There were many times in the classroom when I had to completely deviate from my lesson plan because even though my plan seemed great on paper, in the classroom with the twenty or so eyes looking back at me, I could tell that the lesson was about to be a flop.
It’s during these times that a teacher has to think quickly on her feet. And I’m finding the same to be true in this homeschooling journey, too.
Although I intended on using the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons this year, I’ve decided to take a break from this book. Not because it’s ineffective, but because at Little Man’s age, he finds it overwhelming. I’ve modified the lessons and activities to make them more “age appropriate”; however, the minute I pull the book out (even if it’s just for my reference) he begins to moan: “That book makes me tired!” – That could be 3 year old talk for: “Mom, please hear me. That book is too challenging and makes me feel overwhelmed.”
So I’m listening. We’ll keep this book on the shelf, and it may come out again later. Although I know he really can handle it, the last thing I want is to frustrate my young learner and turn him off. Whereas in the classroom I often had to think on my feet, being at home does give me more opportunities to research, reflect before making changes to what we’re doing. The most important thing is that I do take the time to reflect and recognize when something isn’t working.
Today during our phonics time I decided to pull out the set of Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers. Our reading lesson was much more enjoyable – I’m sure Little Man enjoyed the pictures – and we were finished with the lesson quickly. It was short and enjoyable – for the child and mama! I’m so glad that I decided to listen to my child, and put the other book on the shelf for the time being.
As a teacher, I was quick to pivot and change my strategies and methods when they didn’t work in the classroom. So why, then, as a mother, would I dig in my heels and insist that my child do something that’s clearly not working for him? Because I, too, can be stubborn. My ‘mom’ lense can easily cloud my thinking to the point where I believe my child is just being disobedient or is putting up a power struggle. And sometimes, this is the case. However, I am reminding myself to choose my battles and to remember that I don’t want learning – especially learning to read – to be a battle!