Many people don't know this, but before I was a high school art teacher (about six years ago) I was a daycare teacher at a private early childhood school (glorified daycare) for two-year olds for about a year and half. It wasn't my dream job, but I learned a lot about children. I will forever respect those that go into this profession because they are often overworked and underpaid. It was probably one of the hardest jobs I ever had (beside bailing - but if you ask my brother he will tell you that I didn't actually ever bail - even though I spent a WHOLE summer doing it.) (Yes, I'm talking about you Collin.) ANYWAYS, one thing I learned was that children pick up on EVERYTHING and will learn anything you put in front of them. Their parents were always surprised by my expectations in their children, but their children always lived up to it eventually. Whether it was getting 16 two-year olds to sit quietly for circle time for an entire 15 minutes, or teaching them to drink out of a regular cup, learn their letters, or potty training them.
Now, the secret is to apply this teaching to my own children. I think my kids are extremely smart (doesn't everyone think that of their own children?), but I tend to lean on the side of a realist. I find myself not expecting Miles to know things, or to pick up on things, but he continuously proves me wrong. For example, I haven't been really enforcing colors or shapes on Miles because he seems so young. However, we put his "stars" on every night and for the last two months he has pointed out every star shape to me in every situation we've encountered one. He's also started calling circles "balls" whenever we see them around us. If that isn't him telling me that he is more than ready to learn, than I don't know what is. Also, we read this book called "Five Little Pumpkins" and there is one little part that goes "OOOOOOOooooooooo". He will continuously turn to that page and make the sound himself. He knows just where it is. Then today Dustin told him that they might go to the zoo and see the sloth. Miles ran into his room and picked the book "Slowly Slowly Slowly Goes the Sloth" right off his shelf. What a smarty-pants. I guess I need to realize that he is really soaking everything in. I feel like I've been holding him back now. Shame on me - I should know better.