Homeschooling preschoolers support thread - Page 13 - Mothering Forums

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#361 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jessicaSAR
I cannot find a single post here where anyone has said this? I am sorry you feel this way, but I see the discussion on a more philosophical, and not personal, level.
It's easy to see the discussion as purely philosophical when your way of life isn't the one that's under fire.

This statement (your own, from just a few posts back on this thread):
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaSAR
we as adults often interpret that fascination as an interest in "learning to read." And, I think we often think that once the child learns to read he or she will then be better equipped to "follow their own interests." But, for many children (certainly not all, but many), the fascination with letters might be an end in itself.
is one of many which seems to be saying that I (yes, me, as well as anyone else who might be doing such a thing) am misinterpreting my own child's actions. I'm not at the ILs this week, but home on my own crappy computer so a comprehensive search of the LAHAB forum is out of my reach, but I'm absolutely confident that by searching for a few keywords, I could find many, many other posts which say the same thing. There's not as much of it on this thread as there is on most, but it's rampant in this forum.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#362 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 01:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eilonwy
Fair enough, but that's not what's being said and those are not the parents that we are discussing. I don't think people come to MDC for help or advice when they want to be handed a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting; by definition, people who post and lurk here are looking for something different.
I disagree. This is a public forum, we have no idea who is lurking on this forum, or anywhere else. I didn't get a chance to read through this thread until a week or so ago & so, perhaps, have a different perspective from having read through it all at once, rather than a few posts a day as they are written, but reading through it, especially early on, I can definately see someone who is not confident in their parenting feeling that they must be doing something wrong because their 3 yr old isn't showing any interest in reading yet. I don't say that, in any way, as a criticism of those who were posting early on, this thread was set up to be a support thread for preschoolers & of course everyone can & should post about what their preschoolers are doing. BUT I was becoming quite concerned, reading through the thread about parents interpreting it that all preschoolers (or all children of a preschool age) should be reading, doing math worksheets, etc. (again, I think more people than you may realize have a "checklist" mentality, I often see this mentality on AP boards (turning AP into a checklist of do you cosleep, do you breastfeed, do you babywear, etc. rather than, do you follow your chid's cues & do what's best for your child & your family?). I was very thankful when Lillian & others started posting about the fact that not all children this age are interested in, or developmentally ready for, reading, math worksheets, etc.

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Originally Posted by eilonwy
I have (loads in this forum). I've also read many more statements which imply very strongly that this is the case, even if it's not expressly stated.
I'm very sorry you feel this way, I think you may be taking things personally that aren't in any way directed toward you. The way *I* have interpreted the posts about "better late than early" etc. is as a reminder to not push your child *if s/he isn't showing interest*, your ds (& dd) are quite obviously (IMO, from your posts) showing interests & you are following those interests as you should. Again, I don't think anyone is saying that you (or others with early readers, or other areas of interest) should stop. I think we're just trying to make sure that someone reading this thread realizes that there is a very wide range of "normal" and if your child wants to spend all day playing with blocks, by all means, let him/her, don't make him/her stop sit down & do math worksheets just because other children his/her age might be showing an interest in counting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
When someone posted earlier on this thread to say that they thought their child was way behind because he/she wasn't doing what so many others on this thread are, not one of us posted "This is how you can bring him/her up to speed." In fact, we posted pretty much unanimously in the other direction: your own child will let you know when they are ready, willing, and able to learn xyz and there's no need to do anything about their academic level at this point (or, indeed, ever if you so desire). Those of us who are engaged in formal academic work with our preschool aged children are not trying to tell anyone else how to educate their own children; we are merely sharing our experiences. We can't speak for all kids; in many cases we can't even speak for all of our own kids
Again, I don't think anyone is saying you shouldn't be doing what you're doing OR that you shouldn't be posting about what you're doing, we're simply trying to keep things that are said from being taken out of context by someone less confident in child led learning, does that make sense?


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Originally Posted by eilonwy
It's difficult for me to read, again and again, that I have no idea what I'm doing or that I can't possibly be following my child's lead because he doesn't spend all his time stacking blocks or playing with natural, open-ended toys...
I'm sorry you've gotten this impression, I haven't read anything in this thread that I perceived as being directed toward you, or others with children who are asking for academic learning. I think it can be very easy, when one is doing something "against the norm" to read criticism where none is intended. It can be difficult in a long & fast moving thread such as this one to always know who a post is intended for. Someone may intend to post a direct reply to a post but if someone else (or several someones) post while the first poster is composing their reply, it may give the appearance that they're replying to a completely different post than was their intent. So, for example, if someone posts saying "the weather in June is warm here, what's it like where you are?" 2nd poster begins to type a reply to this post saying "It's always warm & sunny" but gets distracted & doesn't post it immediately, meanwhile 3rd poster posts saying "it's warm here in June, but what's it like in Oct?" because of the time delay in 2nd poster posting, it would appear that 2nd poster is saying that it's always warm & sunny in Oct, when, in reality 2nd poster was talking about June.

It's possible this has happened in various places throughout this thread, where a post may appear to be replying to one person's comments (perhaps a post talking about how dc is having a blast with starfall.com) when in reality that post was replying to a post several posts up the thread where someone asked about how to get their 3 yr old interested in letters, because they're afraid s/he is falling behind.

