This is one of my most favorite, but also most frustrating, times of year. Spring is just around the corner, our new catalog has just released, and people are beginning to emerge from their winter "slumber" to consider their curriculum choices for the coming school year. I love being part of our teams that talk with families about their school plans.
Today I'm helping out our Advisor team as they man our Live Chat feature. It's exciting to talk with moms and dads who are just considering the possibility of homeschooling, or who are returning to plan for their next year with Sonlight. But every year, without fail, we ask ourselves the question ... "why do people want their babies to be adults?" We chat with so many folks who are looking for formal curriculum programs for their 16 month, 18 month, or two year old children, and wonder why they want to grow their children up so quickly?
Please don't misunderstand ... our team is large and varied enough that we have some who have homeschooled advanced/gifted children. One of my own children began reading quite complex chapter books at a very young age. So it's not a denial that there are students who are accelerated in their ability to learn, but rather a desire to help moms/dads avoid stress in their own lives, and frustration in their child's life.
Dr. Raymond Moore, in research for one of his books, states In addition to our basic research at Stanford and the University of Colorado Medical School, we analyzed over 8000 studies of children's senses, brain, cognition, socialization, etc., and are certain that no replicable evidence exists for rushing children into formal study at home or school before 8 or 10.
Now that doesn't mean that you leave a young, bright, inquisitive child to be bored. Fill his/her hours with reading great books, lots of physical activity, helping mom and/or dad around the house, opportunities to serve others, etc... Instead of the latest electronic toys, give them playthings that will help them learn to work and be creative ... pots, pans, wooden spoons, paper, chalk, crayons, good books. I remember my children being most content sitting on my kitchen rug playing with muffin tins and large beads and blocks. Their imaginations just flourished!
I remember how excited I was to begin school with our oldest child. I also remember good friends who were a bit further down the parenting/homeschooling path than I was, encouraging me to not rush the process, and to let my daughter be a child, for adulthood was going to come all too soon.
Do a Google search on "kids grow up too fast" and you'll be amazed at the volume of studies and reports that are concerned with this generation's propensity to rush adulthood on their children. Perhaps we can help reverse that trend! Check out Sonlight's Preschool options and read, read, read to your children.
As Louise May Alcott wrote in Little Women ... Don't try to make me grow up before my time.
Still on the journey ...
Sonlight Customer Champion