Melani- I wanted to chime in and encourage you to school/unschool how you see fit. Teaching my very clever son to read was a bit of a struggle, because we had assumed that he would just naturally take to it, and then when he was still not reading well at age 7, we decided to really put some effort into it. (we first used a waldorf-inspired curriculum, but the science was insultingly childish for him) Now at age ten, he is reading above grade level (we had the opportunity to have him tested for free) so the argument can be made that we did fine, but there was a time he felt really insecure and inadequate around some younger friends who could read more fluently than him. I guess if I lived in a community where he could be surrounded by peers who were raised in a similar tradition, I would feel fine about our choices, but I do believe his feelings of inadequacy made it harder for him to learn. There is also the very real "imposter syndrome" in which gifted kids (and adults) feel always inadequate and secretly dumb! I also believe that pushing it early also isn't ideal, but i guess if I could do it over again, I would have either had structure earlier on, or moved somewhere that would surround my son with a likeminded set of peers.(my sister's kids are in Waldorf school [chicago area] and do great- and didn't learn to read until 7 or so)
My son (Eiden) is 2-3 years "ahead" in math and science, plays a little guitar, loves shakespeare and einstein and stephen hawkings, etc., and *comprehends* literature on a high-school level, so I guess it all comes out in the wash. Until now, science has definitely been on an unschooling level- (I started seeking a curriculum and found out he could pretty much start 8th grade science and do fine) so don't forget you can unschool in the areas for which your child is voracious ! (then you can still call yourself an "unschooler" ;) )
-a little unsolicited advice and blatant bragging...
Heather Rische, LM, CPM
Special Projects Manager
Mountain View Market
Las Cruces, NM
NM Licensed Midwife
TX Documented Midwife
Certified Professional Midwife
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