August 24, 2014

Small Stuff

One of the most important things I've learned as a parent is that nothing stays the same with kids.  I may have a picky eater as a toddler that grows into an adventurous eater and then right back to picky. The one who insists they won't learn to read may also be the one I can't get to go to sleep at night as they finish book after book.  What they won't ever wear for years suddenly becomes the only thing that they will wear.  And on and on...

Figuring this out has given me a little bit of stress relief.  Now I can just sit back and wait for whatever the current difficulty is to pass.  Of course, not without addressing any actual issues, but  I'm definitely getting better at avoiding unneeded worry or arguments.   This is one reason why unschooling works so well for us.  I can count on my kids wanting to learn the so-called difficult or boring subjects when they are ready.

Right now all of the kids are in some interesting learning curves. FunnyGirl feels the need to know more math.  She thinks she's not good at it, but actually she's pretty fantastic with numbers.  We play games on the iPad and I'm going to introduce her to some of our math stories this year.  Last year she thought she was a terrible reader and now she's reading a book a day.   I wonder if she'll be interested in studying the times tables?  Geshtro wasn't, but FunnyGirl likes memory games.

Geshtro is getting into programming.  Right now his interest is in learning what he needs to know to create characters for M.U.G.E.N.   I'm all for it.  So far he's learned a little bit of Java, C, and now he and I are doing a course on Swift (the new programming language from Apple).  He's done quite a bit in Scratch too.  The way he picks up these languages is pretty awesome.

Dimples really wants to be able to read as well as her sister.  She's not quite there yet, but it's just a matter of time, honestly.  She's got an insatiable appetite for words so we've been working on vocabulary lists.  Whenever she comes across a word that she doesn't know, she asks for the definition.  We keep track of her words and I quiz her to see what she remembers.  Her retention rate is pretty excellent.  

And finally SweetPea.  As a baby it seems like every single day is another leap in her abilities.  At 21 months she's just started to dabble with words.  She knows a lot of signs, so we've been able to understand a lot of what she needs already, but finally she's ready to use her own voice. One of the cutest things is her "no".  Despite that being the favorite toddler word, SweetPea's is so totally sweet that it's hard to hold it against her.  She rarely says "no", instead she goes "unh-uh".  Precious.  But while the actual words are coming along slowly, you can teach her new signs easily.  She's become a master at mimicking and creating new words with her hands.

There are so many little bits of wisdom I want to give my kids when they are grown, but I think this one may just be the most important.  It's like that saying to not sweat the small stuff because it's all small stuff.  It really is.

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