Right now, as Rowan approaches his third birthday, this is what he is working on:
1. Phonics. He knows his alphabet, and is about halfway through knowing the sound of the consonants. It's very exciting, and we cheer him on and tell him how close he is to learning to read himself. He is so excited to learn to read. We go to the library weekly and check out a huge tote bag full of books. We get him picture books as well as young adult chapter books that aren't overly scary. Right now, besides picture books, he is hearing stories from Rudyard Kipling, Maurice Sendak, and Roald Dahl. He loves books and memorizes the shorter ones so he can tell the stories to himself when we are not reading aloud. It is adorable.
2. Manners. Oh my. How this mama wishes that manners were an innate quality humans have. But alas, my preschooler is a beastie with no sense of propriety. Manners is an umbrella term we are using for respecting others and being a good citizen, family member, and friend. What are "bad manners"? Littering, crowding people, watching people in the bathroom, staring at others while in a restaurant, chewing with your mouth full, picking toe jam or your nose at the table (ugh!), and interrupting conversations (particularly with shouting, whining, or demands). We are focusing on giving people space, privacy, and table manners while eating right now.
|Rowan scored very high in problem solving |
in his preschool assessment. Here he is,
piecing a puzzle together.
The first three items are things we are actively working on, daily (and Rowan is right there, on board). The last two items are things that he is ready to do, according to all the experts, but is not doing as well as he could be. We have them on the list as a reminder to the adults that we should be putting the idea out there and raising the bar gradually on these items.
4. Getting Dressed and Undressed. He has shown no interest in actually doing it himself, which surprises me. He is so eager to be a "big boy" in other areas. We ask him to put on his jacket and after we get the zipper in the right position, to zip it up. He can put on his own frog boots (although he still has not mastered which foot!) but it is harder for other shoes without pull-up handles. He shows no interest in dressing himself, but wants to pick out his own clothes. I think the next step will be that he gets to pick out things if he is willing to put them on (or try).
5. Potty Learning. We would love for him to be actively trying, but right now he isn't. We ask all the time if he wants to sit on the potty, but right now he would rather use a diaper. He actively poops in his diaper instead of trying the potty. Sigh. We are not pressuring him- what's the point? There will come a time when he is ready and it will be a quick process when that time comes. In the meantime, it is something we keep reminding him of because he is at the age to start sometime soon.
If you notice (in the first picture), he also has a small calendar on the board- to teach him about the passage of time. He is curious about it and uses the words "today", "tomorrow", and the days of the week incorrectly at times. So I wanted to show him what they actually mean by using a calendar. I put events on there that will help him mark the passage of time (birthdays, Friday Family Fun Night, potlucks, storytimes, etc.), and we have him cross off the days as they pass. I am hoping that by using a visual aid, he will come to a better understanding of this abstract concept.
How do you teach your kids (both academic subjects at home and life skills)? Do you set goals, either privately amongst adults or including the child(ren)?