Last week while Oldest and Middle kiddos were in school, I decided that youngest needed some major cramming for preschool. So far he had resisted all of my attempts at teaching him to write his name, sing the alphabet song, and count higher than 5.
I dove right in, after breakfast he wanted to play with Magnetix. (This toy is no longer made, sadly.)So while he was building, I made little basic shapes: triangle, square, rectangle, etc. I was telling him the names of them, then began asking him which was which. He put his hand up and said, “You are messing me up! I am trying to build!”
The next activity was playing catch. I decided it would be fun to count each throw we made. After a few passes with me counting, Youngest dropped the ball and decided he didn’t want to play anymore.
I tried to turn everything we did into an educational opportunity. Youngest seemed to sense the “teacher mode” immediately and would give me a look that read “I am on to you. You will not succeed.”
One rainy afternoon, I was out of ideas and said, “What do you want to do?” Youngest replied, “Let’s snuggle and rest on the couch and watch cartoons.” So we did. And they weren’t the educational kind either.
After that I let up on the poor little guy. I was obviously driving him crazy. I would throw out an educational statement here and there, but I was no longer shoving it down his throat.
Over the weekend while I was cleaning (ok, really I was playing a game on my Nook, but that sounds lazy) Youngest came up to me carrying a big Magnetix thing he had built. “Look! I made a rectangle!” He said. And it was! It was a great big rectangle! I got a little teary and said, “That is the best rectangle I have ever seen!”
And it was.