just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your little ones can’t play in the snow.
your big ones, too…
Happy Snow Day from Boston!!
For the first time in my parenting career, I was faced with the task of avoiding the dreaded “summer slide” for my rising second grader. A month into the summer, after a vacation in Los Angeles, his own 7th birthday party, July 4th, trips to the beach, and more birthday parties, I decided it was time.
I made him a reading clipboard, with his school reading log on it, and about 5 pages of suggested book titles. He dutifully highlighted books he thought he’d like. We went to the library every week, and I talked him into picking out 1 or 2 books at a time. I nagged. A lot. And I hated it. The nagging and the not reading and the crankiness.
Then I read this post from my favorite homeschooling blog, City Kids Homeschooling: Unschooling and the 3 Rs. And I realized… the more I asked, the more I nagged, the more I hounded and begged him to read, the chances of him ENJOYING reading would decrease exponentially.
Children are natural learners. Even 7-year-olds who act like tough guys. They have a curiosity about the world that we’ve left behind in favor of checking things off the list, getting the better grade, filling out the reading log. Parents can be overly focused on achievement, and so can our schools.
Why do we push our young children to complete activities for the sake of being finished with them, like Type A control freaks? Instead, we should be surrounding them with natural opportunities to learn. My son doesn’t care if he reads 40 books this summer or zero. He just wants to do fun things.
So I stopped talking about it. I brought home books from the library by the bagful, and I left them on his desk or in his room. Books about sharks, baseball, and dinosaurs. Books from his beloved Magic Tree House series, a graphic novel version of The Wizard of Oz, and picture books he could read to his little brother. I never mentioned them, I never demanded he read them. And HE FREAKIN’ READ EVERY ONE.
Not only that, but he was excited about what he read. He LEARNED things that he didn’t know before. Reading made him THINK.
And isn’t that the whole point of reading?
I realize it’s been forever and a day, but there is so much truth in this post from Glennon Melton at Momastery that I had to share:
I miss the days when you had to take your film out of the camera, and bring it to the developing place, wait a week, and go back to pick them up in order to even see your pictures. The anticipation of getting your pictures back from your vacation was almost as good as the trip itself. Back then, I always had prints of the pictures I took, hundreds of prints, so I was motivated to frame them, make albums, scrapbooks, send them to friends and family, all that good stuff.
Now, I take pictures constantly, but with my phone. And they stay in my phone. I try to upload (or is it download?) them onto my computer, or to a photo sharing service like Shutterfly or Picasa. But it takes a long time. Or at least, in my mind, it’s going to take a lot of effort, and so the pictures stay in my phone.
What I do love about digital pictures are these handy-dandy, pretty, and easy-to-order photo books! Once I get it together to get my photo files up-or-downloaded, it’s insanely simple to pick out ones to put in a hardcover bound book. Click click click, and you have an album.
So, 3 months later, I’ve finally ordered a photo book of my little guy’s 3-year-old birthday party. The cutest part is when he asks, “Can we read the Dash book again? No, the Little Kid Dash book, not the Baby Dash one.” So cute.
Someday, I will be organized enough to take pictures of my kids’ artwork and doodles and projects that I don’t have space to store. I will updownload them onto Shutterfly and order compact, color-coordinated, and chronological books. We can all dream, right?
For both of my boys, the terrible 2s were a walk in the park. The 3s, on the other hand, look out, mama!
Age 2 is when kids get upset because you don’t know what they want. Age 3 is when they’ve told you exactly what they want, but you won’t give it to them. Ice cream for lunch, wearing shorts in the snow, ice cream for snack, watching another Little Einsteins episode, ice cream for dinner, you get the picture. They’re ready to throw down the gauntlet at any second.
Gotta remember this when my 3-year old gets me riled up….
Need some help strategizing your morning routine with the kids? I’ve got 5 tips for you, posted on my business blog — 5 tips for getting out the door on time.