My children are four and two years old. By now, they have both learned how to talk, walk, run, jump, climb, make jokes, dance, and do a bunch of other things. But I won't say "I taught them" how to do these things.
I am grateful that it was around this time I started reading about natural learning. I learned the theory that kids don't need to be taught how to do things, because they will learn what they need when they are ready. I backed off. No more teaching my son how to walk. I got more comfortable answering the question, He's not walking yet? with something like Why would he want to do that when he can crawl so fast?
It was a few more months before my son started showing an interest in walking. One day, he started walking around with those push toys that he had previously ignored. He walked laps around the house. Then, when he was ready, he let go. And just like that, he was walking. I made a mental note to remember this process, so I could remind myself that he learned it when he was ready. When I was ready for him to walk, I took his hands and tried to walk him around. His legs would get like wet noodles. When he was ready, HE took MY hands so I could help him. It was only then that his legs were solid. He was determined.
I watched my daughter go through a similar process with learning to write her name. When she first started writing, she would write the letters of her name randomly placed, anywhere on the page. She wrote some of the letters upside down or backwards, but no one corrected her.
Then one day, she handed me a piece of paper with her name written perfectly. She just figured it out. Without asking, without anyone telling her. Just based on seeing her name written in other places, and making the connection between that and her own writing.
Even though my husband and I plan not to send our children to school, I do not think of myself as their teacher. I won't be deciding when they are ready to learn things. I will keep our lives full of "push toys" so they can practice things on their own when they choose. And most importantly, I will be there when they want to take my hands and lead me somewhere.