School started in our town today. The buses were out, the children supplied and dressed and sent in by eight to be "educated" until four. Many of my friends and acquaintances have also begun their homeschooling programs over the last few weeks.
In the last few years, I've been somewhat isolated from it all, but it is closer to home now than it was. It is something to consider: how will our children learn? I'm embarrassed to admit that I really have no idea where to begin.
Even at two, Piper shows how much she wants to learn with her letter recognition (spotty though it may be), her counting (we count to five, and she insists on adding the "six!"), and her pattern recognition that has her "reading" the titles on our unboxed videos. She knows most of her colors now (pink is her favorite - those of you who know me well will appreciate the humor in this), and she has opinions on everything.
I've been contemplating the idea of using an hour or so during the day to sit and learn a little together before Button comes in December. But what will we learn? What should I teach her? I know it will look like play to me because she learns so much through play right now. I don't want it to look like another movie, another hour she has to figure out what to do with herself while Mommy tries to get work done.
I am not very good at "playing" with Piper; we both have our own ideas about the way things should be done. I am realizing that the only way for me to try to teach my daughter anything at this point is to create a space where she doesn't believe she's being "schooled." Her strong sense of her own freedom turns those pages long before she's absorbed what I am telling her is on them. Yet she is very open to stories, interested in pointing out what she knows already.
I'm not sure how to make this transition from cuddling and holding to nurturing and expanding Piper's world. I know she is only two, but I think I need some time to grow into this, to learn her a bit more, to learn me a bit more, and she is so ready and eager to take it all on.
What have you done with your little ones when they begin to learn? I'm not a natural at this like my mom was. How is helping Piper learn to be an adventure for me? Do you have any suggestions for materials I could use, ideas for activities we could do? Thoughts on dealing with a toddler who has her own ideas about life?
(image from sxc)