I can’t even remember how it started now, but it was only about eight weeks ago. It was probably a workbook from Dollar Tree that my daughter found and wanted to take home. It probably had stickers. And I’m sure I said ‘Yes’. Sounds simple enough.
Eight weeks later, my house is filling up with curriculum, my brain is on overload from all of the options and research, my anxiety is rising trying to choose the best books and manipulatives, and our budget is starting to complain about all of the money going towards more workbooks instead of refilling our freezer. I am overwhelmed. I have too many options and I’m trying to buy everything I can make our budget afford.
Yesterday I bought a workbook set from dollar tree that had four books, one each on addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Division! For my 2 year old that can’t add yet? What am I doing?
Just because it seems like a worthwhile workbook or set of flash cards or anything else does not mean we need it. It does not mean it will work for us now or maybe not ever.
There are so many choices and so many price points. Do I spend $300 for a preschool curriculum? Or piecemeal free worksheets and books we read together to get through a year of learning. Should we just stick to doing what my daughter thinks is fun and not worry too much about focused learning or projects? She is two after all.
I want the best. The best curriculum, the best everything for my daughter. If I chose the wrong series she may not flourish, it could be the difference between her curing cancer and working a minimum wage job for the rest of her life. No pressure, right?
So what do I do? For starters, I keep reminding myself that she is two. As long as she is having fun and doing more than watching Paw Patrol and eating junk food all day, then she is doing fine. She’s learning all the time. She’s growing all the time.
I tell myself to relax. If she can’t read before she turns three, that won’t be the end of the world. If we don’t finish every workbook, that won’t be the end of the world. If we don’t have ‘school’ every day, that won’t be the end of the world either.
I tell myself to relax and have fun with my child. Tickle fights, snuggles on the couch, silly dances, and fun music are all even more important than worksheets and reading lessons.
So, I tell myself “enjoy your child today. Love on her. Give her squishes and as many kisses as she can stand.” Dishes can wait, learning to read can wait. She won’t want to snuggle on my lap for much longer. She’s already too independent as it is. Just love on her while you can. The workbooks will be there when she’s ready, and so will I.