Language Skills and Preschool Progress

Alan and I have always firmly believed that education will be the key to our children’s success. Because of this, we strive every day to teach our boys, to nurture their minds even as we nurture their bodies and souls. And I must take a moment to share, brag if you will, how impressed we are with our three little Knights.

I recently enrolled Connor in a homeschooling preschool program, and I was immediately unsatisfied with it. I suppose I had visions of a curriculum 100 percent tailored to him, allowing us to move forward at his pace. Instead I found our learning brought to a near halt. The curriculum designed for your typical 3 year old was so basic, I was shocked. Some of the concepts being covered are concepts that Benjamin and Alexander already grasp, ie: identifying body parts. My 17 month olds already know their head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and if you ask where their tongue is, they will happily stick it out for you. This is what a typical 3 year old is learning???

I don’t know about typical, but my 3 year old is currently learning to read and write. Okay, we are in the very early stages of the process. But Connor can accurately identify every letter in the alphabet when he sees it and understands nearly all of their phonic sounds. We are now working on understanding how those sounds go together to form words. I also plan to start working on how to write the letters, though right now my little scholar would much rather draw abstract images than focus on specific lines and curves…

So in the great preschool debate, I am currently settling for a compromise and taking a “wait and see” approach. I spoke with the preschool program leaders, and we have bumped Connor up to the 4-year-old’s curriculum. We will try this out and see if it offers better challenges, and at the same time, I will continue the reading lessons on my own. I am still reserving the right to pull Connor from the program altogether if I feel it a waste of our time, we shall see.

Now on to my other two little scholars. Their vocabulary is simply blossoming, and I am constantly astounded by their ability to absorb and then utilize new words and phrases. At 17 months old, both Ben and Alex have dozens of words in their arsenals. Of course they have the easy ones: hi, bye-bye, yes, no, Mama, Dada, Connor, night-night. Then there are: car, train, ball, balloon, flashlight, shoes, bath, juice, cheese, apple, banana, chicken, French fries, M&M (I kid you not), head, eyes, nose, mouth, ear, belly, outside. They say, “here you go” and “I do”… “almost” and “all done”… we even get an occasional “thanks” and “love you.” And this only scratches the surface, I’m sure there are many more words that I just cannot think of offhand at the moment.

Their willingness to try new words truly impresses me. Connor was a bit of a late talker. He understood what we said but had no desire to repeat it back to us. It got to a point where I was a little concerned about his development, until he had a word explosion at 18 months old (and honestly has not stopped talking since.) Ben and Alex have had no word explosions, just steady progress all the way, with their vocabulary continuing to grow by leaps and bounds.

I hear other parents of multiples mention “twin talk,” the special language that twins often make up to communicate with one another. Ben and Alex have never had this. I believe that is because they have always had such a strong desire to not only communicate with one another, but with their big brother as well. I give Connor all the credit for his brothers’ rapid development. They worship the ground he walks on, they want to do whatever he is doing, they want to say the things he says. He is a wonderful role model for them, and I am so happy they have him to learn from.

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Connor, Benjamin, and Alexander

My boys are very blessed. Not only are they smart, but they also have a constant drive and desire to learn. I sincerely hope they will carry their love of learning through all of their childhood and well on into adulthood. I hope that knowledge and education will open up a world of possibilities for them someday, so that they may choose their respective paths to happiness and prosperity. I want to “give them the world,” if you will, along with all the love in my heart. After all, they are my everything.

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