One of the things I enjoy about how we interact with the kids is seeing how much they really do learn without us explicity “teaching” them.
The game we have been playing recently, “Rat-A-Tat-Cat” has shown me snippets of things they know. My daughter, for example can tell greater than and less than beyond just knowing what the numbers are. She can roughly guess if her hand is better than the others. My son has been terrific at figuring out when he has the best hand and he has also started to add up his sccore in a way I didn’t think to show him (until after he showed me). For background, he has been asking me things like “What is 10 + 6?” and I would say “16”. Then he would say “I bet you can’t stump me” and I would give him one, sticking to the teens. When we were adding up the scores, he shoved 2 of his “5” cards together and said “Here is 10” and then pushed his 8 over and said “Here is 8”, “I have 18 points”. Now I have followed his lead and been making piles that add up to 10 when possible when we do the scoring.
He has also been playing a lot of “Paper Mario” for the GameCube lately and one of his interests is making all kinds of recipes by Zess T., one of the characters. Basically, you hand her one or two ingredients and she makes them into something else for you. We had always just given her random things to see what she would make. Most of the time, she made “mistakes”, which were not very beneficial (only 1 HP and 1 FP).
J. found an online recipe book a while back and today my son wanted me to make lots of recipes with him. He can’t read the recipes on the website very well, so I decided I would make him a physical book with the recipes and put pictures above the words so he could use it himself. One of the neat things about “Paper Mario” has been how many words he has been picking up by looking up characters and badges, etc. and I figured this would give him even more exposure to words next to pictures he knows as well as being a useful tool.
Anyway, while I was cutting and pasting, he decided to create his own recipe book book and glue in his own pictures. He hasn’t written much lately and has never really done numbers, so at first he was asking me to write the numbers and he was telling me what ingredients. Then I asked him if we should switch and he could write the numbers and I would say what ingredients. He balked for a moment and said he wasn’t so good with numbers. I reminded him that I had printed some out the other day and he could grab them if he wanted. He ran off to grab the number worksheet (made from here in an ocean theme) that I had made and brought it in. He then drew every single number by concentrating on the pictures and copying them. He cut out the ingredient pictures himself and glued them on too. He was so proud of his work! And I didn’t have to make him do any of it. He was also so polite and grateful the whole time we were working together. He kept thanking me for making the recipe book and hanging out in his room playing “Paper Mario”.
This is our recipe book:
My daughter has been fascinated with the days of the week and what days J. will be home or not, when her birthday will be, when we will be going places. She seems to be getting a very good grasp of the sequence of days without us trying. Eventually, I will be less lazy and put the calender back up. That surely would make it easier for all of us, LOL.
More another time…