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January 27, 2013

Homeschooling Question-Does that Count as School?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — Tags: , — dailynews @ 9:00 pm

Guest Blogger Cindy Rinna

 

A friend of mine and I have an inside joke that involves PBS…

Does Word World count as doing reading today?

I can already hear all the gasps of the critics…”I knew this homeschool thing was a hoax…”

Don’t let me be misleading; it started with a sick week. My kids had been passing a stomach bug and as I tried to plug school in here and there between helping whomever was vomiting at the time, I realized we’d had PBS on for about three. I also heard one of my five-year-old twins parroting back to the TV as Word World assisted me in teaching him how to read. As I felt my mommy guilt overpowering me, I called in for backup; a more seasoned homeschool mom.

“We’ve been watching PBS for three days. Does that count as school?”

She quickly reassured me that, yes, all circumstances considered, it does.

We have a reading curriculum. We have a curriculum for every subject. And on top of that, the twins get services at the public school three times a week for two and a half hours at a time. And although the focus of that time is socialization, reading and other learning is happening while they’re there.

My kids are learning. And not everything they need to know comes out of a text book. In this bizarre race to make kindergarten the first grade of our generation and in essence fast forward through a whole year of development and play and social skills, we’ve become trapped in the “smartest kid gets ahead” mentality. A preschooler should not feel pressure. It’s okay if a five-year-old cannot read yet. And for mom’s we should not feel this abnormal need to perform and thereby rush our children into milestones they are not yet ready for. It’s stressful for everyone and it’s unnecessary. And sometimes, yes, sometimes, it’s okay to take a break from trying so hard.

This is what I’ve learned thus far on my homeschooling journey in terms of what is most important: read, read, read to them. Play with them. Leave room for imagination and free play. Structure is good but you can have too much of a good thing. Our kids are like flowers; they need good soil (home/foundation), good food, lots of sunlight and water and above all, love.

The seeds will grow.

You can read more of Cindy’s blog at http://lifeasarinnagade.blogspot.com/.

And as always, fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson


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