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March 3, 2016

Looking Back: The Early Years

My kids are older now 15/14 (well nearly 14 and 15). When you get a chance to look back and reflect you may realize you did somethings good, some things great, and other things ... well you just wish for a do over.

I have a do over wish.

Before I continue I want to make it clear: Your kids, you and only you know what's best for them. You and only you can decide what to do. If you are the type that wants curriculum and formal learning for your 3, 4, 5 year old then this post isn't for you.
If you are on the fence, have doubts, or feeling you have to keep up with the Jones ... this is for you!
This is my 8th year homeschooling. Yes, it's just my daughter now; the boy is at the public high school against my wishes. (Hubby wanted him there).  My feelings about education has changed over the years. If I had a do over ....

If I had a do over I would have never sent my kids to public school for those 2 years. (1st/K for the boy; pre-k/k for the girl) If I had a do over I would have pushed harder to have been able to keep them home and always homeschooled .... or at least waited for the state's compulsory age which at the time was 7 in Illinois (It a few years ago changed to 6). Heck, I didn't even know, back then, that legally I didn't even have to send my kids to school until 7.

I just did what everyone else did .... even though I didn't like it. I truly didn't fully understand my options. I was young 20 something. Now as a 30 something. I get it. If I had to do it over...

If I had to do it over I would have kept my kids home. I would have never sent a 4/5 year old to school. I would have NOT use a curriculum or any formal learning. I would have continued to do what I was doing as MOM.

A good mom. cuddles with books and movies. Library trips, trips to the park. Lots of outdoor play. Always making sure they had access to crayon, pencils, and paper. Taking out the paints, play dough, scissors time to time. Helping them learn self help skills, colors, numbers. All WITHOUT a curriculum.

Help me sort the laundry. I need 3 cans of tuna can you get them? Can't find them they are the small cans with the blue label.  Teaching them our address, phone number, what my name is (real name, not just mommy).  Lets spell your name. All those things that good parents does without the need to use an actual curriculum, books, worksheets.

I would have insisted that formal learning, school, waited until they were 7.

I have realized there is no need to push school any sooner than that! If you do that fine, they are your kids.

I'm speaking to those that are on the fence. Those that have no desire to start formal schooling, but then panic and have doubts because they hear Sally is sending her kids to pre-school or is buying a ton of curriculum to work at home with.  

If you don't want curriculum then don't use it. Do not feel pressure to having to do formal schooling just because that's what the Jones are doing. If you have no desire that is perfectly acceptable! It is totally okay.

God willing if I had younger kids this is exactly what I would be doing today. I would be just MOM. I would be just letting my little kids play and would NOT be doing any kind of school work with them until they were 6.....


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