Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Korean Grandparents

Some of you might be familiar with the stereotypical Asian parent who is obsessed with grades and school. Long-time readers might remember that in JunkMale's house growing up, B stood for Bad. In other words, the stereotype holds true with JM's family. And apparently it extends to grandchildren.

Pearl is 11 months old. Last night JunkMale's dad asked us if we'd started homeschooling yet.

How to answer that question? I told him that we do a lot of "educational" things in our day, like reading books, singing songs, teaching her the words for various objects, going to library story time (although there are no story times over the summer), etc.

And then he wanted to know when we would start "formal" schooling. I replied with the very diplomatic, "Whenever she is ready to learn to read." That's a pretty accurate picture of what I want to do. I lean very Charlotte Mason, but I know a lot of CM homeschoolers won't start any schooling (even teaching them to read) until the child is 6. That's more than I can stomach. I think that a child should be encouraged to learn anything they want to learn. I certainly don't intend to initiate any school before she is 5 (I have a very light Year 0/Kindergarten planned, which is only a tad bit more ambitious than Ambleside's), but if she wants to learn I'm not going to stifle that.

Plus, I have Korean in-laws. That might mean we need to have "school" time every day starting well before Kindergarten, in order to keep family peace. ;-) But you know what? That's ok with me. School might consist of identifying birds and wildflowers on our after dinner family walk (science! a Korean parent's favorite subject!), a daily read-aloud, and a Bible story. It might include singing folk songs and counting the number of peas in a pod we're shelling. It might include a trip to the Korean store where we can practice speaking Korean. If I have to call these things "school", I'm fine with that. It's not like I wouldn't be doing them otherwise!

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2 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Sherry

    That IS the best definition of school...learning as you go.

  • Headmistress, zookeeper

    Calling it school is perfectly kosher.

    As for parents- my dad didn't like Bs, but he would tolerate them. What he would not tolerate was a C. He insisted that a C was failing. We would say no, it was average, and he would say, "Exactly. Failing." I got in so much trouble any time I got a C on any paper (and I wouldn't dare to get one in a report card) all through grade school and junior high that I rebelled in high school and got all Ds on the principle that I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.