The difference being, I was an Early Childhood Educator. This put me in the same building my son was in every day. While that did not mean that I could sneak snuggles through-out the day (despite how badly I wanted them!), it did mean I was able to observe the world I had placed him in.
When he was younger, it was mostly the games of juggle the babies that bothered me. Two teachers in a room of ten infants. While it met State guidelines, that was a lot of mouths to feed, and diapers to change and it would require a fair bit of patience on the behalf of the babies. (and we all know how good babies are at waiting their turn :-) )
With each passing year I found myself becoming more and more uneasy with what I saw in his classrooms. Teachers on cell phones, or yelling at young toddlers for pulling hair. Impossible expectations and excessive recourse seemed to meet my child and his peers at every turn. Oh, how I longed to glance into a room and see a teacher wearing a laundry basket on her head or crawling on the floor like a caterpillar. How I wanted to hear teachers rave about the birds nest in the tree, not complain about the heat.
There were so many lessons to be found, from the gentle breeze to the size of the parking spaces the children moved past each day. I knew, surely - I couldn't be the only ones who saw each and every lesson just outside the pages of a premade lesson plan.
I had always been one to share the world around me. I would talk about the leaves changing colors, or recount a favorite story as we drove down the road. I found that I began to do so more and more often. I didn't not do this to make up for some shortage he was getting at school. I did it because I loved it! I loved watching his face light up with each and every discovery. I was completely enamored by the way he saw the world and was blessed to see it with him.
When he was three years old, I was finally able to pull him and myself out of the construct of a typical pre-school. It had become a flux of forced structure and chaos that often ended by a teacher screaming and threatening them all with time out. It had become ditto sheets and movies, while teachers read kindles or talked among themselves.
I am not saying all educators in a professional situation are bad. I am simply stating what I saw in the decade that I worked in the field both as a teacher and a Mommy. I am sure Pre-Schools can and are wonderful stable learning environments for children across the country. I have found that their method of teaching does not suit the style of learning that my son benefits from.
I am so blessed to be able to teach around his interests. For example, he found a box turtle tonight - guess what all our lessons will be around until he finds his next focus? It is great to be able to create a world around what he loves, and to see him flourish because it is what he needs. Not what a group needs, or what a state sanctioned curriculum feels like he should learn.
So in this blog I will be making weekly updates with some of our lessons and activities, a few of my crafting tid-bits might slip in along the way. I invite to you follow this blog and learn with us as we explore Hands-on Homeschooling.