William is now five and will be starting school with us this fall. He has almost no interest in sitting down and doing bookwork yet and that is totally fine with me. I have come to the conclusion that expecting a child to sit down and learn from a pre-planned curriculum at this young of an age can actually hinder the learning that each child is capable of as they explore their world.
1. With a decent vocabulary but not so great writing skills at this age, I think it is amazing if you listen to your child. Listen to their stories. Even if they are coming to you at an inconvenient time, or are talking about a topic that is not of much interest to you. They are teaching you all of the things they already know. Listen to them.
2. Watch the YouTube videos they find fascinating about dinosaurs (or whatever their topic of interest), play LEGO Jurassic Park video games with them, and then go outside to find skeletons of whatever animals may be in your area. Do this with whatever topic they love. Get into their world. I guarantee this will bring so much more happiness and learning to your days.
3. Get them involved in keeping up with the housework or gardening. Have a contest to see how fast you can fold laundry. Let them wear their swimsuits and slip and slide on the floor instead of mopping. Give them spray bottles to clean windows or water plants. Dig in the dirt and make mud pies. Use the hose to make a stream and then dam it up. Don’t be afraid of the mud. It comes out in the laundry. Then the kids can help you fold it again!
4. Bake with them. I regularly utilize the math, reading, and life skills that come from a good morning of messing up the kitchen together. Put on some fun music and make some memories together while you bake some delicious cookies.
5. Make sure you have time in your day to use your talents and to grow yourself. We are modeling to our children that learning is important. That we are important. And that we are each uniquely gifted and have so much to learn about each other during this amazing time of growing and learning together.