I don't know if this cleared anything up or not, but I honestly don't believe anyone here has been saying you (or any parent) shouldn't follow your child's lead & feed his desire to learn.
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#363 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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My DH and I plan to "unschool" with our boys 7 months and nearly 3. I personally like the unschooling approach as I have come to understand it. I only use the term "unschooling" to give the impression that we will start as we intent to go on. Of course right now we are just enjoying life and the boys. One thing that we did do though was have DH become a stay at home dad as a sign of our committment.
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#364 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 02:37 AM
 
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I don't mean to interrupt..... I haven't had the time to post here in a while let alone read and catch up. I thought it may be time to suggest starting a new thread and discussion before I even started catching up on the posts. But here I am reading the last few pages and now I really want to suggest it.

Can we start a new discussion/thread? I would like to jump in but feel I am too far behind on this one, it's getting long, plus it's taken a turn that I don't think is appropriate for it being such a wonderful thread. I personally think that maybe the topic should have it's own thread. As you can see, there are still people that just want to come here for support.

~Sara, WAHSingMomi to girls R and AV, S.O.A.R. Scout Leader and Homeschooling In Detroit Blogger

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#365 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 03:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetpeas
Perhaps the missing word in the sentence is "too". I firmly believe (& quite frankly didn't need any scientific studies to tell me, I've seen it in my own life) that "better late than TOO early". I think if we're going to err it is better to err on the side of late. I think less harm can be done by "missing the cues" and not starting reading instruction the second a child asks for it than can be done by pushing them to do too much too soon.
This is exactly what I was thinking as I was reading this thread. And, I know from my own experience that pushing my son to read "too early" did cause long term damage. Even now, he resists reading, and I really didn't think I was pushing him very hard at all to learn it at the time. In retrospect, I do wish I'd waited longer with him.

Ulrike, mom to:
Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)
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#366 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 04:02 AM
 
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Rynna, I love reading about your gentle, insightful responsiveness to both your children. IMO, being careful to include/consider kids who most obviously don't fit with the generalities -- those labelled gifted or disabled -- has the potential to open our eyes to the true diversity of all learners.

...
In the last couple of days, my dd got the idea of making a Christmas creche. I saw her inner power emerging in a new way and felt a little unbalanced by it all. She was telling me, "Tomorrow we'll move the Christmas tree so we can get straw and build that wood thing and put the straw all around here like this and..." Dh and I did have to redirect her a little due to limited availability of materials for building large sculptures and a wooden barn in our living room. Her body and her voice moved with such rapidity and confidence and determination and concentration while she was doing this. Here is the creche:

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...orVideo175.jpg

She had initially picked out a huge box and wanted to add legs to it to make a manger. While trying to stuff the box into her tent, though, she decided she needed the smaller one, because otherwise it would be taller than Mary. Mary is the doll hidden under the blue fleece veil. Each wise man (wearing paper crowns) has a tree decoration representing his gift. She also took the tinsel, representing straw, off the tree.

Oye Yemaya oloto
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#367 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 04:16 AM
 
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I know I am chiming in a bit late here but I can understand where both Rynna and the others are coming from. I have felt that the "better late than early" thing has been brought up a little much on this thread. As if a gentle reminder to us that we "may" be pushing things on our kids that they arent ready for. Just because we say we are homeschooling our preschoolers doesnt mean that they are sitting there doing nothing but work. Oh not even close to it. My dd plays 99.9% of her day, we work when she wants to. If that isnt for a week then so be it. The whole topic bugs me, but mostly I just take it for what it was, somone putting in another point of view. It doesnt change my life any, will I do things different, nope. I know that I am doing things right for my family, for my dd. If ds doesnt want to read at 3 then so be it.
I think imaginative play is only as important as the child makes it. I am not an imaginative person at all, I never have been. I am very anilytical and most happy with my nose in a book learning something new. Did I read too early- nope I couldnt wait to get my hands on a book but I have never played dress up in my life. I just wasnt interested. My dd finds "friends" all over the house and plays for hours. Then all of a sudden she is done and it is time for reading and letters. All of this is dependant on each individual child. To even have the broad phrase "better late than early" is to much in my opnion. It is up to each child, their own comfort zone.

This probably doesnt flow well, I couldnt put together what I really wanted to say. While I dont think anyone was personally pointed out, the underlying tones for those of us who are doing thigs differently are heard loud and clear. Weather they are meant that way or not.

OT- I think we should start a new thread as this one is so freakin' long. maybe a new one each month?

Kim- Simple livin' mama to 4 great kiddos.
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#368 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 04:42 AM
 
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Well, as for me personally, I'm not really big on the "Let's change the topic of conversation!" approach to conflict resolution. I've had enough of that approach from my ILs, okay?

What some folks may not realize is the degree to which parents of gifted children not only exist in a climate generally inimical to intellectualism and academic achievement, but on this board specifically, a climate in which it is definitely un-PC to dare to suggest that your child may be different.

Oh, it's fine to express this concept if the difference is something we're told in this culture is a disability. Regarding children with disabilities, many parents of so-called "normal" children too often feel a treacly mixture of sentimentality and pity that I'm sure must make the parents of disabled children -- to say nothing of the people with disabilities themselves -- really want to hurl after about five minutes.

It's simply not kosher, though, to acknowledge that differences exist in other ways as well, and that those differences may in their own way be stigmatizing, painful, and isolating in some of the same ways known all too well by people with disabilities or their families.

