The end of a journey and the beginning of a new one
It looks like Shammy has weaned. He had been working towards it for a while. For months he would just nurse for a few seconds every other day. During the count at the Big Latch On he had his longest nursing session in months but after that he didn’t ask to nurse again. I thought he was done until exactly a week later he asked again, and then again about 4-5 days after that. By then he seemed to have forgotten how to latch on properly and he hasn’t asked since. That was over 2 weeks ago. I am grateful that we were able to share this journey for just over 3 years despite our rocky start.
I would have gone into a full fledged weaning depression if it wasn’t for the fact that Zen is still breastfeeding. Until recently Zen was a lot less interested in nursing than Shammy was at his age but lately he seems to have picked up his brother’s slack. Shammy will regularly encourage me to nurse his brother by saying “please please give Zen milkie” while not interested in having any for himself. I don’t know when Zen will wean but at least I know that it is many months away and it will be just as gradual and gentle as Shammy’s process.
As the breastfeeding journey with Shammy ends I have started a new “formal” learning journey with him. I have finally gotten off my ass and started homeschooling him, I must admit that I am intimidated by the process and just playing it by ear right now taking it a day at a time. He has a very good foundation of preschool knowledge already so I am starting easy by just reviewing things that he already knows. Right now he is enjoying a trial to ABCMouse.com and he likes it although I wish there weren’t so many art activities as he gets sick of those very quickly. He loves the puzzles, books and songs. I will probably buy him the annual subscription as soon as I can raise the money.
I have converted my old laptop as his homeschool laptop and we also do some hands on work with worksheets and activities. So far we are taking it easy doing about 20-30 minutes of computer curriculum and another 20-30 minutes of hands on lessons/worksheets/activities. The rest of the day I just try to reinforced what we covered through daily life activities. Today we are reviewing the number Zero and the circle shape and he is having fun identifying all of the circles throughout the house while I write this.
I still need to figure out how a lefty will teach a righty how to write without confusing him but I just need to research it since I know that I am not the first one with this problem. Zen is very interested in what we do and even though I am not homeschooling him yet he will probably end up ahead of the game by picking up what he hears/sees during his brother’s lessons.
A common concern when people think about homeschooling is socialization and I admit to have shared that concern. While the socialization myth has been debunked I was still concerned about the boys not having much interaction with other kids. I am blessed with knowing lots of local homeschoolers to network with in the addition to local groups that organize field trips, playdates and sports so the opportunities for socialization are very diverse. Sadly I am unable to participate in those activities because we only have 1 car and the extra expense from driving hubby to work and back to keep the car to attend activities is cost prohibitive.
Thankfully they get to play with other kids 1 day a week when they go to daycare while I work. I don’t think that they are learning anything from daycare, if anything they are losing their good manners by going but at least they get to play with other kids their age for a day. A local friend and fellow homeschooler shared her thoughts on the socialization subject and I no longer feel so bad for being stuck at home with them.
“What is socialization? a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.
Do I really want them learning that from other misbehaved, ugly mannered, mean spirited kids that I don’t know anything about? Do I want MY kids mimicking some of those terrible behaviors I see from other kids at times? No. I want them to learn their behaviors from a set of people I know what to expect from behaviorally, morally, and their language (cuss-wise and grammar). Mainly meaning other adults that I hang out with. If they have kids then my kids can play with them!
I try hard NOT to go to the park when there are a ton of kids there. It scares me sometimes! I don’t want my kids doing the things I see some of those kids doing. I don’t want them hurt by other kids that I have no control over. I want them to learn to play nicely and be fair, careful and considerate of others. They don’t learn that from other kids that are needing to learn the same thing but don’t get it yet! (**disclaimer here…I don’t think ALL kids at the park are little monsters. But quite a few ARE. I have seen it enough to be wary**)
My kids do play with other kids at church or with their cousins occasionally but for the most part they play with each other! And me! They learn from what they see so I am careful to try and let them see how I want them to act more than they see how I DON’T want them to act.
It is pretty hard sometimes because you can only control so much BUT I see the results all the time!! I get so many compliments on how well behaved my children are. THEY get so many people tell them how well behaved they are. And I can see the effect in them when they hear others talk about that! My kids feel so good when they are complimented about it. They glow from the praise! And they take care of each other! They worry over each other! They love each other! Yes! There are days when they are mean and self-centered and hurt the other one but these days really are like speed bumps.
So I don’t worry about socializing them with other kids too much! They know how to play with others BUT they also know how to interact properly with adults (and AS decent adults when the time comes)!”
— Amy W. homeschooling mother of 4
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