Saturday, October 9, 2010

Its Learning Time

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I bought this desk for Aaron last year at a thrift shop. It was four or five dollars. I felt like it was a bargain. I gave it to Aaron Jr and he has LOVED using that desk to put his treasures in and using it to draw on and paint on and play with his play dough on.

Well, a month and a half ago, we started using this desk for something else... Our school time together.

All of Aaron Jr's cousins that were born in the same year as him (2005) all started kindergarten this year... except he and one cousin, Lily.

I have been asked about a million times (give or take ;) in the last few years if I am going to put Aaron in pre school. For a long time, I would tell people that I hadn't decided yet because I didn't really want to think about it or discuss it. I had already decided that I would not put Aaron in pre school, but I have a different opinion about pre school than some people and I didn't want anyone to feel like I was judging them for doing something different than I planned to do. But then, I heard a call on Dr Laura about pre school and the advice Dr Laura gave made me feel better and ever since then, I have had no problem answering that question. I guess I was just being silly, but now I have no problem telling people that I am not sending Aaron Jr to pre school. I think I was just always skeptical of the question because I didn't want people to try to convince me of the reasons why they think it is a good idea. I have just always planned to work with my kids on my own the year before kindergarten and let them learn some of the basics the same way I did when I was young... learning from the things around me and from my own mom.

The reasons for me keeping Aaron home with me for one more year are simple for me. And by writing these down, I am in no way judging other people for what they choose to do with their kids... it is just what I feel about what I want to do.

Aaron Jr will only be young once. I already feel like kindergarten is coming WAY too soon when I will be required to send him to school. I love having him at home. I enjoy our time together so much. Having him home with me during the day is such a gift and I feel like the sand in the hourglass (time) is depleting faster than I want it to. It scares me. :) I am enjoying every moment that I can with him while he is still young and while he still wants to spend time with ME. These moments, days, and months are priceless to me. Plus, he is my only one... who knows if I will ever get to have this time with another child. So I am trying to treasure these moments with Aaron Jr NOW. The time is going to come in about 11 months where I will be required to send him out into the world. AT FIVE YEARS OLD!!! SCARY!!! After that, there is no turning the clock back... I will never get this time back. I know it is a necessary part of life for him and for me... but I will miss him so much during that time. I hate the thought. It is coming so quickly.

Anyhow, what I chose to do was to have our own little 'school' together. So, we have our own school at home for 30 minutes a day on the same days when the other kids are in school. We are really enjoying it. He is like a little sponge right now. He is soaking in all that he can and is enjoying learning new things. Once we started working on his letters, he began seeing letters EVERYWHERE. It is like a new world has opened up to him. They have always been around, but because he didn't know what the letters were called, they would just blend into the scenery around us. But now, he is calling out to me when he sees a certain letter on a road sign. He has learned them so much faster than I thought he would. I am excited for this year and our 30 minutes per day where I get to watch him learn and be excited about it all.

This photo is of Aaron Jr on our front porch of his first day of 'school' at Aunt Lori's house.
My sister, Lori, is mom to Lily. Lily is the other 2005 child who didn't start kindergarten this year. In fact, Lily was born exactly 2 weeks before Aaron. So, Lori and I decided that we should get Aaron and Lily together once a week for an hour for 'school'. We trade off going to each other's houses for school and the kids are SO excited to have that one hour per week together where we take turns being the teacher.

Lily and Aaron Jr. ~ First day of 'school'.

And here is my cute boy sitting at his desk practicing writing his letters and sitting in the chair that was mine when I was little.
The story with that chair is this: I believe it was the year before Aaron passed away, I found my little chair in a load of stuff that Aaron was going to take to the dump. When I pulled it out, I asked what it was doing in there. He told me that it was broken, so he was taking it to the dump. The wooden part on the seat had been broken for many years. I had still used it, but it had been broken for a long time. When I told Aaron that it was mine from when I was little, he said he hadn't know that and he said he would fix it for me. So he put it in his shop and I forgot all about it until Christmas that year. He brought it in from his shop and had it sitting with the Christmas gifts. He replaced all of the wood parts of the chair and had antiqued them to make them look old. I LOVED it. I was so grateful to him. It was so thoughtful of him.
So, now that chair belongs to Aaron Jr and he loves it.

One more story... last week Aaron Jr (out of the blue) said to me,
'I wish Daddy could make me a pretty desk.'

Those moments make my heart hurt.

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Mindy said...

I'm totally with you on the preschool thing. I'm not going to say anyone who does send their kids to preschool is wrong... we all have our own ideas about parenting, but it bugs me when people would act like I'm weird and that my kids will be SO behind when I would tell them my kids don't go to preschool. All of my kids are top readers, do very well in school, and Aubrey even skipped a grade, so I think it's safe to say that they weren't damaged. ;)

Do what you feel is right in your heart... you're a great mom!

April said...

I love that little desk--it's so cute! And the chair... so sweet. I'm sure you're a great teacher!

Chris and Kristy said...

I just had this same conversation with a friend of mine last week. I totally feel the same as you with the preschool thing. Back to the basics and keeping things simple is my motto with my little man. Every moment I have with him is a blessing and a privilege. I cherish your honesty and openness on your blog!

partypatt said...

Well, I'm a preschool teacher so I have a different perspective on the subject. I have also heard Dr. Laura speak on it and I greatly value her opinion. It doesn't hurt to send your child to preschool, but it's totally up to you. Also..I don't believe kindergarten is requred here so you don't have to send him next year either, if you don't want. Just be sure to work with him daily on things like letters, numbers, printing, cutting, coloring, and the world around him. Make sure he has plenty of interaction with other kids too. good luck with it!