My son is the quicker-picker-upper. Yes, I’m aware that I just compared my son to a Bounty paper towel. And what I mean by that is he’s absorbent as heck. This kid wants to learn. I’d like to think it’s because I’m super aware of all of the ways to set my child up to be an academic superstar, but I know better. My kid knows his colors because I overheard a friend going over them with her son, several months younger than my own and thought, “Uh oh. Guess I should’ve started that already.” We started counting because my son learned the words to the song, “Five Little Ducks” from his Aunt.
So after some practice, although Graham will always declare something green, if you ask again, he’ll tell you the true color with confidence. He can count to fourteen. On occasion he may omit six and seven. Who needs six and seven? And, now? Now, Graham knows from his flash cards that X is for xolo. Yep, as it turns out, the Xolo is a Mexican hairless dog. Guess it was kinda hard to come up with an X animal.
Good friends gave us a set of Eric Carle alphabet/animal flash cards for Graham’s first birthday. Um, no, they don’t have children. A year after receiving the gift, my husband said, “We should start teaching Graham the letters in the alphabet.” My response? “Don’t they do that in kindergarten?” Sure, Graham knows the song, but I clearly remember going through the whole “A is for apple” bit in my kindergarten class. Right before nap-time. Do they still make you bring in a rug to sleep on? I think I got an old door mat. Not that I’m bitter.
Anyways, back to the point… Graham is one eager beaver to learn his letters. He thinks of it as a special thing that he and his daddy do together. And it’s awesome. They sit down at the table before dinner and start with some new letters, eventually venturing back to some old favorites. We continue to peruse the flash cards as we eat our meal. He’ll even eat extra bites of veggie just to see the letter “P!” Who knew P has so much power?
My point is, learning for this little guy is a blast. My son feels such a sense of accomplishment when we jump for joy after recognizing the letter “J.” And if it hadn’t been for other friends and family around me, I probably wouldn’t have recognized his ability or need to learn. There isn’t a manual that says, teach your kid to count to ten by 18 months, the alphabet song by 24 months, and to recognize letters by 3 years. At least not one that I’ve read. Anyway, not every kid is ready when others are. Hey, my son knows the color red and six letters of the alphabet, but he thought he went number 4 on the potty today.
So, to each their own. But, make sure to take some time to see what might interest your little guy. Perhaps it’s shapes, perhaps it’s the 50 states. Perhaps it’s swimming, dancing, or soccer. Just expose them to as much as possible so they can start absorbing!