There are many areas of life in which I fail, daily. I'm not always as kind as I ought to be; I have selfish moments; the list could go on. But one area I never wished to fail was at parenting, more specifically helping my daughter learn. Recently, I came to the harsh realization that I haven't been keeping up with teaching her new things as much as I should. This slapped me right between the eyes and I've felt guilty for weeks. It all came about when a couple girl friends said their children could spell their name by the time they were 2...what?? Emilia has NO interest in spelling her name. One friend even tried to console me by saying Emilia's name was unique so maybe it was harder...No. That's not the case. It is because I haven't actively worked with her on it. And so many other things.
Don't get me wrong, Emilia is a very bright little girl (if I do say so myself). She knows her birthday, can count to 20, knows her colors and shapes, loves to play matching games, knows her alphabet (saying not recognizing or writing), speaks clearly and (mostly) correctly, can reason, and so on. I'm not saying we have completely dis-serviced her (if that is even a word). But, I feel very convicted that we aren't doing as much as we should be. We have had LOTS of changes in the past few months and before we moved she had a great baby sitter who I know was working on different things with her too. But now she is home every day with her dad- no other toddler interaction, learning skills, etc. Now, we can't really afford to let her go to a half-day preschool or anything for toddler interaction, but we definitely can amp up the learning activities at home and help her continue to grow.
On top of that, I am actively working on getting a curriculum together that we can start once we hit Saipan. I decided not to try and start anything "formal" with her until after we have been on Saipan a month or two. That is going to be a huge life change for her, and I want us to be a little more settled before starting in on structured learning. I came across a couple great blogs this morning and I am excited to start getting everything together! THIS blog has an entire alphabet series, with oodles of free printables, and I think you can even purchase the whole 26-week curriculum as a download for $10, which includes the weekly lesson plans. She also has older children whom she home schools as well, and there are links to lots of other great stuff. I feel like this is a step in the right direction. At least a good starting point.
Is this me saying I'm going to homeschool Emilia forever? No. I truly believe she needs the social interaction of public school (or maybe private school)- she is like me and we get our energy from being around other people. Am I saying I am against homeschooling? NO. I see the many, Many benefits of homeschooling and there may come a day when we consider doing it past preschool. But I'm not there yet. What I AM saying is that I am committed to helping prepare her for school and equipping her with all the knowledge she needs to succeed. I know this will be a great challenge, and I am praying all the time that God blesses our time together learning.
For now, I think we will break out our gifted copy of the Letter Factory (thanks Jaime!) and add that to her tv time. She's really big into Tinkerbell these days and since we don't let her to watch too much tv/movies, she always pick something fairy-ish when she does watch. So, when she wants to watch something I think we will make sure Letter Factory outweighs good ol' Tink. ;-)