Re: instant anxiety for 3, 4, 5-year-olds
There are a few vocal homeschoolers here, including yours truly. I
talked to my son's former second grade teacher a few days ago (I pulled
him out of school after 4th grade), told her about my decision. Her
reaction? "That's wonderful? Who directs the learning?"
I wonder how many teachers are left that would think to ask that
question. On the other hand, I still meet homeschool parents who ask me
what canned curriculum I use. And some brag about their kid's test
scores once they take the act or sat. Bleah.
The toy-mobile is a great idea...
On Friday, September 12, 2003, at 09:26 PM, PJH wrote:
worksheets and filling out forms.
I'm still saddened by the fact that "playing at school" means doing
I do know what you mean - but for her, worksheets and forms have
do with school.
She's been a regular visitor to the local public school, where her
participates in a gifted "pull-out" class. Until very recently,
her mind was a place you go once a week for two hours or so, and do cool
hands-on activities, give (or in her case watch) presentations, play
neat stuff like tessellation toys, see caterpillars, do puppet shows,
eat good food, etc. She was absolutely shocked recently to find that
cousin attended the school for the *whole* day. ("When does he play?"
of course her question...)
(Try to explain to a kid who has no realistic concept of "school" what
means to be "homeschooled". Its actually pretty comical!)
Anyway, filling out forms is "playing at being mommy" - she's watched me
balance my checkbook and paying bills and so on, and I've given her
the junk mail so she can "help" since she was very young. Now again,
older boys *never* did this - and neither of them *ever* used "invented
letters" in their scribbling. They both read early and knew darn well
scribbled "imitation letters" weren't "real" and so didn't want
do with them. Neither wrote much till they had the small motor skills
so fairly legibly. This was *years* after they learned to read.
However, I do know what you mean - one of the neighbor girls used to
over and "play school" in our basement. As far as I could tell, it
consisted mainly of yelling at the kids!
least in NYC, is that those other activities that you mentioned- such
Unfortunately what is happening in many if not all public schools,
dressing up and playing, are not considered "core" curriculum.
Yes, this is just terrible. In our house our unit blocks have been in
constant use for the last eleven years. My ten year old builds with
and/or LEGO every single day. I don't know if he has more time for this
than his schooled peers because his instruction is more tailored to him
we don't spend time doing stuff he already knows), or because we value
more. He has a bunch of friends who also like blocks and LEGO. One of
nice things about being home is that they can spend several hours at
sometimes all day - and they can leave up their structures for a long
Also, fewer people nowadays have such things as unit blocks in their
I'm guessing. With smaller families, the investment may not be so
cost-effective. And of course the toys that sell the best are tied in
some character on TV. I found it especially difficult to find
age-appropriate toys for two-year-olds, due to the safety regulations.
knocking the regs, just that the toy companies don't seem to be able to
up with non-babyish toys for that age group. But again, maybe it's
I was looking for non-plastic toys...)
My cousin lives in Canada and among other cool and civilized things they
have a state-run toy-mobile - like a book mobile - from which they can
borrow blocks and Duplo and all kinds of other cool toys. *SO*
since that stuff is expensive, and much of it is in use for a relatively
short period of time.
Here in PA they just cut library funding 50%, while also considering
lowering the compulsory school age. Ugh.
not dressing up at home, listening to bedtiime stories or going to
For children living in poverty, the situation is dire- probably
performances or field trips-etc. So the worksheets at school are the
the AUTHORITIES are trying to get these kids to catch up to their
middle-class counterparts. Rather, in school, they should be exposed to
those sorts of activities that your home-schooled children are, as part
their everyday normal lives.
I totally agree. The move towards more seatwork and drill is appalling.
There also doesn't seem to be much effort at building on the skills the
may actually have, like taking care of younger children, or navigating
neighborhood on their own. Sigh....
BTW - I sort of hesitate to bring up my experiences as a
don't want to offend anyone in the school system. On the other hand,
sometimes being outside of something gives one insights that can help
inside the system. (My kids have also been in school. Long story...)
me know if I veer off-topic.
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