Friday, May 2, 2008
ABC, one, two thwee
Last summer P got a new digger for the sandbox. As we strolled away from the toy store he pointed to the side, at the letters, and read the word "CAT." I chuckled that my two year old's first sight reading was the name of his favorite tractor brand, but knew we were a long way from Really reading. He did some other sight words on signs and such, but letters really held no interest for him at the time. Read? Nah. that's what mama's are for.
Well, the times are a changin'. P's interest in letters has been curiously piqued lately, but he adamantly avoids any type of obvious explanations. Its a solo expedition for him and he's not interested in a copilot. Occasionally, after making a letter with his necklace chain (a common way of "drawing" for him) he'll say "Mama, look, an M" but I'm otherwise not included. He also started singing the ABC's over and over last month. We were out one day and Another stranger asked him if he was off to school next year. Not P's favorite question :) He told her he didn't have to go, he already knew his letters. Then I had my idiot-mom Aha moment. He had recently asked why kids go to school and I kept my response simple "To learn things, like the alphabet or how to read." Apparently, P translated this so that learning the alphabet skipped him straight to graduation, thus no need for him to Ever go to school, so he took it upon himself to learn the ABC's. But his formidable independence combined with his inherent distaste for being quizzed (something I've blogged about before) leaves me in the dark on his current spelling status. Does he really know his letters? We read a Lot, he has a letter puzzle he enjoys and last month when I was sick he watched a Letter Factory video with great enthusiasm...
And then we were at the store last week (mailing our poor camera to the factory) and he pointed and asked "Mama, why that clock say UPS?" Ahh-hah! So he does know some letters...
Then we went to the library. P grabbed a counting book with sharks on the cover (shark lover that he is). Books with even the slightest schooly scent always seemed to irritate him in the past, but not so this time. He happily sat and counted everything in it, correctly, and without my input. Kinda like the reading, he could list his numbers last summer, but it wasn't really counting, just memorization. But just through living, no quizzing, no exaggerated examples, no lessons, he's figured out how to actually count.
And then I realized he's doing simple math too. The other day, he took one of our three remaining cookies and wandered into the playroom while I washed the dishes. I decided a cookie would make the dishes more enjoyable :) so I ate one too. Later, we were leaving and he wanted a cookie for the walk but was surprised to find only one cookie in the jar. "Mama," he said to me, "when I took a cookie there was three. Now there only one. You eat the other cookie?" Its such amazingly simple math that I hadn't even thought of it as such, but really, there it is, subtraction through living. And Important subtraction too - you Gotta know where your cookies go :)
Posted by Jac