In My Brain Today: No Time for Flashcards

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At the beginning of summer break, I made a nice list of things I wanted to accomplish, not just for me personally, but for the whole family–places to go, things to do around the house, kid-related goals, large purchases.  I am happy to report that most of the things on that list have gotten marked off.  Clean garage–done.  Power-wash house–done.  Attend St. Louis baby shower–done.  But there remains one item on the list that has yet to be marked off: prepare for kindergarten. 

While this goal of sorts is more on-going than a one time deal, it’s just not happening.  At all.  In the spring I had purchased these workbooks, “Everything Your Kindgergartner Needs to Know about____” and had all of the best intentions of working through them, a couple of pages a day.  It didn’t need to be a long drawn out process,  but something more like 10-15 minutes a day.  It’s not happening.  The workbooks still smell brand-new, but they’re collecting dust.  Embarrassing. 

Last week, I took myself to the local teacher’s store.  Loved every minute of being there.  A bit overwhelming at times, but chock (ot is it “chalk?!”)  full of great products that awakened my inner teacher.  Fifty-plus dollars later I left with an arm-load of numeracy activities, rhyming games, literacy beach balls (?!) , cute pencils (to serve as rewards for completing a workbook page, of course!)and a box of photographic flashcards for high-frequency words.  I couldn’t wait.   I was as giddy as a school girl ready to tackle some pre-kindergarten readiness teaching. 

But it hasn’t happened.  I have no excuses.  I’m a loser parent.  Instead, the high-frequency words around our house of late have been, “use nice words,”  “Work it out, you two,” “You’re wearing me out,” “that’s a time out,” “I need you to focus.”…..Blah.  I can’t take it anymore.  I don’t want to sit down at the kitchen table and play teacher with them.  I don’t even want to play the rhyming game, which is sort of disguised as a fun board game.  No way.  I just want to hide.  I want to curl up in my leather chair, pop in some ear plugs, and read a juicy book.  I want Calgon to take me away.  Now. 

I know there will come a time when I am ready to break into the flashcards, but for now, I am just fried. 

And that’s what’s in my brain today, July 8 2010.

About leslie1218

Author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) frantically working on a novel that should be ready for submission this fall. Mom of two spritely redheads & one chubby basset hound whose stories & images appear in my writing from time-to-time.

2 responses »

  1. Leslie–
    LOVE IT! Take it from me, a former Kindergarten teacher. We don’t encourage flash cards at this age (at least this is my opinion). What we do encourage is communicating and teaching through everyday environment. When you see the sign “McDonald’s” have your child spell it If you are looking for KOHLS, ask what sound you hear at the beginning of the word (or end of it). When feeding ducks, count the brown ones, count the green ones, now how many all together? Have your child use Post-Its to sound out and spell words of things around the house and stick it to it (such as table, but the child will only hear the TABL and don’t worry about the e). You will find print all over your house and it is great fun (this is Emma’s favorite thing to do). When I make grocery lists, she sits by me and we make one together. She sounds out the words (karits or carrots) and so on.
    So, don’t beat yourself up over the flash card thing. There are 12 years ahead of her for that. Enjoy the summer with your kiddo’s and put a little learing in when they don’t even know they are doing it!!

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