I still have so much to learn about this whole parenting and home schooling thing. I have been home schooling now for three years and have been learning and changing the whole time. …maybe by the time my kids grow up and move out I will have it figured out 🙂
When reading The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook a few weeks ago I came across the term ‘Super Baby’. They talked about several failing experiments for making super smart kids. They fail because there is so much more to learn than just book smarts. Social and emotional growth and being a kid is so important.
Now, if you search for ‘superbaby’ on Google there is a whole pile of educational packages to help create a ‘superbaby’. Those packages are for people like me – perfectionist, future thinkers who want the best for their child. First you give birth, then you get them ready for college right? I want what is best for my kids, they are my job, and they are the future of the world.
Last year I read and enjoyed Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother because I felt I could relate…and I could say I wasn’t ‘that bad’. I still respect Amy Chau for being honest and sharing her personal parenting journey and the incredible effort she put into raising her kids. She never set out to write a parenting book, it was a story of her journey. I believe the opposite of a ‘tiger mom’ academically pushing kids is poor or lazy parenting. …and I don’t ever want to be accused by anyone of that.
But I am learning. I am learning that some things can’t be rushed, I am learning that college doesn’t mean or guarantee success, and that my worrying and stressing about learning doesn’t help any of us.
That being said, I started both my kids in school a year early. I believe they should be with their age group socially but with homeschool it isn’t an issue. Both my kids were reading early (around age 4) so I figured they were ready to start. I still think they are (were) ready to start learning but my definition of school is changing.
I want both my kids to be continually learning academically, socially, and emotionally where they are able. I want to facilitate their learning instead of pushing them. I want to allow and grow their motivation and desire to learn by what I do and provide for them instead of them doing the minimum to get by. I want to build their self-esteem and have them know they are loved just as they are instead of giving them any reason to believe they need to perform to earn it. I want them to work hard and try hard and I will praise them for effort and growth more than just meeting a standard.
I totally don’t have this figured out, but I am learning and trying to move from a ‘superbaby’ maker to cherishing, nurturing, and supporting my kids to be who they are meant to be.
Parenting and homeschooling was never anything I thought I was cut out for…and still don’t. I thought I understood what these were about and how to knuckle through and get the work done. However, it isn’t the work to get done that is the problem now but my understanding.
School is out for the summer now…or the book work is but away. Learning will keep happening all summer. I am not sure how school will look next year, but I am working toward the best for our family, less stress, more fun, and a more ‘holding hands and walking together’ academically instead of pushing.