The fact is, people tend to believe that if someone else's kid is smarter than theirs -- and let's face it, there's always going to be someone out there whose kid IS smarter than yours, or mine, or hers, or anyone's -- it's a reflection on their parenting or a judgment of human value and innate worth.

It's neither. Just as a person is not a "bad parent" or a "failed parent" judged only by the fact that their child is profoundly retarded, they're not a "good parent" or "successful parent" if their child is profoundly gifted.

They're just a parent.

However, in order to be a good parent to a child with differences, it goes without saying -- or it should, anyway -- that a different child requires a different approach. People, thankfully, have mostly come to understand that this is true with intellectually disabled children: very few of us would suggest that a child with an IQ of 40 should be educated in the same way or at the same rate or according to the same schedule as a child with an IQ of 100.

So why should we have a different opinion about the child with an IQ of 160? She is just as different from the norm as the child with the IQ of 40.

What many people don't realize is that this circumstance is a practical reality for many people, including people on this board. On this thread, they deserve to speak about what their preschool-aged child is doing in homeschool, whether that amounts to throwing flour on herself in the kitchen and yelling, "Look, I'm a snowman!" or reading the thirtieth chapter of Jane Eyre aloud. Both, by the way, are possible. For the same kid.

The simple reality, though, of having a gifted child can lead other people to criticize the parents of that child in ways no one would put up with if the child were disabled. It's almost as if it's somehow paradoxically PC to criticize parents of gifted kids -- or the kids themselves -- or to isolate, exclude, or insinuate snotty things about them, just like it's okay in this culture to make fun of blondes and the way white guys dance. Some really self-righteous viciousness lurks in the "equalizer" of a snark.

What I'm saying is that it's not surprising if parents of highly or profoundly gifted kids have skins that get mighty thin on the issue of whether it's appropriate to do academic work at two years old. It gets about as old as the *sigh* "socialization" issue does for homeschoolers, the "smothering" issue does for cosleepers, the "spoiling" issue does for gentle disciplinarians, and the "die-early-of-polio" issue does for nonvaxers.

I'm here to tell you that for some kids, early education in academic subjects IS appropriate. Entirely so. It is also appropriate for some kids to delay academic instruction.

It depends on the kid.

Thanks.
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#369 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 05:19 AM
 
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Today, a man was here to give an estimate on doing some work on our house. This was the first time we had met the man, but Aiden invited him to the playroom to play. Aiden was constructing a tunnel system out of Lincoln logs for his train track and told the man he could help. Even though I was pleased with A's social skills, I told him that the man was working and had to keep to his schedule, and that's when Aiden said very earnestly, "My schedule is play!" It was sooo cute! And so true. Most of what we do is play. He's learned a lot of reading and math and writing through play. All I ever really do is answer questions--which are nonstop. I know he's learning all kinds of other things through play like spatial skills, problem-solving, etc.

I just wanted to share this very cute episode from my day. I am in no way criticizing anyone else or making any kind of educational recommendation for anyone else. Just hoped to give you a smile.
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#370 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 10:57 AM
 
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Okay, last night after I logged off I went downstairs, had fun brushing my teeth with BeanBean and BooBah (well, I did the actual brushing of her teeth, too ), and then BeanBean and I got to enjoy swishing mouthwash around and spitting (the best part, didn't you know!). We went to bed, read a few pages of The Secret Garden and then The Saggy Baggy Elephant, and then turned off the lights and went to sleep. I feel a heck of a lot more calm and relaxed than I did last night; curling up with both of my sweet babies was very helpful.

I'm sorry to be "taking it all personally," but it really comes off as a personal attack when it's stated or expressly implied that what I'm doing is wrong. The responses are, for the most part, not saying "better late than early" but "better when a child is ready than when they're not," which is what I said in an earlier post on this topic. As long as we can all agree on that, we're fine. I was just trying to point out that the phrase "better late than early" is very offensive to some of us, especially those of us who are raising children who are a bit different. It implies to us that we don't know what we're doing, we don't know our own children, and that we're deliberately making mistakes which will damage our kids for life. Nobody likes to hear that, especially not in a place that is, ostensibly, for support. It's very difficult not to take such an argument personally, especially for a tired, hormonal, pregnant woman.

I think that there's a time and a place for everything, and that it's individually determined; in some cases, "late" and in some cases "early," but in all cases it should be done when the child is ready. I don't think that it's fair or reasonable to say "better late than early," and I don't believe that it's true. There are children for whom early is most assuredly better than late. Certainly not all children, but I'd wager that the same percentage of kids fall on either end of the scale. Like I said: Better when a child is ready than when they aren't.

****

BeanBean is absolutely *loving* The Secret Garden. He's seen the movie and heard the audiobook, so he's already quite familiar with the story; now, he's really enjoying being able to stop and ask questions. Last night, he and his sister looked for letters and counted them on the page (had nothing to do with the story ); BooBah would point to a letter, and BeanBean would count it. For some reason, Bean was very concerned that there weren't a lot of 'e's' on this particular page; perhaps he's already internalized the idea that 'e' is the most commonly-used letter in English? It just struck me funny that he would notice (and care about) something like that.

