Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Balancing Act: Mother and Teacher

Now when I think I've had a tough day, I can be glad that this is not my job☺ Those are the amazing street performers in France at the World Showcase in Epcot. I am lucky if I can walk down the street without tripping.

So that's my Wordless/Wordful Wednesday...the rest is a off on a tangent.
Feel free to skip it if you want.

As a mother, a lot of times it can be hard to juggle all the facets of life. Trying to work with ER has been especially challenging lately. She is not making the progress I'd like. It's been hard to remember the very good advice I used to dispense to my students' parents and not compare her with the other preschoolers in her class.

It's especially tough because she is just so not interested in practicing writing or tracing, drawing anything realistic, or any letter other than the E her name starts with. She's content to cover page after page with a rainbow of scribbles. When I suggest perhaps she like to draw a person, she just pats my hand and says, "No mama, I do my own thing." She is content, she is just not ready.

Do I continue to push? Believe me I've tried a lot of different strategies, I mean I'm a specialized reading teacher for cryin' out loud. This is WHAT I do! I've decided to back off for a little bit, I don't want my feelings of frustration to turn learning into a chore for her. My husband is going to take over a little, maybe do a quick flash card run through each night.

We have a great Eric Carle set, that she loves to look at and play with, extra thick and very durable. Mind you she could care less about the letters on them, she just loves looking at the pictures. I think I will go back to doing the fun stuff and let the teacher go on Spring Break early. She's only three and half...breathe in and out Katie, there is time. Let's relax and enjoy this phase of life.

Balancing the mom and teacher in me has been very hard lately.

What about you? Any challenges doing the balancing act right now?


Part of Wordful Wednesday and
Wordless Wednesday at Five Minutes for Mom

11 Friends Said:

Kekibird said...

What grade do you teach? I used to teach but it just didn't work into my plan for now. Someday I hope to!

I'm lucky if I can walk without tripping myself, balancing like those actors seems impossible!

Happy WW!

Cecily R said...

My opinion? Don't stress. This is all stuff she'll learn or relearn in Kindergarten. Kids learn and explore at their own pace and it sounds like your daughter has a great sense of self already (at three, that's something to be admired). She'll get it in time. :)

Annette W. said...

Behavior is my big concern. BIG.

But M loves to "write" her name. We trace it...and it's hard to read, but I like that she enjoys it.

I found that M is most inclined to try something new outside with chalk., smiley faces, rainbows.

Liz Mays said...

I enjoyed those very much when I went there too!

MaryAnne said...

Parenting is a balancing act, isn't it! I know had no interest in letters whatsoever until about my 7th birthday, then I learned to read practically overnight - and quickly became the best reader in my second grade classroom. Of course, the public school system isn't very understanding of a child who doesn't care about letters (my mom took the unusual route of keeping me out of school - technically homeschooled but essentially unschooled - until I learned to read), but given how young your daughter is I'd say there's plenty of time...

My big balancing act right now is the fact that I have three kids. But, there are things I have to balance with each child too - like when to let Emma wear her t-shirt and shorts and when to force her to dress warmly. I'm SO anxious for spring!!!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

My balancing act also includes "a full time employee of a giant company". It's hard to have it all. It's hard to know when to push and when to fold. It's hard not to compare your child with someone who can do even more. It's hard not to compare myself with moms who can whip fantastic toys and games for their kids out of thin air. But our kids don't judge. They just enjoy our love and they thrive in the knowledge that they are loved and valued for who they are. Give her the self-esteem, let her know that you believe in her, and she will learn what she needs to learn on her own terms when she is ready for it.

Julie said...

Good talking to you last night Katie! Bethany is the same way- if I want to teach her, she doesn't want to do it. I've been trying to work on reading with her, and she just wants me to do the reading. She also always scribbled until this year, and the only reason she started writing her name or coloring in the lines was because she saw one of her peers was doing it. I guess peer pressure isn't all bad!

Ruth said...

I have been a teacher for 13 years. I am a single mother, and I do understand about the challenges of balancing it all. This year I am a sub, and thankfully I have the help of my mother. I never seem to have the time to spend with my daughter that I would like to. It is rough sometimes. I don't know your whole story, but I do understand. I am a recent follower. Blessings!

Mama King said...

It can be hard. I think you are smart to let her progress at her own rate. Try reading Leo the Late Bloomer. It is a cute book the girls enjoy but the message reminds adults that our kids will bloom at their own rate. For me it is difficult because my first did everything super early. She knew her letters and could count to 20 at 18 months while my youngest is 2.5 and can't do these things and has NO interest. She still doesn't know her colors. Instead of stressing I try to see the things that Em is really good at instead of the areas she may not be. I am amazed at her fine motor skills and her language development. I think you are wise to take your own advice. It reminds me to give both my girls room to develop their own strengths in their own time. Thanks, Kim

Michelle @Flying Giggles said...

Is really possible to balance it out? It seems like once I think I have things figured out, I am thrown for a loop.

I think it is important to let them go at their own pace, she is still young and scribbling is not always just scribbling. I remember when Aiyana was completely fascinated with the letter A and to her, she cared less about any other letter. It seems like with young children, all of a sudden something "clicks" and they pick up everything VERY fast. I would not worry about it too much, but do continue to expose her to the letters, continue to read her books and just make it all very fun so it does not seem like "lessons". Maybe she would like to scribble on a construction paper E.

Aiyana loved the workbooks where you trace the paths and simple little mazes. I think I picked a few up at Barnes and Noble. Maybe your daughter will like those.

Lorie Shewbridge said...

I may just be really OLD, but I don't even remembering knowing how to write my own name when I got to kindergarten. I remember learning HOW to do that then. I know kids are a little more advanced now, but I didn't realize that they even knew how to write letters at 2 1/2 years old. My kids knew how to read some when they started school because I had taught them phonics and then knew how to write their first names at age 5, but that was it. Like I said, I think I may be behind in my thinking but I think scribbling and playing with stickers is just perfect for her age. But you are the teacher. I agree with Michelle, keep exposing her & reading to her and she will progress at her own pace.
Let me know if I am totally wrong, however... because it has been a LONG time since I or my kids have been in school! :-)

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