All year, I feel like I've struggled with my youngest. She's not happy with games and puzzles while I do lessons with her older sister, but she's not quite ready for "real" school work. I feel like I've been just trying to keep her busy all year while I focused more attention on my oldest.
Meanwhile, I've been reading Playful Learning. More accurately, I've been reading the first chapter for two months now. Then, last week, I read a little more. And while I was looking for projects to do with my oldest, I read a little about the beginning stages young readers and writers pass through. Then, I really started thinking.
Could this little one have passed into a new stage of development without my noticing? I'm with her all day, every day. How could I have missed these changes? My baby, who just yesterday picked up her first crayon, is now drawing pictures actual pictures, with people and objects and meanings. And the toddler who had little use for story time is now sitting with stacks of books and telling the stories as she sees them. She's growing up, despite my lack of intervention. I'm amazed how this works, just as it's supposed to work, and I can't wait to see what she figures out next.
It has, however, made me realize that I need to pay more attention to her needs. She's no longer a baby or toddler along for the ride. She's a growing kid, and I need to start incorporating her in our educational plans. For now, that means lots of the same - art, reading, play - but it also means more meaningful writing and math activities. I made some tactile number cards this week, and so far she adores them. I'm going to make more and take photos this weekend, so look for a post on those soon.
This week, we took a very big step. Harper got her very own library card. She is SO stinking proud. She now has her own library book bag, her own card, and her own space on the bookshelf for her library books. I think she feels a change, and I'm trying my best to honor that. Also . . . she's had fewer potty accidents lately. I'm not certain that's related, but I'm thinking it has to be, right?