I am not usually the type of person or parent to compare my children to others. But for some reason this week when visiting a friend I suddenly realized that Jacob, while he can sing his abc's, doesn't know how to recognize them. Sure, he can name a few letters here and there but my friend's child who is 3 months older than J, can recognize small and upper case letters and is on the cusp of reading. Needless to say I was very impressed and a bit insecure. It never really crossed my mind to teach him his letters. I was always more focused on proper manners and positive behaviour, and just let him run and play like little boys do.
If I think back, my Chinese speaking parents never taught me any academics. They sent me to a French school and they were criticized by their Chinese friends that they would never be able to help me with my French schooling. To which they replied they wouldn't be able to help me with my English schooling either. And I think because they never put pressure on me to be the smartest, but only to try my best, that is why I did well in school and the irony is that the subjects that I did well in were languages. So I guess I was smart, or maybe just a smart-Aleck but the point I am trying to make that I think I turned out ok academically without my parents' tutoring and somehow ended up with a university education.
So after I got over my initial fear that I wasn't teaching my son enough, I realized that he is learning about the world through his play. He will have years of schooling ahead of him. Now is his time to have fun. My job is to provide him with a happy, healthy, and safe home environment where he can nurture his interests. Besides, if I teach him everything now he will be bored at school. So, no, I won't be doing flashcards. That's just not my style. My husband and I believe in child-led learning at this age. If Jacob shows an interest in something we carry it through. My friend's daughter is interested in reading so that is what she excels in. Jacob can talk a blue streak and his manual dexterity is something to behold. He can keep up with the boys 2 years older than him at the park... and even at this young age his athleticism is apparent. He also has an uncanny recollection of people and events, and his sense of direction is so good it borders on the spooky: he can tell you how to get to my parents' house even though it's a 30 minute drive away.
Jacob might have zero interest in letters but park him on the side of the road and he can name practically every make and model of car, construction and emergency vehicle that drives by.
Now that, my dear readers, is something to brag about. ;)