On Wednesday night, I fell asleep early and did not wake up to read with BeanBean. Mike told me that he burst into inconsolable tears that night because I didn't read to him, and he cried for 40 minutes. I felt really guilty about that, and have made an effort to get to bed a bit earlier so that I can keep my eyes open for all of storytime. It's really helping all of us. I've been very resistant to the idea of imposing a schedule on my children at all, but going to bed a bit earlier for two nights in a row has been enough to convince me of the wisdom of an evening schedule.

In other news, I found a pair of shoes for Young Master Hobbit, and they only cost me about $7; this means that he can have another round of swimming lessons! (I was expecting to pay a heck of a lot more for his shoes, as he has scary-wide feet and it's almost impossible to find shoes for him.) I was very excited and registered him for the next session as soon as I got home from the shoe-shopping expedition. BeanBean will be tickled pink, I'm sure. I haven't told him yet that he's going to have another session of swimming lessons, so it'll be a great surprise for him. He had a really good time with them before. BooBah loves to swim, but she doesn't seem as enamored of the water as her brother is/was, so I have no idea whether or not she'll want to take swimming lessons when she's old enough. We'll see when we get there, she's got another year and a half before it can even be an issue.

BeanBean's new shoes are girl's sneakers-- he threw a fit and demanded a pink pair with butterflies in the middle of Stride Rite (which had nothing that would fit him). I told him that I'd buy him any shoes that he wanted as long as they fit his hobbit feet, and it turned out that the first pair I could find that wide were white with pink trim and light-up flowers on the sides. He absolutely adores them, and really enjoyed telling his cousins, "These are pink shoes and they're mine!!" My sister put a ponytail on his head, "To go with the pink sneakers and the purple purse," (did I forget to mention that he was carrying a little purple purse all day? ) but that was the only mean comment I got. My mother actually came along for the shoe shopping trip, and she totally understood how I had gotten to the "anything that fits" point with him. Mike was surprisingly mellow about it when we got home, too. I guess they could be worse.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#371 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 12:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Well, as for me personally, I'm not really big on the "Let's change the topic of conversation!" approach to conflict resolution. I've had enough of that approach from my ILs, okay?

What some folks may not realize is the degree to which parents of gifted children not only exist in a climate generally inimical to intellectualism and academic achievement, but on this board specifically, a climate in which it is definitely un-PC to dare to suggest that your child may be different.

Oh, it's fine to express this concept if the difference is something we're told in this culture is a disability. Regarding children with disabilities, many parents of so-called "normal" children too often feel a treacly mixture of sentimentality and pity that I'm sure must make the parents of disabled children -- to say nothing of the people with disabilities themselves -- really want to hurl after about five minutes.

It's simply not kosher, though, to acknowledge that differences exist in other ways as well, and that those differences may in their own way be stigmatizing, painful, and isolating in some of the same ways known all too well by people with disabilities or their families.

The fact is, people tend to believe that if someone else's kid is smarter than theirs -- and let's face it, there's always going to be someone out there whose kid IS smarter than yours, or mine, or hers, or anyone's -- it's a reflection on their parenting or a judgment of human value and innate worth.

It's neither. Just as a person is not a "bad parent" or a "failed parent" judged only by the fact that their child is profoundly retarded, they're not a "good parent" or "successful parent" if their child is profoundly gifted.

They're just a parent.

However, in order to be a good parent to a child with differences, it goes without saying -- or it should, anyway -- that a different child requires a different approach. People, thankfully, have mostly come to understand that this is true with intellectually disabled children: very few of us would suggest that a child with an IQ of 40 should be educated in the same way or at the same rate or according to the same schedule as a child with an IQ of 100.

So why should we have a different opinion about the child with an IQ of 160? She is just as different from the norm as the child with the IQ of 40.

What many people don't realize is that this circumstance is a practical reality for many people, including people on this board. On this thread, they deserve to speak about what their preschool-aged child is doing in homeschool, whether that amounts to throwing flour on herself in the kitchen and yelling, "Look, I'm a snowman!" or reading the thirtieth chapter of Jane Eyre aloud. Both, by the way, are possible. For the same kid.

The simple reality, though, of having a gifted child can lead other people to criticize the parents of that child in ways no one would put up with if the child were disabled. It's almost as if it's somehow paradoxically PC to criticize parents of gifted kids -- or the kids themselves -- or to isolate, exclude, or insinuate snotty things about them, just like it's okay in this culture to make fun of blondes and the way white guys dance. Some really self-righteous viciousness lurks in the "equalizer" of a snark.

What I'm saying is that it's not surprising if parents of highly or profoundly gifted kids have skins that get mighty thin on the issue of whether it's appropriate to do academic work at two years old. It gets about as old as the *sigh* "socialization" issue does for homeschoolers, the "smothering" issue does for cosleepers, the "spoiling" issue does for gentle disciplinarians, and the "die-early-of-polio" issue does for nonvaxers.

I'm here to tell you that for some kids, early education in academic subjects IS appropriate. Entirely so. It is also appropriate for some kids to delay academic instruction.

It depends on the kid.

Thanks.
Exactly!! (I wish I had a way with word like some of you do)

I thought about it last night and in the end this is a SUPPORT thread for those of us who do early academics with our kids. This debate is pointless and probably best for a totally seperate thread, where someone who isnt sure about acedemics could best get the info.

Kim- Simple livin' mama to 4 great kiddos.
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#372 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 12:45 PM
 
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Congrats on your shoe find! I have a hobbit footed child, too.

