There is an unwritten rule when discussing your child. You never talk about what they aren’t doing. Instead you memorise their list of achievements. The more academic those achievements sound the better you are as a mother. Well that’s pretty simple isn’t it?
They’re not yet out of nappies but they recite the alphabet, can count …to 10 and by gosh did they just recognise a word? They’re clearly bordering on genius as an under 2 early reader. The push is to advance them. .. explicitly teach what you might typically expect a 4 year old to start being interested in.
What scares me is the linear push. The narrow field of knowledge by which untrained parents guage their child’s success in development. The measure is the shallow depth of the 3 R’s and facts rather than joy of learning and the ability to question and find out answers.
Surrounded by books! She is such a busy girl yet can settle so contentedly with her books.
Of course I read with Miss Bee and she adores reading by herself too. Books are freely available in her “book nook”. If she eventually learns words before starting school it will be in the context of having had books read with her and her loving books. It will be from her choosing to engage with them. It won’t be reading from a flash card that’s for sure.
But I want so much more for her than the 3 R’s. I have so many experiences planned that I almost need her to have two childhoods. Instead I need to take time. Slow down. Instead of a schedule of hurried tick lists of a modern childhood.
Savour those quiet moments where she can just be a kid exploring life in her own time, with her own agenda.
I want my much waited for Miss Bee to be immersed in experiences that build “skills” that are invisible to some people. Weird skills that most people don’t even think about. Things like a natural curiosity, the desire to question and seek answers, to invent, compassion, manners (that seems forgotten), balance, fine motor dexterity, artistic appreciation and an understanding and respect of the diversity and beauty of the world we live in and of course a love of people with a healthy assertiveness so she isn’t squashed by uncouth louts.
When the time comes to read and write and most importantly think I want her to have a broad pool to dip into. A pool rich with memories and a future childhood that will dynamically grow with her. I want her to have a spectacular sweeping view of life rather a narrow macro view- the academic skills view.