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Monday, July 28, 2008

Caution: Motherly Instincts in Use

... may not meet State Curriculum Standards. May not correlate with conventional thoughts about what "should" be taught at a certain place and time. Could be construed as independent thinking and ruled out from the get-go.

I laugh about this because this is how I struggle when teaching our children. The "oh-no's" of "what if I don't teach this.." or "everyone else is teaching this...". It can really drive me to momentary moments of insanity, not to mention the headache it brings on. I second guess myself constantly in homeschooling. That probably accounts for the obsession I have with curriculum. I look through the shelves of other homeschooler's curriculum, the way some folks eat up new catalogs of Pottery Barn. Other hs'ers know what I mean. I'm not the only crazy one.

The idea of not introducing grammar until the 3rd grade, or until the child is fluently reading is not a new one. I was introduced to this idea by a parent earlier this year, but I stored it away somewhere in the back of my brain. Again, the idea came up while I visited with a friend about two months ago. I was baffled that she didn't teach her child grammar yet. Her reasoning was very sound, however. Why should I teach my rules to a child, who is still struggling to read? We want to encourage the love of literature in our children first and foremost, right? So, the topic has come up on the Well Trained Minds message boards. I toyed with the idea again after a hs'er gave me her honest opinion on holding off on the barrage of grammar and language arts I was about to subject to C. This past week I've been having him read aloud. It's been quite eye opening, how he rushes into the reading often putting letters in places they don't belong, changing the context altogether. Yes, eye opening and a little diconcerting. So, I've had to take a mental step back. I've had to realize that although it might be on some standardized exam in some state we might someday live in, C's not ready for it yet. To push this on him now would only cause to increase his disdain for reading independently. I'll probably do what I typically have done in the past with reading and math, retry in a few months and see if he's ready then. In the meantime, I will take away the Learning Language Arts through Literature in lieu of fun books. Perhaps they're not the books recommended by a list, I'll just have to read those to him myself. Right now, I'm going on the instinct God gave me and my instinct says this is the right path. I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

JAN said...

Great point, Tina! I am realizing that I need to stop stressing and just relax. I am always worried that my kids won't measure up to the "standards." Great post. Thanks.