The Idea: I mentioned in my last tot school post that I have put together a calendar for Monkey Girl and Electric Lady. The set up that we have is really more advanced than I would typicaly put together for a 2 year old, but when I started thinking about putting one up, Electric Lady’s difficulty with the passage of time came to mind.
Why: Electric Lady missed a lot of early schooling and certainly didn’t have the ideal early childhood experience, therefore has some large gaps in what most kids would know by age 9. That coupled with a mild memory processing disorder and ADHD, it can be difficult for her to understand complex ideas. While it may not seem complex to you and I, who are quite accustomed to the passage of time, it can be quite tricky for kids to wrap their minds around.
She is often openly opposed to “extra” learning on top of school work, especially in regards to something she feels she should already know. This makes it difficult to fill in some of those holes. With having her “help” me teach Chloe about the calendar, it gives her a feeling of importance while letting her learn gently.
How: I simply sit the three (sometimes 4, when Mr. Hockey wants to join) of us down in front of the calendar and start going through the activities. Electric Lady’s job is to lable everything, hand me things and fill in answers when she thinks of them. Monkey Girl participates wonderfully and isn’t overshadowed by her big sister, especially since I have included some things just for her, such as her name, a weekly picture and our alphabet theme.
I ask thoughtful questions such as “In one month, what do you think the weather will be like?” “How old were you one year ago? Can you show me one week from now?”
If Electric Lady doesn’t get the answer “right”, I don’t shame her, I simply tell her what I think. This has been working nicely and I notice that she is soaking up my thoughts and answers. I need to be very careful when Mr. Hockey joins in, as he likes to take over because he “KNOWS” all the answers and is quite proud of that fact.
Hopeful Outome: Electric Lady will develop a better sense of the passage of time, understanding that a trip in one week is not as long as waiting 3 months. I am also hoping Monkey Girl begins to pick up on some of this, though I am not expecting her to catch on totally for a few years! I am hoping that she’ll pick up on counting, weather patterns and seasons though!
There you have it… calendar with a 2 and 9 year old!