Very exciting title, huh? Perhaps a better title would be "Adventures in Everyday Learning." I'm prompted to think about this because of a conversation I had a friend last night who is the mother of a sweet two year old. She is starting to think ahead about what to do with her daughter, and is feeling a bit overwhelmed. I remember being at the same point about 4 years ago with my oldest, and someone recommended that I look into Before Five in a Row as a good resource for the toddler/preschool years. I'm so glad that they pointed me in that direction!
I love the Lamberts' philosophy and approach with this. Far too often I think moms get overly stressed about "teaching" their very young children... or at least I know that I did. I had a failed attempt at trying the "Letter of the Week" curriculum- I put forth a lot of effort to prepare and my 2 yo let me know that she really wasn't interested. However, I never encountered a lack of interest when I said, "Hey, would you like to snuggle with mommy and read a story?" Unless she was really absorbed in whatever play she was doing, I always got a huge yes to that question! And really, along with play, and helping mommy around the house, that is what little ones need. To be read to, often. To cuddle with mommy and daddy. To sing little songs with you, remember and recite favorite rhymes with you. To talk about the trees and bugs they see, to splash in puddles, to play in the sandbox. It's really that simple. You don't "need" a curriculum, just a stash of good books and a willingness to stop for small moments of connecting and learning with your child.
I feel the the Lamberts really reinforce, remind and encourage parents about those things in the Before Five in a Row guide. It is not intended to be a rigid program, really it is a resource for the parent if they want that extra bit of inspiration. And our family has found so many treasured books... we count almost all the BFIAR as favorites around here. Gwendolyn simply adores The Yellow Ball in particular, and Blueberries for Sal. Charlotte loves The Big Green Pocketbook. And both girls love Corduroy.
And now a gratuitous picture that makes me smile... notice Charlotte's beloved horse, "Fuzzy." If you've met Charlotte, you've probably met Fuzzy. He? She? (we say both) goes with Charlotte on all her adventures. We're at the aquarium on this day.