Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lesson 9: Never ask a 3 year old to make inferences

I just can't help it.  The teacher in me always comes out, even when I try keep it bottled up. 

We read to all three of our children every night before bed.  Ellen is always reading some novel.  She prefers "real stories about real people" not about "trolls or humans with wings" (obviously not a lover of fantasy).  If you've read my Lesson 2 blog post, you will know that Natalie I I have stepped it up a bit.  We moved on from Hop On Pop to Tiger Rising. 

Reading time with my 3-year-old Sam, however,  is a weird blend of relief from a long day of disciplining him and amusement at some of the things he did and said to land himself in hot water.  Sam loves the Biscuit books, Olivia stories, and nursery rhymes. 

Tonight we were reading the nursery rhyme book.  Concerned that he would be just reciting them from rote memory and not using the creative part of his brain, I tried to ask him things about the rhymes or pictures to stimulate thought.  For example:  ......"here we go 'round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning."  I said to Sam, "How do you know it is a cold and frosty morning?"  Sam replied, "because the kids are wearing hats and scarves, mommy." 

After we finished up the Hey Diddle, Diddle page, we focused on the picture around the rhyme.  I said, "Oh Sam look!   There are two little birds in the tree.  I bet they are a mommy bird and a daddy bird.  Which one do you think is the mommy bird?"  One bird was a dull brown and the other was a bright blue.  He pointed to the brown one.  I was mentally dreaming about flat hats with tassels, scholarships, and acceptance awards---and I should have stopped right there.  Nope--had to ask just one more question.  I said, "Sam, why do you think that is the mommy bird?"  He replied, "It's fatter." 

This quote is taken from Roseann Barr and applies to me tonight: "I now know why some mothers eat their children."  According to Sam, I guess I have already eaten a few of them. 

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