I like to plan. But, I also like to lay in bed. I figured if I tried to have at least a simple list of things I need to keep in mind each day, then I would not spend all day finding ways to keep my 2 year old busy at home, just so I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything. 🙂 I started doing this when she was an early toddler with the hopes that each year I’d reevaluate, but always have something to focus on.
- Go somewhere (unless we’ve been doing too much, then stay home and relax 🙂 )
- Read for 30 minutes
- Be outside for at least 2 hours (because I read this book)
- No more than 2 hours total of tv/ipad/iphone
- Help with meals
- One planned activity from the theme we’re working on.
Just to reiterate, these are by no means met each day (and that’s fine). They’re just something for me to keep in mind.
I also like to write up goals to help me have a broader structure (again, because I need a little more structure or I may descend into a sweatpants wearing, never leaving the house, going stir crazy person).
So, I created a list of goals for this year. All of them, I am guessing at since I’m not sure she can do them, which means I also don’t care if she doesn’t meet them. Some I’ve added as she’s mastered them (for future babies that may come…I know I’m not going to want to do this if I have two kids running around!). I’m also sure there are some missing. [PS: This was before I had fully deschooled…I no longer create goals beforehand, but instead write down what was learned during the year. A little silly to call something “goals” when one doesn’t plan on meeting them. 😉]
As we move along, I’ll be sure to update this. I’m adding a little about the timeframe they happened, purely as info about what occurred with my kid, which means it will be totally different than yours. 🙂
I’d also like to mention that I haven’t tried to push any of these artificially. They’ve all come from her interests, willingness to try, books, shows, conversations, car rides, etc. If she’s not interested, I back off. Actually, that’s rare, because if she’s not interested it, it doesn’t really come up.
I don’t think it’s necessary to push any skill or knowledge at any age. She’ll learn, because she wants to or when it’s necessary for her to do so, not because I push it on her. I think that is something that rings true for every person, regardless of age.
So there is a fine line I try to walk between providing opportunities and pushing learning. I had initially wrote “forcing learning” at the end of that sentence, but realized that that is impossible to do. As many of us know, looking back at all the classes we’ve learned, we know what we learned and temporarily knew what we were forced to for whatever length of time it was relevant and have since forgotten it. So, never actually learned it.
I think so far, I’ve been able to keep it to providing opportunities, but I’m sure, as she gets older, I’ll have to really work on not trying to push her too much for fear that she’ll fall behind. Behind what? Exactly!
Life Skills Goals
- Be able to take off clothes by herself
As of 26 months, could take off everything but her shirt. By 32 months, she was able to take off shirts that were a bit large and/or loose.
- Be able to put clothes on by herself
As of 26 months could put on underwear, shorts, sandals and sometimes socks, all of which may or may not be on correctly. It was hit or miss. But she liked to try. By 32 months, she knew to put the tag at the back so it would be behind her, so she could correctly put on all bottoms, and sometimes socks. She also in addition to sandals, started putting on her boots and velcro shoes herself. And usually they are on the right foot! By 34 months, could take off and put on all her clothes — and is adamant at times that she be able to do so. Patience is my new middle name (most days). 😉
- Be able to go to the bathroom by herself
By 25 months, she was able to go in and get on herself and just required me to wipe.
- Give more opportunities for sweeping, wiping, and dusting
- Get her own water and snacks (requires me to have that ready for her.)
I did get her one of these, so she could get her own water, but I have yet to really think far enough ahead to put together snacks that she can access. Someday the plan is for her to have a bottom shelf in the pantry and refrigerator. Although the fruit bowl is easily accessible. I did start utilizing the bottom shelf in the fridge with a bag of cut apples from Trader Joe’s that she could get herself in the morning.
- Know her full name
At 26 months, we did a family theme. That was part of it. She did understand it. (Of course, just talking about it would probably have been enough. 😉 )
- Know her address
This is actually something her dad did with her while they went on walks. He made up a little song for her. She knew it by about 27 months. At first there’s no way anyone would understand her, but it’s pretty clear now at 32 months.
- Go to sleep without nursing
As of 26 months, has a few time come off and rolled over at the beginning of the night. Went to sleep a few times during the night with a back rub. Once during a nap at 28 months. Around 32 months began to nurse and then I would stop her, and she’d roll over and go to sleep. If she fussed a lot, let her nurse a little again. Three weeks before her third birthday, it finally happened. She’d been slowly working up to it. I stopped bringing it up. If she asked, I would tell her that she was all done with “mama food,” as we call it. And she just rolled over a bit, whined a bit, then would fall asleep. If she’d put up a fuss and was truly upset, like she’d been weeks before when I had tried this, I would have continued. But, it seems she was ready.
- Know left from right
By 36 months she never puts her shoes on the wrong feet. But, doesn’t really know left and right. Will be adding to 3 year old goals.
- Look both ways for traffic
She’s ok at this. But, forgets a lot. Will definitely be adding this to 3 year old goals.
