Why else would be I be awake at this hour? Yeah, I’m a night-owl by nature…but living with a whole bunch of morning people means that you try to get some sleep before they are all awake and asking questions… 😉
We went to a little French Bakery & Cafe this morning. The pastries were mouth-watering. And the coffee just smelled so good, I had to break my self-imposed rule about no coffee past my 2 cups in the morning.
So here I sit, completely unable to sleep. And completely unable to stand just laying there wishing I could be asleep.
And yet, I know there is more…something else keeping me awake.
I finished the book. All the teenagers are free now… 😉
But I started something new and I think I’m back to stirring up the ingredients.
I started looking at Oak Meadow’s first grade syllabus. I got it in the mail today and was eager to dig in.
Theo is just too ‘over’ kindergarten. Though I see the great value in letting a child go slow and not pushing them academically at such a young age (I am actually quite passionate about that), I also think that beliefs sometimes have to get out of the way when the child is telling you they need something. And Theo has proclaimed quite clearly that kindergarten is ‘borin.’
I can’t blame him, of course. He’s been reading for nearly a year now. I imagine he’s at about a 2nd grade readling level…without ever having had one lesson about the names of the letters, or their sounds, or anything about the mechanics of reading. He just started reading. Somehow it all makes sense to him…so off he flies.
So when we read a story and see a capital A and I show him that…he looks at me like, “um, dude, I’ve known that was an A for years…”
And he counts and he already knows about seasons and water cycles and weather and hydraulic pistons and…well, you get the picture.
So I look at the curricula and, though I respect the intent and the focus, I see that it is not what he needs.
Ok, now let’s look at first grade. Ah, there I see something we can work on. Math is more interesting…it goes beyond the concepts of the numbers (1 = unity; 2 = duality…) to doing something with them. I think he’ll like that. And the science is more interesting…more involved…ok, now we’re getting somewhere… Language, hmmm, more mechanics of reading, ok, we’ll skip that.
And that is my path. I look to see what works for us, for him, and what doesn’t.
And I toss and turn in my bed hoping that I can somehow blend it all together for and with him. And it’s not about trying to push him along to another level. It’s about engaging him where he is and seeing where his interest, and his very funny sense of humor and life, take us.
He’s got his adult life to be neurotic about comparing himself to others around him and liking or not liking what he sees. For this small portion of his life, I want to let him just be himself. That doesn’t mean doing nothing, of course. It means not meddling too much on my part…offering here, suggesting there, and knowing that just like he learned to read and learned about hydraulics, he’ll learn the other things he wants to, needs to.
Nic’s flowing along. He’s enjoying the projects and the art and the writing of his own stories. And it’s all been much more of a struggle for him. Learning to read was a struggle. But he is going along well now.
So whether I fuss or trust, they learn what they need to and on their own timetable.
Maybe I can go to sleep now because I’ve put to rest this idea of my parental-omnipotence. Obviously I haven’t screwed them up too badly thus far…they’ll probably do just fine with my imperfections henceforth as well.