Homeschooling is what I decided to do with little man, when we decided for me to leave my job to care for him full-time.
Sure, he is only less than 1.5 yrs old. But from my experiences gained from my profession, it’s never too early to start teaching a child (whatever you wanted him to learn). I have seen cases of children where parents simply do not care and leave the teaching to the teachers in school. Although it is the responsibility of the teacher to teach, but really, how much attention do you think the teacher can give your child, given that class size she was given? She couldn’t possibly wait for every slow child because she also has to keep up with those who have already move on in the curriculum.
When I was still working, I used to feel upset that I am not able to dedicate my own child the attention and energy I have given to other children (who are not mine). I feel that I am not being a good mother. Now that I have the whole day with him, I have no more excuses. I have till the end of the year (Mar-Dec 2014) with little man. He will be entering nursery in 2015. With this time at hand, I hope for little man to learn the following before he enters nursery:-
- Recognising A – Z (Uppercase & lowercase)
- Recognising numbers 1 – 30 (English & Chinese)
- Learning to say at least 2 new vocabulary every week, in both English & Chinese
- Recognising his own English & Chinese name in written form. Hopefully he will be able to say them as well.
Are these too much for him to handle? I do not know, but he has been learning so much things at such a fast rate ever since I stayed at home with him. (I will probably do a recap of he knows in another post) I don’t really force him. Well, not that I am able to. Being a 17-going-to-18-months toddler, he has short attention span, as expected. However, one thing I am proud of is his interest in books. Little man loves books. He will always pick up books to read while we are feeding him. Yes, he does tear them occasionally and he knows he is not allowed to do that, but generally he understands the concept of reading a book. He will point to the pictures he sees in the books and say their names out loud. Sometimes he surprises us by saying out a vocabulary that we have said to him before (while he was pointing to that thing), but never emphasize with the intention to teach. I want to buy more books for him, but books are really not cheap, considering little man can be quite destructive behind our backs.
Anyway, so far our routine has been quite fixed, with the mornings being free-play-cum-tv time for him. As I have to cook for our lunch after dealing with his morning milk and teeth-brushing routine, I would be really beat by the time I can take a break and have my breakfast. Little man will be crying and whining for me to come out of the kitchen most of the time. Hence I will make sure I sit with him on his playmat while I eat my breakfast, as a way of accompanying him. I think he is quite satisfied with that, with me beside him and playing or reading to him while eating.
Then he will take his lunch at about 11am, afterwhich his bath. He will sleep after bathing till about 2 plus 3pm. That will be my time to rest. Sometimes I am so tired, I don’t even take my lunch and sleep together with him till he wakes up. Sometimes I use this time to finish up some housework, or write my journal. Being a SAHM can actually be more tiring than working. Then I will try to wash the dishes from lunch and start preparing for dinner. I have recently started to use Tiger Thermal Magic Cooker, and it really saves me a lot of trouble without the need to constantly watch the fire. After he wakes up, it is reading time. I will on some music and sit him down on his mini sofa to read the books with him. This is also the time I bring him out to the library or to the park to play.
I do not want to be a Tiger Mum. I just want to do my best for little man. I hope little man can also one day learn and internalise that in this busy busy country that he lives in, he does not need to be the best. He just needs to do his best. His best will be good enough for his Papa and Mama.