Updated: May 7, 2020
You guys! The struggle was real. Kindergarten started off all fine and dandy and then came reading. It was frustrating. It wasn't one of my finest moments as a homeschool mom. I will admit that. I didn’t understand how my son could read a word one minute, and in the next, look at it like it was asking him to all of a sudden read Greek. He was frustrated. I was frustrated. But we finished Kindergarten, and I thought surely next year would be better. Nope. More reading, and now writing. It wasn’t clicking. We were missing something. The curriculum I was using insisted on just keeping on, and because I was newer to the game and a "list" follower, I went along with it. Most our days ended in tears on both of our parts. We then found a new curriculum which we love. If you haven’t heard of it, check it out at WonderHere. It was a game changer for us. I knew I had always wanted to do things differently, but when I was homeschooled, the choices had been limited. I only knew about imitating the classroom, having giant textbooks, facts, and memorization. This new approach shined a light on what I knew I always wanted but didn’t know how to get to by myself. In addition, I found Wild + Free, and my whole world exploded with options! I dug a little deeper to see that some of the world's top educational systems don’t start formal education, such as reading and math, until the age of 7. The kids spend most of their days doing the important business of - play. I was clearly onto something now. This has been our first year of going at our own pace. When he struggles to grasp a particular method in math or is struggling with reading, I throw out my lesson plan and slow down. Instead of doing a math lesson a day, sometimes we do one a week. So when we move on it's not to check off a list but to make sure he fully understands. Mostly, he feels confident in himself to do it. I don’t ever want him to feel like he’s “not smart enough.” If he does, then I feel like I’ve let him down. Because the truth is, if given enough time and even a little space, we are all smarter than we know. Just because one child learns to read in 2 weeks doesn’t mean the other who takes 2 years is less intelligent; it’s just different styles of learning... and that’s okay! Comparison is a deadly trap we get stuck in. Let your child be measured against his own personality and learning style, and then he or she is never behind. It’s okay to throw out the lesson book today. Explore your kitchen, your backyard, a park, and don’t be surprised when your reluctant reader starts randomly reading all the billboards and street signs you pass or figures out that 20 sticks is 2 groups of 10 hence 2x10=20! Trust your instincts and your child’s when it comes to their education. You will not be let down!