I will never cease to be amazed at how quickly they learn and grow. Fourteen months ago, I let Addy try to sign her name to our 2005 Christmas cards, but she was not yet able to write it except for scrawling an “A.” By the first week of February, she picked up a pen and wrote her name on every one of the Valentine’s Day 2006 cards she made for her friends. Just two weeks later, Bob took her to the Dad and Me Breakfast and she asked him to tell her the letters for “Happy Valentine’s Day Mommy.” I was able to decipher the writing when she presented me with the Valentine. This Tuesday at our weekly homeschool co-op afternoon, she wrote her first mini-report (as in two or three sentences), “What do turtles do in winter?” She needed reminders to “sound it out,” but handled the spelling pretty much on her own.
I’m starting to learn some lessons that veteran homeschool moms have been trying to tell me all along: The learning will happen when she is ready. She will motivate herself. Focus less on teaching and more on giving her the tools to learn. And sorry to freak some of you out, but do “unschooling.” Addy asked me to read a favorite board book that Aunt Carol gave her based on a common preschool rhyme called Five Little Pumpkins. Then she said, “Now that you read it to me, can I read it to you?” She read the whole thing, with only a little help on two words. “I love to be a big reader!” she exclaimed. Then she asked if she could write a book report about it for the online book club she joined. She then read it twice to Dori. Yes! None of this was my idea.