Here is how I'm not teaching reading, for those that care. When ds was a young toddler, I pointed out letters by sound rather than name (when I read alphabet board books, etc) since I remember knowing letters but not sounds and being frustrated in 1st grade. When I read and talk, I speak slowly and enunciate. I occasionally run my fingers along the lines in the book, not so much as to be annoying. If I am writing or reading a pair of letters that make their own joint sound (th, ch, etc), I point them out together as their own sound and write them close together. Ds has a th in his name, so it mostly comes up when he asks me to write his name. When ds started showing increased pre-reading skills, I added more Dr Seuss type rhyming books to our collection. We are willing to read to ds whenever he asks. We model reading and writing and live in a print rich environment.

Despite appearances, I believe that I am not teaching ds to read. Rather, I consider what I am doing to be providing an environment conducive to ds learning to read.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#373 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlinsmom
:

I thought about it last night and in the end this is a SUPPORT thread for those of us who do early academics with our kids. This debate is pointless and probably best for a totally seperate thread, where someone who isnt sure about acedemics could best get the info.
I strongly disagree! This thread started as a result of the debate over what age homeschooling begins. It is a support thread for people with preschoolers who consider themselves homeschoolers. It is not limited to those who do early academics.

I simply do not understand why it is so threatening to those who do do early academics to be in a conversation with those who do not believe in early academics. Nobody seems to have any qualms about saying the "better late than early" approach is wrong. Should I feel berated because numerous posters have implied that by adhering to this philosophy I am not being responsive to the needs of my individual child? OF COURSE NOT! IT IS A DIFFERENCE IN OPINION AND PHILOSOPHY, NOT A PERSONAL CRITIQUE.

As I said before, I am sorry a few people feel personally attacked. Perhaps there is a history here of which I am unaware? It IS hard to go against the norm. But, in reality it is those who are arguing against early academics who are going against the norm, NOT the other way around.

I enjoy discussing educational philosophy. I do think it is appropriate in a thread about homeschooled preschoolers, and I refuse to accept that having a difference of opinion constitutes a personal attack. I really think we are mature enough to have a fascinating discussion without excluding or insulting anyone. So I will say it again, just to make myself clear. I THINK EVERYONE HERE IS DOING A FANTASTIC, CREATIVE, WONDERFUL JOB WITH THE CHILDREN THAT THEY KNOW BETTER THAN ANYONE. I DON'T AGREE WITH EVERYONE, BUT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO JUDGEMENT IMPLIED BY MY DISAGREEMENT, JUST A DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHY.

Oh and by the way, I just want everyone to know that I take no offense whatsoever at the ongoing criticism of my parenting and educational philosophy! Fire away. I am always open to rethinking my opinions.
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#374 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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BeanBean is absolutely *loving* The Secret Garden. He's seen the movie and heard the audiobook, so he's already quite familiar with the story; now, he's really enjoying being able to stop and ask questions. Last night, he and his sister looked for letters and counted them on the page (had nothing to do with the story ); BooBah would point to a letter, and BeanBean would count it. For some reason, Bean was very concerned that there weren't a lot of 'e's' on this particular page; perhaps he's already internalized the idea that 'e' is the most commonly-used letter in English? It just struck me funny that he would notice (and care about) something like that.

On Wednesday night, I fell asleep early and did not wake up to read with BeanBean. Mike told me that he burst into inconsolable tears that night because I didn't read to him, and he cried for 40 minutes. I felt really guilty about that, and have made an effort to get to bed a bit earlier so that I can keep my eyes open for all of storytime. It's really helping all of us. I've been very resistant to the idea of imposing a schedule on my children at all, but going to bed a bit earlier for two nights in a row has been enough to convince me of the wisdom of an evening schedule.

In other news, I found a pair of shoes for Young Master Hobbit, and they only cost me about $7; this means that he can have another round of swimming lessons! (I was expecting to pay a heck of a lot more for his shoes, as he has scary-wide feet and it's almost impossible to find shoes for him.) I was very excited and registered him for the next session as soon as I got home from the shoe-shopping expedition. BeanBean will be tickled pink, I'm sure. I haven't told him yet that he's going to have another session of swimming lessons, so it'll be a great surprise for him. He had a really good time with them before. BooBah loves to swim, but she doesn't seem as enamored of the water as her brother is/was, so I have no idea whether or not she'll want to take swimming lessons when she's old enough. We'll see when we get there, she's got another year and a half before it can even be an issue.

BeanBean's new shoes are girl's sneakers-- he threw a fit and demanded a pink pair with butterflies in the middle of Stride Rite (which had nothing that would fit him). I told him that I'd buy him any shoes that he wanted as long as they fit his hobbit feet, and it turned out that the first pair I could find that wide were white with pink trim and light-up flowers on the sides. He absolutely adores them, and really enjoyed telling his cousins, "These are pink shoes and they're mine!!" My sister put a ponytail on his head, "To go with the pink sneakers and the purple purse," (did I forget to mention that he was carrying a little purple purse all day? ) but that was the only mean comment I got. My mother actually came along for the shoe shopping trip, and she totally understood how I had gotten to the "anything that fits" point with him. Mike was surprisingly mellow about it when we got home, too. I guess they could be worse.

