I had an epiphany this week. And yet it was so blindingly obvious that I can’t believe it took me so long to realise.
Sophia and Isaac have been squabbling a lot recently. But if I step back most of it is Sophia reacting to Isaac being two or being fed up of his hero worship like following of her wherever she goes. Last week she announced that she wanted quiet time by herself every day which I was happy to accommodate but the real issue presented itself yesterday. She was talking to me about school and said she wanted to go. So we investigated together her reasons for this assertion and she declared ‘I want to learn new things in a special order’.
I almost laughed, so keen was I to adopt a child led approach to early years education, to not push her into structured learning until she was ready…and she is ready, keen and champing at the bit! I really think her aggravating behaviour these last few weeks has been due to boredom. Once I told her we could do that at home and developed a loose ‘timetable’ with her she said ‘actually I think I’ll do home education after all’. Funny little thing. And sure enough, the last few days where I’ve dedicated some time to doing a ‘lesson’ with her she’s been much happier and more chilled and the squabbling has been much reduced.
For those interested, we’ve decided to tackle one subject a day (with the exception of Mondays which is when we go to our home ed group) and are starting with maths, English, geography and science. On top of this she wants to practice her violin, reading and French every day.
On Thursday, equipped with a first atlas and ‘A child like me’ (a great book profiling a child from every country) we learnt a bit about France. We discussed Chateaux, cheese, wine and a bit about continents and she did a page in her scrapbook where she coloured in the flag, wrote a bit about France and drew an impressive castle!
Yesterday we did a maths lesson and used cuisenaire rods to practice addition and subtraction. I set up some sums for her at first and then she devised and solved some by herself declaring that she LOVES sums! We had great fun and I’m so glad that we’ve found what was needed to work for us to produce (relative) familial harmony at the moment.
This week has served as a reminder for me that everything really is a state of impermanence. From the early days with a newborn baby that feel like eternity, to kicking on the floor tantrums from your toddler to any other number of challenges from older children and teenagers, this too really shall pass. Unfortunately this also applies to the good bits, the cute pronounciations will fade and correct themselves, the cuddles will become less willingly given, the make believe will eventually stop. So I reckon we need to embrace the present, to be fully in the moment for the good and the bad. But we must never forget that children don’t stagnate and we have to be prepared to move on when they’re ready. It would be easy to be constantly in a state of grieving for the days that have passed but we still have so much to enjoy. A rollercoaster ride this parenting malarky!