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Monday, May 18, 2015

Update on Anders's "Education"

Anders is 3 1/2 and knows all of his letter and letter-sounds. I simply ask him each day if he would like to work on his letters with me and he almost always says, "Yes!" We have been doing the Hooked on Phonics program for preschoolers (that I bought on and it only took about six weeks for us to finish the first book (all the capital letters) and he has loved it. We are now about halfway through the second book (lower case letters).

He also has been going to Kumon for math since March. All we do thus far is count. Again, I just ask him if he would like to do some math and he almost always says, "Yes!" No pressure from me or fake enthusiasm. Likewise when it's time to go to the Kumon center. It is 100% his choice to go or not. He chooses to go almost every time. I think only once or twice in the last month he has said he was too tired to go, and it has always been fine with me.

All of Anders's work is kept next his bed, so I usually ask him if he wants to work right before we go to bed. This has been a wonderful experience as we cozy up and cuddle while working and then he goes to sleep.

Anders tried out 4 different gymnastics classes before finding one that he liked and wants to go to consistently. He tried out 2 different swimming classes and hated them and has decided to wait until he is older to learn to swim. Ditto with karate. He liked the first music class he tried so we have stuck with that and he continues to go though I notice the teacher is very authoritative, and I don't like the class very much, so after this next month I plan to ask him if he will try a new class. He loves going to My Gym which is just a indoor gymnastics-like gym for kids with free play. He also enjoys going on hikes with me, errands, and watching construction sites.

Most of his day is spent doing with me whatever I am doing or doing his own work--which involves various building projects in the back yard, sometimes "fighting fires," and generally a 40-minute sit down at my desk where he "answers emails," makes real phone calls, "writes letters," and "writes books." He also takes care of his "baby girl" or his "baby sister," cleans--he is actually quite good at mopping, and "organizes."

What I hear from strangers (and I agree) is that he is extremely well-spoken, independent, confident, happy, and outgoing. And cute. I get asked if he models at least once a day :) People are often terrified of the "freedom" I "give" him around cars, pools, in crowds, and when climbing but he has never shown me that he is not competent at making safe choices in any of these areas.

*Anders initially started with Kumon math and reading but the Hooked on Phonics program was far superior and seemed less commercially motivated. I will post soon about the Kumon reading program which I swear must accept money from the corn and sugar industries….

*When I read to Anders it is usually from whatever book I am reading or something like Little House on the Prarie. I continue to avoid almost all kids books.

*Anders has a very active imagination and will turn anything into what he wants it to be. He does not need toys to be realistic at all. For example, he brings his "baby sister" with us whenever we go anywhere in the car. He buckles her in before he gets into his carseat. She is a squirt gun.

*Anders has never been exposed to superheroes or magic. He has commented to me that he wishes he could fly like a bird and I have agreed that it would be awesome. If you ask him he will tell you he is going to work in construction when he is bigger or as a fireman. The imaginary games he plays almost always involve these two things--what he thinks he will be doing in the future. He also talks often about being a father himself one day (and is sad that he does not get to be pregnant) and shows an interest in caring for babies and dolls. 

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