27 February 2008

Informal Learning

While we're not doing formal homeschooling until next year, when DD will be at the official age for prep, we certainly do lots of informal learning nearly every day. In the last few weeks, DD has shown a real interest in painting. Previously, she has painted scribbles for a minute or two at most, then grown bored. Now, we're getting actual paintings.

This was the first one. This is Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs, just in case you don't recognise it. We couldn't fit all the dinosaurs on one page, so we had to do a second. There are six dinosaurs, and Harry, with his red hair. I was most impressed with these. I helped draw the bodies on a few of them, but she did the rest.

In the theme of dinosaurs, we bought some card and split pins at the newsagent, and made a model "Patsy", the apatosaurus from Harry. She loved this activity.

She then drew the same characters each day for about 3 days. Now she's moved onto other things. Today we have had whales, octopuses, and caterpillars.

This is a mummy whale (top), a daddy whale (bottom right), and a baby whale (bottom left). I just love the shape in the mummy whale, very whale like.

Then, with her new found fine motor skills, she wrote a sign. "Mummy, help me. I want to write stop."
Me: "Well you need to start with a 's'."
DD: "I've already done the 's' and the 't', what comes next?"

And she had too. With me giving her verbal instructions, she wrote this sign all by herself!

For anyone having trouble reading it, it says "Stop at Red Light". I'm amazed. She has written her name a couple of times in the past, and will type simple words like "hi" and her name to my friend in Canada, but this is the first time she's written like this. She has known most of the letter sounds for quite a while from her Jolly Phonics videos, which she just LOVED, and watched over and over, but she has shown a lot of reluctance to put them into words. We didn't push, figuring she would do it in her own time. She is the sort of child who doesn't like to do things until she is sure she can, so I knew she was quietly working away at this, and would seem to go from nothing to everything at once, and it looks like I was right.

She has been 'reading' simple first readers for a few weeks too. A very old set of PM readers that I bought for a song at the markets. I have a more modern set in a box somewhere, but probably she will be past them by the time I find them again. She also loves Dr Seuss, and will recite several other books that she knows by heart.

Also inspired by Harry, in particular the episode 'Origami', we had to look up some instructions for how to make origami critters. I point blank refused to even try a fan (Harry and his friends made a working electric one, beyond my capabilities I'm afraid!), so this was the next best thing.

Who is it that says that TV is bad for kids, look at what it has inspired in our house!

1 comment:

Manda said...

the writing "stop at red light" (perfectly legible IMHO) is unbelievable. VERY IMPRESSIVE EZRI!