Saturday, December 31, 2011

She's My Little Mirror in Time

As time goes on, I find that my oldest daughter is more and more like me. She is headstrong, clever, a little absentminded. She feels the need to please, and it devastates her to disappoint. It is astonishing how much of myself I see in her. I can look in her eyes and remember just how I felt when I was her age. And I remember how frustrating it was for my parents to get me to do the things I struggle to get my daughter to do. Homework. Chores. I knew, right down to my core, that I should be doing those things, and I wanted to make my parents proud, but something made it hard. There was always something new, something that had to be explored. I had to be delving into a new subject all the time. There was just so much to see! How can you focus on the mundane when there are so many other things to be learned?

I see that drive to explore in my daughter. Always asking questions, the need to understand a situation entirely before stepping in. When we are getting ready to go to the store she asks, "Why? Where are we going?" She is not trying to be impertinent, she just wants to KNOW! That way she knows what kind of shoes she needs, what kind of outfit, should she wear a coat. And all of that needs to be double checked so she knows she got it right! As the parent, it's exhausting, but from the child's point of view its totally understandable. I can see the wheels in her head turning and I can understand the path of her thoughts, and the reasons behind her strange actions. She gets into trouble because she is BORED! It's not her being malicious, but she forgets rules in her quest to exercise her mind. I remember having the same experience.

Unfortunately it is making traditional school difficult for her. She is stuck in a room all day following a path of learning laid before her. She does not have the freedom to ask the things she needs to ask, to follow the string of questions in her head, to explore the world in a way that is not outrageously boring. Once she has a grasp on a situation, she is quick as a whip and can master it in a heartbeat, but she needs to be able to reach out and take the grasp by herself and at her own pace. That might take far longer than necessary in a school setting, and so far, it does, because she does not have control over her learning. She WANTS to reach out and tackle it, but instead she is told to sit and have it fed to her. And it is boring her. Boring her to the point of acting up, and losing the drive to learn. And I know this, because I REMEMBER.

Homeschooling her is going to be a trying, tiring job until we get the hang of it. Daily library trips, Internet searches, and spur-of-the-moment lessons because she got a hair up her butt and suddenly has a million questions about platypus. But, oh, Gods, doesn't that sound like a blast!

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