Monday, March 31, 2014

Mama-on-Days: Kindergarten Readiness

I wish my actual job would stop being so busy so I could spend some more time hanging out here.  Do you ever drive yourself crazy trying to do it all?  I know that I do.  I love being able to write and think of therapy ideas.  I have so many ideas and things that I want to write about.

But I've also got a 5 year old who will go to kindergarten next year.  I can't believe how quickly he has grown up.  On Tuesday morning, his preschool teacher showed me how she was teaching him to tie his shoes.  When I picked him up that afternoon, he had figured out how to do it himself.  Typical child development blows my mind.   He also drew this picture:

I alternate between being very proud of his letter spacing for a five year old, and chagrined that it was my kid who asked the teacher how to spell, "Honey, Where are my pants."

He started reading some of the BOB books which he is really proud of.

And it's a little bit of a relief to me, since his dad doesn't really like to read.  I actually asked my husband to read something out loud just to test his ability to read when we were first dating.  I think I tricked him into taking an online IQ test too.  I realize that this makes me very strange.  In case you are concerned, my husband passed both of my tests easily.    

I've been doing therapeutic reading with the Biscuit in the hopes that he would grow up to be a reader.  So we talk about prior knowledge, and what everyone is thinking and feeling in a story and what we predict will happen next.

So I bring up these three amazing accomplishments-and have to admit.  I've done nothing to support these at home.  No special classes, flashcards or Saturday work stations.  I never bought leap pad toys with letters on them or even magnet letters.   He watches t.v. and plays some games on the iPad and plays with lego's and action figures.  We do like to make crafts and go on adventures.  I wish we played more outside but it was a gazillion degrees below zero this year and I don't like to be cold.

I am not a perfect mother.  The only special activity he did was gymnastics when he had just turned three.  It ended when he was placed in a group full of adorable 2 year old girls in tutus.  He was the one who ran across the room, kept trying to get on the wrong equipment, showed horrible upper body strength and listened to me about half the time.  He spent a lot of time peppering the teachers with questions or with me grasping onto him in some form of time out.  He was just being a boy but the looks from the other mother's made me feel like I had brought a serial killer to class.

We don't always remember to bring show and tell.  Sometimes we send inappropriate things.  I'm the mom who sent her kid in with farting putty (but we called it something else-noise putty maybe?)  I think I sent him in with a tube of lipstick one day and a paper clip on another day.  Some days I can't get him anything.  It's okay.  It's my job to disappoint him a TON when he is little like this.  That way when he gets older and doesn't make the Sports team or American Idol or whatever he wants to do, he'll be prepared.

I let him dress himself which means that today he wore a short sleeve blue Iron man shirt, over a long green Hulk shirt with orange pants.  He sometimes accessorizes this with a purple slap bracelet, a silver Happy New Year necklace and several super hero rings.  His hair gets too long and sticks up funny most of the time.

I bring all this up because in spite of my parental failures, he is going into Kindergarten well prepared.  This is because of typical child development and having the resources to send him to a good childcare center.  (Not the best and most beautiful with 12 programs teaching Spanish and Chinese because those are SO expensive.  But just a regular preschool with metal siding and old plastic chairs with teachers who get child development.)

I do have a plan for kindergarten readiness though.  We've started working on making sure his face is washed before school.


Carly Fowler said...

Although I am not a mother I got a kick out of this post! I loved it. I think this is something every mom should read. You do not need to be perfect but rather equip children with a few skills they need and provide a welcoming and enriching environment. Thanks for sharing!

turtlewoman71121 said...

I am not a parent, but sometimes feel like I am, especially when I am teaching high school students. This post cracked me up partly because I am friends with you and have met your son (and can imagine the scenarios you describe, but also because your description is so funny and self-deprecating! I can experience the joys of parenting a youngster vicariously through your blog posts! How awesome is that? :)

annied said...

I've said before, I'll say it again, "You are sooo funny." I'm the mom who forgot to get her son a birthday cake for his party and walked down the hall of his school with a maxipad wrapper stuck to her butt!

Speech2U said...

Thanks Kristin! Annie-the maxi pad cracks me up-sounds like something I would do.

miamcd said...

BEST POST EVER. People always ask me what I did to "make" my kids so smart. Did I teach them to read? Work with them? Nooooo, I TALKED to them. I brought them places with me. I let them watch TV- there are some TV shows that have better language "therapy" than I have in my therapy room! I let them wear their Halloween costumes all year long. My son was the weirdo low tone kid at kiddie gymnastics. All the other parents were much more concerned about than I was. So glad to know I'm not alone. Biscuit is a lucky kid.

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