guilt - you may be familiar with it? I know I sure am.
It isn't that I don't give Ciaran tons of love and encouragement - I definitely do. I don't have a lot of time to play with him during the week - by the time I get home, get dinner made yada, yada, yada, it's almost bedtime. I do read to him every single night and then we cuddle and talk about his day at school or make up silly songs. Up until recently our little routine was working just fine and dandy.
But then, something started nagging at me, making me doubt my capacity as a mother and keeping me awake at night (well, not really, it's just one of the many things that prevent me from sleeping at night). I began to worry about Ciaran falling behind his peers and not being able to read or write whenever it is that kids are supposed to know how to do such things.
Normally, I wouldn't have thought twice about it - I always believed he'd learn when he's ready, not to mention - um, aren't they supposed to learn that stuff in school? But there's been a fairly large amount of assignments sent home for us to work on since Ciaran started Junior Kindergarten this past September.
I was not prepared for this. Worksheets are piling up like crazy and I can't keep up with them. Homework! In Junior Kindergarten. Is this normal? There are printing his name worksheets, counting and numbers worksheets and worksheets for each letter of the alphabet.
At first, I kind of ignored them, I just figured they were guidelines, not really to be taken all that seriously. Like, if we had a few spare minutes on a lazy Sunday afternoon, we could practice writing a few letters. But then the JK teacher started sending semi-snarky notes home about how all the kids need to learn to print their names by the end of the month.
I don't know about all the other JK kids, but mine can barely hold a pencil properly. He'd much rather build towers and houses made out of sofa cushions. And he has zero interest in writing anything, other than scribbles and the odd circle. Which brings me to the question: Am I a bad mother for not forcing my kid to do homework that he's clearly not ready for? But then, when is a good age?
If only we could win the lottery, then I'd stay home & home-school. 'Cause then it would be just fine if he didn't learn to write until he's like, 18. No one else would have to know. Also? We'd have the most kick-ass pillow house evah!