One of the things I constantly struggle with as a homeschool mom, is how much should be required that is strict curriculum and how much leeway I should give for creativity. I had such a proud mom moment a few days ago that supported the creativity side big time and it will be one of those moments that glows forever!
A little background....I have always cherished my time reading with our kids before bedtime. Since the 1st day of bringing our 1st baby home, every night was cuddling up breastfeeding and reading those wonderful little books with the cute, colorful drawings. We had and have quite the library and some of my favs still get read to this day. Through all 3 kids, every night, with only a few exceptions has had our cozy, warm, reading time. I am thrilled to say that even though they are 13, 11 and 8 at this point, they still love to gather round and do this with me, although now, even though still reading, it is an exercise in humor a lot bc I will spice things up and change words mad lib style to make sure they are paying attention and to get a laugh out of them. Or I might make the sound of something like a car instead of saying car and they and I have a laugh riot. It is a boatload of fun. The lexile ranges our kids have makes me proud of this happy habit and memory. I knew I was on the right track when our daughter's 4th grade testing came out at College age lexile range and the challenge became finding books that would match her range but be appropriate in content for a 9 year old.
Ok so, more of the background...when I had our second child, a nurse was not exactly used to a woman who had no epidural and did childbirth naturally as I did. She got kind of nervous and over exuberant and pushed my neck too hard during labor. Needless to say, she caused a nerve problem that made my mouth go numb, caused fear of a stroke and sadly, got in the way of my nightly reading for our second child. The only period of time I lost the every night marathon. The nerve healed eventually and thankfully all was ok, but the time lost with that reading always made me sad. We have more than caught up now, but I think that different beginning for our 2nd child, made the love of reading that our first child thrived on and thrives on, a lesser force for our second.
So my way of approaching this for him was to not be forceful about it trying to be respectful of that different beginning and honoring and celebrating the wonderful differences in our kids. While our 1st is very strong with reading and writing, our second is super strong with math and science. Not that I don't want them to learn all of it and they do. While our first born is already blogging, writing fan fictions and setting up websites at 13 years old with lots of followers, our 2nd has never been much of a writer or comfortable with creative writing but is amazing with building things. Everyone has their own wonderful strengths. A little humorous side note, our 3rd who is named Trace, was amazing with picking up Spanish when he was only 1. One of our friends made the comment that this made sense since he was our 3rd child and named Trace (Tres). We got a good laugh out of that for sure!
So the other day when our 2nd came to me to share with me the stories he has started writing, mind you, with no force or pressure from us to do so, that he is making into a serial fan fiction of his own, my heart swelled with so much pride it nearly burst! Huge hugs and happy support and interest were easy! He had watched both myself and his older sister writing a lot on PC, telling stories, writing articles and blogging. OF course theses kids had grown up with a newspaper columnist mother for most of their lives, so the idea of writing was never a stranger in our house, but to see him so excited and proud of his new story about crazy cows, which made me laugh out loud, was an awesome addition to any day.
I have always been a proud and strong advocate for allowing kids to find what they love to learn about and to write about, to get that kind of experience. I have seen so many kids be forced into writing bc it is supposed to make them learn to love it or experience it when it is meaningless to them, to find out if they do. My theory was supported in this experience, that forcing someone to do something that is not in them at the time, will not force a love of it. The person has to be ready to love it in their own creative way and once they do, it means something to them.
Yep! That was a great day!! Have you had one like that?
Dr. Sherri's Blog
How have you helped your child's processing today?