Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Penguins, Construction Equipment, and Where Do Babies Come From?

Zac will be six in May. It is interesting to watch him grow and change, and to try to figure out when he is ready for more academic content. I'm in no rush for First Grade. And I have never really been able to enjoy this stage before! When my daughters were this age, they were in a Montessori school -- which doesn't do delayed academics -- and I wasn't their teacher. I was downstairs in the Lower Elementary classroom getting my certification and learning how to be a Montessori teacher. Because I had to work, and the Montessori school was the closest progressive school to us, we had to take a break from Waldorf for a while.

Now I have Zac and I like being able to take it slow. But he's definitely changing. He was precocious teeth-wise. All four of his six year molars erupted and he lost his two bottom teeth last spring when he was still four (nearly five). He is now about to lose his two top teeth. One wiggles already. It's funny to watch his top teeth spread out more and more each day to make room for them to come in. You can see them shift daily!

So, the biggest change so far is that he is requesting what he wants me to get books about. He didn't do that before. I shopped and he inhaled indiscriminately. Now there are requests. And we got It's NOT the Stork! (which I remember Becca being obsessed with at this age as well).

It's NOT the Stork!
A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends

by Robie H. Harris

I also just finished ordering some books that will help us know which piece of construction equipment is which. A HUGE thank you to whomever decided adults could get by with calling them all "diggers" and that worked from ages 2 - 5 1/2. But no longer. It's time. So here I am this morning Googling "is there a picture book that tells which digger is which."

Construction/vehicle that were satisfying at age 2:

I will probably always keep these books...
because they work so well for a discussion of onomatopoeia!

Construction/vehicle books that were satisfing at age 3 & 4:

Construction/vehicle books for now:

Because he's not in first grade I won't do the "alphabet" part of Jerry Pallota's book, just the information about the equipment.

Our new bedtime chapter book is Mr. Popper's Penguins and he loves it!

I also ordered some new wooden Holztiger and Ostheimer figures so he can make arctic scenes with our play silks. He loves setting up tiny worlds. Ostheimer are much more expensive and I've never gotten any before, but for a polar bear and a unicorn, I thought it was worth it. I also like that Ostheimer is available on Amazon but you're actually getting it from small family shops. I got an email this morning that was all in German, saying our polar bear is on his way. The unicorn is for his birthday; he had it on his Christmas list but everyone was sold out!

By pure coincidence, Zac also watched his first movie recently and it was about penguins. I love March of the Penguins and I think it is completely appropriate as a first movie at age 5. We snuggled up in bed and watched it on the day in December that our heat went out and we were waiting for it to be fixed. It does make you feel warmer, even when your house is 52 degrees, to see what those mama and papa penguins go through!

Now I'm debating the merits of a little Arctic World theme as a homeschool thing. I have a booklist of books about Animals of Antarctica. And Zac loved The Littlest Reindeer by Johanna De Witt, which is one of the Christmas books my grandmother had out when I was a little girl. There are definitely some fun science experiments you can do about the ocean too. I like the ones from Rochelle Barlow. Yesterday we popped the piece of ice out of the birdbath and he had it in the tub with him so he could pretend it was an iceberg and watch it melt away. He asked for some bath time penguins, so I got him some of those as well.

I can't tell if I'm spoiling him because I feel sorry that he has to stay home all the time because it's COVID, and he has no one to play with, or if a little bit of "sure, sweetheart, we can do what you want to do" is just another way to be cozy and show love during an unsettling time. Everyone always talks about self-care, but it's not always obvious exactly what that is. It's a tricky time!

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