Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Get ‘er Done!

on September 14, 2012

“I don’t want to do school today,” Little Bear informed me this morning.

In truth, I didn’t want to either. Of course, I also didn’t want to tackle the three loads of laundry waiting to be done, the dishwasher full of dishes waiting to be unloaded, the diaper that needed to be changed, or anything else for that matter.

“Well, what do you want to do today?” I asked Little Bear.

“I want to play in the mud,” she informed me. “And watch TV.”

In the end, we compromised on some mud-free outside play time while I started the laundry that resulted from yesterday’s mud fun, a nature walk, reading time, an episode of Team Umizoomi … and school. In fact, when she peeked in our work bins, she was actually pretty eager to get started.

This morning’s read alouds included …

Our next work bin contained Melissa & Doug Animal Pattern Blocks Set, which the girls did together (with a little refereeing from Mom). Baby Bear is beginning to recognize colors, so she hunted for the correct color tiles to complete each puzzle and tried to fit them in place. Little Bear actually put the tiles where they belonged and told her sister about each animal they were creating.

Wedgit success!

Next came critical thinking activities. Little Bear solved half a dozen riddles in Can You Find Me? and worked through two puzzles in Mind Benders Beginning Book 1 (PreK-K), and followed pattern cards to build with Wedgits.

The math bin included my iPad, complete with a new number tracing app. I’d also installed the free version of Brain Counts Approach to Montessori – Numbers with plans to test it later, but Little Bear spied it, tried it, and dubbed it a new favorite. On a more traditional note, we used flash cards to practice numeral recognition and used buttons to count by 2’s to 20.

Then came the reading bin — and with it, discovery of Little Bear’s reluctance to “do school” today.

“Mommy, why do I have to learn to read?” she asked.

“Because you love books,” I said.

“I like for you to read them to me,” she said.

“Well, Mommy doesn’t always have time to read, and I won’t always be around to read,” I said. “You’re getting to be a big girl, and big girls read all by themselves.”

“But I’ll always be your baby,” she countered, “and if you can’t read to me, I can watch TV.”

Trying another approach I asked, “Why don’t you want to learn to read?”

“Because it isn’t fun!” she declared.

“Reading isn’t fun?” I queried.

“No, reading is a lot of fun,” she responded. “Learning to read isn’t fun, though.”

“It’s a lot of work, isn’t it?” I said sympathetically.

She nodded. “I don’t like work,” she admitted.

“You know what?” I confessed, “I don’t like work either.”

“You don’t?” she asked in wide-eyed amazement.

“Nope,” I replied. “I don’t like doing laundry. I hate washing dishes. And I’m pretty sure that nobody likes changing poopy diapers! But I do all those things. Do you know why?”

“Because you have to,” she said. “You’re our Mommy, and you have to take care of us.”

“That’s right,” I responded. “Taking care of my girls is my job, even when it’s hard, even when it isn’t fun … just like learning is your job, even when it’s hard, even when it isn’t fun.”

Little Bear tackled today’s {brief} reading lesson without further complaint. Of course, I do want her to associate reading with fun, so our 10 minutes of formal instruction from The Reading Lesson was coupled with a half hour of Boggle Jr. word building and word family fun! Then, we headed back outside for more {mostly} mud-free play and fun with friends.


3 Responses to “Get ‘er Done!”

  1. Susan says:

    Okay, my hormones are kicking in or something but your little discussion about reading made me cry. You are a good Mommy and you listen to your girlies well. I’m not so good at that lately – Thank you for the reminder that it’s not all getting ‘er done but also it’s the journey together.

  2. Stacy says:

    Do your daughters like the Wedgits? I bought them as a birthday gift earlier this year. Thinking about getting Tessa the junior ones for Christmas.

    • Julie says:

      They both love them! We’ve just got the starter set (along with the beginner activity cards) out right now, but the girls are getting more for Christmas. I bought a 15-piece set of Wee Wedgits for DD2 and the pink/purple tote for DD1.

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