We have been trying to do a nightly family reading schedual but with ds only 10 mo he wants to eat the book more than read it! DD has been totally into animals lately. I got some craft books that had ideas from ancient egypt, headbands and what not. I asked her if she wanted to make a princess band and she thought about it "Ummmmm...Ummmmm. actually I want a dog band." LOL okay whatever. Her interest in animals is getting more intense as of late. She is now moving from domestic animals and dinosaurs to african wildlife. I got a few books about the subject and also ordered an encycolpedia of all the worlds animals. I cant wait for it to get here.

We were going to start "school" at the begining of the week but boy o boy she was having a freak out. The first few days of the week mostly consisted of whining, throwing fits, and general cranky behavior. I think she is growing so she isnt feeling well. So I have just laid low and mostly we have played and read.

We did go to the most amazing library! Oh boy I was in heaven. They have a HUGE childrens section that caitlin went nuts in. We can check out 50 items per card and she picked so many that she filled one card!! Ofcourse they were all books about animals. I want to go back again by myself and check around the place more. Caitlin freaked out and we ened up leaving early but it was fun anyway. I did find a science experiment book for younger kids so I think we will do some of that this week. Caitlin like science quite a bit and loves to work on projects so I figure we can do 2 in one.

Rynna- how long dpes your dc sit through a book? Caitlin is always up and down. I know she would love more complex story lines (like secret garden) but she just wont sit, she bounces oiff the walls in every room.

Kim- Simple livin' mama to 4 great kiddos.
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#375 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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Rynna- how long dpes your dc sit through a book? Caitlin is always up and down. I know she would love more complex story lines (like secret garden) but she just wont sit, she bounces oiff the walls in every room.
My son is super energetic and he is often doing acrobatics while I am reading. He hears everything though, it's fascinating. Sometimes I think 'surely he can't be that busy and still be listening' but then all of a sudden he'll finish a sentence that I've been reading and I realise he's listening closely.
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#376 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 04:41 PM
 
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I simply do not understand why it is so threatening to those who do do early academics to be in a conversation with those who do not believe in early academics. Nobody seems to have any qualms about saying the "better late than early" approach is wrong. Should I feel berated because numerous posters have implied that by adhering to this philosophy I am not being responsive to the needs of my individual child? OF COURSE NOT! IT IS A DIFFERENCE IN OPINION AND PHILOSOPHY, NOT A PERSONAL CRITIQUE.
I'm not feeling threatened, just irritated and attacked. While some of us have said that we think that the better late than early approach is wrong for some children, nobody has said or implied that by taking such an approach with your own children you are scarring them for life, nor that you are misinterpreting the needs of your child. There's no reason for you to feel attacked because noone has attacked you, we've only said that it's not reasonable for you to push that philosophy on all children.

I agree that this thread is about supporting people who are home educating preschool aged children, rather than those who choose to do "early" academic work or those who do not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaSAR
As I said before, I am sorry a few people feel personally attacked. Perhaps there is a history here of which I am unaware? It IS hard to go against the norm. But, in reality it is those who are arguing against early academics who are going against the norm, NOT the other way around.
There are many differences between the forced "early" academic work which is promoted by so many preschools and the "early" work done by academically inclined home educated preschool-aged children. Those of us who are home educating exceptional children are more acutely aware of those differences, and are at least as likely to feel pressure from the mainstream (both to "stop pushing and just let him be a kid!" and to "tell us what you're doing, so that we can replicate it with our own children") as the "better late than early crowd." In fact, I'd venture to say that we get more of it, because while the "better late than early" philosophy is not terribly popular in the public school system, it is at least fairly well known to the public. What people don't seem to know is that there are very, very young children who are so eager to learn that they will cause problems for themselves in an effort to learn new things. It goes back to the either/or argument: some of us are following our children's interests and leads, and they lead us right into academic work. Not every child wants to spend all of their time playing dress-up or painting or digging for worms, some actually want to read. Still others would rather learn to read/do math than anything else, and have parents who struggle with issues like, "How do I get my child to put that book down and get some food into his mouth?"

Is there a history you're unaware of? Yes: institutionalized anti-intellectualism. This conversation feels more and more to me like one about "benign" racism and white privilege. You may see mainstream culture as promoting early academics, and in some areas that is indeed the case, but for many of us the reality is quite different. Sure, they want kids in school earlier, and purport to be teaching them, but are they? Do they really want kids to be more advanced, academically? Definately not. They can't handle it! They're simply trying to get every child to be average by the time they get to kindergarten, so that "average" comes to mean something different and more accomplished than it does now.

Of course we feel defensive about this; as Charles Baudelaire said, it gets old. I don't live in an area where people are constantly asking me "How did you get your child to do X?" or where they're comparing children, but I remember hearing people ask my mother those things, and have been asked with my nieces. I can remember feeling horrible about it, not because people were asking but because it changed the way that my mother behaved towards me; she was always less helpful to me after such a question. She refused to teach me how to read or how to do math, even though I was desperate to learn, because she was already getting enough pressure from the "better late than early" crowd as well as strangers on the street wanting to know how they could make their own children more like hers. 26 years later, I'm still pissed off by it! I know that I would have been a happier, [mentally] healthier person if she had followed my lead, but she didn't because she was worried about putting too much pressure on me and all of the horrible things that go along with it. She didn't want me to have a nervous breakdown at 12, so she avoided teaching me as much as possible when I was very young. Was it the safe way to go? I don't think so, but I do have the benefit of hindsight, and know that I did in fact have a nervous breakdown at 12 (and 10, and 14...) and I know why.

