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#1 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello fellow homeschoolers who for whatever reason choose to delay academics. (Waldorf, Moore, or otherwise). I need some support and thought other mamas may as well. I want a place for that support without debating if academics should be delayed or not.

My name is Kimberly and my 4 year old does not read, only writes a few letters that she initiated, and adds what she wants to add using fingers since she taught that to herself. My 3 year old doesn't read and hasn't figured out how to hold a pencil and draws everything upside down or sideways. They both can spend wonderful imaginative time and make up crafts and spend hours drawing. Previously this month DD was wanting "more" and I briefly thought about academics but happily filled her void with "more" reading aloud and "more" story telling which as consequently prompted "more" of her imagination.

I'm personally tired of "my 3 year old can read at first grade level" or "my 4 year old can multiply." or "my 2 year old is gifted." It makes me feel like a crappy mama and I haven't figured out why. I'm really happy that my 4 year old can't read. I don't want her to read. I want her to be a child.

They CAN bake with me, id a vulture from a hawk in the air, know what plants are edible and what are poisonous, know how to clean the chicken coop as well as many things. Most of all, she knows how to be a 4 year old and him a 3 year old. I find that so many mothers say they believe in delayed academics but then follow up with "but my 3 year old can read anyway, and I'm using this or that curriculum, blah blah blah."

I know in my heart I am doing the right thing but have a hard time in this early academic oriented society. Anyone else?

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#2 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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I know in my heart I am doing the right thing but have a hard time in this early academic oriented society. Anyone else?
Kimberly, mine is grown now, but I'm so happy he was able to miss all that. I don't have time to write at the moment, but it's a subject near and dear to my heart. Will be back - Lillian
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#3 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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I follow my child's lead, so if they ask for it, we do it but otherwise I don't push academic things. My almost 3 yr old is home with us when we are schooling, so she picks up lots of things from that. The girls were playing a word game using "at" and Erin answered C a t.
I am very comfortable with her learning at her own pace! Right now, her greatest joy is her birthday, which is coming in a few weeks. We talk about it, sing happy birthday and make playdough cakes. She is so excited to be 3! Then again, she was so excited being 2!
I love having a mixed age group at home, because the oldest still enjoys playing. In fact, they played "bus" yesterday. Mommy was the chef on the bus, there was a dog, an elmo, the driver and Erin. It was very elaborate! Many props were added, using things from around the hous

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#4 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am working on learning how to follow my children's lead. An example of NOT doing it while driving myself crazy is below.


The reason I'm wrote that post is I just got done looking at a gazillion blogs (half of them claim unschooling or delayed academics) and looked at what they were doing and all of them were in my mind not quite unschooling and academicy. So I decided I was going to have a "theme" for next week. I ordered books on the library about squirrels and prepping for winter. I gathered the fingerplays and wrote out plans just like the blogs.

In the mean time I'm going crazy canning a gazillion pints of tomato sauce, apple butter, apple sauce, and freezing lots of apple cider and in other words doing our prep for winter. I also am trying to organize our over 500 books. I stopped myself and said. "Self, it shouldn't be this hard." Not the canning and organizing part because that has to be done. But real life doesn't occur in nice tidy weekly themes. It occurs in a wheel (pagan speaking) or a flow which is natural. I was thinking that with 500 books here that I am struggling to organize I shouldn't be getting a gazillion more from the library when I have wonderful beautiful books begging to be read here.

Maybe what I really need help with is daring to be me, daring to be the mother I want and the homeschooler I want to be and the person I want to be no matter what the nosy neighbors say. Hmmmm......I should go to personal growth section.

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#5 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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My oldest is 6 and we just started formal type schooling and I don't regret it at all. My 3.5 y.o. is still running around and playing she is exposed to more stuff just because brother does it but it is still a choice for her- if she wants to color a goose then so be it but I am not using any curriculum with her. I can tell such a difference w/ my son this year in readiness and now he enjoys doing things and is doing them well. I will wait until she displays that she is ready and wanting to start as well.

