Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together

Learning to Say Good-bye

on September 18, 2012

We woke this morning to the sound of a moving truck — a familiar sound when you live in a large apartment complex with a substantial student population. Today, though, that sound meant that it was time for Little Bear to say good-bye to three friends and playmates.

Life, love, and happiness …

Little Bear has been obsessed with trucks lately, so she begged to go outside and take a closer look at it. Then came the inevitable questions:

“Mommy, what kind of truck is this?”

“It’s a moving truck,” I replied.

“Who’s moving?” she asked.

Taking a deep breath, I answered.

“Will I ever see them again?” she asked.

“I don’t know, Honey,” I replied, reaching out to take her in my arms and dry the tears I was sure were to follow.

Instead of dissolving in tears, though, she extricated herself from my grasp, saying, “Then, we need to play and have fun NOW!”

… and she was off, choosing to make the most of present moment instead of grieving the changes to come. The kids played dolls, played cars, rode bikes, played games, ran, giggled, and simply enjoyed being together. Suffice it to say, our usual morning routine went out the window. Some things trump reading, writing, and arithmetic — like making memories, celebrating friendship, and learning to say good-bye.

“Now what do I do?”

I’m sure there will come a day in the not-too-distant future when Little Bear turns to me and sadly says, “I wish {my friends} still lived here.” But for today, she wisely chose to live in the moment and make the most of the time she still had with them.

Beyond the life lessons, we squeezed in a bit of academic work this afternoon. We continued on in The Reading Lesson, following what seems to be an emerging 10-minute lesson format with one page of review and two pages of new content. Little Bear doesn’t love this book, but she is getting better at sounding out simple words, and she’s motivated enough by her successes to tolerate out the relatively dry textbook approach. Little Bear built -at words with alphabet Duplos and read a couple of Bob books.

A perfect ten …

We reviewed numbers 1-30 using our hundreds chart. Then, at Little Bear’s request, we pulled 1-2-3 Farmyard! off the shelf and played three variants of it. In the first variant, we simply tried to build a hand with one of each type of animal in it. In the second, we built a hand comprised of just two types of animals. In the third, we tried to build a hand that added up to 10 animals. This variant challenged Little Bear, since she not only had to count the animals, but also had to apply addition, subtraction, and logic skills. After Mommy won two back-to-back hands of this variant, we worked together to build three more “perfect ten” hands.

On a theme front, we finished reading Jobs People Do, read ABC What Will I Be? yet again, and played another game of occupations charades. Little Bear was especially interested in learning about farmers and “people who take care of animals,” so we read …

Last but not least, Little Bear drew, colored, and traced, while I tagged a few more things for consignment. Then, we headed back outside for more fun with friends before time for dinner, baths, and bed.

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