Getting a bit frustrated - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Isn't there anyone here whose 4-5 year old is just not interested in academics yet? Any mommy who is perfectly okay with that? I'm feeling very alone.

I mean, yeah, sometimes she wants to write. It happens about once a month. She has never expressed any interest in learning to read (and I've read to her since she was in my tummy). She doesn't like to color. She rarely paints anymore. She likes to make stuff, learn to sew, put on shows (magic, dancing, singing), try her new big kid roller skates, and just play, play, play. She asks tons of questions about everything under the sun.

Anyone else have kid like this???
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#2 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 10:01 AM
 
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I think a lot of kids are like this! Relax, mama! Have you looked into Waldorf education at all?

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#3 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 10:12 AM
 
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yep, my 5.5 year old wants to do nothing but draw, play barbies, sing and look at family pictures. i am surprised everytime i hear about someone her age actually "learning" something academic. I wouldn't worry.
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#4 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 10:37 AM
 
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Every time I hear about some child we know doing some incredible academic feat I get all shaky. I am reminded then that being "educated" is so very different than having a specific skill. All the learning that goes with playing and having conversation is deepening and widening your child's base of knowledge. If you haven't already, check out a copy of Jane Healy's Your Child's Growing Mind it was fascinating!
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#5 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I had a pregnancy moment. I'm not frustrated with my kid. I get frustrated when I see certain posts. I feel like there's not much support for non-academic pre-K. I wanted to come back and delete this but I lost my connection.

All is well. Thanks for the encouragement.
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#6 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 01:34 PM
 
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Heck, PM - My 8.5 year old dd sounds a lot like yours - still! She didn't learn the alphabet until she was about 5.5, I think.

Neither one of my children were academic preschoolers, and aren't particularly academic now that they're 8 and 10. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. My son learned to really read at about 8.5, but didn't read very well until 9.5. My dd is reading at about an early 3rd grade level - but prefers to read at about a 1st or 2nd grade level, if she reads at all! My son is precocious in his understanding of scientific concepts - but he doesn't *produce* anything amazing in that area - which is what people tend to value.

My 10 year old rarely writes anything down. My 8 year old takes a writing workshop, and loves it, so writes once a week - at writing workshop - and rarely writes any other time.

But their lives are full. Sometimes I listen to parents going on about their highly accomplished kids, and I feel little pangs. But then, like you have, I get over it, and focus on my real kids and the wonderful moments of their lives - like you are .

Laura
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#7 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 01:57 PM
 
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It feels good to hear that I am not alone. My ds will be 6 in Sept and doesn't want to do anything but play. He was in PS from the time he turned 3 until this Jan and learned many things there. I feel like I am letting him get behind because I rather just let him play than fight about learning something and having him HATE learning. On the other hand my 3 yr old dd (almost 4) is always asking to do work. Maybe because she hasn't ever been in PS like my ds was.

Kasey
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#8 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 02:07 PM
 
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As a society we are losing the magic of childhood with early acedemics. Let your child discover and explore all she wants. There is no reason why a four year old should be doing anything other than playing in a natural world and learning about all the great things that her body can do.

It is important that children of this age are surounded in love by their caregivers and given all day for playing. There is more learning happening than we could ever know when a child is watching a stream flow or daydreaming looking at clouds.

I second Waldorf education. Read You are Your Child's First Teacher or Over the Rainbow Bridge.
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#9 of 12 Old 05-20-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_kass
It is important that children of this age are surounded in love by their caregivers and given all day for playing. .
Such reassuring words!

I'm glad you are feeling better, PM. I completely agree with the words above, but sometimes get anxious myself. Then I remember, she has quite literally *the rest of her life* for academic learning, but the window for magical imaginative play will close all too soon. Let them make the most of it!
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#10 of 12 Old 05-21-2005, 01:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't anxious about *my* child. I was feeling lonesome, as if I were the only one who doesn't know precisely what grade level my child would be. I have no clue. And I don't care. I'm kind of isolated here right now (since dd doesn't want to go to playgroup, the only social interaction available to me here since I got pregnant and can't go to the orphanage) and I feel a need to interact with like-minded mamas. That's all.

I do realize, however, that this is a forum for both homeschoolers and unschoolers, so a lot of people are going to be doing the academic home preschool.

Sometimes I read about unschoolers (not necessarily here) and while they're not doing structured lessons they do make every single game something about learning an academic skill. It discourages me.

Openskyheart -- That was such a nice note. Thank you! I really appreciated it.

Thanks everyone else too. I've loved hearing from you.
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#11 of 12 Old 05-21-2005, 01:42 AM
 
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PM- You're not alone!!!

Yes, it's true that my dd is in a structured classical program. At your dd's age, she was in a Montesorri enviroment. As a result, I do have an extremely independant dd!

Anyway, ds will be 4 in July. He spends 90% of his waking time swinging at balls, or putting his golf balls. He is an extremely gifted dc. He *sees* things in terms of balls or golf flags. Whikle he will parrot dd in her lessons, he really is only interested in his next ball move. While dd was doing 100piece puzzles at this age, ds can only do 12 piece puzzles, and only has one other interest -trucks and cars!

I have "taught" him his colors by sorting his cars into icecube trays.

I cannot fathom(sp?) actually "teaching" him anything!! He is intelligent int that he *really* loves books, and loves being read to-he memorizes his favs.

While I feel like I am dealing with an exceptional child, I also feel lost.

I pray all of the time to God to help us to guide him. And really, we really follow him-I think that is the best for any dc-just follow them as you would if they were a baby!!

mp
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#12 of 12 Old 05-21-2005, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, my daughter is also quite a paradox. I wonder what she would be like if she were monolingual.

She dislikes groups (too noisy), and sometimes even one-on-one play (says she likes to be alone), yet she can put on a magic show or disco dance in front of strangers. She despises instruction, though I'm starting to think this has more to do with a dislike of copying an adult's perfect model and not being able to create her own thing. She's been able to do 200+ piece puzzles since she was 3, but she still has trouble counting to 10 in two of her languages (in English she makes it to about 14, I think). Forget the alphabet in any language. Yet she can recite poems in Russian. It's all so fascinating, isn't it?

She wants to be a massage therapist or a chiropractor!
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