Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You've Got to Start Teaching Your Son SOMETHING!

 The other day I was informed by a family member that Eli said that he doesn't know how to read.  Then I was told that he was ready and, "Erica, you've got to get on the ball with him.  There's only a small window of opportunity and if you've missed it he's going to be one of those idiots working the picture register at McDonald's!"  Also, I was informed, "If you can't do it, then send him to school.  You've got two other kids, you know."

I refrained from yelling.  I smiled and said that public school will always be there.  It's always an option. 

However, I also felt like a little kid with her fingers crossed behind her back while she outright lied.  It's always an option...for other people.  What I wanted to say is this - My son is not yet in Kindergarten.  He is five and would be headed there this September.  In Kindergarten they would be starting the ABC's to get those who are unfamiliar with them up to speed.  My son, however, can read and spell and write, he just chooses not to.  He'd rather be doing something else than sitting and reading.  He's a five-year-old boy.  When he's ready, he'll do it.  I trust this and I trust him. 

I'm sure that wouldn't have gone over well and I would have left the premises. 
After I put the two littles to bed, Eli and I sit on the kitchen floor as of lately...his idea, not mine, and talk.  We also use the chalkboard wall to work out problems.  Tonight's was "What's 90 plus 90?" and "What's is 1 minus 1?"  I had him write them down and work them out. 
Then, with the conversation of the other day in my head I said, "Hey, you want to talk about some words?"  Sure.  Awesome.  Let's do it. 
I wrote AT at the top of the board and said, "Go.  What can you spell with AT?"  Cat, bat, fat and cadlac...  Let me translate:  Cadillac. 

I dislike how someones comments can make me feel like I have to prove my son's capabilities when I know them to be true to himself.  I dislike, even more so, when that someone is a family member. 

I love that my son enjoys the time we have alone together.  I love that I get to answer his questions without interruption and that we have the time to work things out.  Our best time together is late at night when he "should" be asleep.  He's always most inquisitive after dark.  I think he's a vampire...with fabulous penmanship (yes, that's his 90 + 90 up there).


Scott A. Miller said...

You are an amazing mom and are doing fine. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing.

Jennifer Fink said...

Trust your sons! Your instincts are dead-on. And I, too, have noticed that some of the most productive learning occurs after dark. With the little boys, especially, daytime tends to be a time of activity. During the day, my boys want to be DOING, not sitting and reading or writing. But at night, with fewer other options, they're ready to enter the world of words. Boy #1 read his first book independently -- a Junie B. Jones book -- after we'd tucked him in bed for the night. I don't always relish after-bedtime visits, but they're almost always productive.