My little guy is turning four this fall.
Aside making me hold my breath and realize that time is moving too quickly and that he’ll be going to college in approximately
3 months I mean a few years-I mean- oh wait, phew! Not quite yet!- It’s also making me realize that “official” homeschooling is right around the corner. I’ve been trying to line up my ducks and figure out exactly what I need to do to make sure he’s prepared for the next stages of his young life.
I’ve been reviewing our curriculum from last year and searching new curriculum for this year. I’ve been debating about unschooling vs. traditional schooling vs. classical schooling vs. some hybrid of all of the above. What does he really need to know as a four year old?
He maybe should know his beginning letter sounds, how to count to twenty, how to trace some letters. He should know his colors and shapes well. He should definitely know that buses go beep beep and vroom vroom, that horses say neigh and that the chipmunk’s habitat is a burrow, so it doesn’t belong in our kitchen whenever possible.
I think it would also be a bonus if he could learn some life skills- cracking eggs, vacuuming the floors, picking up after himself. Going potty on his own. Putting on his jacket. Taking off his shoes. Watering the garden. Just a few small essential things, really.
Maybe he should be free to try writing sometimes without me hanging over him. Maybe he should make art. Maybe I should let him create what he thinks is beautiful without me dictating it. That it’s good to be silly sometimes. That he should play. Maybe he should feel free to get messy and have fun cleaning up too.
Perhaps he should know that going outside offers a whole world of exploration. That the tree frogs chirp loudly in August. That geese honk overhead in fall and spring. That you shouldn’t look directly at the sun. That honeybees sting and produce a sweet nectar. That a lot of food comes from plants. That dirt is part of summer’s charm, that scraped knees are okay and will heal, that rain helps flowers grow.
He should know that it is good to think of others more than yourself. That you should be genuinely kind to your neighbor. That you should help a friend however you are able. That you should say I’m sorry when you wrong someone, and try to make it right again. He should know that I mess up sometimes too. He should know that I am sorry too.
He should learn about compassion. About making peace. About redemption.
He should know that I want to help him to grow, learn, and mature. That I want the best for him. That I’ll support him in whatever he pursues. He should feel secure to try new things, knowing that it’s okay if he doesn’t succeed right away. He should know that I’ll do whatever he needs to help him succeed eventually. He should know that he is safe with us.
He should know that he is a bright and shining light in my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. That his smile is the best gift. That his sweet hugs melt my heart. That even when I get frustrated, it’s never to the point of no return. That nothing he does will ever make me love him less or stop enjoying him.
He should know that I love him and his sister and his Dada with a fierce and unquenchable love, more than the whole wide world, always and forever.