Friday, January 7, 2011

Differences

Tonight the kids were playing with the Leap Frog fridge phonics game.  Dave asked Isaac (5 yrs old) what the letter in the box was.  Isaac looked at him blankly "I don't know".  Then Ephraim (2.5 yrs old) pipes up with "that's an S!" 

Now, if I only had Ephraim, I would think we were doing a great job raising a brilliant child.  He'll be 3 in April and can now
  • count to 26 verbally (only missing 18-21)
  • use tactiles to count to 10
  • can recognize and sound out the alphabet
  • knows all his primary colors
  • recognize about 1/2 his shapes
But, I have Isaac, who can only do the tactile counting to 10 thing and knows his colors.  He kind of wants to try and learn those other things, but pretending and playing is just too big of a draw.  Occasionally, he will sit down and practice writing his letters, but he doesn't have any idea which letters he's writing. 

If I only had Isaac, I would think I was failing as a homeschooling parent.  But I know I'm not, and I'm honestly not worried.  The beauty of homeschooling is the ability to take kids as they are.  There is no pressure on me to have my kids meet a "norm", unless I allow my fears of failure to consume me.

I thought this article was thought provoking and even confirming of some of my relaxed methods.  It's just another example that taking a step back and simply allowing kids to explore and learn at their own levels can be a valuable and stressless tool to parenting. 
Children teach themselves to read

Besides, Isaac is teaching Ephraim important life lessons.  Like how to wear your "babies" properly and lovingly

The right way to battle with the light sabers (and look cool doing it!) 

He's teaching him how much fun it is to dress up, make believe and to live life with joy.  Ephraim loves to spend time with his big brother and imitate him.  Lately when I hear a certain laugh or cackle or "battle cry", I think it's Isaac, but I realize it's Ephraim instead, haha.

Maybe eventually, Ephraim's interest in the alphabet will rub off on Isaac during their play.  Even if it doesn't though, I will do my best to accept my kids as they are, with their strengths AND weaknesses.  I will nurture their interests, provide opportunities to learn, and then do my best to not push them to develop skills before they're ready because I'm afraid of what others are thinking or what their kids are doing.  I will be proud of them no matter what.  And I will enjoy being their Mommy, because THAT is the greatest gift in the world.

2 comments:

  1. Miranda, I think you would really love the book "In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences" by Thomas Armstrong. I read the book and saw so many children in there (including myself). I recognized my neice who was diagnosed with ADHD, put on medications and sent to see a psychologist for lying and stealing when really... she's overly intelligent in her spatial area. And I mean OVERLY strong in this area. (most kids have a general amount of all of them). I only wish my SIL could have discovered this book sooner. I recognized myself who is a naturalist and couldn't stand the confining walls of a classroom. I recognized so many kids I've known and now feel sad that others (mostly teachers) diagnosed them with learning disabilities when really.... they were being taught wrong. Not all kids are linguistic and mathematical which is who schools are set up for.

    I think you would like because it will give you ideas and different methods for teaching the kids. There are LOTS of ideas and creative methods. It really is a toolbook for teachers and homeschooling parents although I think all parents should read it. It'll confirm for you that homeschooling is the best thing you can do for your kids because schools are just... so bad. In fact, this book has me REALLY leaning towards homeschooling more than ever before. And that's a strong statement.

    Man, I've done it again... I've written a blog on someone else's blog. I'll stop now. lol.

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  2. thanks for posting Miranda. I can tell there is a big difference between my 2 boys in a similar way and can feel the anxiety at the door of my heart, already wanting to defend and try to force change or development. I hadn't given it much thought before but I think I need to be active in defusing it.
    I really need to practice enjoying all that my days have and especially my children.
    ...considering the Ann Voskamp book you mentioned on FB. I really feel like its a lesson thats been oat my feet for a long time.

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