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#6 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 10:41 PM
 
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Hello fellow homeschoolers who for whatever reason choose to delay academics. (Waldorf, Moore, or otherwise). I need some support and thought other mamas may as well. I want a place for that support without debating if academics should be delayed or not.

My name is Kimberly and my 4 year old does not read, only writes a few letters that she initiated, and adds what she wants to add using fingers since she taught that to herself. My 3 year old doesn't read and hasn't figured out how to hold a pencil and draws everything upside down or sideways. They both can spend wonderful imaginative time and make up crafts and spend hours drawing. Previously this month DD was wanting "more" and I briefly thought about academics but happily filled her void with "more" reading aloud and "more" story telling which as consequently prompted "more" of her imagination.

I'm personally tired of "my 3 year old can read at first grade level" or "my 4 year old can multiply." or "my 2 year old is gifted." It makes me feel like a crappy mama and I haven't figured out why. I'm really happy that my 4 year old can't read. I don't want her to read. I want her to be a child.

They CAN bake with me, id a vulture from a hawk in the air, know what plants are edible and what are poisonous, know how to clean the chicken coop as well as many things. Most of all, she knows how to be a 4 year old and him a 3 year old. I find that so many mothers say they believe in delayed academics but then follow up with "but my 3 year old can read anyway, and I'm using this or that curriculum, blah blah blah."

I know in my heart I am doing the right thing but have a hard time in this early academic oriented society. Anyone else?
You know, I may be one of those moms who "say they believe in delayed academics but then follow up with..." but I just wanted to tell you that you sound like you're an awesome mama, teaching your kids a lot about some absolutely cool stuff. I wish my 6 yo knew how to clean our chicken coop.

I'm sorry that you are feeling badly about yourself as a mama when you hear about what some other kids are doing on the academic front. It seriously sounds like what you are doing is totally engaging and connected to your kids. That's so awesome. I'm thinking that maybe some of those other mamas who are pulling out the curricula may also be engaged and connected, but I won't get into that.

There is a such a wide, wide range of developmental achievements that happen in this 4 to 7 year old age. I want to commend you for looking to your kids for guidance on where they need to go, and I also just want to gently suggest that you unsubscribe to the those homeschooling blogs.

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#7 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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Maybe what I really need help with is daring to be me, daring to be the mother I want and the homeschooler I want to be and the person I want to be no matter what the nosy neighbors say. Hmmmm......I should go to personal growth section.
Oh, please don't stop posting about it here, though - because that's really a big part of what people have to deal with when they're trying to figure out all this homeschooling stuff that can feel so unnecessarily complicated and overwhelming. - Lillian
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#8 of 70 Old 09-24-2010, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd love to share my story. I feel like I can't be the only one with the problems I have. I'm used to being looked at like I have three heads but really, there HAS to be someone. I've learned about homeschooling from the internet because I can't afford many books right now and don't know any homeschoolers. That right there is my problem.

But alas my story will have to wait until tomorrow. My brutally honest story of finding my homeschooling self which I haven't found yet. I've just ended turning 40 lbs of apples into applesauce and my brain is fried.

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#9 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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My ds is 7 and still does not write at all although he can read (self-taught). One thing is that I wonder how long the not writing can go on before they can't learn it. Does anyone know what is the latest they can pick that up before the brain prunes the needed connections? I was thinking 8?

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#10 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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Pookie- Some "experts" say by 3rd grade, but there is also a lot of new research that shows that children and adults don't have these definite windows of time to learn things. Yes, the brain my by more ready at certain ages but if there is the basic ground work is there, they can learn at any age.
Like you said, they do prune, it is an effective way for the brain to handle all the information it is given, but it isn't as if it dies away. Most children, those who have had experience with print in their environment, will write or type.

