Friday, 11 September 2009

learning to be a parent...


my eldest son started back at school last week, he has really grown over the summer. If he was educated within the Steiner movement, this would be the year he would start class 1 and I can see how physically, he would be ready. Although he was socially ready to start school at the age of 4, after two years he is way off some of his classmates reading and writing abilities, which to me is fine as I do not and will not compare. But he is starting to notice and say little things about it. I have purposely not pushed him at home, as I firmly believe that after six hours at school, he needs the freedom to explore and play and spend as much time outdoors as possible. We try to nurture a love of books, not just for reading but to look at the pictures and to make our own stories.

I am lucky that he has a good teacher who has already commented to me about just how enthusiastic he is, which makes me feel like she knows and understands him as she said how great this was, and that we just need to channel this enthusiasm without dampening it. In the back of my mind I still have the fear that already he has been catagorised basically due to his late birthday in July and that he will never "catch up" with the "gifted" children. I also feel quite strongly that yes it is important to read and write as I'm sure he will have no problem doing, but it is more important to nurture creative thinking and ideas. I think of all the people that I admire and none of them it is down to their academic success, but it is for their kindness, hard work, passion, creativeness, free thinking or leadership.

We are introducing a 'wind down' hour in the evening before bed time, where we read books to each other, draw, write stories or play games. I am hoping this will help with reading at school in a non pressured way and help him to keep confidence in his own abilities.

7 comments:

  1. What a fantastic Mom you are! And what a lucky boy you have:)

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  2. I'm a late August birthday and suffered at school my whole life. I was always behind and always felt much younger than my classmates. I was a late developer and didn't really blossom with reading and writing until I was about 15/16. I honestly believe that summer birthday children are always at a disadvantage in the school system. Your ltitle boy will get there in his own time, he's just not ready yet and you're donig exactly the right things.

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  3. My daughter is year 9 - she is a July baby too and has never had any problems at school - she consistently does well academically which is good BUT the thing that makes me the proudest is teachers comments at parents evening. The comments are always that she is a lovely, friendly, happy child with lots of friends. She is always willing to help children in the class who are struggling and she throws herself into everything she does. We are not bringing up encyclopaedias - we are bringing up well rounded individuals who can interact and have the social skills needed to face the big wide world. Sounds like you're doing a great job of that to me!!

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  4. can I just say how I love how he's sitting with his legs crossed...too cute

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  5. We are also just starting the wind down now our eldest has started kindergarten - so important to help them re-center after a busy day.

    I love how all his animals are all lined up!

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  6. how wonderful to concentrate on strengths other than academic competition. strength of character and his love of learning should not be sacrificed, i agree. what a loving mom you are!

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  7. My children both read "late" because they went to Waldorf--they weren't really reading books until the end of 2nd grade or even the beginning of 3rd. Now my 13 year old is reading Charles Dickens and we have to force both to stop reading and do other things.

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