At the preschool age, there are so many methods to measure success. However, most of us rely on the traditional western academic bookmarks. I am no different. When will my daughter know the alphabet and the corresponding letter sounds? Why is my son failing to progress from sounding out words to actually fluently reading? Yet, as I am start to take a more active role in my children’s academics, I am awakening to so many other critical factors in development.
As I have mentioned before, my son tends to avoid anything that requires effort. If he is not immediately talented in an area, he does not want to even attempt it. Obviously, this approach to life is less than optimal. I have been a little uncertain how to address the issue. We have spent a lot of time discussing how struggling can be a great way to “grow your brain.” Yet, day to day, it is difficult to assess if we are making any head way and I often wonder if we are doing enough. More time than not, when the going gets tough, this is the result:
Earlier this week, I finally saw progress. In the Mother Goose Time More Literacy work book, there was a half of a page of small circles to cut out. The circles were slightly larger than a quarter. I inwardly groaned and braced myself for the inevitable tears, fearing not only would he get discouraged by the page but possibly want to avoid the book all together. To my amazement, he very carefully cut each circle out. (Even more surprising, all but two circles were in tact afterwards.) Not one tear was shed. He took a small break and returned to cut the last few circles out. Success!
Here are a few pictures during the circle cutting exercise:
This is the type of experience that motivates me. We are blessed to have a wonderful place to educate the kids on the days I work but I also cherish the time I have with them at home. Mother Goose Time (and their other teacher) remind me formal academic benchmarks will come in time. Mother Goose Time does a great job integrating whole person development, including the less celebrated motor skills and character development.