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Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's Okay to Be Late!

As a homeschooling mom of seven children I have had my share of sitting down side by side with each child to work on reading, math, spelling, phonics, handwriting and much more.  Ok, I've done this with 6 of the children...I don't believe in starting book learning in the preschool years, so it will be a little while until the two year old starts.

I remember really pushing my oldest 22 years ago during her kindergarten year.   I was young, had just recently finished my master's degree (in education, no less) and was determined to succeed.  There was stress and there were tears.  We finished kindergarten in one semester and went on to first grade.

As the years went on I learned to relax (relaxing is relevant, isn't it?) a little bit and now we are at the point where our soon-to-be seven year old is not reading.  He is still in the very early decoding stage.  Still writes some letters and numbers backwards and generally writes his name in all caps.  He also has some speech delays.  Although I tell myself it's okay and I know in a couple of years he will most likely be caught up, I do occasionally find myself wondering if it really IS okay.  Those are the times he heads upstairs to the Sunday school class room with other six year olds and I pray the teacher doesn't expect them all to be able to read.  I silently beg the other children not to make fun of his speech delays.  I hope he isn't written off as a dummy.  I cringe inside as my sister sits down to play Slap Jack with him and instead asks him to spell the numbers on the cards.  I smile on the outside, but inside I wonder what she thinks.

I remind myself of what he can do.  He loves to be read to.  He loves to look at books.  He is advanced in his gross motor skills:  rode a bike without training wheels just before turning 4, can shoot a bow and arrow with great aim, climbs trees, cuts down saplings with a hack saw, can hoe the garden and sticks to long jobs like shoveling manure onto a trailer.  He loves to draw and does so every day.  He makes up songs, gives great hugs and has the best smile ever.










So, again, I remind myself that children mature at different stages and I focus on the positives and try to make extra time to work on those areas that need work.   I know that God made this special boy and He is shaping him into the man that He intends him to be.  My job is to work diligently with him, to encourage him to work hard without overworking him and to teach him to love learning.  It's the work that God has given me and I am thrilled to be this guy's mom!



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8 comments:

Gina said...

I love this! I think parenting gives us unique opportunities to see the differences in each of our children and see how God uses them all to glorify Himself. We were all created differently, but for the same purpose, to honor Him! As parents, we get to nurture the gifts and encourage the weakness. They truly are all gifts from God <3

simplemom said...

Well.... It seems we have somethings in common. Now, our guy whom just turned 7 is about in the same educational spot:) but what's MOST important is, their spiritual spot:)! My guy is the youngest of our bunch and was 2 months early. Now he is huge but took forever to grow, walk, talk! The most impotent thing that I see in ours is, his love of God, his concern for others, how he is a gentle giant:) and this child who can't read well...... He loves everyone with all his little heart and wants to everyone to love God as much as he does! It's the sweetest thing. Oh... Did I mention that I am THE leader of our home-school group,lol! So, the fears you have felt resonate in me:) But I'm refusing to quack in the face of insecuritiy! He is what he is.... Great! And I need to back what I've been preaching for years before I experienced it..... "They are all different"!!! It's harder when it's yours but why do we homeschool? Is it foremost to make them smarter? They certainly would not be more advanced in a government educational system. We do this for bigger reasons and we have to stay firm in why we do this and that we are giving them the best, and everyone will see, in a few years, they will be caught up:) Then you and I can take a deep breath:) God Bless!!!!.......

simplemom said...

Well.... It seems we have somethings in common. Now, our guy whom just turned 7 is about in the same educational spot:) but what's MOST important is, their spiritual spot:)! My guy is the youngest of our bunch and was 2 months early. Now he is huge but took forever to grow, walk, talk! The most impotent thing that I see in ours is, his love of God, his concern for others, how he is a gentle giant:) and this child who can't read well...... He loves everyone with all his little heart and wants to everyone to love God as much as he does! It's the sweetest thing. Oh... Did I mention that I am THE leader of our home-school group,lol! So, the fears you have felt resonate in me:) But I'm refusing to quack in the face of insecuritiy! He is what he is.... Great! And I need to back what I've been preaching for years before I experienced it..... "They are all different"!!! It's harder when it's yours but why do we homeschool? Is it foremost to make them smarter? They certainly would not be more advanced in a government educational system. We do this for bigger reasons and we have to stay firm in why we do this and that we are giving them the best, and everyone will see, in a few years, they will be caught up:) Then you and I can take a deep breath:) God Bless!!!!.......

Melissa said...

Love It.

I am blessed! said...

I've been saying the same thing about Calvin, my 8 month old who has yet to sit up or roll over. I know he'll do it in time, but it's so hard not to compare! He's such a treasure, though, and I'm trying to just enjoy each and every day with him.

Thanks for your perspective!

Celee

Lisa said...

Thanks for this post and for the reminder! I also have a Master of Education degree and I feel like we were so "programmed" to push kids to complete so much work, etc. It is so hard to get out of that mindset. Each of our precious children is an individual and will learn differently than anyone else. I was just "hopping" over from the HHH. Come by and visit my blog at http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com! Have a blessed day, Lisa

5ennie said...

I appreciate this post as well. This Fall I'll be homeschooling our youngest - first time for me to do Kindergarten, and I am nervous. I think I just need to relax too, and go at her pace.
Here from the Hop!

LadyEagle said...

Anita, I didn't homeschool my two, but I appreciate and relate to this post. My oldest has ADHD and both kids hated school. My daughter has just now at the age of 24 finished her first year of college with 7 A's and one B as a stay at home mom of a two year-old. My oldest, my son, is very gifted in sales, negotiations, and high stress business situations. Development is highly individualized and not a neat and tidy linear process.

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