Have you ever downloaded the Monkey Preschool Lunchbox app for your kids? If so, you probably know that they adore & can independently play all the games except two. And you probably know exactly which two I’m talking about:
“Put the Fruit Back Together…”
…and “Match the Fruit”
These two games take more stamina than the others. You can’t just start tapping randomly until it moves on until the next game. Which leaves me three choices:
#1: Do those hard games for him so he can play the rest of the game.
#2: Take a firm stance that if he can’t do it all on his own, he’s not ready to play.
#3: Do the hard games together, helping him hold his finger and talking through the process (where did we see the other banana?).
I have tried all three! The teacher side of me would definitely choose #3 every time, but the truth is, sometimes life gets messier than that. The game is usually only even out when we are at a long appointment. Sometimes, he tries to insist on #1 while I am trying to speak with the doctor. Sometimes, I try to assert #2, but find he really does want to give them a try again on his own.
The more I reflect, the more I realize that the only truly damaging stance when it comes to the scaffolding we give our kids is one that is rigid and not sensitive to context.
We like to think of scaffolding as a nice linear graph, gradually releasing toward complete independence in a smooth, graceful line. But really, there are plenty of dips, spikes, and wild turns along the way, all of which require patience for our young students, and for ourselves.
Even for something as silly as making a monkey cheer you on when you match a pair of honeydews.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto