So I spend a lot of time reading other people's homeschooling and unschooling blogs. I belong to a lot of groups on Yahoo and Facebook. One of the overwhelming themes I see over and over again is that we need to TRUST. Trust that we are the best teachers for our kids, Trust that our kids will learn what they need to learn when they need it, Trust that we are doing the right thing. It sounds easy but it's not. I doubt myself all the time and feeling as though you have something to prove to certain others doesn't help.
However, every once in a while that magical light shines and the Trust comes back. The other day my daughter was playing on her grandmother's iPad. She spontaneously asked Siri for 'fun math games' and chose one. She decided to pick 3rd grade (technically she's in 2nd) and apparently she got a 100%! (I was not there at the time).
Now to be perfectly honest, we tend to follow more of an Unschooling method in our home. We rarely sit down and do formal work and we definitely do not use workbooks or worksheets or curriculums. However this is where the Trust comes in. We obviously use math everyday! My kids have their own money and make decisions on what to buy and when. They get change, they figure out if they have enough, etc. They use addition and subtraction regularly in their lives and they can both do it in their heads - which is way better than me & I went through to a Master's Degree in formal education! My 6 year old is starting to do multiplication in her head. Blows my mind. This clearly didn't come from me. I can barely add!
Now another area I lose the Trust in is reading for my 6 year old. This is the year she would be learning to read at school. I am particularly anxious about this because I spent years teaching reading and it is something I enjoy. However, she resists all attempts I make to 'teach' her reading. Figures! But left to her own choices, she can pick up a book and read on her level. She figured out short vowel words, blends and digraphs on her own. I told her once about long vowels and what we call 'magic E' and that's all she needed. Letting go of my need to teach and Trusting that she will learn it, has been one of the hardest things I have ever done.
So I guess I need to let go and Trust. And I encourage all of you to Trust yourselves, Trust your children, Trust that learning is occurring daily in their lives. Easier said than done, I know. Even though I see these magical moments, I still have doubts. I guess that's part of what makes us human. But for now, I am going to rely on the Trust.