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#11 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beezer75 View Post
I'm personally tired of "my 3 year old can read at first grade level" or "my 4 year old can multiply." or "my 2 year old is gifted." It makes me feel like a crappy mama and I haven't figured out why. I'm really happy that my 4 year old can't read. I don't want her to read. I want her to be a child.
Okay... well, mine is 6-1/2yo and we definitely believe in delayed academics unless he personally is looking for something. That being said, without my teaching him--he did read extremely young; but so did I (and again, I know my parents didn't teach my because CPS should've been involved in my upbringing and my mom full-on admits my reading could only be the product of Sesame Street). But reading is really the only thing he can "do". Any writing he is capable of is a result of OT (he had fine motor delays--and I even switched therapists so they wouldn't push him beyond what was minimally required for his age ) I think it's been a little easier for me to lay off everything else just because reading is such a major thing for kids early on and that was already off the table--ya know?

He took an interest in math and I did some Saxon with him, but we haven't touched it for well over a year because he's just not interested anymore... and that's fine.

So we waffle, but more because I'm following him (or trying to anyway) and he's not exactly consistent. Part of our process isn't just figuring out what to do with/for him, but also how to "find myself" with the whole thing. I really only know that 1) at this age, I really only want him learning if he really wants it; and 2) that I don't want him doing worksheet/answer key kind of learning for anything he DOES learn about.

I really admire you for not having to find yourself with it. I'm finally there, but you definitely got there long before me.


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I know in my heart I am doing the right thing but have a hard time in this early academic oriented society. Anyone else?
I struggle with this a LOT. Because ds read so early, I get this implication that I'm wasting his "gift" by not using it for him to "get ahead". Some people will actually come right out and say it. On one hand, I could give two hoots less if he's at the same level as every other 16yo when they're 16yo as long as he can THINK, has some level of creativity, is capable of interacting with people in a meaningful and respectful (not subservient, but open-minded and considerate) manner and can advocate for himself. On the other hand, is he going to be annoyed as an adult that I "wasted" his time? I don't usually think so... but I get a lot of this from people who think he's capable of "doing so much more". I often find myself spewing soapbox stuff about how our country is lacking in some of the things he is gaining by NOT being hothoused simply because he's capable of reading early.


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You know, I may be one of those moms who "say they believe in delayed academics but then follow up with..." but I just wanted to tell you that you sound like you're an awesome mama, teaching your kids a lot about some absolutely cool stuff. I wish my 6 yo knew how to clean our chicken coop.

I'm sorry that you are feeling badly about yourself as a mama when you hear about what some other kids are doing on the academic front. It seriously sounds like what you are doing is totally engaging and connected to your kids. That's so awesome. I'm thinking that maybe some of those other mamas who are pulling out the curricula may also be engaged and connected, but I won't get into that.

There is a such a wide, wide range of developmental achievements that happen in this 4 to 7 year old age. I want to commend you for looking to your kids for guidance on where they need to go, and I also just want to gently suggest that you unsubscribe to the those homeschooling blogs.


We certainly went through an early year (when ds was freshly removed from preschool) of trying to figure out where we were going and what we were doing. I reviewed a lot of curriculums so I've gone through phases where I've contributed to threads with a "we're using..." (and you'll notice that over the period of that year, the ending to that is different . I tried a few out, but by "trying out" I mean literally 1-2 lessons max (except for math for a period when ds SERIOUSLY ate it up). If my son wasn't into it, we just didn't do it. In retrospect, I didn't realize that he was deschooling--I thought he wanted to be schooled, ya know? For a while, he was definitely a "worksheet kid".

As we approach 7yo, I'm now struggling with "how long to we really delay"? I have mixed feelings about unschooling because I'm not really sure we'll always be able to keep him home. At the same time, I'd really just like to continue following his lead. Fate kind of intervened and threw chaos into our lives and kept me from really having to face that issue before now: I simply couldn't devote my time to educating him formally even if I wanted to. But the mental argument was not even on the table with everything else on our plate. I'm thankful for that. I mean, I think the life circumstances have taken their toll on all of us, but I'm grateful not to have had that mental tennis match going on.