- Know how to fold a washcloth, hand laundry to dry and match socks
At 32 months, folded washcloths, but needed me to do the first fold and then she did the second fold. She did it a few more times in the next couple months, but not much. Around 34 months, she requested to fold things, and without my assistance did it. She was also able to fold dish towels, hand towels, pillow cases and her pants. Has also hung up laundry on the drying rack. I only thought of it, because of a book I found at Salvation Army called, We Help Mommy. I love it. It’s so cute and gave me some ideas for things she could do around the house. By 36 months, folded washcloths, hand towels, her own pants, my shirts, large towels, she is surprisingly good at it.
Motor Skills Goal
- Know how to catch a ball
By 32 months, she’s pretty good at it.
- Know how to throw a ball
Not sure when she was able to actually have it go in front of her instead of behind her. 🙂 Somewhere between 24 months and 30 months. But it only went a bit in front. At 34 months, she can throw it a few feet in front of her now.
- Balance on one leg
Only thought of this because the story time teacher at the library has them do a pose with one leg up and hands up “like a tree”. By 33 months, I’ve noticed her being able to briefly do this while she’s holding something.
- Say the alphabet
As in can say them, not necessarily the concept of them — knows alphabet song as of 28 months, which I never taught her, so not totally sure who (or what show) she learned it from. 🙂
- Know the sounds of letters
At 34 months, she does go around saying things like, “wah wah water.” So that’s something? By 36 months, still not so aware of it. Probably knows some, but I haven’t pushed it.
- Say her numbers 1-20
Could say 1-10 at 24 months and 1 to 20 by 30 months — completely due to reading books about numbers. I also think there might have been a few shows that helped.
Both times I heard her do it the first time were complete surprises. I wasn’t aware she knew them. Can she understand the concept behind them? As of 31 months, 1-5 yes, but any higher and she starts to just randomly stop or continue counting even though there’s nothing to count. LOL!)
But still by 36 months, sometimes counted things right and other times kept counting or just seemed to like saying numbers.
- Know the seasons
Yes, as of 28 months, thanks mainly to a Dora episode about them — this one. 🙂
- Know her shapes
Yes, as of 24 months, thanks to our shapes theme!
- Know the five senses
Yes, we did a theme and talked about all of them. (will put up eventually!)
- Know how to rhyme
After doing our nursery rhyme unit (will put up eventually!), she figured out rhyming. That was around 30 months.
- Know her numbers in Spanish, French and German (up to 10 at 26 months) and Mandarin
I had not initially included this, but we read this book, and after a few runs of reading it, she knew them! Except the Mandarin, because I don’t know them, I couldn’t remember them as well and couldn’t reinforce it when we were counting somewhere else. Noticed that she’s forgotten some and/or doesn’t want to say them, so probably need to add this to the 3 year old goals. And keep talking about them.
- Know the days of the weeks
Also a late addition. She learned them at 31 months. I think because we’ve done a calendar (like this one) for almost a year, she’s been hearing the days and months. One day in the car she started to say a couple days in a row and then asked for help. So, I used the tune of song I’d learned for the days of the week in Spanish, and we sang that…five billion times! I was very sick of it. 🙂
- Know the months
- Know the days of the weeks in Spanish, French and German
I figure it might work since she knows the song already. I just have to remember them. 🙂 Got pregnant and sick, so forgot. I’ll add these to the three year old goals.
- Know her colors in Spanish
She surprised me one day by saying something was azul. She must have got it from Dora. So we watched some Spanish YouTube videos and read a few books. By 33 months, knows the colors: verde, azul, rojo, anaranjado, amarillo, and blanco.
- Know how to “write” her name and other things.
At around 27 months, she started pretending to write. At 32 months, she uses lots of circles and lines to “write”. So I encourage her to do so. She is technically writing, it’s just not in a way anyone can understand. 😉 At 33 months, she began to write the letter “A” in a slightly recognizable way.
- Know how to spell her name
I added this later, because around 31 months she started to notice the letter “A” and say that was like her name. So maybe she’ll be able to? Got sick and pregnant, so didn’t get to this. Will add to three year old goals.
- Recognize numbers
At 32 months, I got out a puzzle set we’d gotten as a baby shower present. On the back are numbers so that you can figure out which puzzle each piece belongs to. I was showing her that, thinking that she’d just be matching them. I kept saying, “This is a two, so it goes in this pile.” And then, I must have just said, “This is…” and paused. I was probably trying to think of a faster way to separate the pieces, when she said, “one.” I was like, “Whaaa…” So then I checked. Seems like she knows 1-3. I haven’t taken the time to check more, but I can only assume it’s the number apps I’ve downloaded that taught her those. And maybe a number puzzle we have. Or this super cool number game/puzzle thing I found. I have no idea where she learned it, but figured I’d better add it to the list.
Check out this page for my one year old goals and the themes/units we did when she was two.