After I wrote my post on Things I Did Right as a parent my daughter-in-law, Vanessa, sent me this great article on the deficit of play among today's children. As the article moves along it becomes clear that play is so important the author begins to recommend something very like unschooling. I am not an unschooler but over the years I have seen unschooling done so well among some families that I cannot deny its value as a philosophy and that philosophy is not always incompatible with either classical education or a Charlotte Mason education. In fact, I think unschooling is closer to those philosophies than many of the programs parading themselves as classical or CM. How can that be? Just keep in mind that unschooling does not mean unlearning. Schooling is on trial not learning.
The article also reminded me of Anthony Esolen's Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, but it also reminded me of our conversations here about that book and our frustrations with not really being able to let our children run free as we once may have.
On the one hand, I want to encourage young parents to give their children freedom to grow and the courage to back off a little bit but on the other hand I see that young parents today have to be deliberate about things other generations have taken for granted.
That is a lot of pressure.
So let me just say it this way: do not let any social pressure keep you from enjoying your children.
Perhaps it is time to pull out the old Raymond Moore books that so many of us used in the 1980s. Dr. Moore's philosophy was "better late than early" and science is starting to catch up with him. Last week on Facebook, I saw an article (and lost it) which said that children who did NO math before 5th or 6 grade learned math quickly and surpassed their peers who had been doing math for years. The Bluedorns have been saying this for years.
It is because we want our children to learn and LOVE math and grammar that we wait to teach them. Readiness is everything in education, I don't care what they are pretending to teach at school.
I promise you with everything I know, you cannot ruin your child by delaying formal academics if your home is full of richness, beauty, love, and a little liturgy.