Lauryan - posted on 05/15/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )
I have been thinking a lot about this lately... Aiden (now 2 years and nearly 5 months) has gone through a month of intense learning - without any official teaching. He has learnt his left from his right, how to count backwards, our full address (including suburb, state (province) and country, how to navigate certain kiddies websites, how to spell words and more sight reading words too. We have seen another jump in his vocabulary, in the rate of words he learns per day and also in his desire to know what new words mean. He is now starting to take things apart (like his nightlight) to see how they work, and wants to examine anything new. anyways I digress... I could go on and on but I won't bore you all... this is just background for my pondering question:
Aiden is now showing a sincere desire to learn 3 new things:
1. how to read words. Everything he sees that has letters he asks me "what does this say?" He will pick out letters, but not new words yet.
2. how to write letters of the alphabet. He can't even hold a pencil properly yet but with chalk on a chalkboard he is getting pretty good at forming the letters of his name. He gets rather upset when they don't look "proper" (his words)
3. how to tell the time. he keeps grabbing my arm and looking at the watch. He then will say "look mommy the big hand is pointint to that dot. So it's 6 o clock." (he picks random times to say. he also walks around looking at an imaginary watch on his arm and telling the time. he asks me what the time is about a zillion times each day.
So now my pondering question for you for this week is:
do you / did you / would you go ahead and teach him these new emerging skills, or would you just leave it and let him learn them on his own (as he seems to be doing anyways).
it IS a bit more tricky in that I am running out of other activities that interest him long enough during the days. I usually guide our activities along the lines of where he is developmentally and use our activities and play time to develop the next set of milestone developments (if that makes sense) as this keeps him interested and entertained (which translates into him NOT wrecking the house out of boredom, not wanting to just watch TV or play his PC games...) This also keeps him eager to learn new things and see new things. if we dont have this, then he doesn't even want to bother getting dressed for the day. (monday he spent the entire morning in just his underpants - even though it was rather chilly - but that's another story for another day.)
I am rambling here so thanks if you got this far (you guys make a great sounding board BTW! LOL).
And to summarise:
when our toddlers and preschoolers show signs of emerging skills that are seriously ahead of their chronological peer group do we :
1. Encourage and actively teach them those skills
2. Ignore them and hope that when we wake up tomorrow our kids will be "normal"
3. only actively teach when they insist and ask repeatedly
any other ideas and comments? And bottom line: do I teach him these new skills?