My Babies Can’t Read

And I don’t think I really care.

This is fairly perplexing considering I have an English degree, am a teacher, and have no less than three electronic devices capable of letting me read whenever I want.  I bought the boys their own copies of all the Harry Potter books while I was still cooking them.  Also?  I fully intended to teach my kids to read since I stay at home with them and am qualified, nay, called, to get kids interested in words and their awesome power.

I wish my mommy, the English teacher, would teach me to read this thing.

The boys certainly love books and listening to their parents read to them.  They have also expressed a desire to learn read (In no small part because Little Bill did.  They really dig that cartoon kid.)  And I have great faith that learning to read is in their future since they are four.

I’m just not going to teach them at home.

I thought I’d be very intentional about teaching my boys things both academic and physical.  I remember carefully selecting toys to increase motor skills appropriate to their age and development when they were very little.  (In a world where ‘carefully select’ means ‘obsessively fret over’.  Dear God, we have too many toys that sharpen their grasping skills and not enough stackers!)

In order to teach the kids what they should be doing according to their age, I’d have to read some books on childhood development.  But it turns out I’m a bit too by-the-book to actually parent via books.  I cannot consult a how-to and have my subjects, two stubborn and wonderfully unique boys, not behave as they should.  It makes me feel like a failure.

And though the Your Baby Can Read commercials are fantastic, I prefer to buy only useless workout equipment from TV.

I’m now more of an accidental teacher when it comes to my own kids.  Oh, Jane’s 4 year-old can put on his own shirt?  Damn, I better try teaching mine that.  I work with them on it for a few days.  Then along comes a day where I need them dressed in under 467 hours, and I just do it myself.  But, I know they can if they are asked to.  By someone other than me.  They like me best when I do all the things.

As far as more academic endeavors, I’m going with the learning through play theory.  (And by learning through play I mean having them reenact the cartoons we just watched.)  Right now they love Legos.  They are also super into space and of course continue their lifelong obsession with cars and trucks.  They can rattle off many facts about big machines and are good at making up games and role-playing via Lego tragedies like all the wheels falling off all their cars.

You know what, Mom? We got this. Your help would just slow us down.

I love listening to them play.  I love the glee in their voices as they ‘save the fire’.  They wake up every day asking to play and demand it the minute we look like we aren’t busy.  They are four-year-old boys through and through.

There will be a day when mom has to supervise homework.  (And I’m pretty pissed that that day comes when they are in kindergarten.  Dear Rule Makers, No one needs homework at that age.  NO ONE.)  There will be a day when they sit more than they run.  There will be a day when they must ‘be serious’ and get down to work.

But right now is not that time.

My boys love to play and play with love.

Orrrrrr… could be that I just like them to play independently while I do chores or read or Twitter, and the ‘learning through play’ theory works nicely into my ultimate plan of actually sitting around eating bonbons.


15 thoughts on “My Babies Can’t Read

  1. I’m with your plan…my youngest learned to read on the sly with his big sister when he was three and it was really more trouble than it was worth. He was bored silly in school when the class was learning to read AND he decided he was smarter than everyone else. (sigh) More Legos, please.

  2. I agree with you! And it’s no fun being a teacher to your kids anyway..
    I’m impressed that you are an English teacher, I should stick with you!

  3. I actually created a “learning” spot in my daughters playroom thinking I would spend x amount of time each day doing preschool workbooks with her. 99% of the time, we don’t do any of it! We are always outside playing or at a playgroup or whatever & I agree that at this age, they learn through play & there will come a time (soon enough) that she will be sitting down to do homework. For now, she needs to play!

  4. Love Love this article. My guilt trip is over.. no more worrying about “carefully selecting toys and i have a 3 year old girl who demands all things princess and hello Kitty.. I can relate to the pre-packaged curriculum which is unusable when there is an older sibling who can teach you stuff about other things.. like lyrics to a Selena Gomez song.

    The boys look adorable btw and nothing wrong with play. Just so you know Blogging is older people speak for playing too 🙂

  5. Nice post, but mostly I just need to say how cute your boys are, and they are growing so fast! I keep looking at my five year old and telling him I need to hug him into a tiny guy again and he just laughs and says his age can’t go lower, it can only go upper.

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