Struggling to Reach my Education Anarchist

In April Peanut will be registered for Kindergarten. 10 years ago when Bug was registered for Kindergarten I walked into the school office and signed him up. Easy peasey, rice and cheesy. As an added bonus I put his name into a lottery for all day Kindergarten because it wasn’t something that was mainstream yet in our school district. He was accepted and the rest is history.

The school district we live in now works a little different than our old one. And maybe the old school district works this way now too, I couldn’t say because only Bug went to Kindergarten there. Either way, I’m slowly chewing away at my nails in anticipation of April 2011.

I don’t think Peanut is ready for Kindergarten. In fact, I’m so sure that he’s not ready that I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t wind up in a remedial Kindergarten (glorified Pre-K out here) or be held back completely. And that’s where I begin to freak out.

Our district puts the kids through a series of exercises. All the parents file into a local church on our assigned day (don’t even get me started on the separation of church and state within public schools where we live) and we fill out the paperwork while the Kindergarten teachers take our youngsters through a series of exercises that test their knowledge of numbers, letters, their names, address, phone number, skipping, hopping, drawing, coloring and everything short of the Pythagorean Theory. I didn’t worry about Bebe and Shorty when their time came because they were correcting me and spelling simple words by the time their Kindergarten testing day came. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that Peanut is going to be even close to where his older siblings were at age 5.

In a way, I put the blame on myself for him not being ready (See? I totally KNEW this was the best blog name ever).

Yes. I feel guilty that I am somehow letting down my baby.

But in saying that, I will tell you that I’ve tried to teach him using the methods that worked with his older siblings and so far… nothing peaks his interest. He’s interested in doing everything that the big kids do except the learning part.

I don’t know how I have let him slip this far. He is read to, played with, loved, and probably spoiled (honey if you’re reading this, I DID NOT just admit that I’ve spoiled Peanut. That is all). It concerns me that I can’t get him to sit and play with the educational materials we have here. He doesn’t care to color (but likes to paint), he could care less about trying to print his name and we even argue over what letter his name starts with.

It’s a struggle and I can’t blame myself enough for it. I feel like I’ve failed him in some way. I should know how to get him interested in  learning right? I mean, I was able to do it with Bug, Bebe, and Shorty, so why is this one so difficult.

In the last two weeks I’ve been able to find one way that seems to interest him. He likes visiting I remembered using this site to print out small books when Shorty was starting to read. They have a section that does phonics and the alphabet and we’ve been spending some time primarily in that section. He will play for 30 minutes to an hour and then become bored and ready to quit. He likes the site but I still feel like I’m not making any progress because I can’t get him engaged to take what we do on Starfall and apply it to other ways to learn and play away from the computer screen. He gets disinterested or dismisses me… I’ve even been growled at.

For me this is an EPIC MOM FAIL. I don’t know how to reach him, and it makes me wonder if I’ve lost that same love for learning that seemed so fresh when the other kids were small or if I’m Peanut is as I suspect; extremely bright but stubborn.

So I’m reaching out to you, my friends and community who have seen me through so much since I began this blog…

How do you reach someone who doesn’t seem to want to learn? I don’t expect him to read an encyclopedia backwards and forwards but I’d like him to be able to do the basics: write his name, know his address, and know the letters of the alphabet. He’ll be five in just over a month. I honestly don’t know what to do or how to get him interested in learning these things.

Maybe I’m stressing too much but I see a child in front of me who doesn’t have the same love for knowing things and showing off what he knows like his siblings did. I see a child who rejects any learning adventures or activities I put in front of him.

I see a child who will be behind when fall comes next year.

About Nichole Smith

Nichole Smith has written 763 post in this blog.

Founder of Chaos in the Country and (original) The Guilty Parent blog, Nichole is a professional writer, blogger, social media strategist, and collector of yarn, books, and pretty paper.


  1. There is nothing with him starting a year later than everyone else. I would prob suggest talking to the school district and see if there is a specialist that can test him for learning disorders. He could easily need glasses, have hearing problems, or be dyslexic. All of those things are medical, and would be very hard to self diagnose. Don’t blame yourself. It could easily be something very much outside of your control. I still struggle with the boy. He thinks, processes and sees things epically different than the girl and I. I had an extremely hard time teaching him the basics because he couldn’t learn them the same way I taught the girl.

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