It sounds to me like waiting is thought to be something of a pancea for any number of academic woes; I'm simply pointing out that in plenty of cases, waiting may be the problem and not the solution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by caitlinsmom
Rynna- how long dpes your dc sit through a book? Caitlin is always up and down. I know she would love more complex story lines (like secret garden) but she just wont sit, she bounces oiff the walls in every room.
Bean is completely obsessed with words and letters; he's willing to sit for a very long time just to follow them. BooBah is likewise obsessed, and given the opportunity will often sit for longer than her brother does. They both love books, and have been known to sit with books on their own for hours on end; "reading," flipping through pages, stacking them up and putting them into "pack-packs." I know that my kids are odd this way, though. They both have very long attention spans. Our evening reading time is generally about 55 minutes, because at least one of us is ready to fall asleep by then. The first night, it was about an hour and I fell asleep first, even with BeanBean poking me and saying, "Keep reading, mamma."

That said, there have been times when I've had experiences very similar to the one eternal_grace is describing. One of BeanBean's favorite activities is to dive off of the arm of the chair and onto the bed, landing on his his hands/arms (to turn a sommersault); another is driving toy cars around the floor as quickly as possible, often crashing into things (other toys, walls, his sister ) just to say "Beep beep!" or "Dude, get out of the way!" ( One guess where he learned that one. : ) While he's doing these things, I'll often talk to someone else. BeanBean learned all about menstruation and female puberty because I was talking to my niece while he crashed cars one afternoon. I had no idea that he'd even heard a word of it until the next day, when he told me, "I have a baby growing inside of my uterus." I told him that he couldn't, because he was a boy and he didn't have a uterus, and he said, "I do have a uterus! I can get a period and have a baby!" He picked it all up, but somehow missed that this applied exclusively to girls. It's amazing, they're always listening...

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#377 of 390 Old 01-07-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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Just one more aside on my part. Others have been so eloquent in expressing what I was feeling. I also very much appreciated Baudelaire's eloquent statement about gifted children and their parents. I've seen those folks bashed to pieces since I first began homeschooling. I wish there could be a different word that someone could/would come up with to express it as just a different configuration of intellect - I've certainly never been able to think of one - but I think the word "gifted" unfortunately sounds to some like "better" and brings on emotional reactions.

Many of the children involved here are gifted or just exceptionally interested in some things from the academic side of life, and I have absolutely no criticism of their needs being met in whatever way works for them. But the "views" column shows over 6,000 views as of today. The people viewing the thread most likely represent a very wide spectrum of children's learning styles, abilities, temperaments, personal desires, maturation - the works. The parents themselves would also come from a spectrum of experience. Many are looking for information on how this whole homeschooling thing works. So that's why I feel it's to everyone's advantage if we all feel free to post from our hearts without feeling it might be taken as a criticism of anyone else who's posted. As I've said before in other threads, I like to think of online discussions as like a big friendly discussion around a table in a coffee bar - disagreements might come up, some of them maybe even passionate, but in real life those things are more easily taken as just part of an enlivening and spirited discussion, with thoughts bouncing off of other thoughts, aha! moments, twists in the path, new information added in to the mix, clarifications given, all sorts of things... Has anyone ever seen The View on tv? Those women are always talking at the same time, challenging one another's views, expressing loud, passionate personal opinions - and yet they're all friends and support one another. In online situations, people understandably often read things a whole different way, and that can make for the loss of a lot of valuable input.

With my son off in college, my husband off on extended sailing trips in his retirement, and having recently moved from a large home in the country to an apartment in the exhilarating heart of a new city in a new state, I'm in the middle of a huge transition in lifestyle. Painting was my main passion, and will be again, but it's taken a back seat to finally finishing up some website work and writing that had been put off. I've had the privilege of seeing a whole lot of kids, homeschooled and otherwise, grow up - an amazing and beautiful experience - and have learned a lot from it. I still stay in touch with many of the people who "met" online when we were first exploring all these things together (such a powerful experience that many of us have met in real life since then) and with homeschool friends who grew bonds from local activism together while our kids were growing up. It makes me smile to think back at some of the anxieties and concerns we shared together. Not one of the catastrophes any of us imagined might grow out of one of our children not writing at a particular time or reading at a particular time or being interested in math has materialized. Not one. It's all good ... Homeschooling is a fascinating world of ideas, and taps us into the whole wider world of how learning and parenting works, how the society works, and a lot more - which taps us into understanding our own minds and psyches and how they work. For those who are considering homeschooling or just beginning, I'd like to say that only the tip of the iceberg shows at first - there are so many unexpected levels and dimensions you'll discover along the way, and you'll just be absolutely amazed. Lillian
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#378 of 390 Old 01-08-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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I've been reading all of the past few days upset and want to add my personal feelings on when LillianJ posted about Play and someone else posted about Better Late than Early for HER child. I took it to mean that It's better late than early *for your own child's timetable*.

Unless someone says directly to my face, You are Mis-Parenting, blah, blah, blah... Then I see everyone as posting for their own family and their own life and their own experiences that we can draw upon for our own or NOT. I feel that is what a discussion is, sharing of personal feelings and ideas and not meant to change someone else's life, just share your own. Maybe I'm dense in that way, but if that's the case, then ignorance IS bliss.

