Did you ever see the movie Parenthood? With the mom and dad who were so intent on teaching their young children that the kids never got to play? It was filmed just a few miles from where we live now. My brother-in-law, who grew up around here was an extra in the movie. He was one of the kids on the baseball team. He even has a picture of himself with the other "teammates" and Steve Martin as the "coach." My sister (his wife) never looked closely at the picture and always assumed it was a real team picture until one day I pointed out Steve Martin.
But I digress.
I have to remind myself of the movie occasionally, so I can put a bit of the crazy aside. Every where I look I see a teaching opportunity for my children. At the zoo I quiz them about the animals (mammal or reptile? paws or hooves? fur or feathers?), at the grocery store they read me numbers from the price tags and in the mall we look for shapes or colors. Our games are learning based and they have an abundance of educational kids toys. I personally think this is smart parenting, but have gotten more than a few sideways glances from people and heard muttering to the effect of 'just let them play.' And I agree with this sentiment, but if you can make learning fun then it's the best of both worlds.
My latest agenda is to help the kids learn Spanish. I figure, especially living in Florida, that they should have at least a working knowledge of the language and studies have repeatedly shown that early childhood is the best time to absorb new languages. I can understand a lot of Spanish, but speak it very poorly. I have been working with them on individual words (primarily descriptive words and basic verbage), but to help with context and accent I have been making them watch their afternoon cartoons in Spanish.
They don't seem to mind, but what do you think? Have I crossed the line into crazy?
***The story is mostly true, but please note, this was a compensated post.