With my 3 year old we have been taking a lot of guidance from Playful Parenting and How to Talk... He goes to a Montessori pre-school now, and I think it's awesome. However, we won't be able to keep him there. I am prepared for him to want to continue, and will let the ps option be on the table. In the meantime, we have joined our local, very active homeschool group, hoping to create a community he can look to beyond the school bus that passes every day.
I am also reading John Holt, and beginning to understand what a huge role faith plays in the process as a parent. I mean faith in the sense of trusting a person's innate sense of discovery, determination, wonder, etc. I have realized that in order to raise curious, interested, active people I need to be those things, and challenge myself to learn and do more.
What I wonder about is how you "strew", how you know how much to say (explain) and how much to get out of the way, how you recharge yourself, and any other wisdom you have to share.
It's hard to answer your question because I believe we've been unschooling pretty much from the start, and I'm happy with how we've done things. We were very lucky to meet unschooling families back when my firstborn was still an infant, so I had many years to learn about it.
I have never been a "project mum", a "let's sit down together and do something fun" kind of mum. I'm always willing to help out, and will occasionally sit down with a child for some special one-on-one time, but mostly my kids just do their thing. I don't know about this word "strew". I mean, if I know my kid is into ladybugs and I bring home a book about ladybugs she may like it or she may not, but what harm is there in asking? I've even been known to bring home books I know they wouldn't choose themselves, such as one book about race I clearly remember. DD saw it and picked it up and we had some good conversations around it. But had she rejected it I wouldn't have said a thing and honestly it would not have bothered me. I think strewing is only bad when the parent has some expectation that the child "should" be doing that, otherwise it's no different than a friend recommending a book or website they think you might like.
Thinking back to our preschool days I do recall stressing out way too much over the fact that DD would not do any classes that weren't "mom and tot". At age three all the classes become "kid only" and my DD couldn't handle that. I recall being so distressed by it all and kept pushing the issue by "trying again next term". Looking back what a waste. She is almost 9 and happily skips off to all sorts of things, very independent, has been that way for years now. Three is soooo young and yet to me it was so old (perils of the firstborn). So my advice would be never push the preschool kids beyond their comfort levels, trust that they will grow and mature at their own rate just like a plant that has it's specific season to bloom.
Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)
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