When our oldest FindingOurWay was in first grade, I took on more work than I should have for a few months. I was busy and while the kids were supervised and the work got done, schooling suffered. I felt sure that I'd failed her. I was amazed at the end of the few months that she seemed to have grown and learned more when I left her to explore what she wanted rather than forcing a curriclum on her.
More recently, something similar happened when I was pregnant with our youngest. The FindingOurWays have access to lots of learning resources but we were in survival mode. I am again amazed at what my kids learned without me directing them through workbook pages. My 5 year old has been pretty much teaching herself to read and my 8 year old became really interested in her history book. They both recently decided they were going to write books. My eight year old wrote a book of poetry for a friend and my 5 year old is writing a story for her sister. These were their ideas and good ones they were!
So, if my kids were doing a great job on their own, why am I so concerned about them being on grade level and pushing them? I guess I worry about what would happen if we were unable to homeschool them in the future. We are fully committed to homeschooling our children. We have agreed that sacrifices will probably have to be made in the future to continue. Most obstacles can be overcome but what would happen if one of us died and the other needed to work outside of them home?
Do you stress about your kids learning at or above grade level? Or do you just let what happens happen? Do you have structure or just go with the child's interests?