Are you still enjoying teaching your younger children?
Heart to Heart

      One of the greatest pleasures of our day comes when the kids and I share our school day with Jon, recounting the day’s lessons and showing him our projects. Besides the significance of his integral role and valuable input into our daily lessons, the retelling of our day is a great exercise in reviewing the information, articulating the new lessons, and chronologically sequencing the events of the day.

      Typical of all younger children, Josiah especially enjoys telling Daddy all the new and wonderful things he did with Mama. I get so tickled watching Josiah’s exuberance and excitement that I can hardly wait until the next day to show him all I have planned—songs, stories, relays, fingerplays, poetry, art, crafts, excursions, games….

      Are you still enjoying teaching your younger children? As families grow, it is inevitable that the individual time available for each subsequent child decreases, along with our energy level, and we often forget all the fun things we once did with our first ones.

      A fun thing to do that can also help this situation is to sit down with the older children and reminisce about all the things you did together when they were young. Write down each activity as it is shared. Then commit to allotting a certain amount of time each day to having fun with your little ones, and schedule them in your daily planner. Plan specific activities during these blocks of time so you know exactly what you intend to do, but don’t overwhelm yourself with unrealistic, elaborate plans each day. Start small by adding fingerplays, songs, and stories into your lessons while you ease back into a “fun mode” routine. Then add grander goals, scheduling these several times a week.

¨      Read The Gingerbread Man. Bake and decorate gingerbread cookies. Play hide ‘n seek where the little one becomes the gingerbread man hiding from the Cookie Monster Mama who nibbles and kisses every gingerbread man she finds.

¨      Sing “Ten Little Indians.” Make Indian vests out of paper grocery bags and decorate. Using blankets, chairs, and table, make a tent. Sit in the tent and read books. (Boy, oh boy, do kids love it when Mama gets in the tent with them.)¨      Go on a nature walk and collect specimens. With specimens, make collages, leaf rubbings, and nature scenes. Using Sculpey clay, make little forest animals and place in shoebox (turned open on its side) along with rocks, leaves, acorns, and sticks.      The ideas are endless and so much fun. I go to my There’s No Place Like Home book to help me remember all the things I did with the older children when they were younger, so Josiah doesn’t miss out on having fun with Mama. It truly is as much a blessing for me as it is for him. Don’t allow your little ones’ childhood to slip on by without making memories for them, too. Y