But then I read these inspiring words by Melissa Wiley, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. She says, in part:
There's no need to rush into early academics; in fact, I think it's a downright bad idea. Childhood is being shortened and children are being pushed into scholarly performance at ages ever more tender: six years old, five, four, even three. A Newsweek cover article asked recently, "Are kids getting pushed too fast, too soon?" The answer for many children in this country is emphatically yes. They're being pushed into Reading, Writing, and 'Rithmetic when they ought to be playing Red Rover. A young child's "curriculum" should be mud, paint, acorns, and dough.
Yes! This is exactly what I've been needing to hear! No longer will I worry if every day does not find us sitting down in a tidy, dedicated learning area with straightforward, uninterrupted lessons. Instead of waiting for Meghan's morning nap and hoping and praying that she actually stays asleep long enough for me to work on some meaningful lessons with Dylan, I think we'll instead continue with what we were doing best all along: snuggling on the sofa with our Bob books; writing stories in which Dylan asks more often than not, "Mom, how do we spell _____?" ; building thinking skills by playing games such as Candyland, Briarpatch card games, and the maze workbooks Dylan so enjoys; and enjoying learning in the context that every new day presents us.
Maybe next year will find us ready to dive into structure. But for now, it's all fun and games.