I’m trying to find creative ways to help my son practice his writing and reading. Ways that keep him engaged (a daily task for his curious mind) and that foster his ability to give more input. So we are heading to the grocery store today, a task I have dreaded over this past year because he use to run off a lot. I would have my mind on milk, eggs and butter while also saying, “Wait! Come back here! Stop it! Put that down!” Some of the issue for me has been that I needed to incorporate him more but I’m not a multi-tasker and I really need to focus on what I’m doing. Doing two things at once (reading the back of labels while trying to entertain two toddlers) makes me walk away from grocery shopping feeling like I need a nap. So I have often taken them with me but I honestly prefer to go alone.
Today I asked the boy to help me write our grocery list. I asked him what we needed (one item was peanuts to feed the elephants. ??? Um, ok). He did enjoy coming up with foods that we do need (critical thinking skills). He also did a great job writing out some of what we have to get. He can’t handle writing an entire list or we’ll all be sitting at the table until Lent is over. I just had him write out a few things and then we headed off.
We went through the store with the list in HIS hand so he could practice reading what he wrote, and also it will gave him an anchor to stay next to me rather than running off. Then he picked out what we needed while and the responsibility was fully his. He felt like such a big boy, I could tell. This is really the best way to keep him involved and to keep my sanity in tact. I beleive our children really want to help us and be a part of our daily tasks. It’s always easier to just do it ourselves but I’m learning that flying solo isn’t really an attribute of being a family. I always tell my kids, “We’re a family. We stay together”. My personality is to just ‘get er done’. Get in there and get right back out. But I have to slow down and let my kids come into my world so they can learn, enjoy the process and practice being a family together. What are your tricks for keeping kids engaged? Leslie has some great ways to help your kids gain interest in writing.
Here’s to the whole of life.