I'm sure many of us have many good things to say. Looking forward to hearing many of them.ButtercupsMom wrote: ↑Fri May 18, 2007 9:50 amI am just listening to David Hazell's CD seminar ''Busy Dads Can Homeschool, Too.'' He was talking about ''Over-educating our first child'' and gave examples as: reading at 3 or 4, knowing presidents, labeling things all over the house, etc.
Dd began reading 2.5 weeks ago. We were very surprised. She went through the ''Bob Books'' (set 1) in 2 days and has been reading some simple stories from a primer (''The Boy and His Goat'' and ''The Little Red Hen''). She will be 4 on 5/27. She's practically an only child (her brother is 22 and lives in another state), so involving other siblings isn't part of our homeschooling.
Our plan is to begin MFWK in June, doing 2 lessons of MFWK per week. This way, K will last nearly 2 years. We don't want to rush, but do want to have a solid foundation in the basics. We have also purchased a few of the pre-school items from MFW (people puzzle, lock and lace lower case letters, giant pegs/pegboard). We also plan a co-op type playdate once a week with one of her little friends (who is 6 mo. older) and other family activities (visiting Grandma in the nursing home at least once per week, etc.). Another priority is LOTS of time to play and be a little kid.
Does anyone have any comments/concerns/tips to avoid "over-educating our first child" syndrome while still meeting our child's interests and developing skills?
There's a balance between it all that can be hard to define. On one hand, some children are just really ready to want to read at a younger age. They may even learn to read no matter what we do. There is nothing wrong if you're child is figuring out how to read. That's great. Keep reading to them while they are snuggled next to you. Don’t let them start to read too far above AGE level too soon.
Now, when my first born was little I spent a lot of time reading about Montessori preschools and all of those kinds of things. And Playtime for preschool. But – then when she turned 4 --- I changed and wanted an advanced child who was ahead of the curve. Why? So the grandparents would think homeschooling was ok. Don’t worry – I went to my first homeschool convention right before she turned 5. The key note speaker was Karen Andreola (of Charlotte Mason circles). Then -- and only then --- did I listen to the librarians and preschool teachers, and even my MIL.
My MIL was never impressed that first born was an early reader. She just wanted to make sure that her grandchildren enjoyed books and loved to read. One of her grandsons didn’t learn to read until he was 8 years old in spite of the parents and grandparents and teachers doing the right things. Grandma just read to him and kept on reading to him. Then it clicked and Alex loves to read everything now. So – just in case anyone is reading this with a slower to read child -- be encouraged.
MIL warned me against making a genius, academic machine type. And began looking over at her first born --- my husband. It would be another 6 or 7 years before I heard the phrase “academic machines” again. This time, from MFW’s David Hazell.
So here are some things that I did that I look back and think, “Why did I do that? And can I help you not to do them?”
* One year, when my oldest was 5 we did school 6 days a week for many weeks in a row just to condense a curriculum into a semester. My attitude was, “Well, we homeschool, so who needs grade levels?” and, “We homeschool, and if I do the curriculum faster, I can have her in 2nd grade by the time she is 5.5 years old.!!! I just love it because then I’ll be ahead of the curve and the grandparents will know what a good little homeschooler I can be.” What? Didn’t anyone else make that mistake?
*I choose books that were good -- but were not age appropriate. I’m not talking about reading levels here. I mean age level. With first born, I ended up reading to her books that she would enjoy now at age 11. With second child, she hears the same book, but filtered down. And with 2nd child, I let her get up and play and just catch the plot of the adventures.
*Oh that was a big thing I did wrong with first born. We not only read these books that were above her age, but we expected her to sit and listen to the whole thing AND make her do plot analysis. Oh no….. Crystal and John wouldn’t let first born just enjoy the adventure story in the Narnia books -- we turned it into a full language arts lesson meets Bible lesson. Don’t do what Crystal did.
*We tried to make first born memorize Math Tables very early. And this has helped in what way for long term??????????? Oh, it hasn’t.
Things we did right:
*We realized quickly what we were doing wrong and stopped.
*We went back to fun books that were more age appropriate even though she could read them on her own.
*We put her in group classes where she could not be rushed out of her age. That way she never thought she was too old to do fun stuff just because she could read. She didn’t stay in the same class every year --- she does grow up. But the older and more wise moms in the co-op wouldn’t let me make the mistake of putting a K age child with the 1st and 2nd graders -- no matter how well she spoke, read, or could sit.
*We stopped making every book a school book.
*We kept going to library story hour. The librarians there are awesome storytellers. In one of the programs, they pulled a guy from the AV department who likes to play guitar and be silly. So it became story and music time. It was just fun.
*I never told her that she was too old for any book. Too young, yes. Too old -- no.