Joshua will be five in two weeks. This whole year, with a measure of anxiety and a bit of dread, I kept feeling like I really needed to be teaching him things--you know, letters, numbers and all that. But then I would remember, "Oh yeah, he's only four." Periodically I would pull out alphabet flash cards and when he couldn't distinguish between just A, B or C I would put them away again and wait and watch a little longer. Now, I'm not one of those educating moms who sit and play shapes and colors games for hours with their six-month-old babies. I take the wait-till-they-want-to-learn approach and try to encourage imaginative (and independent) play. But something a friend was saying about high school made me rethink some things and realize that a little challenge would be good for all of us. Even if he isn't learning much about the letters and numbers, he could be learning about sitting still, focusing and following directions. Doing some kind of schooltime would develop good habits that all of us will benefit from when the real challenges come around.
So I took a little trip to Exodus and did some homeschool mom shopping. It was actually pretty fun, too! (Spending money usually is.) So now we have magnet letters and numbers all over the fridge, crayons and pencils, workbooks, and schooltime.
Joshua has learned numbers and counting much more quickly than letters. He still only knows a random scattering of letters but he will pipe up at surprising times (like the middle of church) with, "Three plus four equals seven!" I think he's picking up a few math facts from his uncle Nathaniel, but he has a remarkable memory for them.
Joshua also has a coloring book, but instead of coloring the pictures, he draws lines to tell stories. One day, after coloring a castle orange and red because it was on fire, he drew black lines so the bad guys could be on one side and he and the good guys could be on the other. Today he found an ambulance on another page and after coloring the sirens blue he made it drive through the pages to rescue the inhabitants of the burning castle.
The magnets on the fridge are mostly used to fashion pictures of cars, rockets and creepy monsters.
Lucy wants to be involved in everything Joshua does so she has her box of crayons, coloring book, and workbook. She is not far behind him in pencil skills and letter/number recognition. I bet the two of them will learn to read at the same time.
And then of course there's the baby. But since she just likes to eat the crayons, she gets relocated to the crib with some kind of interesting toy that will hopefully keep her busy enough not to notice what's going on at the table.
If you weren't too busy admiring Lucy's adorable smile you may have noticed the butterfly bandage on her forehead.
She walked right into the open car door on Monday and got the deepest gash that I've had to deal with as a mother. Believe it or not, that is the first band-aid that I've had to put on one of my children. In fact, I had to go out and buy some because I didn't have any in the house! Sure, the kids have fallen down, they've gotten bruised and scraped, but I don't use band-aids unless there is a flow of blood that must be stanched. In this case, the boo-boo needed to be held together. It really didn't bleed that much and since we had just begun cleaning the car, rags were handy. We trotted down to Rite-Aid and, following the directions on the box, I applied my first ever butterfly bandage. Hopefully it won't scar too much!
All of the above pictures were taken with my new camera! Friends were upgrading so I got to chip in towards the new model and keep the old one. Happiness!