 of 15 Old 10-09-2011, 12:33 PM
 
sprinkle pocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: on the edge of a 5 million acre forest
Posts: 520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We don't let anyone like MIL try to teach our kids unless they too are aligned with steiners indications. Of course, then they either listen to or play with my kids! LOL If you're going with waldorf, it may be worth it to nip it in the bud as pp said. Especially because it may be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the broader picture of your family's relationship with her. To maintain some semblance of a decent relationship, I think she has to honor and respect that you two are the parents. Sometimes as pp said, redirecting to another activity enough times will get the message across. My dh has had to learn to communicate with his folks. He doesn't but only b/c they have no earthly idea how to talk/listen LOL (sigh...theyre coming for a visit tomorrow. Wish me luck!)

Tough situation you're in! Let us know how you handle it! smile.gif

Waldorf homeschooling homesteading homebirthing mama to my 2 boys '05 & '10 joy.gif & most amazing wife to my most amazing dh
sprinkle pocket is offline  
#10 of 15 Old 10-11-2011, 09:13 AM
 
honeybunmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,713
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)

I wouldn't have a big issue with it.  My MIL tries to drill my kids, but they see her infrequently.  My mother gives my dd workbooks. . . I just put them in a drawer and dd rarely, actually, I don't think ever, takes them out.  My mother is out of state, but sees the kids more frequently than their in-state grandmother.

 

And, sooooo many of the kids in my daughter's Waldorf pre-school (she's in her kindergarten year there, now) can spell their names.  I see them on the birthday drawings presented to dd each year.  Can they read?  Probably not; although I do know of one child who could and went to Waldorf first grade this year reading, but she was in the minority.  My daughter will be 6 next month and can spell her given name, nick name, her brother's name and mami and papi.  That's about it.  She in no way would be considered a reader.  I think it's important to take a close look at what your child is actually doing with the information he or she does get.  Many times, to the extent a child is actually interested in what is being offerred, the interest is very limited.  Like in my daughter's case where she is content to just know how to spell the names of her family members. 


Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
honeybunmom is online now  
#11 of 15 Old 10-11-2011, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommytimes2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: West coast
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thank you all for your posts! Very interesting to see that my situation isn't all that uncommon! I have to admit, I do agree with Steiner on this one and I think there are good reasons for waiting a couple of years. That creativity and imagination are so important that I want to do everything I can as a parent to foster that in my kids. Here where I live, the children start reading in 1st grade--age 6/7.

 

 I have been asking DH to have the talk with his mother about what Waldorf education is all about, but he has put it off and avoided it very effectively. I think he might have mentioned before that in Waldorf the reading/spelling/writing is put off a couple of years, but she has continued to act as though she either doesn't care or doesn't remember.

 

I was pretty P%$#^ed off when DD went to MIL's house and MIL asked her to write her name on a drawing she had made and DD had to say she didn't know how (I heard about this through DD--I wasn't present). Again, I am pretty sure she already knew DD couldn't write her name, so this was all done to make a point to DH, I suppose. Lovely.

 

Also, we visited MIL for her birthday this last weekend and the grandkids all drew a picture.  When it was time to leave DD couldn't find her picture. MIL made a big deal about how the cousins could all write their names so they wouldn't have taken her picture. Then DD said sadly, "I don't know how to write my name." And MIL replied in a righteous tone, "Well, they know how to write theirs." I so so wish I had said something. Just so you know who I am dealing with here. Who would ever try to make a little girl feel badly just to get her selfish point across? Yah, I guess she and I should talk.

mommytimes2 is offline  
#12 of 15 Old 10-12-2011, 04:34 PM
 
sprinkle pocket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: on the edge of a 5 million acre forest
Posts: 520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow! The words I would apply to ur dh's mil aren't welcome on this forum! LOL My son is 6 1/2 and doesn't read and knows he will start in first grade some. I was just talking with a friend about him not reading yet. All he waldorf homeschoolers in town started their six yr olds doing first grade except us. De seems so free by continuing kindy, albeit an advanced version from what the tiny's have. It feels like he's gotten a reprieve from the pressures of school that h clearly doesn't need. His intellectual forces are becoming free before our eyes as he goes through his change of teeth. He will enjoy schooling SO much more by waiting. Our culture is a better early than late, so its going against the grain by being in the better late than early camp. We have been consulting with a waldorf music teacher and she has given us an understanding of the interval flute being beneficial before pentatonic just the same as postponing reading. Its all very cool. The more we learn and "try out" on ds, the more impressed we are.

Best wishes to you talking with your mil. When our dh's haven't established open lines of communication with their folks, it can be intense to have to do it. So best of luck and tell us how it goes...you may be able afterwards to give the rest of us ideas on how to talk about it.

Waldorf homeschooling homesteading homebirthing mama to my 2 boys '05 & '10 joy.gif & most amazing wife to my most amazing dh
sprinkle pocket is offline  
#13 of 15 Old 10-12-2011, 07:09 PM
 
Melaniee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 3,740
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytimes2 View Post

Also, we visited MIL for her birthday this last weekend and the grandkids all drew a picture.  When it was time to leave DD couldn't find her picture. MIL made a big deal about how the cousins could all write their names so they wouldn't have taken her picture. Then DD said sadly, "I don't know how to write my name." And MIL replied in a righteous tone, "Well, they know how to write theirs." I so so wish I had said something. Just so you know who I am dealing with here. Who would ever try to make a little girl feel badly just to get her selfish point across? Yah, I guess she and I should talk.


Now THAT, is not okay with me.  That's awful, and ITA, time for a direct talk.  Good luck, and for your sake I hope your Dh can do it. I find these things go over better when not coming from the DIL. I really try not to turn my children against how other people do things, I think it's important that they feel all parents make the best decisions for their children.  But I might have said something to a sad little Dd along the lines of, "It's okay - it's not yet time for you to write you rname. It will be soon, and it will be beautiful."

Melaniee is offline  
#14 of 15 Old 10-13-2011, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
mommytimes2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: West coast
Posts: 91
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks again for your responses. Yes. MIL tends to not be very respectful of our choices, and is often making (barely) veiled comments to us about this or that. Unfortunately, DH is COMPLETELY oblivious to all of it. As you can imagine, that is not helpful. LOL

 

I spoke with DD's preschool teacher yesterday about everything and she thought that as long as MIL wasn't sitting her down and drilling her on things it was ok. Learning to write her name, if she was interested in learning and initiated it, was fine. I didn't get to into it with her about the other things I wrote about in my previous posts, but it did ease my mind a bit.

 

That said, I am still going to have my husband explain Waldorf to his mother, at the very least.

mommytimes2 is offline  
#15 of 15 Old 10-14-2011, 09:25 AM
 
honeybunmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,713
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)

In that situation with your MIL, I probably would have said something like, "but we know her picture is the one with the beautiful shapes, colors," etc.  You get the picture.  When we were vacationing with my brother and his family two months ago, my nephew who is 10 mos younger than my daughter was adding and multiplying.  She was suddenly very interested in numbers.  And she is quite competitve.  I had to be careful not to overindulge her interest.  I answered her specific questions about what x + x is, but didn't get into the why's and how's of arithmetic.  This is what I mean by meeting the child's immediate, but limited interest.  It's all they really want.  She can learn how to spell her name without being damaged goods in Waldorf first grade, ya know?  Hopefully, your husband will be able to make some headway with his mother.


Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
honeybunmom is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off