I totally agree with Charles Baudelaire's explanation if in case there are mom's who are feeling a bit put off by early education for some children, then try to see it from someone else's perspective and she put it perfectly.
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#379 of 390 Old 01-30-2006, 04:25 PM
 
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I'm homeschooling my 29mo...if you consider drawing pictures of Spongebob Squarepants over, and over, and over, and over again homeschooling, lol.
That's funny, my drawings consisted of Elmo a few months ago and now he LOVES cars, hotwheels, etc.


I have a son turning 3 in May and my daughter will be 1 this month. I am going to homeschool them. I have been starting little lesson plans, etc. and he loves it.

I also have a 12 year old that will be homeschooled for the first time next school year.
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#380 of 390 Old 01-30-2006, 10:31 PM
 
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Just thought I'd post about our fun "homeschooling" day. DD is 23 mo.

We got up, let the dogs out, changed the laundry and went to check the sheep to see if there were any new lambs. Even though there weren't, Hannah loved to see the big "nursies" on all of the ewes making bags and learning that pigeons coo instead of chirp. She cooed for the next thirty minutes.

Then we ate breakfast, read books, watched Backyardigans, got dressed and went to the library for a craft day. The focus of today's craft day was bears. So we followed a path of bear paw prints into the room, listened to a lady read bear books, played with sorting bear toys (Large/Medium/Small. Hannah called them Daddy/Mommy/Baby. I had to tell the supervisor of the table to quit correcting her-that it was okay for her to classify them as D/M/B instead of L/M/S.), made bear puppets, and a bear story book.

On the way out, we had to go back and forth over the bear footprints about seven times, so I told her we'd find some to play with at home. When we got home I printed out alot of bear footprints and some bear graphics. I made a "Welcome Bear" to go on the front door and she took it upon herself to tell me what the other bears should be. Now we have pictures of bears on the potty, tv, bed, couch, chocolate milk, etc. And lots of different bear print pathways taped to our floor.

Then more books, nursing, napping, and bossing her dad around on where he should follow the bear steps. Now she's hanging off my arm asking me to read. She's started to realize that those little things around the cool pictures in her book actually have labels and has become fascinated with letters-specifically 'b', 'w', 'e', and 'r'.

Just having fun!

Homesteading, unschooling mama of three.
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#381 of 390 Old 01-31-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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My son's favorite thing to do now is play Mambo #5 over and over again loudly while he and his toddler brother run around the house screaming "hu-ah" and "aarrrghhh--ha!" I'm sure my neighbors (we are city living) just luurve us.
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#382 of 390 Old 03-15-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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I live in Burien Washington.
I am homeschooling my 3 year old, although at this age we have a whatever attitude. somedays we do stuff, some days we don't. we go to the Childrens museum or science center once a week.
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#383 of 390 Old 03-15-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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Holy Thread Resurection
Maybe we should start and up to date one

Hi, I am a SAHM with a 7y/o homeschooler in 3rd grade
and a 2 1/2 y/o that speaks a made up language
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#384 of 390 Old 03-15-2006, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesiLynne
Holy Thread Resurection
Maybe we should start and up to date one

Hi, I am a SAHM with a 7y/o homeschooler in 3rd grade
and a 2 1/2 y/o that speaks a made up language
Hi! We have a just-5yo DD and right now, we're working our way through Story of the World, Part I and learning about Buddha, which is great. There are so many wonderful kids' books on Buddha. Then, it's back to the Romans! Whee!
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#385 of 390 Old 03-15-2006, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There is a new thread now somewhere further down the board called, "Homeschooling Preschoolers Mar 06" or something like that.
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#386 of 390 Old 03-15-2006, 06:10 PM
 
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Preschool is REALLY normal where I live!! But I didn't ever go to preschool and I was an excellent student, from K-college graduation!! So although the jury is out on homeschooling, I can definitely see myself doing home-preschool... going to sub to this thread
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#387 of 390 Old 03-16-2006, 02:46 AM
 
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You should sub to the March thread instead. We start a new one each month, or when the threads get so full that newbies get intimadated

~Sara, WAHSingMomi to girls R and AV, S.O.A.R. Scout Leader and Homeschooling In Detroit Blogger

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#388 of 390 Old 06-19-2006, 05:07 PM
 
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I'm here to join in a bit late..

My dd is 3 and my son is 8 mo. and I suppose I've been schooling her since she was an infant. Mostly just reading, and whatever she's expressed an interest in I've gone with it.

I toyed with the idea of homeschooling when she was a few months old, but really decided definitely once she turned 3. Now I've be a voracious reader on the subject trying to learn as much as I can about it so when she would 'officially' have to start school (fall '08) I'd be ready to do it myself.

Still a bit scary at times, and have my doubts about myself (my Mother doesn't help, she's a teachers aid at a public school and she's not all for it) but I'm determined that my kids have a great education. Most of all I just want to instill a love to learn.
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#389 of 390 Old 06-20-2006, 10:17 AM
 
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I know, I know, but I cannot seem to find the Homeschooling your Preschooler thread for June? Not even May? Is this thread continuing monthly somewhere? Thanks!

creative mom of two free-spirited boys (03/03, 11/04) : unschooling, nature loving, crafting, making, passion following family ribbonjigsaw.gif
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#390 of 390 Old 06-20-2006, 10:47 AM
 
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There hasn't been a current thread for a while. I just started a new one.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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