The kids and I attended homeschool co-op this afternoon, so my brain is buzzing with thoughts. There was a lot of talk about ADHD and other disorders, some moms grateful for the diagnosis and others grateful they homeschooled so their child wouldn’t be labeled and lost in a crowd of other labeled children. I don’t have a strong opinion on this topic because I don’t know a lot about it. I think it is important to understand each child individually, and to teach them accordingly. For instance, my seven-year-old son is loud, sometimes bossy, often surprisingly responsible, stubborn, and yet when he finds something that he loves to learn, he really goes after it full-force. When he hits on a favorite subject, I try not to get in his way with busy little worksheets or boring talks about it. Those are learning killers for him. Often, letting him choose a library book about his subject of interest (even if it is above his level) is what will make him feel like he’s becoming an expert.
My almost-six-year-old daughter is dreamy, quiet (okay, silent or whispery half the time), does not like being wrong, reluctant to move ahead in her reading and math. When it comes to school, she is the more frustrating child because I get the impression she doesn’t want to learn. So, I find good living books, and we read a lot. She likes to listen to books. She also likes crafts and making pretty things. She is often begging me to do things like paint on a canvas, sew, set the table, buy fresh flowers. I am trying to content myself with this. It is hard for me because it doesn’t seem like she enjoys school, or at least that old definition of school that I can’t quite unstick from my brain.
My four-and-a-half-year-old daughter simply won’t hold her pencil the correct way. It doesn’t matter how often I remind her. I am in the process of trying to let that frustration go. She’s busy putting things in her brain, and I’m stuck staring at the position of her fingers. I think I remember all three of the children being amazing at this age, learning things by leaps and bounds. She likes to be at the kitchen table with the others when we do school. She doesn’t often like to say out loud what she has learned, but I understand that. That’s acceptable. Her intelligence leaks through anyway.
Now that you know all about my children (honestly, I wasn’t planning on writing all this–it spilled out), I can get to my point. Homeschool moms are relating to their children intimately, touching on so many aspects of their life, that it is no wonder we feel a little scared, as if we’re embarking on this giant project that no one else can fully relate to. It’s because we’re all dealing with completely different children. No one else has had our exact combination of personalities. We parents are on a path of discovery right along with the children. So even though this week of homeschooling isn’t going as planned, I’m not discounting it. It’s a growing time. We’re learning something.