So this summer has been full of surprises! As many of you know, I got a job working at a call center doing tech support on electronics (mostly TV’s). Bill works there as well, although he is in the computer department doing tech support on computers and testing products. Anyway, I got the job so that Rory, our now 3 year old daughter could go to school, like she has been BEGGING for, for MONTHS now. We found a preschool/daycare we really liked but unfortunately, the kids just haven’t adjusted to it still after nearly 2 months, so it was with regret that I put in my 2 weeks notice, nearly 2 weeks ago. Actually this Tues and Wed are my last 2 days at work. My managers are disappointed since I was really starting to get the hang of everything and doing a pretty darn good job, but you gotta do what ya gotta do. It was starting to get way too stressful taking the kids to daycare every morning. Fighting and crying and bribing… not good times. About 2 weeks ago it when it came to a head. On our way out the door, Max broke down into tears, saying how he doesn’t like school and doesn’t want to go any more. And it was at this time that my mom intuition really kicked on and was telling me that something wasn’t right. Max LOVES school, and when he doesn’t want to go that is a sign that something just isn’t right. I know…I know there are people that will read this and think, “he is just manipulating you into not going…” yadda yadda yadda. And well, that is wrong. I know my son, he’s loved school since the first day he has started and last summer when school was out, was furious it was over for the summer. While talking to him about it, he was finally able to just come out and say that he didn’t like it because he missed spending time with me and his daddy. Which broke my heart. And I get it. We never get to eat dinner as a family any more. I get off at 9pm which is bed time, and once I get home it is a few minutes of playing catch up on their day and then I rush them off to bed so that I can spend some time with Bill before he has to go to bed since he has to get up at 6:30 to go to work in the morning. Bill’s days off are Friday and Saturday while mine are Sunday and Monday, meaning we don’t get any time as a family at all. And while a shift bid is only a few months away now, the way things currently are is the best we can hope to do to ensure that the kids are in daycare the fewest hours per day and the fewest days per week. So, after hearing my son say that he misses being with us, and that Rory wanted to go to Miss Love’s school (which is Head Start, the school Max was going to) we just thought, what is the point of me working? We aren’t making any money because daycare is so expensive, Rory doesn’t like it, and she was the reason why I started working? What is the point in paying for her to go to school when it is just making her miserable? And that is where we are. Back to square one. Bill also had to go and get himself like a 5% raise during all of this, which means we probably now officially make too much for Head Start altogether. Although I still have to email Ms. Bye and see, so now I’m spinning my wheels trying to figure out how to make this work.
I’m lucky though, I have several friends who have taking early childhood education classes and who are early childhood teachers (pre-k-1st grade) so I’m hoping I’m going to be able to pick their brains a bit for some advise and whatnot in trying to set up something at home for Rory. While I’ve been doing research on how to do that I’m stumbled upon a person conflict. I’m not sure how to approach it. With Max, we just let him be. We let him play, and do and learn through play. We read to him, played with him, drew, colored… everything with him and he just seemed to learn through osmosis everything. He was writing his name and the alphabet by 3, reading by 4.5 and now doing rudimentary math concepts of addition and subtraction. All seemingly on his own. Rory, on the other hand is taking a different path. I wouldn’t say she is “behind” as she is way more vocal and better able to communicate than Max was at his age, but she isn’t writing letters yet, she has just learned the alphabet, still working on shapes and colors, something Max had down by 2… and I know that kids learn differently and at different paces, which is my point. The way I was doing things with Max might not fit how Rory learns. So my concern is how to figure out the best way for her to learn, without forcing it down her throat?
Right now, I don’t think I’m going to start doing anything different just yet. I like the idea that kids can learn everything they need to just by being left to explore. After all Rory learned how to use the potty just by me leaving her alone and she’s been potty trained for 7 months now. She is a puzzle master and is already putting together 20 piece puzzles alone, and is starting to draw life-like people. I know I shouldn’t compare my kids since they are individuals and will learn things at different times and in different ways.
So what I am going to do is try and dig up as many out of the house activities we can go to. We don’t have very many places like the nearest major cities do in the way of events and places for kids, but I think we have enough to keep us occupied. It is pretty hard to uncover these events though…even with the internet and facebook, many times we don’t hear about fun stuff until AFTER they happen which really makes me mad.
But I’m thinking I’ll do something simple. Maybe a letter and a number a day, sort of like Sesame Street (maybe I’ll even see if I can dig up some of their episodes and plan around that), and a project a week or something like that. She is only 3, so I really don’t think it should take more than 1-2 hours total a day to do a few things.
I haven’t been on pinterest in awhile, but I do have many activities on there to use as well. Too many actually. I think the most important thing I need to keep in mind is that she’ll learn at her own pace and I just have to enjoy it, so she can.
There are 2 things I can’t wait to try this summer. Fishing and camping. Both of which I think my kids will love. We just have to fix our tents (broken fiberglass tent poles), get our fishing licenses, and figure out where and when to go!
And I’m excited about going to The Vikings Training Camp! In August we’re going to go watch them practice, get some autographs and have a blast. Maybe we’ll camp then!
Anyway, that is our exciting summer. I’m going to miss work, it was nice getting out of the house, but I’m happy I still have the option to do what is best for my kids and my family, and that is all thanks to my husband. I’m pretty lucky to have a man like him. We make a pretty awesome team!