“Grandma! Grandma! There are snakes in the pine trees!” our grandson shouted excitedly running to the house. Knowing that we do have at least one snake I thought to myself, “Drat, that snake had babies!”
So, I grabbed my camera and asked our grandson to show me the snakes. (Yes, I grabbed my camera! LOL) Off to the pines trees we went.
As grandson was pushing his way through the pine boughs, he was telling me to be careful. Once through, He stopped, pointed and said, “See!?”
I poked my head through the pine trees ever so carefully fully expecting to see an active nest of creepy snakes. When I didn’t see anything slithering on the ground, I asked grandson where are the snakes? And that is when he pointed up into the pine trees! “OMG,” I thought to myself growing even more creeped out. I scoured the tree branches up and down. Didn’t see a thing except needleless pine branches.
I asked him again, “Where are the snakes?”
“See! Right here!” he answered pointing to touch one of the bare branches.
“So, this is pretend, right?” I asked.
He looked up at me with a puzzled look on his face and answered, “Yeah.” (Duh, Grandma!)
Then off he ran through the pine boughs toward the house screaming excitedly, “Monster! Monster! Come on Grandma, run!”
“Imagination has no age and dreams are forever.” Walt Disney
“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Henry David Thoreau
Our daughter just graduated Salutatorian from a major university!
We home schooled all the way through high school.
I remember fearing our children would never learn to read and write. It seemed as if everyone’s children where reading novels and writing novels while our children where busy with self directed imaginative play and artistic activities.
Our children were what some would call late bloomers. But were they really late bloomers or did they simply learn to read and write when they were ready physically, cognitively and emotionally in their own way? In my experience, the later is most certainly more accurate in the nature of how children learn.
Being a parent, you worry; compare your children to those of others. Seemingly, there is a cultural push to prepare children academically to excel in school at a very young age. David Elkind wrote extensively about the pitfalls of “The Hurried Child” and the importance of play.
As I look back through our home schooling years, I now marvel at the ease our children learned to read and write despite how much I worried. We read to them starting at a very young age and continued to read to them well into their teens. Books, magazines, newspapers and maps filled the house and were always accessible to our children. Because we surrounded our children with the printed and spoken word, they understood the value of words ~ that words mean things and convey thoughts and ideas. (They were even in a Shakespeare play as pre-readers, one as the major lead role!)
If you are considering homeschooling or currently homeschooling and worry about how to teach your children to read write and do math, trust your children. They will learn to read, write and do math in their own way given the freedom to do so. Who knows, they may graduate as Salutatorian one day! 😉
Articles of interest on the subject of “The Hurried Child”:
Learning To Read The Waldorf Way By Barbara Dewey of Waldorf Without Walls [We had the pleasure meeting Barbara Dewey on several occations. She is a fantastic teacher and mentor ~ so patient, wise and kind. I shared with her my concern about our children not reading as compared to other children we knew. In her calming demeanor, she assured me that our children will read when they are ready and encouraged me to continue to read to our children and to relax. And that we did! Both now read and write mellifluously.]