Last week when Tanner was sick he said the most adorable thing. He was crying and I kept asking what was wrong and he wasn’t answering. Side note: Tanner has a really tough time answering questions. He is very very intelligent but he often lacks the skills to put his thoughts into words the way that he wants too so he often takes a long time to answer a question. Anyhow, I insisted that he tell me what was wrong and I could tell that he couldn’t think how to describe it. Most kids would simply say “my tummy is hurting” but apparently that explanation was too simple. Instead he said “My “excuse me” hurts”! LOL! I think that with the flu, his tummy was growling and making noises thus the “excuse me” definition.
Tanner is so much like Jim. Neither are verbal but both very visual and hands on. When Tanner was Ty’s age he would line cars up in perfect order. The other day I caught him separating his M&M’s. They were in an order like this: 1 Red, 2 Yellows, 3 Blues, 4 Greens, 5 Browns. He is all about ORDER. When he plays with blocks, he can build a whole little city with perfect symmetry in the blocks he uses, the colors, and the way he designs. It is very interesting to look at his creations because you see a very intelligent little mind at work. He is also liking to draw now. He can draw a pretty good whale and a house with windows and a chimney with smoke:). Grandma taught him that one. Jim is an awesome artist so he will be able to help Tanner nurture his creative talents.
Several people have asked me about my schooling plans for Tanner so I’ll share more of my thoughts on this. First of all, I am of the theory of thought that most boys are not ready for school until 6. My brothers didn’t start kindergarten until 6 and it worked better for them. Tanner could start Kindergarten this May but I have decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest right now. So, here is my plan:
From Sept 06 through May 07 – use play activities to teach Tanner all his letters and associated sounds. My aunt is a first grade teacher so I am going to ask her what is required for first grade entrance. I will not do a formal kindergarten (home school class) yet.
From Sept 07 through May 08 – I will start FORMAL homeschooling. IF Tanner has the basics for first grade down by that time, I will just start him in the first grade at 6 if he seems mature enough and ready. If he seems that he could use a bit more time I will do a more formal kindergarten at 6.
I don’t know what material I will use. I will look at scripture press and abecca and will be asking lots of questions next year and asking everyone to give me their material pitches:). I figure I will be very eclectic about it and choose my preferences in each subject.
Why home school? I won’t take the time for a full “essay” on this but here are some bullet points.
* I went to college to be an educator. I didn’t finish but I do feel that I am qualified to teach my children at home.
* Christian schools are nice but we can’t afford to pay a mini house payment on school unless I went back to work and that doesn’t make sense to us considering we still want 2 to 3 more kids.
* The ratio in the public or charter schools is usually at LEAST 1 teacher with 20 students and generally 1 teacher and 30 plus students. One mommy with 2 to 5 children is MUCH better than that.
* I don’t like to see a child’s time wasted. Childhood is precious and I don’t see why they need to spent 6 to 8 hours in school because of the above ratios when mommy can give one on one attention for 2 t0 3 hours per day and actually accomplish more. Better investment of their time I think.
* As a parent, there are certain pieces of their education that are very important to me. I want them to love reading and excel at writing. I was an English major (though you may question that with my hurried journaled postings LOL) and I really want to emphasize this more at home than they would get in school.
*I want them to explore their education fairly and not be indoctrinated with public bias that so often happens in our school. I do not appreciate “tolerance” teaching. The way that our culture teaches tolerance would redefine God a bigot. I continually hear the word “intolerance” and is becoming a brand that is slapped on the back of every citizen who supports the authority of God. If being “intolerant” means that I hold to God’s laws over man’s laws which means that I cannot support immoral lifestyles, than slap the brand on my forehead I guess because I must follow Christ first – irregardless of what labels that forces me to wear. I will not teach my children that tolerance is ok. Tolerance is not okay when tolerance is defined as ignoring God’s laws. God is NOT tolerant and does not tolerate our tolerance to these things. I am far more concerned with what God thinks about this one.
*The whole socialization issue? IF I gave any credit to this argument (which for the record I do not – and neither does supporting literature) – I would STILL chose to home school because I consider all the things I listed above to far outweigh any very minimal risk of socialization issues. My children are well exposed to other children and this simply is not a concern. I am most interested in the men of character they become and to be frank – I think I stand a better shot at helping them develop into the kind of man I want them to grow and be than the public schools systems can – thus our decision.
