JJ’s birthday, creeping technology and pre-school learning – some thoughts

JJ’s 4th Birthday

I am 4

Last Saturday was JJ’s 4th birthday. As I have mentioned previously he was invited to a friend’s party on the day so I didn’t book a party for him. I had intended to but I procrastinated, left it too late and everything was booked up. As a celebratory event I decided we should take him to a theme park instead and we were all set to go but cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather. We had planned to raincheck to this week but the weather forecast is, once again, bad and now it looks like we won’t get around to it at all.

Having said this, JJ was excited with his presents, we went out for a birthday lunch with his paternal Grandma on the day and he enjoyed the party he went to where we all sang Happy Birthday to him as well as his friend. He also had cake and an afternoon out with my family on the Sunday so he didn’t do too badly!

Creeping technology

Leapster

One of JJ’s birthday presents this year (from my mum and dad) was a Leapster GS – a handheld electronic device on which he can play some basic games, practice writing letters (of the alphabet, not epistles!) and take photos and videos. So far he has managed to write a j, a y and a t, has taken about 200 photos of knees, elbows, scenery rushing past the car window and various ceiling and floor shots, and fed a small cat some apples and a steak (or in his opinion, some tomatoes and toast) (as far as I’m aware, none of this is the staple diet of a domestic cat…).

He’s never had anything like this before and never even sat still to watch much on TV either so I wonder whether this is the start of a lifelong submersion into computer games and gadgets… At this point I’d say no, its just a novelty to him right now. Its not even a solitary activity as I’m called upon to take him back to the home screen every five seconds!

Things you need to know when you start school

ABC

This leads me on to another subject I’ve been pondering lately which is the question of what your children should know or be capable of when they start school. The recent reports in the news about children starting Reception year at school and still being in nappies, unable to speak properly or recognise their own name were a little bit surprising but nothing I’m worried about with JJ. I have even finally (fingers crossed) got him to ditch the dummy (during the day at any rate) – turning four seems to have been a turning point for him mentally in realising that he is now a big boy and not a baby or toddler anymore.

The one thing we haven’t cracked is any kind of achievement with regards reading/writing/drawing recognisable things. He can count to ten and sometimes a bit beyond but it strikes me that, if not for a week in September, he would be starting school now and seems a little bit behind some of his friends in these respects (particularly the girls). I know that they all learn and pick things up at different times and they will all be in the mix soon enough but I do feel like I should try and use the next year to get him up to speed, at least a little bit, with the letters of the alphabet for starters.

2 thoughts on “JJ’s birthday, creeping technology and pre-school learning – some thoughts

  1. Daughter #1 could read letters at 18 months… but Daughter #2 never showed any interest until she was at school. Only having the example of D#1 I was worried! But not a problem – as soon as D#2 got to school she started to learn along with the rest of the class.

    He’ll learn a lot in the next year – and it’s great that he’s September born. It’ll give him a natural advantage when he gets there – he won’t get tired out so easily.

    Happy Birthday, JJ!

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