So we tried a little homeschooling this week, and it was bad. Abysmal actually. My 3 year old’s attention span is not very long. (Do you spot the understatement there?) He will concentrate for a long time if it involves duplos. Other than that? Not so much. He loves reading books to himself, making up the most incredible stories, and he loves building and pretend play. The only part of arts and crafts he likes are the scissors. The only part of arts and crafts his little brother likes is coloring the sofa. Yeah, so with much cajoling, “assistance,” and maybe a few threats, we completed our first alphabet craft.
Complete and utter failure since my son tells me it is a crocodile, not an alligator. He insists.
Then, I watched this TED talk about education. And I listened to the anecdote where Ken Robinson tells about a girl who couldn’t sit still in school, and she turned out to be a dancer and choreographer. Maybe that’s his thing. School is just not for him right now. He is only 3.
Although I hope honest to goodness he is not a dancer. I have a lot of experience with dancers, not much of it good. I went to a performing arts high school. Kinda like Fame, except not really famous. Well, maybe slightly famous. Charlize Theron was my classmate. I did her math homework. Yes, she is that gorgeous, and no, she was not the most beautiful girl in our school by far. Yes, it sucked to be the slightly pudgy math nerd in a performing arts high school full of beautiful girls, but I digress.
Back to dancing. The ballet girls would say things like, “oh, she ate half an apple at lunch! Did you see that, half an apple! “ It was a cardinal sin to require some food before you danced for hours on end. The pressure, even at the high school level, was incredible. So yeah, I hope my son is not a dancer. No offense to dancers anywhere, but I hope that he can be a kid as long as he wants, without pressure.
So where does that leave us? We’ll keep trying some crafts and letters. We read a lot. We joined the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program at the Arlington Library, and in the week we’ve tracked, we already read almost 30 books. You can read more about the program in the Washington Post.
I love books. I read for hours on end, even when I have no time to read. Reading opens doors to magical worlds, and faraway places, and new skills, and I know once my imaginative boy discovers it, the world and all its wonders will be open to him.
Some days I think my job is less to teach them than to learn from them. I’m learning how to be this amazing boy’s mom daily.