My wife and I were talking the other day about child development. She has an undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University and has a number of great observations over her career in pre and primary grade teaching.
It got me thinking about my own children and the things I did with them as little kids that I just thought was good exercise for their brains (which is important – kinda like learning Latin?). But it turns out that there was some method to my madness and it wasn’t all wrong!
In an article I have written, I describe the ritual I had of reading to my kids several times, usually at their request. And, of course, one always reads at bedtime. It is a wonderful moment to help them relax.
Children enjoy repetition in the reading. Even though you may have a hundred children’s books you have read to them, there are certain ones that are always favorites. In fact, you may have experienced reading those books so many times that the kids have memorized whole sentences in the stories; yep, word for word.
So since they can tell with keen auditory sense which word comes when, they should be able, if you point the words out as you read, to pick up what some words actually look like without a formal course in phonics. I assume many of you have discovered this.
This is one pattern among many I presume (I am sure there are things my kids did while I read that I did not pick up on) that could be used to passively instruct. Passively as in fun is most important, and, by the way, what’s this or that, or how does it work?
I discovered a way to stimulate their imagination thanks to Linus Pauling and I also found out that you can use puzzles (many different kinds, too) with kids as young as 3.
If you are interested in getting the full-blown account, and I think it would be valuable if you are interested in what is called today critical thinking or critical reasoning, try the following link: