Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I don't think I could ever home school. In fact, I don't think I could ever be a teacher at all. It's funny because for many, many years that's all I ever thought about doing. In fact I was a teacher for 5 years. I taught preschool, pre-K class for 5 years. Mostly preschool was about social skills, but there were plenty of early fundamentals in there such as the ABC's and 123's. Even in the pre-K with early math skills. I have 2 red blocks and 1 yellow block, I have 3 blocks....that sort of thing.

So........why can't I teach these things to my own kid? Why doesn't he get it?

I already know the answers. Because he IS my own kid. Because I have NO patience what so ever. Because school is starting very soon and I'm starting to feel the pressure of him at least knowing the effing alphabet....and to at least count to 20 without assistance. Gah! is that asking too much? Oh, he can say the alphabet--no problem. AND he can even write it pretty well too. But out of 26 letters, he maybe recognizes 12 of them--on a good day.

We have flash cards and I've been going heavy on the flashing lately. A-B-C no problem, he's got those both upper and lower case. We get to D and he starts staring off into space. This is were the train starts de-railing right here. "uhhhhhh.....(gulp).....O?" he says. I give him a little bit of a break because it does sort of look like an O. Sorta. I show him the Duck "Deeee....duh, duh, Deeeee. D is for duck." I say. "Deeee, ok mommy D." I show him the E card with the elephant. *silence* "uhhhhhhhh......."

And here's where my train completely de-rails.

"E!! Eeeeeee!! El-e-phant! Eeee!"

I mean, it's in his name for pete's sake! He knows how to spell his name, so why can't he recognize E? or e?

Deep breath.

Count to 10.

Another deep breath. *whew*

Lets start again..




D-------------"uhhhhhhh O? nO! not O uh...."

Duh, duh...dd........................."duh"?

no! Deeeeee! Deeee

"Oh yeah D!"

Next letter.


And so the cycle continues.

*Let me just add in here that I don't JUST do flash cards with him. I still have lots of stuff from my teaching days. I've give him pre-K type worksheets and as long has he's paying attention and I give him clear directions as to what to do, he never has a problem. He loves to play matching games and counting games and LOVES the pre-K worksheets. He'd do a whole book of them in an afternoon if I let him. Flash cards are like an oral exam. He gets all freaky and feels the pressure. I can't blame him. It's just that I, personally, think he should be able to recognize most of the letters by now*

I realize how horrible this post makes me sound. I realize it's completely obvious I have no patience. I realize that I'm probably approaching this all wrong. I realize I'm not cut out for teaching.

I'm just nervous. I'm feelin the pressure, man. School starts in a month and kindergarten is much different than it was 25 years ago (holy crap!) You're expected to like, know stuff now ya know? I also have a niece and nephew that have been held back at this school. Two kids who seem perfectly normal and smart and capable to me and yet, they've repeated grades. I think that is what is actually fueling my paranoia. I know he hasn't even started yet, but I don't want him held back! I also have a kid who will actually still be 4 when he starts kindergarten. And I know that boys tend to just be a little on the slower side anyway.

He's such a great kid. And smart as a whip. The dude remembers everything. (except the alphabet ha ha)

I just want him to succeed.

I really think he will.

I want to at least give him some weapons before I send him off to war. If that makes sense.

I'm sure I'll get the don't worry, he'll do fine comments. And, you're probably right. I just can't help the way I feel. Can't help my lack of patience (I'm a redhead-it's inbred in me) or my frustrations.

Tomorrow I'm going to:

lay off the flash cards

Run errands early and maybe stop at the park

Go to the pool

Not think about the alphabet! HA!


Cheryl Wray said...

I can totally relate to what you're saying and, as the mother of three children, I can say that kids all have different learning styles. Delaney was reading before kindergarten; was grasping phonics at 3. Sydney, on the other hand, could care less about learning her letter sounds. I just hope she's ready for kindergarten. So, I think it's different for everyone.

He'll do fine. He's smart and once he's in a kindergarten classroom you'll probably be surprised at how quickly he learns.

I think you're a great mom!

camport said...

Man he's gotten big! Just since I saw him, what 4 months ago?

My only advice, LeapFrog videos. Those things are awesome. They're short, they're fun, they teach 'em w/o them even knowing it. He'll get it. He really is a smart kid and you are an awesome mama that cares enough to stress out over this kinda thing.

Love his shirt and haircut, by the way, and he really will be just fine!


Jami said...

You are right to worry. Kindergarten will be the tale tale sign if Jake will end up being a success in life, or living under a bridge with a bottle of MD 20-20 in his hand. If he does not learn his letters now, he is bound and determined to fail in Kindergarten and then fail in life.
Just thought I would not make the same comments as you expected. Besides, doesn't reading the garbage I wrote make you realize how small an issue it really is....relax and enjoy this last bit of life without the stress of public school!

Melissa said...

What a cutie...

Coming from a mom and a teacher, just don't push him. Let him learn at his own pace. PLUS, he may be being lazy with you because you are his MOM and he would rather be digging in dirt than learning his ABCs. (this is what I have realized with Tanner....he acts "dumb" with me, but not with anyone else.)

Find letters on everyday things and have fun in the sun at the park. He will be just fine :)

Jude said...

Two words...
Super Why... it is on PBS and it is a GREAT help in teaching letters and sounds!! (and I can echo all the same thoughts as I used to teach pre-K myself!!LOL)

Kimberly White said...

I'm with Jude. Super Why absolutely ROCKS! And also ... sending you hugs! I have no advice whatsoever ... being that Joel is almost 3 I'm not there yet. But, you are his Mommy and you know him and you know what's best for him. It will be okay!