An email from a reader:
Oh, A. I wish we were sitting across from one another at a coffee shop and I could look you in the eye.
Here’s the first thing I would say: It is going to be OK. Really. Your little girl is TOO YOUNG to be forced to do school right now, unless you can have some workbooks and library books lying around and she picks them up because she wants to be a “big” girl.
The second thing I would say is: Let her curl up in your lap and just read to her. The same books, over and over, if she wants you to. Let her know how special she is to you. She will NEVER forget that you did this and it will mean the world someday. She does not need more than that right now.
Third: Have you read Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s book, ‘Better Late Than Early’? If you haven’t, let someone watch the kids while you run to the library to check it out. You will be encouraged to find that children learn better when they start later with formal seat work, not earlier.
Fourth: The library is more than adequate to provide you with curricula right now. But when your daughter wants to read, you might like to try ‘Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons’–but only when she wants to! I taught all three of my kids to read using this inexpensive resource. It’s been passed down to my nieces and nephews and is tattered now.
Fifth: Co-op can be a wonderful encouragement for your child, but the real winner might be you. I find that co-ops offer some educational benefits to children here and there. But the biggest beneficiaries are the moms, hands down. If you can find one that suits you, and one that you can afford, then I’d say it might be worth it. My kids and I did not join ours until we had been homeschooling for almost 7 years already, but it has been a real blessing for us.
My heart is for people just like you. I am woefully human. The Bible calls us ‘jars of clay’ because we are all so ordinary and easily broken. My homeschool journey doesn’t make sense unless I tell you that it is Jesus who has made all the difference in my impatient, hurried, driven heart. He is helping me to be kind, loving, patient. It’s just taking a long time!
But even with all my imperfections, and please know they are many, I asked my kids the other day if they’d like to go to school. They looked at me as if I’d said a bad word, though I haven’t spent my time trashing the public school.
They said, “Absolutely not! Never. No.”
I said, “But I get angry at you all, and sometimes I want to explode, and so do you.”
To which they replied, “Yeah but we still pick you.”
And your kids still pick you. Your daughter would pick you any day of the week.
Be encouraged. You can do this. I know you can.