"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.
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.