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#12 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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You know, I may be one of those moms who "say they believe in delayed academics but then follow up with..."
I think I am too heh... in fact I wrote up a long post about my experiences last night then deleted it without submitting, because that's exactly where I was going with it!!! *eep*

Long story short -- yes, mamas who use curriculum can be engaged and connected too. In fact I had indeed planned to totally unschool until at least age 6 or 7, totally delay academics with my DD after disastrous early years with my son where I forced early academics on him. I learned my lesson and I would not make the same mistake with my daughter! But she ended up telling me, in no uncertain terms, while still very young, that she Just. Loves. Worksheets. Asks for them, demands them, loves "doing school". Crazy kid.

But I still try to keep an unschooling mindset, mindful that I need to not PUSH anything on her but let her stay in the lead. And mindful that she still gets 99% of her day to just play and be silly and imaginative and creative and freerange. And if a time comes where she decides she does NOT want to "do school" at all for awhile... that's fine too.

To my mind, 'delayed academics' does not mean deliberately withholding academic stuff if the kid is truly ready and asking for it. But part of being connected is indeed recognizing when they're asking for it but not REALLY, like you did when she wanted "more" and you filled it with more imaginative stuff instead of academics.

It's also recognizing when "oh, well, you know I think she actually is ready for this kind of academic stuff now." I'm very influenced by Montessori's philosophies which assert that a child will be naturally drawn to the activities best suited to their brain development, when they're "ripe" to learn something in particular they will seek it out. So I try not to get in her way... neither by pressuring to do something nor withholding it. Whether it's learning to read or learning to cook, playing all day with dolls and playsilks or playing all day at the piano reading her piano book, age 3 or age 6 or age 9. I'm not following any particular schedule, "start this at age 4" or "start this at age 9", or "start this before age 5" or "don't start this until after age 6". I just will follow my daughter as best as I can figure, making sure she has opportunities and letting her take them when she wants. And leave them when she doesn't want!

I think starting from the mindset of delayed academics, then gently allowing some academics to be introduced if and when the child truly wants it, is preferable to starting from the mindset of early academics then gradually realizing that your child is fighting against it. Some will start earlier, some will start later, but we're all still following our kids and we're all still on the same train.

Pookietooth, if he's truly not writing a word at all at age 7, I'd wonder if there's some dysgraphia going on? Most kids are at least interested in making letters and words by that age even if they're not very good at it. Does he type on a computer? Does he draw? Is it a physical thing (unable to hold a pencil and make a mark) or he just doesn't want to?

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#13 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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I struggle with this a LOT. Because ds read so early, I get this implication that I'm wasting his "gift" by not using it for him to "get ahead". Some people will actually come right out and say it.
I totally had this as a teenager. I was a "gifted kid", top of the class in math and science... and, well, most everything else... but math especially. When I decided that I was going to go into MUSIC at university (I honestly did consider math, but had an epiphany, an emotional and revelatory experience involving music that settled my decision), that is EXACTLY what my dad told me. I was "wasting my gifts". ESPECIALLY as a female. Like it was my responsibility, as a girl who was good at math and science, to be the feminist representative in the field. That by doing something artsy, I was furthering the stereotype that women don't belong in the sciences.

I was SO MAD at him for saying that. So incredibly angry, and I was just in shock and disbelief that he would actually say something like that.

Well, some time later... I don't recall exactly when... he saw me play in a concert. Whether it was when I was home for the summer, or not until my grad concert at the end of 4th year, I don't remember. But -- even though he couldn't tell me himself -- I was told that he was very moved, and that he said he no longer felt that I was wasting my gifts.

But saying that about a preschooler who can read... lol... Okay then, are you wasting your kids' gifts if you don't enroll your 11mo who was an early walker into soccer at 18mo? If he's exceptionally good at building duplo towers at 20mo, are you wasting his gifts if you don't foster an education in architecture from an early age?

The best gift a child has is the ability to self-direct what they want to, and are ready to learn. It IS wasting their gifts if you prescribe any particular curriculum (however well-intentioned) such that they're spending their time doing that when they would otherwise be developing and learning something else (academic or not), totally naturally...

