Should. This word and I don't get along. Maybe it is my authority issues, or maybe I am lazy or maybe just obstinate My reaction to "should" is always "Says who?!"
My questioning nature (which sounds so much nicer than "rebellious") shows up more and more in the way I choose to parent my kids.
First, I must confess, I really like my kids. Not just " love them because they are mine" though that is true, but like them as people. I find my days go so much better when I treat them like that, like people I share a home and a life with, rather than treating them like something that needs to be managed or controlled, or on my worst days, escaped from.
Elie is in the first grade. Actually, it would be far more accurate to say she is first grade age. Because we are not doing first grade. First, I thought it was because I just suck at home schooling. After a bit, I realized I suck because I don't buy it, I dreaded doing it and it felt...fake.
I don't believe that a child SHOULD know a specific list of things by a certain age. Who made that list?! Not me, and I am pretty sure whom ever made it didn't know my kid. I can understand why a traditional school might have to follow that list, but isn't the whole reason Eliana stays home with me that I don't believe traditional school is a good fit?
Who is the better, happier, person: Monet, Shakespeare, or Bill Gates? SHOULD they all be painters? I don't know for sure, but I am guessing ol' Bill might be miserable with brush in hand. Why? Because he was created in the image of a unfathomably imaginative God who didn't make him to be Monet. At no other time in our lives do we suffer the belief that all people should be equally good at all things except in the school years.
So, I guess this is the announcement that we are officially "unschooling". I am making the choice to actively "do life" with my children. Trusting that my children are born learners, that subject matter is best learned when not artificially divorced from the world, a belief that there is no hierarchy of learning and a knowledge that learning is life long and there is no "best" time to know something. I choose to pursue joy, learning and relationship.
I don't pretend to have all my quackers lined up on this one, but I am ok with that. I guess you can expect to hear a lot more of my ramblings on this as I get it all sorted out in my head. Here is a great site from a lady who is way more on her game than I am, and explains what it means to choose not to "school" your children.