*When I was little my parents were of the belief that you don’t take all the christian kids out of the public schools because they are the light and the salt of the world. I don’t agree with my parents on this and they no longer agree with themselves:). As adults, yes we are not to create our own communes and hide from secular influence. We are to be IN not OF. It is our responsibility to be the light of Jesus. Things are different though when it comes to our children. I feel our FIRST responsibility is to equip them. Jim and I believe that sending our kids to the public school would be counterproductive to our FIRST goal. Even in elementary school their exposures are equally as bad or MUCH WORSE than the exposures of television that we shield them from. Example, I wouldn’t let my 4 year old watch a movie full of cursing, drugs and sex but on the playground at school they would be very well educated in all these subjects even as young as the first grade. Do I consider this to be OVER protective? No way – I think this is the “duh” factor. Some have said that children have a tougher time functioning in the adult secular world if they were “over” protected from it as children. There may be degrees of truth to that – anything taken tooooo far creates problems HOWEVER I do think it is wise to spend time preparing them for the world they will go out into without shoving them into the lion’s den before they are mature enough to discern their role and responsibility without being sucked into the depravity themselves. Bottom line, my risks of sending them out before they are equipped seem FAR higher than keeping them in and equipping them at home. (By the way, when I say “keeping them in”, that does not mean they don’t socialize out of our home. That is certainly not true. There are degrees of being way over productive so I think there needs to be good balance. I take Tanner to the park a lot and I am really working on teaching him to watch what goes on around him and respond appropriately. For example, this week Tanner was playing with two children that ended up yelling at another child for throwing a rock. That in and of itself was probably appropriate but then they started to make fun and the other child was considerably younger and was simply trying to get attention. I watched Tanner’s face as he was deciding who he was supposed to defend. I was glad I was there. He had the exposure but then I later got to coach him about what the right course is in situations like that. At school, I don’t have these teaching moments because I don’t know about them.
NOW…please do not anyone be offended if you feel that I am criticizing all who do not home school. I think there are many people who were not cut out for this job and I may ending up holding that opinion of myself in a few years. This is a very personal family decision and I support the right and responsibility of every parent to make the choice that is best for their family. I wrote this as an explanation as to why WE have made this choice for OUR family because people ask me questions about this often. And by the way, Brooke and Aimee are also going to follow suit. Brooke was home schooled and she turned out to be quite the little social butterfly;). Not sure what Jodi’s decision will be with Karsyn – she has several years before she has to think about that (and now Jodi sighs with relief LOL).
(That is my very short list by the way – I had much more to say but didn’t want to take the time to write it all today:)
Speaking of playground observations, I overheard something that made me laugh laugh laugh. Tanner was playing with a 6 year old little boy at the playground. Tanner brought his ride on car (that you move by the steering wheel not peddles – really cool). It was a big hit with the kids and they kept riding it down a grassy hill. Tanner warms up with kids really quick and he was having the time of his life. After a bit, my extrovert personality starts coming out in him and he gets really expressive. He gives this amazed with himself expression and he say’s “Wow! Swwweeeeeetttt! Did you see that? I went sooooo fast!!!” This continues with each turn (and of course I think he is adorable). The 6 year old got sick of the bragging after a bit though and finally said “Dude! You gotta quit making those big eyes!” You would have to “know” Tanner to know what that kid was talking about but I anyone that knows me – already can picture it:) I had to turn around so they wouldn’t see me shaking with laughter. Those of you who experience my very dramatic personality realize EXACTLY where Tanner got the big eyed expression from LOL.
Yesterday in the car Tanner said “Mommy? Did I do a good job?”. I said “I don’t know. What did you do?” He said (a little exasperated) “Well…I am going to SHOW you.” Then he sang Itsy Bitsy Spider. Then I told him he DID in fact do a great job. Ordinarily doesn’t one ask if they did a good job AFTER they have done the deed? I mean maybe I am confused but I thought that is how it usually works. Maybe Tanner is so used to my affirmation that he was completely prepared for praise before he even did it:) LOL.
As parents, I think we may have the tendency to make a consequence a bit more dramatic than it probably is when we are trying to stack the odds against the child performing the “crime”:). Tanner has learned this technique. I was getting ready at the bathroom sink and Ty kept flushing the toilet. It was driving Tanner crazy and he kept telling him to stop and (naturally) Ty ignored him. Finally Tanner said “TY! YOU BETTER STOP FLUSHING THAT TOE-LET! YOUR GONNA MAKE OUR POWER GO OFF!” LOL. Sounded pretty good didn’t it? Ty didn’t care. Power shmower – whatever.
This has been a long posting so I better quit with this one because actually I have a whole other subject to write on now:)