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#14 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 07:48 PM
 
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We were hardcore Waldorfers for DS' first 3 years--nothing intellectual--not even alphabet blocks and puzzles.

We'd planned nothing academic until 6.

DS had other ideas!

He's very precocious/bright/gifted (choose your term) and while minimal exposure and a plethora of non-academic activities all day long he's actually still pretty "delayed" in terms of his achievement, but not his ability. Like the kid started doing simple math (1+3, 4-2) in his head with no counting/fingers/etc at 2, but still, at 3.5, cannot recognize all numerals to 10. But I don't know if we'll make it to 6-- I broke down and got him an alphabet puzzle when he was learning his letters by asking what every letter in his storybooks was (we answered him, of course). Well, 2 weeks just playing on his own terms with the puzzle and he had all upper-case, all their sounds, and most lower case (has trouble with g and confuses b and d). No lessons or drilling, but I answered his questions and played 'games' with him when he asked (like I'd ask him for the P and he'd run and get it and bring it to me).

So we're in this tough spot of having a kid who not only *could* be doing K now and likely 1st before 5 and it wouldn't be a push AND he would enjoy it. Nonetheless, we're holding off--truth is he has so much fun doing non-academic stuff that we can hold off without "holding him back" so to speak.

But yeah, he's not likely to last until 6, so we are planning to start some gentle K work (Oak Meadow) next year at 4.5 and hope to hold off 1st until 5.5 or 6.

But really our early grades will be very gentle, somewhat child-led, and worked into our daily life--so real formal academics (like 4 hours a day of writing, reading, reciting, quizzing, etc). won't likely happen until 10 or 12.
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#15 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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You know, I kind of want to bring this back to the spirit of beezer's original post. I'm wondering about the awesome nonacademic kid things or life skills stuff that your kids are doing.

I, for one, am waaay more excited that my 6yo has mastered the two-wheeled bike than I am about handwriting right now. Thanks to a few months on a balance bike, he just hopped on his brand spanking new two-wheeler and just rode on down our driveway. For me, it was AMAZING. He's an SPD kid too, so this seemed doubly momentous.

Beezer, the other thought that I had was that I just realized that your kids are 4 and 3. Honey, I wasn't even thinking about school when my oldest was there. He was playing in a kiddie pool with beans or building train tracks. Okay, I let him play on starfall if he wanted, and I needed to make dinner. I guess I'm wondering, why are you in the homeschool mindset right now? Just enjoy 'em, and show them lots of cool stuff!

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#16 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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Well, my 3.5 year old brushes his own teeth in the morning, dresses himself (including sock, his most recent skill). He's been potty-trained (day and night) since he turned 2, pees independently and calls for a wipe when done pooping. He sets the table (napkins, flatware, drinks, and salad, if any) for all 3 meals, clears his place and pushes in his chair (without reminder), takes off his shoes and puts them in the front closet when he gets in.

Other skills: he cooks with me (cuts with a table knife--soft things like mushrooms--he's quite good at a fine dice!) Helps measure, stirs, pours, etc.

He's also great at independent/self-directed play. He can play by himself (with open-ended toys/found objects) for an hour or more at a time. And the only electronic entertainment we do is one daily read-along book/cd during his quiet time. He will sit in his little chair and listen for up to 30 minutes (picture book--this week it's Rikki Tikki Tavi) or up to 50 minutes if it's a sing along book/cd. The other day he sat still and quiet (but wide awake) for a very camp-fire folksy kids CD, stared at a page for a full 3-5 minute song, then turned the page when the song ended. Then the next day he did the same thing over again with the same CD. He's got a massive attention span (well, selectively!)

He's doing really well with his balance bike, too, able to hold his feet up for several seconds (including making a full circle).

And for really good 3 year old stuff, he loves dirt, trucks, jumping on everything, playing with play doh... oh ,and mermaids--asks me to be a mermaid every morning!

I really love that he's working on these things instead of doing worksheets or using a leapfrog to learn numbers/letters, etc.
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#17 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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Great idea!

