I am so conflicted. I read radical unschooling blogs. I read blogs on classically training your four year old. Good thing I watch and listen to my kids, too, or I’d be all over the place.
I’ve said before that I have seen the benefits of my ‘fickle’ approach; hard and heavy curriculum for a week or two leads to all sorts of unschooly goodness for a week or two as they integrate the lessons and make them really their own. Back and forth we go, and up the learning curves they go! Fortunately, they even integrate the subjects whose lessons are, by default, less interest driven; the handwriting, math and reading work that I *know* they will want, and want at a high level, at some point, ergo I push them now. But only for an hour a day, and not even five days a week most of the time. (We are all sick right now, for example, so paper flowers and Barney are apparently the order of the day, as per my kids’ requests. Bring on the glitter glue!)
I find myself wondering if my having twins and a little brother has anything to do with this? It seems like some of the scheduled/curriculumed-to-the-nines families only have one kid. If mom is your main playmate, why NOT play at lessony stuff? I can totally see that mom might be more interested in playing if there is learning happening, so that is a good (attentional) reinforcement system for kiddo to want to go along with it, interested in the subject or not. By contrast, my kids have three or four (if we count Daddyman) playmates around all the time, so their interest in homeschooling (unless we are doing something novel) is about the same as their interest in playing any other game – about an hour! (Also, obviously, it is much harder to keep three kids all interested in the same thing, and they distract each other massively. *Whole* different can of worms, that.)
Don’t get me wrong: I *like* that homeschool is like any other game or project or toy to them; what better way to foster lifelong learning than to have it be something fun?
Doesn’t mean that I don’t look at some of these other families, and their incredibly one-thing-or-another kids, and play comparison games. >.<