10.04.2007

Anticipation

Aidan has become very aware of numbers, especially the number 5.

"Mom, can you show me on the calendar how many days until my birthday?" he asks on a regular basis.

So I got an idea. Out came the construction paper, paper cutter and stapler, and he made his first paper chain. Paper chains are a right of passage for all kindergartners. After I got him started, he finished the project all on his own. Over 40 chains long when it began, we are now down to 29. Every morning when he wakes up, before he even asks for hot cocoa, he cuts off another chain. Then sometime during the day, we count how many chains are left.

Aidan's interest in numbers and math is much to my relief. When you take on the full responsibility of teaching your children, you jump up and down and cry with joy when they learn skills such as number recognition, counting beyond their fingers, simple addition and subtraction, or even patterns in the real world.
These little bears are cute and all, but when Aidan told me he found a pattern in the store recently, I let out a Yippee! On a mural in the store, he found a pattern in the painted windows - one was open, the next shut, open, shut. I remember when Avery was 5 and we were eating lunch at a pizza joint, she pointed out a pattern in the bunting hanging on the wall. It was an ABC pattern she informed us, and sure enough there it was: Miller, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Light, etc., etc. It's amazing what one can learn from beer advertisements.

When your child first reads the numbers on a clock, or adds or subtracts one, finds a pattern when you see none, draws a right triangle when you've asked them to draw a horizontal, vertical and oblique line, or counts backward, your heart leaps, you squeeze them tight, and you both beam bright. You forget your worries about teaching them everything they need to know and realize they are learning, you are learning, and this homeschooling thing might just work after all. I can do this, they can do this, we are doing this. These are the moments I anticipate, and this is my paper chain to help me remember such special occasions.

8 comments:

  1. Even though I don't homeschool, I get this! My 3 year old singing his ABC's is music to my ears (even though I give full credit to Super Why!) I was feeling like these simple things were never going to click for him (which is rediculous) but it's so far behind where I thought we should be. And when Grace asks me to make her a page of "take aways" for homework on the weekend, I'm so proud... probably because she isn't running and screaming from the room (from any work) like last year ;)

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  2. That's so wonderful! It feels so so good when you see the light go on and it all just clicks. An engaging environment, plenty of encouragement, and brains just working the way they're supposed to all come together and learning takes place! It amazes me every time.

    5 is such a big deal! My youngest said that she was "big now" when she turned 5 in June. Hooray Aidan!

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  3. Lovely new banner, Molly! Gosh do I ever know just what you mean! My Luke read a book yesterday, cover to cover. A real book. Not a rhyming, four-or-five-words-on a-page book, but a real 32 page, paragraphs and all book. He read it with inflections, changed his voice with emotion. He READ. For real. I cried! Reading has been a little bit of a struggle for him, so I felt like putting a big sign in our front yard. We did it! I taught a kid to read, and he learned to read! We DID IT! Phew!
    Good for you guys! You're doing it! I hope those links come off quickly enough for Aidan, but not too quickly for Mama :-)

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  4. Hi Molly-kins!

    VERY good idea about the paper chain...I remember doing that waiting for Christmas. Was December not like a million days long, though?! It felt like it. ;)

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  5. 5 is the most beautiful age ever! i remember all the "aha" moments my kids had when we homeschooled - and I am so glad you are there to have them with your children.

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  6. I love days like that - when my children show me something I failed to notice. They're so smart ;), and what's even cooler is that, so far, they are unhindered by what they are "supposed" to know, and just know what they know without any presumptions about age-appropriateness or other societal expectations. Somedays one of my children will say something to me, and I'll think "How do you know that?" At those moments, I'm reminded not to underestimate them.

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  7. I love this idea of the paper chains to count off the sleeps. We are counting down to birthday number 3. Finally Ari has remembered that he'll be turning 3 (not 4, or 5 like his bigger cousins).
    Every day Ari says something new, that I wonder where, when he learnt it. Oh, if only I were learning and remembering at his speed!

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  8. Wow. What a wonderful idea. I should start a journal of "things to do when i have kids" haha.

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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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