We have really dropped the ball around here on the organized preschool thing for G. But it is amazing all the things this little one is learning! It reminds me of when Moses talked about how to teach the Law of God to the next generation:
“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” Deut. 6:6 (NASB version)
Teaching children is not exactly an organized scientific and planned process. There is a specific time for that, but as we know, our kids are little sponges soaking up knowledge at every turn and at all times!
Since we have posted about preschool, these are the opportunities we have had to teach G small things:
- Teaching her to put things back in the place she got them. We tend to be a “place for everything and everything in its place” kind of place (with some exceptions). G has definitely noticed this, maybe even more than we noticed! As with most toddlers, this opportunity arises very often. She is constantly getting a book from her stash of books, shoes from mama’s side of the closet, and so on. So we have shown her how to put things back where she got them by example and by word. She has really picked it up. Just today, she picked up a bib off of the floor for me (I had dropped it from the laundry) and instead of handing it back to me, she walked across the room and put it back where it goes. She then proceeded to do this with an entire stack of bibs, one at a time. We were impressed!
- Kitchen etiquette. I just love to cook, so G has already had lots of experience in the kitchen and she sees me in there all the time. I always thought we would completely child-proof our house and keep the kitchen off-limits when we had kids, but the layout of our kitchen prevents this as a possibility and to be quite honest, I don’t know how much I believe in child-proofing anymore (can’t we just start the training process early?). As a result, there are a lot of no-nos in the kitchen and G has learned these with great results. In fact just the other day, she was walking around to each cabinet knob and saying, “no, no.” She has also learned some fun things; like how to stir and shake a salt shaker. I have set a few kitchen utensils out for her to play with and we talk about stirring and shaking. She also watches me do these things, so when we ask her if she would like to help Mama in the kitchen, she is always game.
- The concept of help. We have taught her the sign language sign for “help” and she does her version of it. Since we have done this, when she brings a toy over to play with or she can’t reach something and starts to get frustrated, we sign and say “help” to her and she immediately stops and signs it as well. This way she gets the help she wants and we don’t have to watch a complete meltdown. She has also turned into quite the helper. When we put her to bed at night, after our book and Bible reading, we ask her if she would like to help Daddy. She then gets up and helps him turn off the lights, check the night-light, shut the bathroom door, and close the blinds in her room. Because it is a routine she enjoys, she has also taken to “helping” in other situations. It really warms our hearts to see her being a “helper” at church on Sundays where she helps put away the cords the musicians use. It is amazing to see a toddler picking up and putting away without being asked!
I am hoping to get back to regularly scheduled posts about how we are doing with preschool with Grace. I can’t promise this will happen before the next baby comes, but I have lots of ideas and I am looking forward to posting about them. In the meantime, we will just be looking for opportunities as they arise to teach her the little things of life.
What is your little one learning lately? What are some of the opportunities you have had to teach your children?