Small Boy is now 4, and I am continually amazed by what I can see in terms of development. I remember Big Girl at this age, it seemed to me like there were days when if I looked inside her head, the whirring, whizzing, and spinning of lots of little cogs, processing, learning and storing information and new skills I would have been amazed.
He is now counting easily to 50, and can, in fact count backwards almost from 50, which did make my jaw drop when he recited the numbers. He is also almost confident in most of the letters of the alphabet, both phonically and “normally” and will sound out and say lots of words. He will correct me too. He pointed out to me, recently when I said “e is for Emily” that actually “Emily has a BIG “E” not a curly “e” at the start, M for Matthew is pointy, not round”. He can write his name, clearly, and also “Mummy” and “Cat” (good choice, given the blog name) He likes to add things on his fingers and count and show me what numbers are and can do simple sums 1+1 for example. He names all sorts of dinosaurs and insects, without batting an eyelid, and will correct me when I get them wrong when he asks me “what bug is this?” “what kind of dinosaur is that?”.
Whilst he is a very physical child, and needs a lot of exercise and fresh air, each day, to burn off what seems to me like endless energy, he also has a VERY busy little mind, and keeping that busy and occupied is almost as challenging.
He loves to pretend play by himself, and will spend hours lining his dinosaurs up, grouping them in colours and then making them race. He enjoys cars, and playing with them, and also loves playing with his own doll and pushchair. He is getting very dexterous at Lego, and LOVES puzzles, and can often solve and complete a new one at first go, with very little help (although he was given a 300 piece one for his birthday, which needs a fair amount of parental involvement other wise we end up with one very frustrated little boy to deal with) and he is showing some excellent colouring skills.
A lot of what he is learning is coming from nursery, of course, I cannot claim to be even half responsible, although I do do a lot of fun, off the cuff learning with him, as we go about our day.
I have, however, started working on his reading and writing skills properly. He does start Reception in September this year, but he actually wants to and enjoys writing letters and numbers and sounding out words, so I recently purchased some books to work through with him, from PhonicsBooks.co.uk and when his sister is doing her homework, or her reading, or he wants to, when we have some one on one time, we work through a page or two. He also enjoys reading, and looking at words and asking me what they are and sounding them out to me.
It’s interesting, because although Big Girl was keen to learn, at this age, she was not as interested in writing, or learning to read, she preferred more “creative” activities, like playdough or painting, which actually Little Man seems to enjoy less, although he does bring home artwork from school fairly often.
Keeping little minds busy and stimulated is quite challenging. I am enjoying this new stage, watching him learn and grow. As we only plan for him to attend school part time for at leas the first half of term, if not the whole, and possibly the whole year (legally we can do this, I don’t think small boys aged 4 should be in a classroom full time, despite what the delightful Mr Gove may say) my doing a bit of work with him now, and continuing, with this, is useful. I am actually also considering home-schooling, although this is just a thought in my mind, right now, and we will see how he gets on in reception, this autumn. I know not everyone will agree with me, on this area, and I am surprised myself, that I would even consider it, so that’s all I will say for now!
So that’s Little Man, my bright, funny, razor sharp, continues to amaze me, boy at 4. I sometimes wonder what he will be when he grows up. We shall see….