*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Monday, March 4, 2013

Re-Thinking Kindergarten

I’ve been doing lots and lots of reading and thinking.  Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been reading…
Free Range Learning:  How Homeschooling Changes Everything by Laura Grace Weldon
The Unschooling Handbook:  How to Use the Whole World as Your Child’s Classroom by Mary Griffith
Unschooling:  A Lifestyle of Learning by Sara McGrath
Free to Learn:  Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life by Pam Laricchia
Project-Based Homeschooling:  Mentoring Self-Directed Learners by Lori Pickert
Deschooling Gently by Tammy Takahashi
All of the above reading has changed my view on how schooling should look for our family.  I’m not saying these books are right for you or your family, but for us…they have really helped me think outside of the box.  However, don’t think that because I’m reading books on unschooling that I’m going to become some radical unschooling person.  Nope…won’t happen.  In good conscience, I could never be that way.  There are just some things in life that I will not compromise on, and that’s one of them.  I’m not going to get into the ins and outs of radical unschooling, but feel free to do your own google search.  Smile
With all of this said, however, I am changing my view on what Kindergarten will look like for Micah.  I posted my plans, and they weren’t anything too structured or rigid.  But – after more thought and reading, I’ve decided that it is too much.  Even though it looks like a lot of fun, it’s still leading me down the same path I set out on with Caleb.  I’ve learned so much in my years of homeschooling Caleb, and the main thing I’ve learned is that learning will happen when the child is ready.  We shouldn’t force them to learn…it will happen naturally.  Not every child is ready to read at the age of 5…some don’t read until the age of 8 or later.  Your child may not be ready to do concrete math at the age of 6…it may click at a much later age.  Guess what?!!?  It’s OKAY!  They will eventually learn to read and learn how to do math.  I wasn’t that way with Caleb, and I really think it did more harm than good.  I forged on making him do things that his brain probably wasn’t ready for.  I can’t go back and change what I did with Caleb, but I can start NEW and FRESH with Micah. 
For the next year, Micah is going to play and explore at his leisure.  Our house is full of books, manipulatives, games, centers, puzzles, art/craft supplies, electronic learning, etc.  I’m not going to make Micah sit down and do school.  However, I will talk with him, watch him while he’s exploring, and take cues as to when he’s ready to learn.  We will read lots of books, play lots of games, have free time, and do whatever his little heart wants to do.  I will, on occasion, put out (this is called strewing) some items to catch his attention…this could be a book, some art supplies with directions, a new game or puzzle, etc…something that may draw him in to a guided activity.  I have full confidence that he’ll learn what he needs to learn, and I know that he’ll have fun doing so.  He will do things as they come naturally, and I pray that this will encourage a love of learning and life.
Micah is already very eager to learn, and I’m stepping out on faith that this will continue without any pressure from me.  He can learn math, how to read, all about the world we live in, and all sorts of other things just by having fun and exploring all the things around him.  I will encourage him, offer assistance when he asks, and spend lots of time watching and listening. 
I’m excited to see what his little brain will inspire him to do and learn.  It’s sure to be a fun journey, and I’m looking forward to watching my baby boy grow up.  Smile


Together We Save said...

I am so impressed with all your research into learning. I am sure your children will do very well.

Lin said...

You have to do what's best for your family and only YOU know what that is. Best of luck with the challenge.

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