Most people expect me to homeschool: I teach at two co-ops, I design homeschool electives, I have a son who’s in the K-4 at one of the co-ops.
I have never expected to homeschool. For one, those first two in the list above? Yeah. Those take up a lot of time. And notice the age of the son: four. We have another ten years before I know what to do with him!
I have a long list of why I wouldn’t homeschool: I was almost fired from my one elementary school job for not interacting well with 9 year olds. I was removed from middle school homeroom to high school homeroom because I’m “not nurturing.” I was very vocal during my church-worker years that I wanted to work with kids who were 10 and up because we could communicate.
I can’t even imagine what it takes to teach a five year old how to multiply or even what a five year old needs to know.
I’m a firm believer in letting the professionals work!
Then today, while holding that four year old during Christmas break, I realized what had been happening all along.
He had finished reading the back of one of his books (upside down, in fact) and was now pointing out all the countries of Asia in his map sticker book when his three-year-old cousin made a joke.
The cousin was putting together a USA puzzle map by himself and called out, “Look, Falcon!”
Falcon looked up and laughed. Zach had put Wyoming the wrong place! The two laughed and laughed and then told about the time Sarah (Zach’s mom/my sister) had put Colorado under Montana. It was a great joke.
So, yes, the three and four year old know their states, many capitals, and a host of countries. Because we’ve been homeschooling all along through immersion.
We introduce concepts (alphabet or reading or countries or animals), but the kids follow the ones they love. For a LONG time we watched alphabet videos, wrote words, pointed out words, read books, had books read on tablets, etc. Then it was Little Einsteins and an intense fascination with music which persists in a family of dancers. Now it’s Octonauts and all things sea life (the horror that erupted when I confused a manta and a sting ray!!!) and maps. The Octonauts go on adventures across planet puzzles or maps puzzles. I tell bedtime stories about the Octopod traveling across the Ocean and up the coasts of various countries. They sing the US songs while doing US puzzles and then grab a globe to find the continents on a flat map and a, well, globe.
Then we follow it up by drawing planets, finding the outline of states in broken pieces of clay or in water stains, plotting our course for upcoming road trips, and looking up all 50 state birds by talking to Google (O. We also have a bird clock that tweets or hoots on the hour).
I suppose this is just how homeschooling works, and I was making it more complicated that I should have been. I’m fairly happy that this is the way it works too. I love it.
So when asked, “Will you homeschool?” I’ll say, “I am, I will, and I will be putting him into K-5 program at the same time!”