name the 50 states.

“We have confused real intelligence with rote memory. We think the 4 y.o.child who can write and recite the alphabet, count to one thousand, name the 50 states, all the continents and the oceans is somehow further ahead of his peers. We especially think this is better than the child who cannot do these things, but who can and does play in mud puddles, create rope traps to ensnare passing siblings, build elaborate block castles, and who can enjoy sitting and watching ants around an ant-hill for an hour or more. We are wrong.

The child who squanders, or has squandered for her, her `play’ years can never gain them back completely. The play that occurs in the early years is invaluable, and it cannot be replaced by pen and paperwork.”

i almost bought homeschool books to start with susan this summer, but “buy homeschool books?” has kept getting moved down and down, from day to day, and week to week, on my to-do list and we just keep going to the library instead and singing hymns and playing in the grass and mud and i just don’t think it is going to happen. and of course, there’s always someone on the internet to support whatever you do, so here you go, The Link..

if you are a Charlotte Mason devotee, school starts at 6, not 4.5years old, and so now i am wondering, what is the rush? i can’t say “pressure” really because i don’t feel too pressured, though maybe i will next year when her buddies go to “real school”–i don’t know if pressure bothers me much anyway, i do have a degree in poetry which is not THE wisest thing to do–so i guess a lot of it is pride, i’ll be honest, seeing Tangible Proof of how smart my kid is. though how smart they are has not very much to do with me in the first place, now does it?

so i’m thinking maybe another year of not-picking-up-pencils (except for drawing time, right?) and not tracing letters and not doing worksheets and instead trying to spot the woodpecker drumming into our maple trees in the front yard and figuring out what words sound pretty together (“paw patrol cup” is z’s current favorite). i guess the lure of starting curriculum now is that i would have that “stamp of approval” i’m always desiring–people could see us succeed, could see that what we’re doing is working and approve of it. it’s a lot harder to show fruit from the hours of sunshine and digging in the sand. well the fruit looks like mosquito bites and outside-sweaty-smell.

so, more of that, let’s do a lot more of that.

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