He looks up at me with big wide eyes, twinkling with mischief. A slight smile, slowly becoming wider and wider as he holds up a small toy car. “Blue car” he says with excitement. At newly turned two years old he is learning so much and eager to learn even more. His curiosity has no bounds. He is a sponge, ready to soak up any knowledge that comes his way.
As a new stay at home mum, with no teaching experience, I often worry, am I a good enough teacher for him? Am I doing it right? Am I challenging him enough? I ask him what colour the ball is, he replies “RED!”, his automatic response when asked the colour of anything. I point out, no, it’s yellow. “Lellow” he repeats.
He makes mistakes. He pushes a toy sheep along the floor and chants “Moo”. I correct him and he is quick to learn. “Baa” he eventually repeats after me, anxious to hear me commend him with cheers of praise whenever he gets anything right. He then points to other objects asking me to identify them, so he can learn and show off his knowledge to his attentive solo audience.
I enjoy our little educational sessions, although with a 10 month old and numerous household chores, fitting them into the day is difficult. Luckily, he uses every opportunity he gets, whether it is by refusing every single item of food I name as I put it in front of him or by asking for more and more stories to be read to him, with the aim of stalling bedtime.
When we are both in bed each night, I think about all the new things I would love to teach him: the alphabet, numbers, shapes. But when morning comes, we fall into the same routine, cramming learning sessions within daily tasks and chores. Yet, as he walks around the rooms of our home, finding new objects and asking me what they are, pulling apart objects then trying to put them together again or matching items and proudly exclaiming “same”, I realise I do not need to worry. My son is such a determined student, he will teach me how to teach him.
Written in March 2015