I think everyone should have a mark for a successful day. For me, it's learning something. Often when I'm going to bed, I think to myself, "What did I learn today?" I'm trying to pass on the same tradition to my kids. Because I think learning is a temperament, just as much as happy or fussy, etc. So here are some ways that we're encouraging learning around here right now.
I've never seen an energetic kid get through life on such little sleep. Even though she refuses to nap, Mama knows that she does need a time of settling and rest. (And, truth be told, so do I.) So we've settled into this scrap-book project. I helped her with the first page, but it's been her own project since. And while I'm on hand to help as needed, it gives me a chance to sit down and work a bit on my projects too.
Often our learning is inspired by a book. In our new favorite book, Fannie in the Kitchen, Ms. Fannie (of Fannie Farmer cookbook fame) hands the skillet over to her little friend for some pancake flipping. "Can I? Can I?" asked Isia. Seeing a learning opportunity- as well as the potential for a batter-splattered kitchen (ahem)- I decided the former would be worth the latter and we began our lesson. Small lumps of batter, my smallest spatula & teaching her to hold the skillet's handle with her left hand as she flipped with the right helped to curb burns and splatters. She was so proud of herself, and I was too.
Impromptu toddler sculptures! This is what happens when Mama had yet to put her canned goods away after shopping, and leaves the room for a moment. After I caught my breath (it was more stable than it looks!), I had to appreciate his ingenuity. Are there more large sculptures in our future? I'm thinking yes.
I've always loved the "What's today?" felt activity boards for preschoolers, but balked at the price for buying it for ourselves. When I found this calendar for fifty cents, I was inspired to come up with our own home-school preschool solution. Everyday Isia is copying the date, then drawing in the weather for the day. Then we practice saying the date, talking about what the weather was like yesterday, and try to predict what she thinks it might be like tomorrow. Then we sing our "Days of the Week" song, and count through all the numbers of the month. Lastly I choose a couple random numbers for her to tell me what they are. One of the cheapest things I've bought for our home-schooling, and definitely one of the most-used!
And lastly, some learning of my own! My favorite breakfast sandwich place now resides over an hour away since our move last fall. I've often daydreamed of this sandwich, and was inspired by this post by A Cup of Jo to try making it. This is pretty darn close. In lieu of cheddar, I put swiss & a dab of horseradish in the middle, then bacon & avocado on top. Then cream cheese onto both slices. Yum. And once you get the hang of it, you can make the sandwich in just a few minutes. Which is great, because my family loves them too!
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