What's with the 'patience' you wonder?
First, I've got to tell you that Rebekah has not been doing much school (well not the book work-ish type of school) as she's been a bit under the weather with a bad cold, cough etc; she is on the mend now though and we MAY open up some books tomorrow and finish off school for 2010 this week, yay!
In the meantime, she's been reading poetry, listening to Christmas carols, doing some craft, listening to her story cd's I burnt from librivox, playing with our guinea pigs, watching ants, blackbirds, our palm trees flower and we even made this wreath inspired by Rebecca (not my Rebekah):)
Rebekah's didn't quite turn out as pretty as Rebecca's but still, it was pretty good for our first attempt I thought!
Homeschooling an only child has it's challenges though I still take my hat off to homeschooling mums of many kids, I just don't know how you do it, honestly!
One of the biggest challenges for me has been Rebekah not playing independently much and me having to teach her. Yes, I said "teaching" because it had to be taught!
Rebekah was glued to me for the first three or so years of her life and around the age of 4 she very slowly started to play by herself. It was a very very slow process! I started by finding something for her to play with, putting the kitchen timer on for five minutes and telling her to go play by herself. Sounds cruel but I had to. I knew I had to teach her to play independently (with the security of having me around) or it wasn't going to happen.
I'd heard and read about all theories relating to why she wasn't, including too much tv (no didn't do that one) or that she needed to go to pre-school as it would help (no I didn't think that was the best option) etc.
I gradually increased the time with the kitchen timer to probably about 15 minutes. I believe this definitely helped (a bit).
Then somehow just this year, after she turned six, something changed in her and she has become so much more better at independent play. She will now spend two or so hours at a stretch just playing and keeping herself entertained.
I think learning to read may have contributed or may be it was just that at the time that reading clicked in her mind she might have reached some developmental stage where independent play also clicked in her brain and became easier as well. I am no expert but my feeling is that it was partly a developmental thing, partly that she had no other siblings, partly her just needing the security of her mum and partly her personality - she is not a very strong willed or independent child, quite the opposite in fact.
Now that you've read this far so patiently and indulged me by reading more stories about me and my daughter, here's the part about "patience":) I taught Rebekah how to play Solitaire yesterday and she is SO excited!
Being an only child, she has to play either with me or her imaginary friends. Yesterday while playing "go fish" with her imaginary friend she said it was so easy to cheat if she wanted to but she wasn't going to:)
After secretly smiling at her comment I remembered the card game Solitaire that I used to play when I was young except we called it "Patience". Did you ever play that under the same name or did you call it Solitaire?
I was amazed that something so simple as this card game could bring so much joy to my little one. Her face was beaming, her eyes lit up and she said she just LOVED it (once she got the hang of it!). I think the prospect of being able to play a game designed to be played alone is what excites her. I'm sure she must tire of putting on many hats and taking her imaginary friends turns when she plays her games with them.
So, here's to more independent play for my daughter.
Are there any other games you can suggest for an only child involving cards?