Sometimes N really surprises me. But I’m glad he does.
I’m always saying how I wish he’d be more eager to do his reading and to do some writing other than when teachers encourage him. I’m hoping Year 1 will be his epiphany and he’ll all of a sudden get excited by it. At the moment he’s just glad he’s staying down because he was saying the other day how it was sad that the Year 1s going up won’t have a separate outdoor play area, and how his cousin had to go up to Year 3 where they had to sit down and work all day.
He’s definitely much more about the topical and practical learning. Anything that means he can move about and learn at the same time is for him. Although I don’t know how they deal with that in schools – he’s not the only one in a year of 16 boys to 2 girls! Good job they’ve got a bigger girls intake than boys this year I think.
We’ve had alphabet and number fridge letters on the fridge since he was a toddler and apart from moving them around he’s never shown much interest. But the other evening, half way through reading his school reading book, he decided it was time for letter work. I’m always happy for a spot of child led learning.
He wanted to put every capital letter in order, go over the names of them – from the A-Z song which he loves. And then wanted to try a couple of words. We do have phonics letter magnets too with all the digraphs etc, but he just wanted the capital letters.
I was amazed that he spent the time going through them, and then put them all back up in order as well. So he does show some interest in the basics, it’s just getting them engrained in his memory and getting him to have confidence in moving to the next level.
Then the next day he just came out with ‘why did dinosaurs die out?’ I’m not sure if there is a definitive answer to that given I’ve not studied them, so I explained about the ice age and warmer periods, leading up to our current Quaternary period and how there are cycles. I had to admit that while I’d studied a small proportion of this at uni (dull, the Holocene), I didn’t know a definitive answer.
Then it led on to how the earth had changed over the years. Of course that meant new questions ‘how?’. N’s always quite liked volcanoes and I know about tectonic plates and natural hazards so I was well away.
I explained how the earth was made up of tectonic plates, like jigsaw pieces. Depending on how they met, they could create mountains or volcanoes, deep sea trenches or earthquakes where they moved against or apart.. I always try and encourage us looking at his Earth book, but he’d rather listen.
Then I could explain that we were in a fairly stable country with only a few earthquakes that can be slightly felt, but that other countries like Japan and America had many more. I loved how he was interested. It really shows that every child learns in a different way, and I hope that his school can manage those different needs.
The fact N loves practical and verbal learning so much, is one of the reasons why I like to take him out and about. That means he can learn on the go and hopefully absorb information that way. Whether that’s a walk or scoot in the park, days trips or holidays, everything can be valuable to young children.
How do yours prefer to learn? Do they pick their topics themselves and you follow?