My daughter is two. She’s very bright. She loves to ‘read’ books and she loves to do puzzles. I read to her most days. I help her with puzzles and crafts and coloring sheets. I take her to a music class for toddlers. I try to teach her all of the things I feel like she is ready to know. But is that enough?
She surprises me often with something new she just knows how to do. Where did she learn how to use a broom or to put dirty dishes in the sink? When did she learn that a broken crayon goes in the trash can? How did she learn all of her colors and letters and numbers? I didn’t spend any time drilling them in to her. We didn’t use flashcards or mandatory practice or school time. She just learned them.
We blame television and her kindle for most of the things she just knows. Word World gave her a basic understanding of letters and animals. Apps on her kindle taught her how to put a puzzle together.
I’m a work at home mom that puts in too many hours for not enough pay, but I do what we need for me to do to get by. Is that enough of an excuse for my child to be educated by electronics?
I don’t think it is. Her media exposure is more than I ever expected it to be, but she is flourishing. As soon as she starting telling me the letters instead of asking me to say them to her I got her flashcards and alphabet puzzles and coloring sheets. When she started telling me animal names I did the same and started to help her identify animal sounds.
I follow her lead on what she is ready to learn. I don’t think that’s quite good enough. Her brain is a little sponge that is more than ready to absorb even more information.
I’ve spent the last few weeks making sure to give her my full attention a few times a day when, both when she has asked for it and when I think she is in a calm enough mood to really benefit from it. I’ve amassed workbooks, manipulatives, and other learning based items from around the house and from the store.
She’s loving it! She doesn’t have as long of an attention span as I would like sometimes, but that teaching Momma more patience and my toddler focus. She loves the workbooks and she loves the new toys that we play with together. She is blossoming even more and we both have special time together that we cherish.
It’s not a strict schedule. We don’t have themed weeks. I’m just trying to take our playtime and give it a purpose. When she asks for her pen to work in a workbook I drop everything as quickly as I possibly can and we set up in a comfy place to get as much done as she wants to. As long as she’s still having fun.
Playing with a purpose is our new home motto. I want her to have fun. I want her to learn. I want her to be a kid. I want her to be happy.