Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mommy Guilt - I Worry They Don't Learn Enough

Sometimes, I worry that I'm not teaching my girls enough. Our structured school time isn't happening as often as I'd like it to be. We do "school" 2-3 days a week. I try to remind myself that if they were in preschool, that would be exactly the same amount they would receive there, but its not easy for me to accept. I feel like I fail on any day that we don't sit down to a table to have school.

Playing magnet paper dolls with Daddy.

We do lots of learning that isn't traditional by many people's standards. We cook- measuring, mixing, applying heat, timing dishes. We do laundry- sorting colors, following directions, learning processes and being able to repeat them, gross motor skills. We color a LOT. We build a lot. We role play a lot, especially with their magnet paper dolls. And we follow whatever interests the girls display on a given week - maps, sharks, butterflies. We read, discuss, and talk CONSTANTLY.

However, I spend time worrying that they aren't learning what they "should" be at their ages. Miss Moo can count and do simple addition and subtraction, but she still struggles to recognize and identify numbers correctly. For Miss Roo, every color is blue- so she is occasionally correct when we do color matching but seems to have problems retaining the correct colors long term. 

And then, there are days like today. While on a trip to gather a stockpile for the pantry from Trader Joe's, Moo saw a dotted circle around a logo on a can. She picked it up, pointed at it and said, "Mommy look! We need to trace this line!" She then played with another girl her age at the mall play area and was able to interact,communicate, and lead with no problems. She assisted in counting and unpacking all our goods and telling me how many were left and where they belonged in our pantry. She also sat down with her Tag Reader and attempted to read with it as Tinker Bell shared her story.

For Roo, we talked about colors constantly on our errands, but she rarely got them correct. Walking into Hobby Lobby feeling deflated as a mother, she looked up and saw an E in the words on the side of the building. She told me that E stood for her.
"Good job, Roo! What about Moo?"
"M is for Moo Moo!"
"Yes, and who else?
"Good job, Baby Girl! And what about Daddy?"
"D for Daddy!!"

So, yes, we could do more structured learning. I could force them to sit daily and memorize more facts and standards at the ages of almost 3.5 and almost 2. We could play with flash cards in a standard manner, only follow a set, recommended curriculum, and ignore the interests, learning styles, and strengths our girls display. Or, we could keep doing what we're doing, spend as much time together as we can, and realize that my little girls will only be little for a short time. I want to enjoy it with them rather than worrying that we're lacking in our learning time together.

They're learning and that's the goal.

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