As a kindergarten teacher, I recognize the importance of learning through play. I realize that children need to explore their world and through this exploration they will learn and grow. Teaching kindergarten in today's society children are not always allowed to play because the standards say they will meet and exceed x, y and z before being allowed to go onto first grade. I used to joke and say I don't teach kindergarten I teach boot camp for first grade!
As a mother, I find myself questioning how much I should be "teaching" Blake and how much he will learn through the exploration of his world. Can I actually prove that children learn through facilitated play by providing a rich learning environment for my own children to play in? Can I mold my children into becoming life long learners without shoving the skills at them at such an early age? Well.... I'm going to try!
It is hard as a mother to hear people talk about their children who are the same age who can copy animal sounds, point to their body parts, know some of their colors, etc... when if you ask Blake any of these questions he looks at you like you have five heads. But, at the same time I know he knows some of his body parts as you tell him to put his arm in the sleeve and he can do it on his own without you touching his arm. He knows to move his hand when you say watch your fingers.
I find it hard to balance the teacher and the mommy and the funny thing is the mommy is the side of me that feels like I need to "teach" him these skills. The teacher in me knows that he is learning, he is making progress and he will show it in his own time. The mommy in me wants to make him learn to clap his hands and give high fives so people will stop looking at him like... why don't you do that. The teacher in me knows that Blake learns what he sees Richard and I doing and imitates our behaviors... how often do you go around giving high fives your husband??