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.
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.
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.
Orrrrrr…..it 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.