This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's all about perspective...

It's been a little while since I've been able to post. Blame it on my crashed (and possibly soon-to-crash again, so I've been warned) computer. For those of you that don't know, let me tell you a little about my background. I taught Kindergarten and First grade for years, and I am certified to teach Pre-K through 6th grade. My goal as a teacher was to make learning fun and challenge my students in any and every way possible while instilling a love for learning. As a stay-at-home mom, my craft and learning bins overflow. Cottonballs, pompoms, pipecleaners, texture cards, glue, every kind of marker/paint/drawing utensil known to man, string, ribbon, rope, and tons of homemade games. My bins literally runeth over, as do the learning ideas that pop in my head. But guess what? Yes, I'll say it...I have a child that despises crafts. Read a story? Yay! Pretend play? Whoopee! Have Mommy pretend to be a dwarf from Snow White for the 800th time today? Bliss!
Glue? Melt into a weepy puddle. Even look at a letter of the alphabet? Chin quivering dispair.
I had in my head before she was born all the wonderful things we'd enjoy crafting together and, well, I'm still hoping. I'm thinking, hey, I'll teach her early on in life what she needs to know way before she needs to know it. Reading by Kindergarten? Of course! Pre-school, probably. Never did I think learning activities would be the equivalent to plucking out her nose hairs, one by one.
Why do I mention this? Because sometimes as parents we need to remember that it's about perspective. She just turned 3 this month and hasn't read War and Peace yet. It'll be okay. I felt so ill today this entire week that we haven't touched our learning activities. No harm. It looks like a tornado wrecked my house. Fine, but I spent some quality time getting to know the heart of my girls.
Sometimes as a parent I need to put activities and all the learning activities on hold long enough to learn about my little ones. And I need to remember that she's still learning even when she gets to make her own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That's when it hit me today, as she loaded her PB&J with an obscene amount of jelly, exclaiming "It's just like daddy's sandwich!" (so true)...she hears me when she pretends not to, she watches when I think she's not, and she's learning about her world by watching us.
So if today you are feeling guilty about not having homemade games galore, that the kid up the street knows more letters than your kiddo, or that you skipped learning time today for no real reason at all, or your child aches to get away from your activity that you spent all night cutting out, don't worry. It's a process. Sometimes we just need to change our perspective.


Mrs. D said...

Don't feel to bad my 3 and half year old hasn't read War and Peace yet either.

I have all these plans that just don't work out as lovely in real life as they do in my head. No biggie. We are having a blast this summer just being together. He is picking up on things I was sure he wasn't even paying attention to. He just waits for the right time to let me know whatever we are doing is working out great so far. Kind of makes me hope it never goes the way I plan it all to, ya know?

Montessori For Learning said...

This is so true. I have found that they learn a great deal just from the day-to-day activities. I have been trying to get better and stopping and explaining things/reason I do things like I do around the house (i.e. washing the grapes with water and vinegar, sorting clothes by color, etc).

mandgmom said...

Thanks for this post. I read this blog regularly, and I either feel inspired to do something wonderful with my kids or badly because I haven't been doing enough. This gives me hope and makes me feel better about what I am doing with my little ones.

Becca said...

Great post! Oh the guilt I can place on myself!!

Amanda said...

Great post Raegan! I can totally relate, we've had a lot of random learning experiences this summer and very little structured learning time. Today Tobias learned how to catch crawfish in the creek. That is totally a necessary life skill, right? ;) He also learned just because the baby in mommy's tummy kicks you doesn't mean you can kick it back.

I think this is one of the joys of summer, that we put away the paper and pencils and let the kids escape to the nearest creek, mud puddle, swingset, or climbing tree. I LOVED fall growing up and always looked forward to starting school again, learning new things, and doing fun crafts, but I equally remember the fun I had roaming the neighborhood all summer with my sister too.

And hey, a 3 year old who can make her own sandwich is awesome! That is seriously much more useful than gluing paper at this stage. I'll bet I spend a lot more time as an adult making pb&j sandwiches than I do gluing things together, lol!

Redheads said...

Awesome! Thanks so much! I needed to read that!!

Casey said...

Love it. I really do think sometimes we push our kids too hard. I look at my little girl ready to go to Kindergarten and I just want to take her back and let her be a kid just a little longer!! It's a balance between teaching them and just letting them be kids...we all know that "kid" stage goes away all too soon!!! Great post!

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