My first baby recently turned 3. I just shed a little tear. Many of the other toddlers in our neighborhood are attending pre-school this year but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Three seems so little and tender still, but he needed something. I came up with a solution, totally off the cuff, and called it “Mommy School.” I know it’s a lame name, but I was under pressure and now it’s stuck.
Here’s how it works: once baby goes down for his morning nap, Piglet and I meet at the kid-table. On the chalkboard is the daily letter with corresponding drawings. He doesn’t care if they are perfect or not. On the table is a coloring page (that I’ve simply printed off the internet) also corresponding with the daily letter. For example: apple and anchor for A, zebra for Z.
We talk about the letter sounds and objects while he colors. Sometimes we do a puzzle or sing a song, sometimes we read a book, like Wiggle for W. Perhaps we do a special project, like noodle necklaces for N. For D we had a wildly successful dance party. Sometimes, when I’m really on top of my game, we have a special snack, like cookies for C or kiwi for K.
It’s become a 30 minute part of our daily routine and my little guy is totally digging it. Sure, sometimes he’s more committed than others but most days, he takes me by the hand and says: “What letter are we learning today? Let’s go to Mommy School.” It’s one-on-one time for us, he gets to try new things, and it encourages me to get creative and nurture his learning process throughout the day. Also, it doesn’t cost me a thing and, if necessary, I can conduct lessons in my sweats. Not that I would ever do that. But I could.