I have never been sure of what children should, or shouldn’t know at certain ages and stages, but I’ll often ask my mum what she thinks. Her advice is to never pass on a teaching opportunity, and this is something that is always in the back of my mind. It makes me giggle inside whenever I hear her mention it, because it is something she is so passionate about, something I love about her, and something she loves doing with all of her grandchildren.
My mum said that we all learnt numbers as we walked past houses, we learnt colours using pins as she was sewing and we learnt letters using signs when we were out and about. I remember my older siblings helping me with my homework, I remember persuading my younger siblings to help me with my homework (for menial tasks like colouring and cutting) and I remember my mum hovering around us all. ‘Homework club’ in our home is a fond memory, and something I looked forward to.
Before having children I always imagined having a very minimalist house, full of green and cream (my two favourites at the time), plain walls and a few plants, but since having children I’ve realised that having lots of colour, objects from far away places, maps, posters, pictures and postcards makes learning a natural part of life. They create things to talk about, spark curiosity and make my life so much easier.
Sometimes I feel like I’m not a very ‘fun’ mum. I love making things with them, creating little activities for them, playing games, reading with them, building things with them and seeing them learn new things, but I’m awful at role play and being silly (amongst other things). My imagination? Well, it’s just not there. I’m a fun-loving person, but I can’t act and I can’t pretend. I just feel so awkward, and I’ve come to realise that it’s ok. They have crazy uncles, funny aunts, silly siblings, playful grandparents, and dad that couldn’t be any more different to me, so I feel like I get away with it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, as with Win starting school; Ru and I are going to have a whole year together before he starts nursery. I’m excited to rediscover all the things that I used to do with Win when he was two, really focus on Ru, and remember small activities that I found helpful. I’m going to be documenting a few of them on here, so I hope you like them.