11 Comments


  1. I remember feeling that way with Ari. I agonized over how to teach him his colors and language skills. Looking on the internet absolutely makes you feel worse. It’s like when you good medical symptoms and the internet convinces you that you have one day to live because you have a hangnail.

    From my brief experience teaching 2’s in preschool, I would say experiential stuff is the most important. Playing with different textures like play dough and then in the moment pointing things out. For example “Look Archer, this play dough is red. Can you say red?” They don’t have a long attention span so things that are kinesthetic are really great.

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    1. OMG so true! It is a lot like googling medical symptoms and convincing yourself you’ll be dead in two hours. Those are great tips though, MUCH easier than making DIY flash cards on recycled hemp paper with food ink. Lol

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  2. I apologize in advance for this long-winded response. This happens to be a topic that I have a lot of experience in, and thoughts on.

    I am a former stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. I was at home with, and educated my two girls until they were 4 and 6. My intention had been to homeschool them throughtout most of their education, and then life threw me a curveball and when things didn’t work out with their father, we were forced to explore other options.

    In any case…this is an area in which I have some experience. The best advice I can give you is to throw out all of the “shoulds” and the comparisons to how other people are doing things. Because doing that will only make you crazy with guilt. Been there, done that. I also know that it’s a whole lot easier said than done.

    Instead of focusing on what you “should” be doing, focus instead on learning how best your own children learn. Because they all have different ways to doing it. For example, my oldest loved flashcards and worksheets and would sit for hours with them. Easy peasy. We spent tons of time every single day with both. My youngest? Not so much. I realized that she learned best through physical things, so I taught her the alphabet by drawing the letters with sidewalk chalk in the driveway and hopping or walking along them while we sang the alphabet song together. If I’d “forced” her to sit down with flashcards I likely would have ended up only frustrating her to the point that she didn’t want to learn anything, and frustrated myself into believing that I wasn’t capable of teaching her.

    I’m a big believer in “stealth” learning. So like “Old School/New School Mom” said, take opportunities to incorporate learning into playtime…with things like playdough (my girls loved playing with (and eating!) alphabet shaped pretzels).

    I think one of the best things we parents can do is instill a love of learning in our children. Make them see learning as exciting and fun, not a chore. Sure, sometimes it will definitely BE a chore, but by that time, the belief will be instilled in them that they enjoy learning. Sneaky, right?

    Maybe you could hit up the local library and look through the homeschooling section. Find a book (or two, but don’t overwhelm yourself) that appeals to you and fits with the learning style of your kids and then run with it. Use what works, and toss what doesn’t. And be wary of any book, website, or person who tells you that it is “supposed” to be done a certain way. Not so! Do what works for you and your boys. Period.

    Oh — and while you’re at it, cut yourself a little slack, okay? You’re a good mom. Know how I know this? Crappy moms don’t give things like this a second thought.

    And hey, if you want to talk about this, just drop me an email, anytime. I may no longer homeschool my girls but I’m still pretty passionate about it, and I definitely still use every opportunity I can find to teach them when we are together. 🙂

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    1. Thank you! I never even thought to hit up the library, heh. Those are great ideas, I’m still “learning” what Archer’s best learning method is. We are going to explore with making playdough alphabets today, and I like the idea of coloured toys in the kitchen sink.

      I’ll definitely hit up the library for a homeschooling book though! And I’ll probably bother you with questions too haha

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      1. Hey, bother away! 🙂

        I like the library because it’s WAY less overwhelming than The Google, which can be as terrifying as looking for kids birthday party ideas on Pinterest. Sometimes you need to step away from the computer. heh.

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        1. Oh god, you’re so right. The few times I mistakenly went on Pinterest for party ideas were horribly guilt inducing lol. Who has time for all that!???

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          1. My girls are turning 9 and 11 in the next little while. I’ve been on Pinterest looking for ideas. I suddenly feel completely inadequate as a parent. Pinterest guilt! If that’s not a thing, it should be.


  3. The thing about parenting is you only figure out how to do it once you’re done. 🙂

    You can’t go wrong with filling your house with books. I agree that the library is your friend. My local library even had “story time” sessions that meant they would be entertaining one kid while I focused on looking for books with the other. My kids also really got into “books on tape” (or CD, now). My sixteen year old still likes to put on a CD of a favourite book at bedtime.

    I also agree with the emphasis on building the learning into everyday experiences. Since you have to manage your energy so carefully, the trick is to find the learning opportunity in all the other things you have to do around the house. My kids learned early concepts around fractions, math and measurement by standing on a chair and helping us bake cakes and muffins. Teach colours and categories by involving them in folding laundry. Teach them to tell the time by teaching them that mom is going to lie down and rest for 15 minutes and they need to play by themselves until the clock says 2:00.

    Instead of thinking in terms of how much YOU need to do to help them learn, think in terms of what you can do to encourage them to be independent learners.

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    1. Very true, and very good points. The only reason why we don’t bake is because I actually legitimately suck at it lol that’s definitely a Nana activity. Nothing worse than helping make rock hard cupcakes with mom lol

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  4. I used to feel like I was going to be with my kids constantly, making sure every vision of what was good for them would come to pass. Then they were kids, and I was like “oh.” I’d get home from work exhausted, get those amazing excited hugs they give you right before they ignore you unless they’re complaining for the rest of the day. It was a huge struggle for me to be engaging, because my job was so social and public and so full of the things which devour my energy. I would just lay face down on the floor and let them climb on me, and say something in a funny voice every now and then as I fell asleep, and they’d scream in my ears to wake me up. And then it was time to cook for them or something, and then somebody made a huge mess or hurt themselves doing something I’ve warned them about doing several thousand times and then baths and bedtime stories. The days just vanished sometimes. I would lay there by their beds and ask what kinds of things they’d been thinking about, doing my best to engage their philosophical functions or their ethical sensitivities, but that was about it.

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