Examining His Learning Choices

Yesterday Nicole of By Word of Mouth Musing shared how she made change in the way her children were learning and where they were learning. As a mom I think it is really hard to know sometimes what way or place is the right one for your children.

If you were taught in a certain way, you may lean toward that way for your children. If you really didn’t like that way of learning you may not.

I am not at the stage where I have to make the choice of what school to send JDaniel to for elementary school, but I have always assumed that he would go to our neighborhood public school. Both my husband and I went to public school. I taught in public schools for twenty years. It is still probably where he will be, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are lots of other options for him. He can go to a Christian school or generic private one. There is always the option of home schooling although I think home schooling moms have a special gift that I don’t think I have.

This year he has been attending a neighborhood preschool that meets in a church near our house. He has only gone two days a week. It was hard to him at first. He knew only one other child in his class. JDaniel clung to this child claiming he didn’t need to make any new friends if he had Jake. Finally just this spring he has opened up to making new friends and talking to his teachers. He hadn’t been interested in sharing with them either.

He has fabulously loving teachers that have encouraged him to meet other children in the class and open up and share. It just wasn’t something that interested him.

Yes, he is one of those children. If he is interested, he dives in with both feet and wants to know everything about what he is interested in. I know there are a lot of four years olds that are just like him. If he isn’t interested he doesn’t always want to learn it.

The teachers have provided him with a lot of opportunity to learn or refine his knowledge of colors, numbers, and letters. He knows most of them. He has known them for a couple of years. Colors like orange, gray, and pink don’t interest him or am guessing that is what is going on. Some of the numbers aren’t interesting to him so he skips them or maybe I just thought he knew them.

He is only four and he has lots of time to learn all of his numbers, letters, and colors.

This year I backed off working on teaching him a lot at home. We covered skills as they came up in our everyday life and concepts we found in stories. I knew his teachers were covering them at school too.

After hearing from them recently that he has some things to work on, I have decided to do some home schooling with him this summer.

He is not the type child that wants to play school with me even if gets to be the teacher so, we will be learning things as they tie to books that he likes and as things come up. I will pull out a few workbooks I have gathered and he will get explore concepts on the iPad. He loves getting to use the iPad.

As for next year JDaniel will be going back to the same preschool next year for three days a week and on the rest of the days we will be learning at home through fun and everyday life.

This post is linked to Alphabe Thursday and Pour Your Heart Out!


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  1. says

    He may not love to play school with you but he definitely loves you so the homeschooling over the summer won’t be a problem for you two. As a matter of fact, I am positive you will make it all a ton of fun and he won’t even realize it is homeschooling. Wish he could read already, I learn a ton just by following your blog! :-) Hope you have a great Wednesday!

  2. says

    I see through your posts the natural learning opportunities you offer him and I think supplementing at home is a wonderful idea! You just may have that “gift” you speak of! 😉

    My son has not openly said it, but I can tell he despises worksheets. So we do a lot of learning with good books too. We do math by reading math readers, playing card games, board games and anything I make up with dice is a hit with him. I’ve just started offering more hands-on activities, and he has really opened up to “school” since then.

  3. says

    A little supplenting goes a long way! I recently wrote a post listing “43 free kiddie educational apps for the iPad” and am starting the process of uploading them. I am sure JDaniel would enjoy. My daughter loves my iPad also.

  4. says

    Sounds like you have the right attitude about making it fun and keeping it interesting. I have a feeling he will learn a few things this summer without even realizing he’s being taught!


    • says

      I just don’t want him to be frustrated in class next year. When he gets frustrated he says,”I quit.” While you can quit preschool, I hope we don’t end up doing it.

  5. says

    I don’t think I have that gift to be able to homeschool, either. You know we’ve gone through different options with ours- that’s the good thing- you can always change your mind about what to do!

  6. says

    Is it weird that the school years scare me, even though I’m a teacher? So many decisions to make. How much to supplement being one of the scary ones.

  7. says

    I can really get behind this idea. Lil Duck attended preschool for the first time this year. Initially it was just two days a week and it was a difficult transition after having been in the care of her Aunt while I was working (that was since her birth). Then a turn of events required that she not only attend every day but also awhile in the after school program. She has blossomed and grown so much my heart over flows in just thinking about trying to share her milestones! She is precocious and as an only child, preschool has provided such an incredible social growth for her as well.

    Like you, I am not one that has what it takes to homeschool (I know for sure after 11 years working in Education.) I look forward to having the summer with her and am exploring Montessori options for next year. Best of luck for a fabulous summer!

    • says

      Montessori is a great option. I think if JDaniel went five days he would have mastered everything on the checklist. Two days seemed right for us this year despite not getting all the skills. We love to be together and I want to do it while we can.

  8. says

    I’m completely amazed – and 100% in a good way – what the apps on iPads and iPhones teach kids! I bet he has a blast and learns a lot.

  9. says

    I would have totally pegged you as a mom who could totally homeschool as you are always doing so many amazing projects. And yes, every kid learns differently.

  10. says

    I think you should follow your heart and instincts in deciding what’s best for JD. Anna was very reserved in K, but absolutely blossomed in public K. I think she was simply ready for more, and so were her classmates.

  11. says

    When my youngest son was in first grade, it was very difficult for him, because like JDaniel, he only wanted to learn what he liked! He kept getting very low marks in math, and we were puzzled by that because when we asked him math questions at home, he could do them in his head. Turns out, he just didn’t like writing, and would put down whatever popped into his head at the time.

  12. says

    Watch and listen….he’ll let you know what’s happening in his smart little head:) Whatever you decide will work, you’re an awesome mom with an amazing little guy…

  13. says

    You will be amazed how much he learns and grows next year with the extra day. Both my kids were the exact same. They were both shy and had extreme separation anxiety. By the second year they thrived. We also attended a preschool at the church. I love they shared bible stories with the kids too. A win win in my book!

  14. says

    Great idea for summer learning. And, let me commend you for realizing your little guy learns in many different ways and giving him the opportunities to do so.

  15. says

    It’s kind of funny where children can learn things, they all learn at their own rate. Some of today’s kid shows like Dora, Bubble guppies, OSO and more teach all those worthy skills while having fun. My two year grand-daughter repeats so much from these shows!

  16. says

    I will pray for you and JDaniel. Whatever decision you make with the school will be the very best one. You are a remarkable mom and JDaniel is a bright and beautiful child. Everything will work out perfectly. Thanks for the share.

  17. says

    Nowadays, there’s so much pressure for little kids to know so much by the time they enter kindergarten. Some kids pick up the info really fast, while other kids don’t get it right away.

    I wouldn’t worry. Kids that get things a little late tend to catch up really fast. Some kids don’t start reading until they are 7, but then they read as well as their peers who started two years earlier!

    My advice, is to get toys that have numbers, colors, or letters on it and have him play with them at his own desire.

    Just my two cents!

  18. says

    I don’t think I could do homeschooling.

    For a past few years I’ve hired a ‘Grandma’s helper’ since I watch my Grandlittles three days a week during the summer.

    The girl I hired last year actually had little activities for the girls that were learning based.

    I wonder if you might be able to find someone who is going to school for elementary education to come a few days a week.

    It’s sad we have to cram so much into their sweet little heads!

    Good luck!

    And thanks for the xcellent post!


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