Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To Class or not to Class...

There are times when I feel like an inadequate mother, because Stephanie and I do not attend any parent/child classes. We don't go to storytime, or Gym classes or swim classes, and we don't take Mommy & Me yoga. However, i'm not a lazy mom who sits around all day while my child watches TV. Twice a week I nanny, and that provides Stephanie with socialization and routine. I also spend Wednesday's with my sister and 18 month old niece, also providing socialization for Stephanie. However, I do worry that i'm holding her back. She's never been in a structured environment where she is expected to follow instructions or sit and listen to a story. She doesn't have built in time to practice gross and fine motor skills, and she doesn't have any non-family authority figures. I know she's only 15 months old, but still I worry about whether she'll be behind when she attends preschool in a few years.

I have a degree in Early Childhood development, which means that I highly value the importance of putting children in a structured environment at an early age. I believe that children need to learn social skills, how to follow directions, how to sit still for an age-appropriate amount of time, and how to be away from Mommy or Daddy for a chunk of the day. I also believe that once children turn 3, they should have the opportunity to practice their fine motor skills, writing skills, letters, and spelling. I'm not saying that all children will or should master these skills by Kindergarten, but many will, if given the opportunity. Since Stephanie is not in day care, and preschool in our town doesn't start until the September after she turns 3, I feel like I should have her in some type of class. I think that is the pre-cursor to preschool. However, time and to an extent money, do not allow for that right now. I guess this means it's time to put my degree to work, and make sure that I morph into "Miss Megan" mode several times a week. By that I mean that hey, all parent's are their child's first teacher, and since I am a professional educator, my daughter can be given these opportunities at home, just as well as if we took a multitude of classes each week. I think this means it's time to turn off the mommy-guilt, and focus my energy on helping Stephanie learn and discover all she can about her world.(I actually think I do a fairly good job of that already, but I can't help those occasional feelings of being inadequate. Maybe I can blame those feelings on the hormones too??? And what will I blame everything on once I'm no longer pregnant??)

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