I am a teacher. Jared is a teacher. By default I love learning and want my kid to love school, adore books, be excited to learn new things, and learn to work successfully with all kinds of other people in this life. There's a ton of ways to skin that cat, no doubt, and every parent and every child has about a gazillion options when it comes to enlightening the brains of upcoming generations.
Recently the opportunity to put Lukas into a co-op preschool landed in my lap. My first thoughts were something like "How fun! I'd love to help create a curriculum, set up little circle time activities/charts/songs, etc" Yes, I'm definitely a teacher nerd. I love to create 'systems' and 'organizational tools' and 'behavioral techniques' and try them all out on my kid and any kid loaned to my care. It's fun because it brings an instant result. Like washing windows and vacuuming. The results are quickly seen and that brings on its own kind of visual sense of accomplishment for me. "Evidence of Learning" if you will, for any other teacher nerds out there like me. Anyhow, I thought a learning group would be great when discussing it months ago when we'd just moved in, and the idea of finding little buddies for Lukas seemed to take on its own aura of importance.
Until the time came nearer. And we've found little buddies through play groups once a week, or babysitting swaps here and there, and Sunday nursery, and just meeting random kids at the park. And to top it all off, we've discovered something else not easily described. THIS:
And for once, I felt like I listened really well to my gut. And we've kept on trekking on. I get a good workout from the hilly walk there, and Lukas gets to freedom to run, to be, to dig in the dirt, to see new perspectives, to learn about different plants and habitats, and just enjoy the beautiful world around him.
All too soon he'll be cooped up inside all day for school. All too soon, he'll have to bring home the naughty habits of other kids (and they his I'm sure). But for now, it feels safe. Like I can stoke his little fire for just a little longer so that it's got some surefire hot coals by the time go-time arrives.
Not that learning academia is useless. Shoot, between our letteroftheday.com, and starfall.com, and endless bouts of reading during the day, I'm not worried about the school things yet. No, not yet. I wonder if he'll ever be interested in homework. I pray he doesn't get any for a long while, yet I know that most teachers find it necessary. My poor 6th graders. How regretful I feel for giving you yours, now that I have a kiddo who I see needs to grow and live and be... and outside no doubt... outside where the world is. Not inside where the plugs are.
But I have to admit, when those friends with 3 year olds who can read or write mention the wonder of it, I do stop and consider what my kid is 'producing' academically. Then I think of the miracle that those kids are experiencing so early, and consider Lukas' little personal miracles that are just his. It's never good to compare, I very quickly remind myself. If all else fails, I could get envy and hate mail by broadcasting the fact that Lukas slept through the night at 7 weeks old. Anyways, after quick musing of such things ridiculous, we usually go find some snails, or something that starts with letter __ outside, and let it be.
Eat that Academia. :)