In a lot of cases, we would both end up frustrated. She didn't understand why she couldn't just walk her person around the board or build her city. I wasn't sure why she couldn't just follow the directions.
So, I took a step back- from the games we had, from the places we played, and from the rules.
A New StartYesterday, we went to look for a new game to play while we wait for Baby Boy to arrive and in the days following when I won't be able to go up and down the stairs all the time. Even though I tried to steer her away, she kept gravitating toward Cootie. When I conceded- she HUGGED the box.
After nap time yesterday, we opened Cootie in our bedroom floor. Miss Roo sat in my lap. Moo asked me what the paper said to do and we began to play according to the rules. Soon, I could see that Moo was frustrated and Roo had lost interest. I didn't want this game to end up like the others so I put the paper and the die away. I let them finish their bugs and we cleaned up to head downstairs for dinner.
Tonight after dinner, Moo suggested that we play "sumping" together before books and sleepy nap time. I suggested that we play Cootie. She seemed hesitant at first; once we were washed, brushed, and jammied she was ready to go.
Rather that start the game, I simply got all the pieces out and placed them on our bed- not on the floor. Moo looked at me and asked to build her bug. I told her to go ahead and I reached for a head and body without rolling the die. She seemed a little confused at first but then reached for the pink bug. The three of us started adding pieces and taking them apart. We counted legs, we laughed at silly head, lip, and eye combinations, and we giggled as heads fell off.
|Moo building her Cootie.|
|Roo rolling the die.|
It's in moments like these that I realize that I am just as much a participant in the education of my children as I am a leader. I don't always have the answers or do the right thing. But, I do look to my children for clues into how they best learn and how the enjoy their playtime and "school time". I don't want our homeschooling journey to become more about "doing school at home" than it is about educating them in the best way possible for each of them.
I never liked Cootie growing up, but after tonight, it's becoming a new favorite for me.
Motherhood is an Education
Tonight was a good start for each of us. Moo and I have been giving each other a lot of "Start Overs" lately- when we leave a store where were had a disagreement and we load into the van, when we reunite after a grumpy nap time sendoff, after a time out or a raised voice. We give cuddles, share a smile, and agree to start over again. She has taught me that we need "Start Overs" in our homeschooling lesson just as much as our routines, disciple, and general life.
My children are teaching me so much more than I could ever possibly teach them. That is the biggest blessing of Motherhood.