Holiztic, my daughter sounds a lot like your son. Similar age (she's 4 in December) and similar skills. Did you do Montessori stuff through toddlerhood?

She dresses herself, packs her own bag with extra clothes when going visiting, helps me with cooking all the time. Sets the table, helps with laundry, likes to clean her room. Can zip zippers, button buttons, and just yesterday she said "I should learn how to tie shoes."

She loves playing snakes and ladders and monopoly junior. And while we're impressed with her ability to do the 'math' part of the game, we're more impressed with how she loves to act out every space we land on. She especially loves it when someone lands on the 'go to lunch' space, she'll ask us what we're having and she'll hand us imaginary food.

And her zoom bike! That's what we call the balance bike. Lately she's started to really glide and coast on it, getting up some speed. She can also pedal her tricycle very well now. DH thinks that by next year she'll be ready for a 2-wheeler. I'm not so sure, I think she'd be better off with one more year on the balance bike first.

She does dance classes, they've just started up again this week and she couldn't be happier. All summer she was asking when dance was starting again. "I miss dance class" she would say. I'm so proud of how independent she is when she goes to classes -- when she started last year, not quite 3 years old, she had never been to any kind of daycare or preschool or group class sort of thing. We weren't sure how she'd take to it. And of course the stereotypical argument against attachment parenting is that they'll be too dependent on mommy... But she was much bolder than most of the kids who were fully pre-schooled! And this year, as a seasoned pro (heh), she just waltzes in there and takes her place like it's where she belongs.

And she's really good at Wii bowling. She can beat me.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#18 of 70 Old 09-25-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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I am not an unschooler, or even a homeschooler, so you can take my post with a grain of salt.

Even though I am neither of the above, I am also NOT a fan of early academics. I did not "work" with either of my kids on academics at home, sent them to a laid back, play based, two 2-1/2hour-days-a-week preschool at 3, and now the 4 yo is in a laid back Pre-K and the 6-1/2 yo is in first grade. When they were younger I was usually the freak in the group who wasn't doing workbooks with their kid or talking about how much they knew before preschool. My 6 yo knew half the alphabet and all numbers 0-10 before he was 2 (simply from reading board books together and talking about things in daily life), then gained NOTHING until Pre-K because he wasn't interested, and I wasn't pushing. My 4 yo only in the past 6 months started becoming interested in spelling and writing, and still doesn't have letters and numbers by sight. And I have zero concern over this. Imagine the looks I get since I am a public school user when I'm in these similar conversations!

I honestly have not done more than just read books to my daughter (and rarely more than about 20 min a day), and she can spell her name and write it because she has been interested in doing it and asked me to show her how. She turned 4 on June 28. She actually read something the other day "See a giraffe family. Move 3" from a new board game we had and we all were blown away . I read when I was 4, so I'm not entirely surprised, but we've done even less withher than we did with DS, which was not much to begin with. lol.

My son on the other hand just learned to read this past November at 5-3/4 yrs old, and didn't start writing until Kindergarten when he was nearly 5. It just was not a topic of interest with him, and I had zero interest in pushing it. Now that he's interested, he's doing great with it, as I knew he would.

I really, really, REALLY would not sweat a 3 and 4 yo not doing any of those things, and that's coming from a person who is not against formal academics at all.

Despite watching sometimes copious amounts of TV and going to public school, they are two of the most creative, energetic kids I know, and I'm trying to not just say that as their mom Whenever they play with peers, they are always the ones coming up with play scenarios and wacky ideas, and I have numerous pictures of hijinks that have ensued based on an idea one of them had that turned into something wild. We've done leaf crush prints, made old timey ink pens out of bird feathers, and my son asked me to help him knit a call for himself last year. They help me around the house with stuff and are really capable kids. While I think homeschooling/unschooling are certainly *more* conducive to the free learning/experiences like those, we for sure do not lack in them for being public schoolers. And I am really, really with you on the overacademics in this society. My DD was incredibly attached to me as an infant/toddler, such that the first time I ever left her for more than an hour she was nearly 18 months old...I was very unsure how she'd do in preschool, but she did great and LOVES Pre-K. My son had never gone to a class or sitter until he was over 3 yrs old (and then was in mommy&me classes for abotu 6 months), and barely turned to say goodbye his first day of preschool at 3-3/4.

