Last night, as we were starting to come out of this deployment honeymoon and back into reality, Joshua and I were talking about the boy and what we want to do academically with him. We have one month before the public pre-K enrollment begins. Where we live the public elementary system is great but we've never been big on the idea of a public education in general. I've gone from being totally anti-homeschooling to preferring it. But it's intimidating. Really intimidating. In our research into homeschooling and the MANY different ways to do it, we've come across that ever-important homeschooling guide...A Well-Trained Mind. We've read through the applicable areas and a few other homeschooling books that advocate other methods but have come to the conclusion that we are solidly on board with the classical curriculum route. With a classical curriculum most of the real instruction begins in 1st grade. Pre-K and Kindergarten are used to introduce reading and phonics. So the first step for us is to introduce reading...maybe introduce reading is the wrong terminology because we've been reading to the boy since before he was born but we haven't made a concerted effort to really explain phonetics and explain all the letters. We've just let him lead the way-which btw is another homeschooling educational philosophy...it's called unschooling and although we were content with it up until now (the boy's three and a half) it's not a method we want to use throughout his education. At the same time, we don't want to just jump into a rigid academic schedule. We want to introduce reading but reading, in my opinion, is a lot like potty training. If you push it too early, it's only going to end up in disaster for everyone if the kid isn't ready. Some kids are just ready sooner than others. So, I ended up with an amazon cart with a handful of helpful phonics workbooks but I didn't order them last night because I wasn't sure the boy was ready. And then, this morning the first thing he said to me was "Mommy will you help me read my Elmo book..." not, "will you read it to me." It may be a small difference but to me, it was huge. It was confirmation. He's ready...or at least, he's open to reading on his own so I'm going to order the phonics workbooks. Gulp.
My stomach is in my throat and I'm scared I might fail him but I guess that's real life and it's time to embrace it. Can't be worse than deployment...right?!