I’m standing in Walmart having a slight panic attack.

I’m looking at an array of thick, glorious workbooks for preschool and kindergarten children. I love workbooks. Seven year old Maggie does too. Nine year old Jack, not so much.

But Caleb. Hrmmmm… He starts kindergarten in four weeks. Awwwwww they’re so cute. I should get a workbook for him! He’s never had one!Then I start flipping through them.

And I see the pages through the filter of Caleb’s eyes.

Oh. Wait. He doesn’t write yet. Does he? Hrm. Not really. He can spell out his name. His sister’s name. Mom. And a couple letters….maybe. I haven’t actually paid attention. He loves cutting paper and drawing. But it’s all self-initiated. He doesn’t read yet. I don’t think. I haven’t paid attention to that either. Oh heavens. I’m not even sure if he knows his whole alphabet. When’s the last time we sang the song??!

OMG….How high can he even count nowadays?


He’s entering Kindergarten in 2017 and his mother hasn’t actually paid attention to any of this? We all know kindergarten is the new 2nd grade.

:::cue panic attack as I flip through a work book filled with things my third child doesn’t care a rip about:::::

I try to calm myself.

He’s completed two seasons of U8 soccer. Three seasons of competition swim team. He does flips off diving boards. And tricks on his bike. He plays basketball with his big brother. Speaks very well. Can beat Castle levels in Super Mario World. Knows his way around technology. Can hack my passwords. He spends his days flipping on the trampoline. And finding bugs. Digging in dirt. And playing in muddy puddles.

Isn’t that what childhood is for? Isn’t that what I set out to accomplish when I first had children? To give them hands on life experience as taught by early childhood educational masters Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason?

So why does this workbook thing bother me so?

Published by Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole is a freelance writer and social media specialist skilled in non-profit marketing and grass roots advertising. This mother of four weaves humor, emotion and depth into stories about parenthood and life in the American South.

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