Spartacus began his year in the four-year-old PreK class this week. While three was a challenging age, four brings its own hurdles. He loves playing outside and he loves his friends and he loves his teachers and he loves learning…but when he wakes up in the morning and asks, “Is it a school day?” it’s often followed by, “That’s not my favorite!”
He attends preschool and daycare at a Lutheran childcare center close to our house that serves infants through school age kids. He has been in this building nearly every day since we moved to Fort Wayne three years ago, but this transition into the 4-year-old classroom — literally the next door down from the 3s room — has been the hardest.
This morning I gave him an oatmeal cookie to eat in the car as a reward for getting out the door earlier than we have all summer, and he nursed that cookies for nearly twenty minutes, because he knew he couldn’t take it into his classroom and he wasn’t ready to go in!
I tried to take a first-day picture outside the doors like we did last year, but it didn’t turn out: he’s still clutching his cookie, he has bed head, and he just wouldn’t look at me and smile. He didn’t want to carry his new backpack that he was so excited about just the night before. It was just a rough morning. 🙁
“Please go away, Mommy”
When I picked him up at 4, they were playing outside and he was swinging with his friends, pumping all by himself and going super high! This skill apparently leaves him as soon as Mommy or Daddy is nearby to push him. He told me they had just come outside, and could I please go away so he could keep playing?
Spartacus has been watching a lot more TV than we would prefer this summer, not intentionally but just because twenty minute slides into an hour and Netflix just keeps going. He’s currently hooked on Super Why, a PBS program on Netflix that encourages reading skills.
In an attempt to help teach some responsibilities, we are trying “Now that you’re 4!” to “earn” TV time. Today when he got home, he immediately asked to watch something.
Before he could watch an episode, he had to first feed the dog, then either read a book with me or practice his writing. He is not a kid who enjoys coloring or writing. This is something I want him to feel more confident in before we every consider kindergarten, so it seemed like a good TV-earning activity.
Spartacus grabbed a marker and wrote several A’s…I have literally never seen him do this. Once earlier this summer he attempted to write his name, and I knew it was his name only because I watched him write it and spell it as he went. This was so cool to see him shrug like, “Yeah Mom, you didn’t know I could write?”
So he got his episode of Super Why, and I like this earn-TV-time thing. He doesn’t do any other screen time, but we do want to try to limit his screen time to maybe one episode during breakfast and one episode before bed as rewards for getting his work done. I’d love to hear how other parents do it and dig up some new ideas!