We are just back from a mini-vacation (during Holi) to Lucknow, the beautiful historic city of Nawabs. While the grown-ups of the house focussed mostly on light-hearted banter and the amazing cuisine the city had to offer, sonny had a fabulous, fun-filled time with his cousin sisters, uncles, aunts and grandparents.
A vacation, of course, has meant very little activity on FertileBrains, as is evident from the lack of posts from me for almost a week now, but I am excited to report that during this time, one of my posts was published on BabyCenter Blog. This post talks about the struggle I had during the first couple of weeks after starting homeschooling with sonny.
Since then our homeschooling journey has become quite streamlined and I and sonny both are enjoying our extra learning times together very much (I will share our homeschooling schedule in another post very soon!).
Here’s an excerpt of the post:
The resounding slap across my right cheek flushed and burned, quite disproportionate to the small hand that had inflicted it. As a solitary tear welled up in my right eye where a tiny finger had breached it, I tried to control the rising anger directed at my 4 1/2-year-old, who glared at me insolently without a shred of remorse for treating me like his punching bag.
“That’s it! You have hit me for the third time since morning. I am done. Hitting is not okay. You don’t listen to me at all. So no more iPad for you!” I decreed and stormed out of the living room confiscating my son’s iPad from his reluctant grip. I was afraid my flaring temper would get the better of me if I stayed any longer.
The loss of his favorite plaything was the hint the boy needed to tender a hurried apology as he ran after me “I am sorry I hurt you.”
Of course, it was superficial. Even if it were heartfelt, chances are, it would have had zero effect on me that particular moment considering the rage that bubbled inside me.
Angrily, I marched to the bedroom, stashed his iPad inside my wardrobe and watched him melt to tears, sprawled on the floor near my feet. A pang of guilt punctured my anger and brought it down a few notches.
But his behavior was not acceptable and he needed to be taught that hitting was not a conflict resolution tool, no matter how frustrated he was feeling. You see, the bone of contention this afternoon was one “Learning to Read” App that we were trying to work with on his iPad. My son had his own ideas about how he wanted to “play” with the app while I was trying to teach him how to sound out letters to read words using it.
The conflict happened when I reflexively chose an option on his behalf instead of letting him do it. And, in retrospect, our somewhat horrid afternoon that followed was my fault. Well, mostly.
Even then, hitting could not be condoned. In fact, my son’s low frustration tolerance was one of the reasons (besides excessive academic pressure) why I had broached the subject of homeschooling in front of the whole family a week ago. When the decision was unanimously made in favor of homeschooling, I knew my instincts were not entirely baseless.
I enthusiastically embraced my role as my son’s teacher, reading article after article about homeschooling, the curriculum I needed to follow for kindergarten and looking for the best approach for teaching my spirited child. I spent hours researching websites and reading consumer reviews to find the best of the best activity sheets and apps to use as teaching aids.
Please head over to BabyCenter Blog to read the complete post.
Again, just a sidenote: Since the post was published on BabyCenter, I have received feedback that I should not “force” reading on a 4.5-year-old and I completely agree. Education should never be forced, but every child learns things differently. Sonny’s reading/maths skills exceed his writing skills (as I have talked…ahem…bragged shamelessly 😉 many times on this blog) and the “Learning To Read” app that I’ve talked about in this post takes into account his current reading level and interests. Sadly, this point did not come across clearly in the article and some readers felt that I was forcing something on sonny beyond his capabilities/interests. This is not so.
Please give the article a read and don’t forget to share your views in the comments section on BabyCenter Blog or here.