I have had my share of reluctant learners. Some of my boys were not interested in school at all. One didn’t even really want to learn to read until he was almost 8! Unheard of by today’s standards I know!!
But you know, I have read some compelling arguments for putting off traditional school until they are about 11 or 12. Shocking I know!! I will have to do some research into those studies and come back to you about them. It was a long time ago and I am not even sure who did them anymore..
That certainly does not mean that they are not learning up until that point. There is so much that is taught in those years that is invaluable!! Chores are a huge thing for kids to learn. Working in the garden, playing in the dirt. Planting seeds growing plants. Running outside in the grass. Examining bugs close up. Life is FULL of learning examples. If you can keep in mind that play is actually learning, you will realize that what they are doing is the best kind of learning they could be doing in those early years.
Now, I have been known to sneak some lessons in despite their best efforts to thwart me!! Just because they are not really interested in sitting around writing and reading and doing math problems, does not mean I have not started them doing these things!! They just may not always realize that i have just taught a lesson!
Think about when you are with your child and they are laying on the floor very much into their hot wheels cars. They have them all laid out in a nice line and are driving them up and down a track. Your kids may not do this, mine did quite often in fact. I sat down next to them and talked to them about the colors of the cars. I asked if we could maybe, sort them by colors. How many cars are red? How many cars are this cool green color?
Then we would count them together. We would play like that for a bit, like 10 or so minutes, or until he lost interest and was moving on to another game. Never make it an obvious lesson or you have lost them! We are just looking at cars and counting and observing the colors.
For writing and letter recognition, I had some stencils we would draw with. For sure we would write out names and color them in. Names are very important and recognizing me holds their attention for quite a bit. If their name isn’t important to them what name is? Trucks? Firetrucks? Horses? Dogs? Find that thing that sparks their interest. I have yet to find a boy who isn’t interested in trucks or trains. Use that. Draw pictures of trucks and write the word on the picture. Talk about the letters.
Sometimes i used a letter chart and had them trace the letters onto another piece of paper. Sometimes we drew letters in the sandbox.
Reading is so important!! Expose them to good books as much as you can! Go to the library there are tons of books there! All FREE to check out. Just make sure you recheck it out when you are late to return them or you have to pay the fine!!
I loved to take the kids to the library and we left with stacks of books! At our house, its a big deal to be able to write your name well enough to get your very own library card!! The only problem with that is that then they can take out their own card limit of books and next thing you know, you have to rent a truck to take home all the books you have just checked out!!!
Yes, we have to have a limit on the amount of books we can take home. I just can’t keep up with more than 2 each and a cd or video!! With at the most 7 kids at a time checking out books that still adds up to a lot of library materials!! Especially since I had my own rather large stack for school purposes. Really. Well most of them..
Ok- So I hope I encouraged you some. Yes, I did buy school materials for the early grades. But I judged what they were ready for. But that is a post for another day.
Enjoy your kids and your school year!! If your homeschooling or a stay at home Mom with little ones, whatever the case may be for you, enjoy the time! It truly does go by way too fast! Trust me.. Suddenly I find myself with young adults who are beginning to get married!! Can they really be that old? It seems like just last week i was changing their diapers and setting up a hair salon just so I could get a comb through their hair!!
And again, more stories for another day! The hair salon!! Hehe… I cannot believe it worked as well as it did!!!