Everyday learning is my favorite stuff! Today, while I was cooking dinner, Samantha decided to get her letter magnets down. (She usually helps me cook, but just then I was using a knife to cute raw meat chicken.) She spelled a few words that she knows and then made up some of the rest. "Happy Birthday" was spelled QRUTVHEN...You get the picture. But she can spell simple words like Sami, Cat, Bat, Dog, Car, Pig, pretty much any three letter word that does not have a ridiculous rule to it like "Dye". She knows "ch" and "ar" and "er," etc. She asked me to quiz her on some words, and though she has been able to sound out 3 letter words since a little before she turned three, she was super quick about it today and didn't require any assistance. If it was a word she had never seen before, she was able to say, "Hug? Hm...H and U and G..." She really thought it out and then spelled it. I told her it won't be long before she can read big books by herself. That really motivated her. She did that for about 30 minutes and then decided she was done. (Unfortunately that was my fault. I got wrapped up in cooking and washing dishes, so she lost interest.) She was so much more interested because she initiated the learning herself. If I try to initiate it, more often than not, she just acts super silly and like she can't do it.
Some other things she likes to do quite often is one of the games we play at night where Daddy draws a picture on her marker board and write a message. Sometimes the message goes with it and sometimes it doesn't. I let her know either way. The nights that the message goes with it, she tries to decipher what it says. And if it doesn't, I will read it to her. It might say something like, "Good Night, Samantha. You are very loved." And then she will pick out the words that she knows. Sometimes she tries to copy a picture Jessie has drawn or re-write my message. Sometimes she will write her own message. We give her the freedom to chose. She is learning and getting in family time and that is what is important. Plus she is free to be creative in the way she chooses.
Sometimes she likes to look at the space poster we got her for Christmas. I put it on the back of her bedroom door, and each day she will pick a planet and ask me to read her a little about it from the poster. (Other days we will do some more extensive research online.) We name all the planets off of it before bed, and before I knew it she could name each planet in order away from the sun! We didn't even really go over that. I never said, "Here is the order. Let's remember it." She also learns some of the simpler facts about how the planets orbit the sun. She told me today that she was the sun and the cat was running in circles around her because she is the planet orbiting her. :)
There is so much more that we do day to day, things that aren't planned really, but just happen, like reading and writing, drawing and coloring, playing with playdough or making "ooze." We like to watch the Magic School Bus and use their science kits for learning! We will be making a sticker space poster tomorrow. (I will be posting our space activities as soon as that unit is over.) I miss our outside exploration. It is few and far between in the winter. We talk about the trees loosing their leaves and look at the dead grass, sometimes collect acorns in the back yard left from Fall, but that is about it.