So, as perhaps the lone public schooler of young kids on the thread, I'm throwing my support your way too! Just let the be for these first handful of years! We never did any of the occasional familty activity worksheets in PreK or even Kindergarten with DS because it just seemed more focused and intentional than we wanted to be at that point, so we just had school be school and home be free.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#19 of 70 Old 09-26-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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tankgirl73--without derailing this thread, I will say that we are kindred souls.

My ds is older than Beezer's dc, but the life skill I am so, so, SO proud of him having is his ability to interact with other adults and advocate for himself. Actually, I'm not sure "advocate" is the right word. But he will talk to people working at different places about what he wants or needs and get the information he needs from them completely without my help. He knows who to ask and what to ask to get what he needs.

He also understands money flow. Not in dollars/cents/numbers, but conceptually that dh earns money, that it's limited, and that we allocate some for housing, some for food, some to help others and some for fun. And when it's gone, the options are limited. He recently decided that if he didn't have enough money for toys from his allowance (which is split up into categories) that he could sell his old toys. I'm just really proud that he doesn't think it grows on trees and although he "gets" way more than I'm comfortable with, he doesn't see getting things as a bottomless pit.

Oh, and he has a HECK of an imagination. A great feat for a kid with a former autism spectrum diagnosis.

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#20 of 70 Old 09-26-2010, 02:42 PM
 
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I am not an unschooler, or even a homeschooler, so you can take my post with a grain of salt...
I, for one, loved it, Heather - and I'm sure many others did too. There may be only 16 responses in this thread, but there are 337 views so far, so your words may have been just the thing someone needed to see today. Thanks so much for taking the time to contribute here. Lillian

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#21 of 70 Old 09-26-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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my daughter is 4.5 and we are completely non-academic. i totally get where you're coming from. i can tell my daughter is extremely bright and i have to fight the urge not to pull out curriculum and try to (intentionally, actively) teach her something. but she's doing so great without my meddling!

she has a spectacular imagination and loves to make up stories and songs. she taught herself how to thread a needle and tie a knot without ANY instruction. she flipped the pancakes for me this morning.

she's not great with other kids, but she loves, loves, loves adults and has fully developed relationships with our librarian, grocery checkers, and coffee shop baristas. i am very shy and would never have struck up relationships with them, but she talks to them all on a very adult level.

she knows all about homeless people and is very concerned about helping them. we put together kits of socks and energy bars and bus passes to give out whenever we see someone on the street corner - all her idea.

i like the idea of ongoing support for non-academics.
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#22 of 70 Old 09-26-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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The4OfUs is a Heather, I'm going to assume that heatherdeg is a Heather, and I'm a Heather too! Great minds think alike... by which I mean our moms.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#23 of 70 Old 09-26-2010, 09:12 PM
 
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The4OfUs is a Heather, I'm going to assume that heatherdeg is a Heather, and I'm a Heather too! Great minds think alike... by which I mean our moms.

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#24 of 70 Old 09-27-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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The4OfUs is a Heather, I'm going to assume that heatherdeg is a Heather, and I'm a Heather too! Great minds think alike... by which I mean our moms.

