I’m never quite sure how to describe what we do. It’s not so much that we don’t keep school hours – it’s more like school hours never stop. We’re always teaching, always instructing, always showing The Boy new things. We let his current interests and obsessions lead the educational slant (Titanic? Ok, we’ll learn about hypothermia and hubris, about iceburgs and immigrants, about tragedy and time). But we’re forever teaching, teaching, teaching.
Sometimes, The Husband questions to make sure we’re doing all we should. His is a logical mind, one that wants to see quantifiable results. So I picked up a few first and second grade workbooks for The Boy, who is not-quite-six. They sat down together to go through them, and The Boy at once began to resist doing them. No fun, don’t want to, want to go play, this is boring.
Hmmm. Frankly, it’s not HIS need to do them, it’s DADDY’S need to see them done. So, capitalism to the rescue: “Hey, The Boy! I’ll pay you 25 cents for each sheet you do, and you can use it to buy whatever you want.”
REALLY?! How many do I need to do to earn the Lego I want?
“I don’t know, you go figure it out.”
So, he sat down and whipped through enough pages in the textbook to more than satisfy Daddy that he’s learned – and yeah, now he gets to go buy his Lego. And now we know that when our 5 year old says the second grade text book is boring, that’s because it IS. He already knows the material!