My daughters amaze me with their level of intelligence and maturity for their young ages. I'm not just saying that to brag or because I'm their mom and I'm understandably biased, either. I'm saying it because I'm in total awe about it.
We set up a spare laptop computer for our girls to share.
My three year old, who can't read yet, knows how to turn on the laptop, sign into her desktop, go to a Google search page, and type the first few letters of her favorite website name to get the name to pop up on the screen. She then clicks on the website name, waits for it to load, finds the "games" icon on the Home Page, clicks on it, and starts playing - all without help.
At three years old, she knows simple math equations that can be done using her fingers. She knows all of her letters and the sound each of them make. And she can write her own name fairly well.
At a recent parent-teacher conference, my 7 year old's teacher shared with me how my daughter is advanced in most of her school subjects and has a maturity level beyond that of her peers.
I wish I could take full credit for how smart my daughters are, but the truth is, I didn't teach them this stuff.
I've only encouraged their love for learning as I've watched it blossom.
Children are wired with a natural curiosity and love for learning new things.
From Weary Mom...
Life is hectic as a blogging mama. If you blog too, you know exactly what I mean. It's like having a full time job, while also being a full time mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, maid, chauffeur, short order cook, referee, judge, volunteer, and cheerleader.
I wish I could say I spend regular time with my children reading books, working on math equations, doing arts and crafts, going to the playground, and building homemade volcanoes, but I don't. There's just too much on my plate these days.
Don't get me wrong. I do spend quality time with my girls. In fact, I cherish that time with them.
I need to get things accomplished though, so yes, I admit it - I let my kids enjoy technology while I chug through my To Do list.
They watch TV. They play on the computer. They enjoy using their dad's iPad for the educational apps.
I don't limit screen time either, but I do keep a watchful eye on what they're playing or viewing. They also choose on their own to turn off the electronics and engage their wild imaginations in fun play time.
These things haven't hurt them at all. In fact, I think if anything, they've encouraged their love for learning new things.
Today's Goal: Brainstorm two activities your child is really good at. What can you do to encourage their talents or passions? Is there an extra-curricular class you can sign him/her up for? Set aside some one-on-one time for your child to teach YOU what they know about their talent. Use the power of your words to fuel and inspire your child.
Here are some ideas for how you can do that:
- "I'm so proud of your talent for drawing. Would you like to participate in a drawing class for kids your age this summer?"
- "You tumble so well! Can you teach me how to do a cartwheel?"
- "I think it's great that you love to read. Do you think you'd like to try reading a harder book with me? We can read a little bit together each day until we finish it."
- "You have an amazing talent for singing! Would you enjoy taking voice lessons so you'll be even better?"
- "I can't believe how well you swim! Let's race!"
- "I know you love to run. Would you like to sign up to run a 5K race as a family?"
- "You have a really creative imagination. Let's go outside and I'll let you use the camera to capture some interesting photos. Then let's see if you can write a story about one of the pictures."
Reading is one way to foster a love for learning in our children. My daughters have both been read to every night before bed since the day they were born. My husband and I both love to read and we've definitely encouraged that same love within our daughters. It's not uncommon for either of them to go sit down with a book and start flipping pages. If nothing else, start a tradition of nightly reading with your kids. It makes all the difference in the world.
Want to know which websites I let my kids frequent for learning and game play? Try these:
And here are the iPad Apps that are a hit in our home. To clarify, the iPad belongs to my husband and well...he's a guy. So some of these apps may not be those I would approve of as a Christian mom, but I know he would never let our daughters use an app that was completely inappropriate. As I'm listing them though, I'm now understanding why my three year old has been having dreams about zombies...
- Barbie I Can Be
- Barbie Princess Charm School
- Where's My Water
- Sponge Bob (I'm not a fan of Sponge Bob, but I try to pick my battles)
- Dinosaur Zoo
- Temple Run
- Bejeweled Blitz
- Bad Piggies
- Teach Me 1st Grade
- Math Board
- Magic Piano
- Cut the Rope
- Plants vs. Zombies (my hubby assures me this isn't that bad)
- Angry Birds
Here's the "and more" part of Day 14 - School Work
I just want to share a system I have that has worked really well for keeping up with the endless papers that come home from school.
Let me start by saying, first I empty the backpack the moment my children walk in the door. I look through their papers and homework that was sent home. They immediately sit down at the table to work on homework.
I have a filing system for their papers. If it's artwork, it goes into a desk drawer with hanging file folders labeled by month. (These folders are cleaned out twice a year...where the best pieces are kept for an art scrapbook)
Tests or scored items are set aside with the mail for the day so dad can also see how our children are doing in school and where they might need more help. If it's something I need to fill out and return to the school, it goes into an in-basket on my desk so I won't forget to take care of it.
Before we move on with the rest of the afternoon, the necessary homework is loaded back into the backpack and set by the door, ready to go for the next morning.
Pray About It
Father God, You have blessed me abundantly with these beautiful children. Lord, I want to be the best mom possible, but You know my role entails so much I can't possibly spend every moment I'd like to entertaining the kids. It's good for them to self-entertain every once in a while. It's good for them to spend time learning new things. I pray Lord, that You would help me find ways to encourage their passions and talents. And I pray You will continue to grow their minds and hearts with a love for learning. I pray all these things in Jesus' name. Amen.
"She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning til now, except for a short rest in the shelter."
~ Ruth 2:7
Pump Up the Power, SuperMom!
It's time to make some memories, mom. Right now gather your children (young and old) and go outside for a game of tag. Unless there's severe weather going on, embrace the weather as God is giving it to you this very moment and go anyway, rain or shine. Laugh. Run. Play. Tickle. Follow the game of tag with a game of hide and seek. It's okay...let the inner kid come out. Your children will thank you for all the fun.