Coming home this week, I was exhausted like many educators. The chaos of beginning a new position, coaching a varsity sport, and teaching a graduate level course weighs a lot on a person’s mind. I expect myself to excel at all of these duties I hold.
Therefore, I wanted to become a couch potato for an hour.
However, a rambunctious three-year old has no clue how busy Daddy’s day been and truly does not care. Instead, her personal jungle gym, me, has arrived. We played with our Anna and Elsa dolls, created some play dough shapes, and picked up a cup of juice along the way.
Then, it happened.
She left me … and I was relieved.
Finally, a minute to relax.
However, it was too relaxing. Too quiet.
I peaked behind the easel and found my youngest intently focused on a dry erase board given to her by grandma. Stocked with her favorite Frozen characters, she was carefully tracing her alphabet letters and holding her marker quite well I might add. I pulled my wife over to see and she brushed me off because this was normal task of hers when I am at my late night school-related events.
At age three, I cannot remember whether I was beginning to actually write yet. However, I know I am ecstatic my daughter is beginning to write out her letters well before entering school. I sat and worked with her over the next 10 minutes, which is more than her maximum attention span, on which direction to begin her lines and so forth.
Daddy write was echoed a few times as she allowed me to join her. It was only a few moments where I truly sat back and asked myself, who taught her to do this already?
My wife said she didn’t take credit for it, but does encourage her and talk with her about her tracing many times throughout the week when I a busy at work.
Parents Are First Teachers
The reality is I will not teach my child everything there is to know about education. I have entrusted her to some wonderful teachers at a local early learning center. I don’t spend every waking moment with her, but I can make a huge difference by reinforcing what her teachers offer her daily because valuing education begins at home with Mom and Dad.
My wife and I model reading daily at home and offer as many education opportunity as our time allows for any busy parent. However, it’s vital for a young child to see a parent depict learning in the home.
With my own students, I feel I am responsible for their education during the short, precious time we are together, but it cannot occur only bell to bell. Learning begins at home and is best reinforced by parents.
So, thank you to the parents who are working to reinforce skills, academically and socially, while your child is at home.