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feeding the toddler brain

Brain Quest Workbook: Pre-KBrain Quest Workbook: Pre-K by Liane Onish

Vivi is like a sponge, absorbing everything around her at an amazingly rapid pace. While it is impossible for me to keep up, I try to occupy her mind with as many activities as I can, from working on our Spanish colors, to counting to 20, to drawing monsters, and even dancing “ballet” to classical music. A few days ago we were at the park, and a little girl around Vivi’s age was playing with her father. She said “I’m going to draw a rectangle.” I was surprised enough that she knew such an advanced shape, but my wonder grew when her father replied “It would be tough to draw a rectangle because we have nothing to measure the sides with to ensure equal length, nor do we have a way to judge right angles.” Thinking she would shrug him off and continue on her merry way, I was thoroughly shocked when she furrowed her brow, thought for a moment, and said “I’ll draw a triangle then!” I hate to participate in racial profiling, but I feel in this case of profound awe and envy, it is probably ok to tell you they are Asian (did you guess that already?).

Instead of simply being jealous–although I admit I was–I use these experiences of being one-upped to improve my parenting ability. Who knew some 3-year-olds are ready to learn about measuring inches, shapes like rectangles and trapezoids, and right angles? I’m waiting for this book to arrive from Amazon, and then we’ll hit the ground running. I may not be able to teach her algebra yet, but she’s probably ready to move beyond reciting her ABC’s. I got a great tip from a teacher/mom who left a review on Amazon, and I just have to share even though I haven’t tried it yet. She suggests taking all workbooks to an office supply store and asking them to spiral bind them so you can lay it flat for your child to work. Genius!

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