As usual, Em and I fell asleep before the new year; we don't even TRY anymore to stay up. I got a wall calendar sometime last month that's kindof a do-it-yourself, start whenever you want thing designed with kids in mind, so I started it and have been jotting down little references on the days. For instance, today is not JUST New Years Day, but also Dad's Birthday (Astrid's dad). The calendar came with lots of stickers for holidays and family/school related things, so I'll use those as well as write in "made cake-mix cookies" the recipe for which should really get some attention because I thought the cookies ruled. Em loves cookies and I learned about using cake mixes because I had tons of coupons for cake mixes and we couldn't eat all those cakes before the cake mixes expired. Also, we rarely have any all-purpose flour on hand as we grind our own whole wheat flour for most baking purposes.
So, I've started Astrid's introduction to the concept of time with the calendar, a short video song "Days of the Week" and the globe spinning one revolution each day, etc. She'll take from it what she can at this age. I'm also introducing her to the Dolch sight-reading words before we get into phonics. Right now, we're working on the pre-primer list and will include some nouns before moving to the next list. She won't be two years old until Feb 7, but she's a quick study and already toilet-trained. While my three kids were reading at 3 years, they toilet-trained more in the third year than the second, so that time-consuming learning hurdle is behind her with expectations of some set-backs due to the new baby.
Some might consider it a bad idea to have any kind of "structured" education at this age, but the human mind is never again as receptive as it is during the first 6 years, so I like to toss out as much material as possible with the thought that "what sticks sticks". A (to me) interesting question was introduced at Amber Strocel's blog on whether boredom should be addressed in young children. You'll definitely want to check out her site if only to listen to the beautiful music used to background the slide show of their 2011. I pretty much dedicate myself to Astrid in the hours during the week when she's here and I introduce lots of learning activities hoping that she'll have an interest in one of them. If she shows no interest, I move on to the next activity and/or take clues from her. If she brings me a book, we read. If she brings me the play-dough, we make stuff. If she wants to go outside and the weather is decent, we go outside. If the weather sucks, she learns about weather. She seems content to do whatever.
Here she is just relaxing in her favorite dress-up hat while eating one of those cookies.