“Why does she need to know that *now*?”

In October of 2003, I was a newly-minted homeschooler, trying to pick up where the school left off with my then-second-grader, and struggling to get her to memorize her times tables. I knew exactly one other homeschool mom, and while I was expressing my frustrations to her, she looked me straight on and said, “Why does she need to know that now?”
“Why does she need to know that *now*?”

I didn’t have a good answer. I still wouldn’t today.

And I wouldn’t have a good answer (and still don’t) because there isn’t any good reason that a kid who isn’t institutionalized needs a specific scope and sequence *right now.* I was doing it “because all the other 2nd graders were learning multiplication.” My kid really wasn’t ready, we were still sorting out this homeschooling thing, and it was just coming to loggerheads over it.

Why is it crucial that your kidlet learn this this thing at this point in time? It’s a good question, and fundamentally, the answer is that he or she doesn’t.

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 17 (two years later than the law allowed), but I’m a pretty good driver. I didn’t learn to knit until I was over 30 — by Finnish standards, that’s like 27 years late. But folks who’ve seen my work will tell you I do pretty well, thanks.

Don’t sacrifice your relationship on the altar of schoolwork. If you’re going to do that, you’re probably better off enrolling them in school.

You’ve got 5,840 hours between 15 September this year and 14 September next year. Do the work when they’re ready to do the work. It’s okay if it’s not today.