As a former elementary teacher, I'm all about the teachable moment and helping young children make connections about our world. What I'm not into is thinking too hard about what Charley will learn when we do various activities. He's two (for a few more days), and my philosophy is that by exposing him to a variety of texts, experiences, places, etc. and talking about them together he's going to be just fine.
In other words, you probably won't ever see me pointing out the educational value in what we do together. There's nothing wrong with that approach; it's just not my style or my goal with blog.
This week reinforced that this approach is working for us when Charley showed off some of what he's learned without my knowing it.
He's coordinated enough to use tongs to pick up small cars. He swiped the tongs himself and thought of this activity himself...I gave him zero guidance.
He can sort things by color and size.
He knows what it means to cut something "in half," as he kept saying, "In half!" every time he cut a fruit or vegetable. I did tell him about thirds when he was cutting something with three pieces, though; I'm not going to mislead him on stuff. I'm just not going too far out of my way to design anything for teaching fractions. Does this make sense?
It's really neat to see what kids do with materials that are just out for them to explore. They're usually way more creative than we are. Happy learning!