I have slacked off this summer.
It’s not easy to find time to make your kid practice his reading and writing and math skills when: a) you work all day and only have about two hours a day with him to start with (which includes making dinner and cleaning and showers and and and), and b) he hates it. Hates it. Alex does not want to practice reading. He does not want to write sentences. He does not want to do math worksheets. He doesn’t like to be wrong, and, as we all know, learning involves being wrong a lot.
So, Alex hasn’t been doing a ton of purposeful studying in preparation for first grade. Obviously he’s learning and growing and changing, because that’s all inevitable, but we haven’t sat down and practiced.
I had high hopes of having him do some workbooks, reading to me every night, writing in a summer journal…
Well, none of that has happened.
Until two weeks ago, when Alex, of his own accord, decided he needed a journal. He wanted to write in a diary. I think the reality is that he was drawn to a bright blue notebook and some cool pens, but a diary sounded like an idea that would get me to agree to buy it for him.
“Can I get these, Mom? I want to write a diary!”
Of course I let him get them. We have a rule that he can always get new books, so I figured this was a similar type of request. He picked up the pens and book and carried them through the rest of the store until we checked out.
So, he has a little blue diary. He has written about Kennywood, swimming, and getting a new toy. I am trying to get him to do it every night, but so far he does his Super-Grumpy-Kid-Thing every night and claims he has nothing to write about because his day was boring and nothing happened, which means I have to help him come up with something or I’m too exhausted and let him skip it.
But he’s doing it most nights. He’s practicing his writing, spelling, and thinking about his day.
And the best part about all of this? As I kiss him goodnight, handing him his diary and fancy pens? He says goodnight and then he goes to sleep.
He. Goes. To. Sleep. As in, I am not putting him to sleep.
If I had known a diary would be the answer to him putting himself to sleep I would have procured some cool looking pens and a book a long time ago. He writes in it, looks through a few comic books, and then turns out the light and puts himself to bed.
The kid who never sleeps, who has never slept, who has always needed a long bed time routine and a lot of encouragement, is now (usually) easy. (Usually is key: at least once per week he does call for us after he’s been in bed for thirty minutes or so. But I’ll take it!)
Growing up is cool.