Wednesday, August 18, 2010


So Connor starts school next Tuesday, and I'm making that the day that I finally get serious about the twins' education. Loyal readers will be tired of reading how smart Maggie is, and how the twins won't match her because we haven't had the same one-on-one time and opportunity with them as we did with Maggie.

Because it's been 14 months since my layoff, the twins' lack of facility with the alphabet, numbers, physics and Classical Greek is on me. I have chosen play over academic drills, my own fun and laziness over play and academic drills, and the result is that my 44-month-old twins can get to G before spewing a mishmosh of sounds until they get to U, V, W, X, Y, Z. That's why they can't read yet.

Meanwhile, Maggie plows through second-grade books while laying on her stomach, twirling her hair and humming.

So, I am using Connor's first day of fifth-grade to promote the preschoolers' first day of homeschoolergarten. Number and letter flash cards for the twinnie twin twins and in-depth study of definitions and sentence structure as well as math for Maggie. She's a whiz reading, but is like a 4-year-old with math.

Something I discovered with Maggie that is probably a well-known phenomenon with early childhood educators and researchers: while taking spelling tests here and there with me, like we do with Connor during school, there are words I know she can read with no problem that she can't even come close to spelling correctly.

So, it has something to do with successfully sounding out letters when seen on a page, but hitting a wall when matching sounds to letters out of thin air, as in a verbal spelling test. Anyway, I want to make sure she knows the meaning of words now that I know she can read them and pronounce them correctly. Oh the dic dic dictionary, is very necessary...(old-school hip-hop reference, De La Soul I believe).

So that's it. If they don't give me an apple next week I'll be pissed. But I think this will work--they are excited to be like big brother Connor, and their Kindercare experience should have softened them up for me.

I said 'Criss-cross applesauce,' god dammit!


  1. Kudos to you. May as well be a home school educator as well. Movies should be an incentive not a given as well. More power to you two. Well done! love Mum

  2. Never underestimate the value of play !! That is what your preschoolers need right now. Just have toys with numbers and letters available to them and the learning will follow. I know it's difficult, but try to avoid comparing development from child to child. They all develop at their own rate. Nothing to worry about, just part of nature. The time they get to spend with you is the greatest gift you can give them.

  3. That's what I feel Chris Cain. He'lll never understand how precious these months have been until he goes back to work, oh yes, someone wants him, and wishes he could be doing what he's been doing. Some parents would give a lot to spend this much time with their kids. You're also right about play time. Many parents think their kids should be Einstein before they're 2. He's a fine dad with his hands full, trust me.