As Goose approaches 4, I find myself thinking about starting a more ‘formal/structured’ home school curriculum/plan. Yet, as I start researching yet again – I can actually feel hubby rolling his eyes behind my back – I am starting to question my decision. Not the decision to home school – but the decision to embark on a more structured approach at this young age.
I have now read countless articles, blogs, forums, reviews and opinion sites regarding homeschooling at a young age. Though many people do start a more formal approach quite young, sometimes starting younger than 2, the overwhelming consensus is to WAIT.
While this means many different things to every family, from what I have read, it does not encompass allowing our children to run riot all day, watch an abundance of T.V, play video games and basically do as they please. Instead it involves a lot of play, reading, exploring interests, helping with chores, baking, reading, dancing, drawing, nature walks, reading, talking, oh and did I mention reading? In the simplest terms, to wait to start ‘official’ home school means to continue providing a nurturing atmosphere called LIFE and to watch your young children explore their interests within it.
Young children, according to my research, are not prepared to sit and ‘do’ school. They need to move, explore, question and play. We have such a hard time letting go of the idea that they ‘need to be learning this’ or ‘are able to do such-and such’ by some arbitrary age, regardless of their own personal readiness to learn the activity or concept.
It can be an amazing thing to sit back as a parent and actually watch all the wonderful things your child does know, most of the time with hardly any input or conscience ‘teaching’ on our part. They are such sponges at this time, that we only need to provide the environment and they will question and learn.
So at this stage in Goose’s life, I have decided to relax and not worry about schooling. No more trying to get him to do worksheets or sit through a lesson plan I have devised. Instead, I will try to follow his lead and travel the path of his interests, to enjoy this short, wonderful time when play is the most important component in his life. (And who doesn’t need a bit more play in their lives?!)