Monday, August 9, 2021

I keep changing my mind

This is going to be a short unedited rant about homeschooling decisions. 

shopping for school supplies at hobby lobby

Reuben is six, he turned six in July. Last year he was five, and we did a year of loose kindergarten during a pandemic and also while battling my severe chronic illness. I have lapsed elloquent on this subject in 2020 blog posts, so I won't rehash it here; but it was not a good year. 

That is why I decided to do another year of kindergarten with Reuben in 2021, a "proper" year to "catch up on all the things I missed." A year to do kindergarten right. With hopefully no pandemic or raging Lyme disease or other disasters. 

I felt I was making the right decision. 

BUT THEN I listened to this podcast. And entered into an existential crisis. Suddenly, I doubted my "second year of kindergarten" idea. 

Well, you will have to listen to the podcast to hear what it said...but it was eye opening!! (A child is capable and deserving of a wide education!!)

Reuben is eager to learn. Why was I holding him back again? I was faced with the certainty that it was because of me and not because of him: and that both of those reasons were not tenable. 

I don't think I should "hold him back" anymore. I see now he is ready for year one. It is just ME who wants to "Redo" the year and do the things I missed because I feel guilty about being sick. (not to mention all the chaos and stress of the global pandemic) But to Reuben, his "Year Zero" kindergarten is all he knows. To him, it was a great year!!! It does him a disservice to hold him back just to make sure I "Do it right". I did it, and we must move forward. 

As the podcast says, we wouldn't give a child a diet of only breastmilk at 5 or 6 if they had formula to drink as an infant. Such a child would not need to be "caught up" on what they had missed as a baby. No, that is a ridiculous thought!!

The podcast warns: beware holding off too long when a child is open to learning. 

Reuben had a full 6 "early years". He is ready to start school, and thus we should start. But. But, I listened to this podcast in our first week of this "Second Year of Kindergarten" I had designed, and I was loathe to throw out all of my plans and all the books I had gotten excited about reading with him and the curriculum I had purchased. 

Then I realized that what I was doing wasn't really kindergarten, at least not by Charlotte Mason standards who does not advocate formal lessons until a child turns six. So what we are indeed doing is a Year One that I was calling Kindergarten just from my desire to do things right and get rid of the mistakes of last year. (please feel free to roll your eyes at me)

But, I wanted to do Ambleside Online. And what I am doing is not Ambleside Online. Oh, more dilemmas. (can you laugh at me now) 

Anyway. We will start "Year One" Ambleside in January of 2022, and continue with the lessons I have planned for 2021. This way he gets a year one that is both what I already planned and is also Ambleside Online. And he can move right into Year 2 in the fall term of 2022. It will be okay! I can do this! He is ready, and I won't let my mistakes in my past hold him back. 

Last year, many kid's educations were waylaid due to the global pandemic. And all of these children are going to be fine! So is my Reuben; even if his kindergarten wasn't what I expected. He has great memories and this year, "Year One" will be no different! I'm ready, and so is he.

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