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#25 of 70 Old 09-27-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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We took a pretty laxed attempt at schooling. We just did what was normal in everyday life, read to all our children, and every now and then attempt something academic wise to see if they are interested/ ready. So my daughter (1st grade, 6.5 yr) mostly taught herself how to read last year, with minimal sounds of letters effort on my part. However, she had no desire for anything else at all, so I stopped trying. Come this year, we live in a state that tests for English and Math at the end of the school year, so I figured to at least put in an effort for those two subjects and taking it slow. The problem I'm finding is she is still having no desire and very much so resisting. While I would love to not push, how long can I actually do this without her failing the testing?
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#26 of 70 Old 09-27-2010, 01:12 PM
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I'm a mom who said both "My 3 yr. old reads at a 1st grade level" and "My 6 yr. old can't read a word to save his life." Different kids, same mom! My now 7.5 yr. old didn't know letter sounds until 6, and we did start trying to teach him at 5.5 (the fall of his K year). He learned his ABCs and letter sounds that year and could read basic Bob books by 6.5. He did not write. He's now reading at or above grade level for a 2nd grader. Today he easily wrote a page full of grammar definitions (noun, pronoun, and verb). We didn't do preschool or home-preschool and very loosely homeschooled for kindergarten after a short attempt at public kindergarten. He did well in public 1st grade but is home again this year because we moved.
My 4.5 yr. old went to 2 years of preschool at his insistence and started K early last month. He loves it. I don't think there is any reason to start academics until 5 or 6 unless the child asks for it, and I don't think there's anything strange or wrong if they don't!
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#27 of 70 Old 09-27-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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The problem I'm finding is she is still having no desire and very much so resisting. While I would love to not push, how long can I actually do this without her failing the testing?
I doubt that the test is going to expect a whole lot from a 1st grader. But you have months to go, and if you just play some fun games and do some activities that happen to involve a bit of math calculation, that should bring her up to whatever she'll need for the test, and then you can just show her when the time comes how to translate that onto paper in whatever way they might throw at her. And having lots of attractive books around that may capture her attention can keep words moving through. You could re-explain in the spring the need later for helping her get up to whatever they consider "snuff" there for the test - it shouldn't take long. Home Education Magazine has a lot of good articles for math that could help, and my own math page has links to articles and good web pages that can help. The Children's Picture Books site lists and reviews lots of good books. So does Chinaberry, and artist Jan Brett's site has lots of fun activities that could incorporate some reading in a natural way.

And even if her test scores aren't all that high, I'm sure she has company in that among lots of children who are in classrooms - I'd guess it's unlikely that anyone would try to stop you from homeschooling over low test scores.

- Lillian
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#28 of 70 Old 09-27-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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Op I noticed the same thing recently(and posted on my blog about it. ). I was looking to do more with my toddler (sadly neglected 3rd baby) and I started cruising some blogs looking for ideas. I was thinking like a fun art project or new finger play.....I came to blog after blog of hugely structured activities for toddlers, sorting, counting, abc, etc. Elaborate themes that included a lap book and ten tons of printables. Seriously when did toddlerhood become so complicated?? There was even "assessments". These were all ABC type skills to not like an ages and stages quiz. My youngest isn't even two yet! Plus some of these themes must cost a small fortune in ink, paper, and other supplies!
In my case I decided to go with book themes in a before 5 in a row style. The only reason I feel the need to do this is because she really is the sadly neglected 3rd kid. 1/2 the time she doesn't even get her own bed time story. Hiedi is really not appropriate for a toddler. So anyway our time is just fun toddler time, stories, songs, toys. NO AGENDA! It sounds like you are already doing that so go make apple sauce and stop worrying!

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I am not an unschooler, or even a homeschooler, so you can take my post with a grain of salt.


So, as perhaps the lone public schooler of young kids on the thread, I'm throwing my support your way too! Just let the be for these first handful of years! We never did any of the occasional familty activity worksheets in PreK or even Kindergarten with DS because it just seemed more focused and intentional than we wanted to be at that point, so we just had school be school and home be free.
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#29 of 70 Old 09-27-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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Meetoo, it sounds like you have a plan in place, but if you are looking for more non-academic resources for a little one, i must post you to Lillian's AWESOME page that i post all over the place all the time. scroll down below the articles to see the activities: http://www.besthomeschooling.org/gateway/inted16.html
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#30 of 70 Old 09-27-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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Seriously when did toddlerhood become so complicated??
This is what I keep wondering! What in the world is going on, and when did this madness begin? - Lillian
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