While our girls are in daycare all day, getting the quality, structured activities and learning that centers offer (cough cough, ahem), I always feel a tinge of guilt that I don't reinforce the learning at home. I get to see the girls for 3 hours every evening, two days on the weekends, assuming that I don't have to run errands or have other things going on weekends. So bottom line, when I see them I just want to enjoy my time with them, not drill them on ABCs, etc.
It wasn't until my mother-in-law and other family members were visiting that I realized how much I actually taught my girls...without trying to teach them.
I was making dinner and Lindsey was drawing with markers. She would draw a part of an object with one color, then pick another color and draw the next part, etc, often overlapping the colors. She started talking about how blue and red make purple (her favorite color), red and white make pink (her other favorite color) blue and yellow make green, etc. Millie asked if she learned that at daycare, and I realized that she had learned it with me, in working with fingerpaints and blending them together to see what colors they made.
Then at bathtime we pulled out the old bath letters that we had put away some time ago, and Lindsey had to pick out which letter went with which phonic sound. I would say, "Show me the letter that goes "va va va" and she would pick out the "V." Sure enough, that teaches, too!
Marissa can count to three, because at the end of three is usually some activity -- jumping, being tossed into the air or thrown onto the bed. I guess that's a good thing, too.
And, as expected, "toot" and "poop" are currently Marissa's favorite words.
Thank Daddy for that one!