A few days ago I told you all about the magical day we had with poetry, literary tools, and the beautiful variety of the English Language.
On Monday I followed my instinct, the Spirit, and my children’s cues… and it was a rounding success.
Yesterday I did not.
Yesterday I grabbed directly on to the conveyor belt and held on for dear life.
“Spencer needs to make more progress on his reading lessons,” I thought. So Spencer and I sat on the couch together and we spent the next hour sounding out 49 three letter words.
60 excruciating minutes sounding out words like mop, jam, and mat.
Spencer tried to be a good sport. He read every word and didn’t cry once. It’s just that he didn’t WANT to read them. Instead he observed the way the papers were laying on top of each other and the gaps the creases allowed for and said things like, “I know I haven’t studied the law of gravity… but it seems like this isn’t it”.
And instead of snatching the paper away and suggesting that we study said law of gravity, I pointed to the page and said things like, “FOCUS!”.
What is WRONG with me? I killed the wonderful spirit we had had the day before by stressing about what others would think of me if my six year old couldn’t read as well as other six year olds. I know full well that little boys shouldn’t be expected to sit at a desk for hours and many aren’t ready to learn how to read until they are closer to seven or eight. Yet I made my own little boy sit doing the very same things that are contrary to his nature.
And don’t think for a second that our fluffy couch was any less confining than the metal and plastic chairs they are sporting in public schools these days. I can dress it up all I want but what I did yesterday was no better than what he would have gotten had I sent him off to a stranger for the day.
I know very well that a little boy of six should not be required to sit at a lesson for more than ten minutes! I know they need room to jump and play and explode with energy. I’ve given such advice to many a young and new homeschooling mom.
I know better.
- Inspire, not require.
- Quality, not conformity.
- Secure, not stressed.
I KNOW better!
And tomorrow I will do better.
For his sake.