Waiting on Her

A mom of another 4 year old recently sent me a message on Facebook asking about our homeschooling – specifically, our unschooling.

“I like the idea of unschooling, I just don’t really get how it works… from a practical stand point. I need to keep her on track in case she goes back to Public School.”

When I offered suggestions, she started to say she was fighting her daughter to do math work and that she is easily at a first grade level in math.

“Then take a break from math.”

She didn’t like this recommendation because she liked her daughter being ahead.

I wrote last week about my struggle letting my daughter take the lead on her education. It looks like I’m not alone on that.

I’ve already taught Ellie a lot of the basics for reading. She can read some small words and really could read if she wanted to. She just isn’t there yet. Pushing her frustrates her and she just guesses at words to rush through the work, which doesn’t help anything. She is definitely able but she isn’t ready.

Ellie is more than happy to bring me a stack of books and be read to. I don’t know why I was in such a rush to push her into reading herself when I’m perfectly happy to read to her. I feel like I was so pressured by what public schooled kids are learning, the naysayers to our homeschooling and wanting to show people we can be successful at this that I was willing to push Ellie, making her miserable in the process, into something that she doesn’t need right now.

She isn’t going to go to college not knowing how to read. She has the basics. She’ll get there.

And when she does, it’ll be because she was ready.

Edit: After writing this post, I came across this great article about Kindergarten (at age 6) and learning to read in Finland. Kindergarten is mainly play and they only teach reading in Kindergarten if the children are “willing and interested”. Otherwise, they let them enjoy the pictures and leaving learning to read until first grade. Finland’s schools are proven to be much more successful than American schools!


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